New Release Review: Fall From India Place by Samantha Young

3 Fall From India PlaceFall From India Place by Samantha Young
Book #4 in On Dublin Street

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
ARC Provided by Netgalley and NAL

Synopsis from Goodreads: The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…

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 into 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….

Christal’s Review – 3 Skulls – C+

I’ve had my ups and downs with the On Dublin Street series, but I generally like the characters.  Hannah has always been one of my favorites so I was excited for her book.  She’s always been a little more serious and studious, yet still hilarious, than the other girls in the series so I expected a different type of story.  Unfortunately, Fall From India Place fell into the same clichés as previous entries in the series.  That’s not bad per say, but it is disappointing just because I thought Hannah’s book could take things in a new direction.  Even though her story didn’t hit it out of the park for me, I still have a lot of hope for Cole in the next book.

Hannah and Marco became friends in high school, but things were strictly platonic.  Hannah finally pushes for their relationship to become physical and Marco panics, leaving her behind.  He disappears back to the US and Hannah is left to weather the next five years alone.  When she runs into him by chance at a wedding, she doesn’t know what to think or feel.  Marco knows though — he wants to prove he isn’t that same, scared little boy and he wants Hannah in his life.  The only problem is they are both keeping secrets and those secrets could tear them apart.

Fall From India Place picks up five years after Before Jamaica Lane and it was great catching up with all the old characters.  I loved seeing Joss, Braden, Olivia, Nick, Ellie, and Adam and their broods — though it would be nice to see a couple in this series happy and healthy together without having children now and then.  The children were very cute and used sparingly to great effect; I loved when Joss and Braden’s daughter Beth casually called her green peas “little fuckers.”  Hilarious!  It was nice to see the whole clan together and happy and to get interactions between all the girls.  Those characters have all become so tight-knit and incredibly sweet.

On the downside, I didn’t completely love Marco or Hannah.  Actually, I had big problems with both of them.  I never really bought Marco’s excuses for why he didn’t look Hannah up when he returned to Scotland.  He was there four years before he happened to bump into her.  He made it seem like he was finally ready to see her then, but it wasn’t like he went out on a limb to contact her… it was a coincidence!  What if he had never ran into her again?  That bothered me way more than the secret Marco was keeping; it actually made sense to me that he would keep that part of his life separate until he and Hannah were more secure.  The part that I just can’t get over is him sleeping with Hannah, knowing that he is her first, and then disappearing for years until he happens to run into her and then acting like he made some decision that he was finally the man for her.  I just don’t buy it.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate Marco, but I don’t buy into him seeking out a second chance for any reason other than it became convenient.

I had no issue with Hannah being gun-shy in Fall From India Place after everything that happened between her and Marco.  I even had no real problem with her being wishy-washy about their relationship… Who wouldn’t in her situation?  What I had an issue with is a spoiler (though I think readers will figure this out from the very beginning) so I am going to say that Hannah had a secret that she should have told Marco about from the very beginning and she didn’t and it frustrated me to no end.  She had no problem yelling at him for taking her virginity and fleeing but she didn’t get angry at him for this other thing that ended up being infinitely more serious until his own, more understandable secret came out?  To top it off, she didn’t even tell him because she wanted to; she was forced to tell him when Cole found out the truth and threatened to tell Marco himself.  It just didn’t make any sense to me why she wouldn’t tell him from the get-go.  “Hey Marco, I know you want me back but you had sex with me and left and then this other really serious thing happened and I didn’t even have a phone number to call you so, yeah, I have some unresolved issues with our relationship.”  I know that wouldn’t bring the drama like the way it actually played out, but I always felt like Hannah, as a character, was smarter than that.  I never thought she would fall into the drama trap like the other characters before her.

Of course Hannah and Marco work through their issues in the end, but I have to say I didn’t enjoy the journey as much as I did with say Olivia and Nate.  There are some very sweet times between them but, overall, there was just too much drama… drama that could have been avoided!  One last little pet peeve of mine about this series is how every female character seems to end up pregnant, even if they didn’t really want children to begin with or were scared of becoming pregnant for medical reasons.  Oh you silly ladies, of course you need a child for your life to be complete… you just don’t realize it yet.  Not to mention it’s the perfect kick in the pants to get your guy to propose to you!  Phfffft….

Though I didn’t enjoy how Fall From India Place fell back into the secrets and misdirection tropes of the previous books, I did love Hannah’s relationship with her students — both at the high school and in the adult literacy class — and I absolutely loved Cole.  He is such a wonderful character and I cannot wait for his story to be told.  The blurb makes it sounds very interesting and I really do hope it takes this series in a new direction because this predictable storyline formula is starting to get old.

Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley/NAL for providing an ARC copy of this book!

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:
1.1. On Dublin Street
1.5. Until Fountain Bridge
1.2. Down London Road
2.5. Castle Hill
2.3. Before Jamaica Lane
2.4. Fall From India Place
2.5. Echoes of Scotland Street (Expected Publication: February 2015)

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Comments 3

  • Makes me sad to see a meh review, I really love Samantha Young! She helped me out with advice when I first started writing, she even encouraged me to write new adult romance books. I am looking forward to reading this one still, I’ve really enjoyed the series. If nothing else, she is still the sweetest author I know!

  • Sadly, this isn’t the first MEH review I’ve seen for this book. And it IS sad, b/c I love Samantha Young. And how much worse when this installment is about one of you favorite characters. At least you enjoyed her interactions with her students though, right?
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    • Oh yes, Hannah was a great teacher and she was the character we’ve come to love when she was shown in that role. I’ve seen other meh to bad reviews of this one, but I can also understand why some people loved it. It fits the formula of the series, it just wasn’t what I thought we would get for Hannah.