Nora O’Brien chased a dream from Indiana to Scotland, so sure it was the right thing to do. Three years later she was left in her adopted country with nothing to her name but guilt and regret.
Until Aidan Lennox entered her life.
Older, worldlier, a music producer and composer, the sexy Scot should never have made sense for Nora. But somehow, in each other, they found the light they were looking for, the laughter and the passion—the strength to play on despite their past losses.
But when life dealt Aidan another unlucky hand, instead of reaching for her he disappeared. The agonizing loss of him inspired something within Nora. It fired her spirit— the anger and hurt pushing her forward to take control and reach for her dreams.
Finally pursuing a career on stage while she put herself through college, everything is how Nora wants it. She’s avoiding heartbreak and concentrating on her goals.
Sounds easy but it’s not. Because Aidan is back. And for some reason he hates Nora.
He’s determined to be at war with her. And she has absolutely no idea why. (Goodreads)
In Young’s latest novel, she returns to Edinburgh Scotland and with Play On, she has not only produced a brilliant Contemporary Romance, she has also show a maturity in her writing that demonstrates her ability as a brilliant author.
Play On was a masterclass in taking the Contemporary Romance and creating something that I can honestly say that I have not read. The book centres around Nora and covers about six or seven years. It opens in Edinburgh, with Nora getting changed in a bathroom in a hospital. There is an encounter with an unnamed man and all you are given is a womans name Nora says when trying to push this mysterious man away.
It then shifts back a few years and from here, I was given the task of trying to work out who the man in the opening chapter was. It added a certain layer to the book and with each new male character, I tried to see if they were the mystery man. Candidates are quickly disguarded, until it is revealed that it is Aiden, the character in the synopsis of the book. Here, I am going to admit that I didn’t read the synopsis, but even after finishing the book and then reading it, I still could see that my interpretation of the book was still a viable one.
It is difficult to delve in deeper to the book, because I fear I would give something away. What I can say is that Nora’s journey to her Happy Ever After is a journey that has many obstacles along the way. Even, when Aidan returns on the scene, I was never 100% sure that she would end up with him. So much had happened between them that it was never a given that they would end up together. This was down to how Nora changed and matured through the book, that she is not the same woman at the beginning of the book.
It is true that this at its heart , is a romance novel, but it is so much more. As with many of her On Dublin Street books, it deals with very serious themes. Witnessing how the characters react and learn from them can be so heart breaking. I can say that there are at least three instances in the book that stole my breath. It felt as though my heart was ripped out and the characters anguish was my own. Very few authors can get that reaction from me, but Young did this to me.
Nora is our in to this story and as a character, she is one of Youngs more complex female characters. She hasn’t had the luckiest hand to start with. She escapes from her home life, but ends up in a cage with a different view. I could see the reasons why she grasped this opportunity and though it didn’t work out initially as she planned, fate’s fickle hand led her to where she should be. I felt this intense pride that she brushed herself off and managed to move on. By the time the book finished, she has to be one of my favourite female characters of Youngs.
One of the unsung characters in this book, has to be the city of Edinburgh itself. Though I did enjoy her Hearts Boardwalk series, it seemed to miss that certain something that I couldn’t put my finger on. Reading Play On, I realised that it was the Character of Edinburgh. Being very familiar with the city myself, Young has captured it perfectly and the city itself adds to the book. I could see the streets and places she mentioned so very clearly and it allowed me to become more ingrained in the book.
Play On is going to be difficult for Young to top, for it displays such maturity in the way it is written. Once I started to read the book, I couldn’t put it down. With each page, I was pulled to find out how the book would all play out. This has left me anticipating what Young will write next.