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REVIEW: Fall From India Place by Samantha Young

FallFromIndiaPlace

Dear Ms. Young:

Your On Dublin Street series is a total winner for me, with each annual release being among my Top 10 favorite books of the year for the last three years running. So requesting Fall From India Place was a no brainer.

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving in to temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life—something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together….

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him—a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again….

We met Hannah Nichols in the very first installment of On Dublin Street and have watched her grow up, and had hints at her burgeoning relationship with Marco D’Alessandro throughout the series. The book opens a few years after the previous books in the series and Hannah is now an English teacher enjoying her first year of teaching. She’s invigorated by her students, and is as close as ever with her family. But she’s haunted by her relationship with Marco, which ended abruptly after she gave him her virginity and he literally disappeared the day after. She’s not heard from him or seen him since, although rumor has it that he left Scotland altogether and went back to his native Chicago. This at first left Hannah bereft, but that bereavement has turned to a smoldering anger and an inability to move on from the relationship and give another man an opportunity to win her love.

So imagine her shock when she runs into Marco at a friend’s wedding, and imagine her fury when he informs her that he’s been back in Scotland for four years, and never got in touch. But now that he’s seen her again, he’s ready to make the full court press to win back her love. Hannah is incensed. He broke her heart and left her to pick up the thousand pieces of it and to deal with the ramifications of their actions that night all alone. On top of that, he came back to Scotland years ago and never bothered to get in touch. There is absolutely no possibility of them reconciling in any way. But Marco is determined. He’s a changed man. Grown up and deeply regretful of the heartache he caused Hannah. He wants nothing more than to go back to the place they were before. Best friends and lovers. After him showing up multiple locations to push for something more, Hannah agrees to have a drink with him. She informs him that they will only ever be friends, and that if he can accept that, she’ll give it a try. Marco agrees, but tells her that he’s not going to stop trying to win her love. After spending time just hanging out with him, Hannah is no less attracted to him. He’s funny and supportive and kind. Soon, Hannah acquiesces and they act on their deep mutual attraction. But both are hiding something huge which could affect their relationship forever.

This book should have worked for me. I love reunited lovers as a trope and your authorial voice is one that has always worked really well for me. Marco is a dream of a hero. Yes, he has secrets, but he’s in hot pursuit of Hannah (another trope I love) and he’s everything one would hope a hero would be. Unfortunately, I didn’t like Hannah. I felt that throughout the book she displayed an incredible amount of immaturity, and sister can hold a grudge! She sent Marco mixed signals galore and every time the going got tough, she ran for it. Often after saying something particularly nasty to Marco. The fit she throws when she finds out Marco’s secret is epic and unsupportable in my opinion. They had already exchanged “I love you’s” at that point and yet, at the first sign of trouble, she cuts and runs. It made me dislike her intensely. I kept hoping Marco would find a more mature, kinder woman to love. Hannah acts like an entitled brat throughout the book, which made it impossible for me to root for her at all.

That being said, I really enjoyed getting to visit with previous couples in the series, and I love the setting of the series very much. I liked Marco and could easily understand why anyone would fall in love with him. He manned up for what he did, and spent most of the book doing everything he could to win Hannah’s love. Those parts of the book make me inclined to grade it a little higher than I would if I were going off of Hannah alone. In the end, I believe this is the weakest installment of the On Dublin Street series, but I’m still beside myself with excitement for the next installment, which is Cole’s love story. Fall From India Place receives a C from me.

Kind regards,

Kati

 

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Kati Brown

I've been reading romance for more than 30 years and reviewing regularly for the last five. My first romance was Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts, and once I read it, I was a goner. I read most subgenres of romance (except inspirational and steampunk) but focus mostly on contemporary and paranormal, with a sprinkling of historical thrown in for flavor. I am an avid sports fan, so I have a special place in my heart for sports themed romances. I'm a sucker for old skool romance, which is probably most evident in the fact that The Windflower is my favorite romance of all time.

5 Comments

  1. Mandi
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 11:53:09

    The heroine ruined this book for me. I couldn’t stand her. Selfish , immature – not a fan :( I’ve loved all the other books previous to this. Excited for Cole next.

  2. Tori
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 12:04:05

    I agree wholeheartedly with your review. I loved the trope and storyline but Hannah essentially dragged the story down for me. I spent a majority of the book telling the heroine to “grow up” and while screaming at Marco to RUN!! Cole=swoon.

  3. Julie M.
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 12:19:55

    I haven’t read any of Ms. Young’s books, though they are on my ridiculously large tbr thanks to all the love that you all (Kati, Mandi, and Tori, plus others) have given to them. Funnily enough, in just reading the review I find myself siding with Hannah, thinking that Marco should have to really grovel to win her back. I guess I better pull the first book off my tbr and get reading. Then I’ll have my own informed opinion about this book – when I get to it!

  4. Laura B
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 16:52:22

    Hannah and Joss have a lot in common in that fears guide their actions. Joss works better as a heroine for me b/c she was actively trying to deal with her grief and issues. Hannah truly buried them and inappropriately took them out on Marcos. However, what she had to go through after he split was pretty crummy. I also thought the pacing/storytelling at the start of the book was a bit off.

    I loved the teaching scenes (especially at the adult school).

  5. Cap
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 08:22:44

    I just finished this one, and man, was I disappointed. I’d quickly glanced at the reviews this week, but didn’t read them since I saw they were negative and didn’t want to go into it with the bad points already in my head. Samantha Young is one of my two favorite romance authors. I love this series. After the last book, I was impatient for the next release. When I saw it was Hannah’s and Marco’s story, I felt a twinge of misgiving, as it seemed a repeat of sorts of Ellie’s and Adam’s story, and I was worried that I would have trouble looking at the two as adults. Still, I thought, have faith in Young; she’ll make it good. Unfortunately, it didn’t go down that way. My misgivings were spot on, but that wasn’t the half of it. Hannah drove me nuts. The story line dragged on and on. Worse, that great sexual tension that is so much a part of the series’ charm was missing for me. Felt like a typical angsty NA, which is a shame. Even though the characters in the previous books were young, it never felt tht way. I am trying to not let this experience sour me for Cole’s story, but am having trouble mustering excitement. Bummer.

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