Saturday, June 06, 2015

REVIEW: Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

I really enjoyed Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young and over the years I've been a firm fan of this series of books in the On Dublin Street series. It's been nice to see not only how individual characters develop but also relationships and to see these friendships and a large family circle grow over time into something really strong and special. 

Thoughts on the series overall: the descriptions of the love and loyalty and strength of connection between this entire group makes me cry a little bit. I love that everyone is just there for each other and really gives each other plenty of chances. I don't always love the over-the-top descriptions of traumatic events and sometimes the descriptions of love and devotion are on the cheesy side. But neither of these slight niggles is enough for me to stop loving this series in its entirety. 

Moonlight on Nightingale Way felt a bit different to the other books. And I don't mean because it is the final book in the series (I didn't know that until the very end!). It felt different to me because the relationship between to the two main characters, Grace and Logan, went a different way to the other couples in this series. They seemed obviously physically attracted to each other right from the start (as per the usual) but they bond over shared concern for a young teenage girl that they both help to raise. I found it interesting to see them build a family unit first and then admit their feelings for each other. It's not the conventional method but I liked it.

I really liked both Logan and Grace immediately. They're both really loveable in different ways and I really liked how their relationship begins with lots of complaints and antagonism. 

I don't actually remember Logan from the previous book, Echoes on Scotland Street. He's Shannon's older brother and he's just been released from prison for assaulting Shannon's attacker. He spends a lot of time hopping into bed with one night stands and generally pissing off his next door neighbour, Grace.

Grace is so not so amused by Logan's antics at first. She's there to witness g-strings in the hallway and vomit on her doorstep and loud sex noises into the small hours of the night. She's escaped a difficult home life and has been living in Scotland making a living from being a freelance editor and has a group of friends she considers family. She really doesn't need or want someone like Logan in her life... Until the day that things change entirely and Grace digs in and helps out Logan in incredible ways and the two start leaning on each other and seeing the other in very different lights. 

It's quite sweet, this story. I really enjoyed it. It felt much more like a family drama than it did a contemporary love story though of course it was both. I thought Logan's character development in particular was great to witness. The arrival of Maia into his life changes everything for him and it was great to see him step up and take on this new role. 

Again, the parts that I loved the most about these books are the strength of friendship and relationships between all of the main characters. There's a real sense of community in these character's lives in which no one person has to handle any kind of drama or trauma alone. And I like that. Reading these books is a real comfort to me and I've really loved each and every one of them. 

Moonlight on Nightingale Way gives an extensive epilogue which finishes off each of the couples that we've been introduced to throughout this series and they each get their own little send-off and proper goodbye. There is a lot about marriage and babies which I didn't think was necessary (and falls into the cheesy description that I mentioned earlier) but it was definitely nice to see that the series ended not only in a satisfactory way for Grace and Logan but for all of the beloved characters of the On Dublin Street series. I shall be looking forward to whatever Samantha Young chooses to write next! 

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