Series: Standalone Novel
Published by Samantha Young on 9/12/17
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
Play On is such a beautiful story, a magical romance between two people who don’t fit together on paper but whose connection is unrelenting. This story is sad and infuriating at times, angsty and sexy often, peppered heavily with humor and sharp banter and ultimately it’s full of joy. I so enjoyed this book. I loved these characters, loved this journey, loved that this story felt fresh and new even as the author took us back to a place so familiar.
Play On, at heart, is a story of the series of fateful events that bring a lonely young woman right where she was always meant to be. Far more than a love story, Play On is Nora’s journey toward finding herself, to understanding her worth. While this story is certainly rife with romance and drama and sensuality, it’s bigger than just her search for a happily ever after. Nora’s life is complicated and messy and peppered with heartache and loss. Her path, all that inevitably brings her exactly where she needs to be, is a story worth reading all by itself. It’s beautiful and magical and painful, and the ultimate love story within these pages is simply the icing on a deliciously addictive cake.
Play On is the perfect demonstration of what a beautiful storyteller Samantha Young truly is. Her writing is as polished and lovely as it’s ever been in this book and I was swept away by her words. This story felt like an adventure, with Young once again carrying me away to Edinburgh. If you’ve read this author’s work before, you know her most unforgettable, most epic love stories take place on these Scottish streets, and Play On can now be added to that list as one of her most lush love stories to date.
Reading this book is like climbing a mountain. The further you trek, the more exciting the story gets. Play On is broken into three parts and by the third, the anticipation of reaching the summit is tortuous. It’s rough and messy and difficult and wondrous, this climb, and the thrilling climax is so worth the wait. I found that final part to be the most gripping, the most emotional, the most unforgettable, the most unputdownable of the entire book. Everything Nora had gone through had brought her to this place and seeing everything come together, all the tragedy and heartbreak and personal growth culminate into this beautifully satisfying conclusion, is so perfect, so well worth the bumpy journey.
This is such a beautiful story, a magical romance between two people who don’t fit together on paper but whose connection is unrelenting. This story is sad and infuriating at times, angsty and sexy often, peppered heavily with humor and sharp banter and ultimately it’s full of joy. I so enjoyed this book. I loved these characters, loved this journey, loved that this story felt fresh and new even as the author took us back to a place so familiar. Play On is an unforgettable love story between wholly unforgettable characters and with each turn of the page, I came to love this story more and more.
From the angle I was sitting, I could only see Aidan’s profile. A rush of feeling flooded over me as I studied his familiar face. Memories flooded me. Smiles. Laughter. Kisses. Soft touches. Tears. Him falling to his knees. Not meeting my eyes and telling me to leave and get rest. The last thing he ever said to me.
I’d never felt such a confusing mix of fury and longing in my entire life. I at once wanted to go to him, make him look at me, hold me, and I also wanted to march up to him, grab his sweater in my fist, and shake him, even though he’d barely budge under my assault.
I remember you, Pixie.
I closed my eyes, in pain at the memory. If he called me by his nickname for me again, I didn’t know whether I’d burst into tears or smack him across the face.
“Viola!” Quentin spun on his heel to look at me. “On stage.”
Nerves hit me in a massive wave and I took a moment to exhale slowly before I stood and walked toward the stage. I hoped I appeared calm and ready to do this because inside, I was under attack.
I joined Eddie up on stage; he gave me a bolstering smile.
In my entrance on performance nights, I would be accompanied by Eddie as Captain and we’d have extras with us as our sailors. “‘What country, friends, is this?’” I said in a faux upper-crust English accent, slowly walking across the stage, looking awed.
“‘This is Illyria, lady,’” Eddie said, following me.
I swiftly turned to look at him. “‘And what should I do in Illyria? My brother he is in Elysium …’”
We fell into the scene and I was feeling pretty good about it when it came to an end, until I looked over at Quentin and Aidan. Finally, I had Aidan’s attention. But I’d take him ignoring me over the scowl he wore.
As my director opened his mouth to speak, Aidan called up to me, “You need to work on that accent.”
I flushed, turning expectantly to Quentin. He looked a little taken aback by Aidan’s input but he nodded at me. “If one person thinks it’s not great, others might. Practice it. It’s not a huge concern yet.”
“The way she’s wandering around the stage like a bewildered child is,” Aidan said, like he hadn’t insulted the hell out of me. “Viola is bold enough to dress as a man in order to find her brother. She wouldn’t be wild-eyed and frightened.”
Wild-eyed and frightened?
I hadn’t been acting wild-eyed and frightened!
Quentin quirked an brow at his friend and then smirked up at me. “Play it a little less vulnerable in your next scene.”
Seething, I could only nod. Completely unable to look at Aidan, I turned to Eddie. He gave me a sympathetic smile and we left the stage together. The actors playing Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew took the stage.
Ignoring Aidan, I strode farther down the aisle to get away from him, and Amanda gave me a smug smile from her seat next to Hamish. “You’ll get better with practice,” she said.
I returned her smile with a tight one of my own and flopped down on a seat near the back.
It wasn’t long later, however, that Quentin was calling me up to stage again with Will and Jack. After Aidan’s criticism—something he did not dole out to anyone else—I was on edge but fighting the feeling because I didn’t want it to affect my performance.
We were halfway through the scene when Quentin called up for us to stop. Dread filled me as we looked down at him.
But it was Aidan who spoke. “You’re doing it again. All doe-eyed while he’s talking.” He gestured to Jack.
Anger flared out of me. “I’m supposed to be in love with him,” I argued.
“And you’re masquerading as a man. You’re good at deception,” he bit out, and I couldn’t miss the hiss of anger in his words. Were we still talking about the play? “At this point in the play, you can control your feelings for this man.”
Reeling from his words, I couldn’t argue this time. In fact, the whole atmosphere in the theater had changed, as if everyone else had heard the underlying fury in his words and were confused by them.
As confused as I was.
Why the hell was Aidan mad at me?
About the Author
Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland.
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.