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Group Review: Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young

Publisher: NAL
Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: Out today

Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.

eossCole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.

As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Thoughts on heroine

Has: I found Shannon to be really frustrating at times because she was so stubborn and closed off. Although I think Samantha Young set up her backstory and character really well with her bad luck with past boyfriends, and her last relationship with domestic abuse. It was just the way the issues cropped up between her and Cole, especially when it was constantly being repeated, that I felt tired of it. However, despite these problems with her character, I actually found her likable especially towards the end when she actually developed from her initial mistrust and suspicions. I just wished there was a better build-up to her issues which would have worked better for me.

MinnChica: I’ll be honest, there were some times in the beginning of the story when I really didn’t like Shannon. Her character came across as rather immature, and I thought Young did a lot of “telling” and not a whole lot of “showing” when it came to why Shannon was the way she was. We got a lot of little “she doesn’t trust men” thoughts, but no real reason behind it until much, MUCH later in the book. It made Shannon’s character come across as flat and insincere throughout the beginning of the book. That being said, I did find myself liking her more and more as her backstory unraveled.

Lou: Ahhh. That was me for most of this book because of Shannon. Like MinnChica and Has said above, Shannon had a great backstory but her behaviour throughout most of the book irritated me because there wasn’t a lot of showing in how she acted. Shannon doesn’t trust men that look like bad-boys. I’m not sure how having tattoos in this day and age is considered to be a bad-boy thing…but nonetheless Shannon judged Cole to be a bad-boy and therefore he was a target for her judgmental attitude. Considering Shannon’s history, I thought it was quite a feat to make her unlikeable with her behaviour. I found it so frustrating for her to keep telling Cole I don’t think I can ever trust you. Huh. Knowing nothing about Cole, she assumes things about him and keeps on telling him that she can never trust him. It really got on my nerves. One moment Shannon would be really nice and the next she totally changed.

Thoughts on hero

Has: I was looking forward to Cole’s book for a long while because over the course of the last few books I think I developed a little crush for him, especially when he was so loyal and protective towards those he loved. Well, Cole’s story certainly lived to that expectation because he was a fantastic hero and even though there was a very bumpy road in the beginning with his relationship with Shannon, I liked that he gave her space and understanding about her issues. I also loved that he never her pushed her and encouraged her which helped to develop her self esteem. Cole is a fantastic hero, because he was very protective but at the same time, sensitive to Shannon’s feelings and opinions and you could see why she would let him through her guard and she was very stubborn!

MinnChica: I’ve loved Cole since the first time he appeared in the series. I couldn’t wait to see how his happily ever after would end up, and while I struggled liking Shannon at first, I did like them together as a couple, once they finally got there. I liked that Cole was so upfront about what he wanted from Shannon, and although he came on WAY strong in the beginning, he also took a step back once he saw just how uncomfortable he was making Shannon. He was a thoughtful and sweet and I adored him. He made this book worthwhile, for sure!

Lou: Cole has been a featured character since Jo’s book. He’s Jo’s younger brother and I was so excited to see him get his book. Cole was forward in his behaviour towards Shannon at the beginning but throughout most of this book so I could understand Shannon setting him back. But her behaviour towards him afterwards was like I mentioned above, irritating. I wanted him to have another heroine because of how she treated him. Cole is a family man and he’s not a guy who plays around. He’s was a good guy who took a lot of shit off Shannon because of her issues. When he took a stand against her I’m surprised he didn’t fire her considering the nasty attitude the both of them made in the workplace.

Favourite part of the book

Has: I think the key scenes would be meeting up with the characters from the previous books, it was great to see updates on their future exploits. But I think my favourite scene has to be the one where, Shannon confides to Cole about her past. I think from that point on their relationship really started to evolve and I got a better sense of Shannon’s character as well.

MinnChica: Hmmm, my favorite part of the book would probably have to be every time the larger Dublin Street characters got together. I love their loud dinners and lunches and parties. Getting the chance to see some of my old favorites get back together again and show just how close knit of a family they really are. How protective they are of one another. I love that!

Lou: My favourite part of the book was their initial meeting and the first quarter of the book before everything became forced and angsty. I liked that Shannon stood her ground against Cole initially.

Dislike

Has: I have to say it’s the issues with Shannon’s suspicions being repeated all the time. We were told this several times, and it got exhausting. It wasn’t until much later when we saw the flashbacks/dreams and her development as a character by dealing with this that it got better for me.

MinnChica: I think I struggled the most with the way Shannon’s distrust for men was seemed to be shoved down the readers throat. It doesn’t need to be mentioned 8 million times in order to make an impact. I also thought that this book had a lot more missed opportunities of show vs tell. There was so much that was just told to the reader that wasn’t really flushed out until the very end, or at all. That was the most disappointing aspect for me.

Lou: Shannon. Her behaviour irritated me so much because there was so much freaking potential with her character. Instead of showing in scenes her mistrust of getting into a relationship with bad-boy men, it was told constantly, like a smack across the head to the reader, that she did not trust Cole. She’d casually date and sleep with him but she did not trust Cole. It became so repetitive that it really affected my enjoyment of the book. I also didn’t like the fact that every woman Cole dated was either bitchy or crazy. Shannon’s entire family were not very nice people. All the men she dated were horrible. A pattern emerged and I didn’t care for it.

Misc thoughts and final grade

Has: Despite my frustrations with Shannon’s character, I enjoyed ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET. I did feel the beginning was a bit bumpy but once the romance progressed I warmed up to Shannon and got drawn into the story. I also loved seeing the previous characters reappear and there was some interesting and even dramatic events involving them. But overall, the real star of the book was Cole, who was wonderful and definitely belongs in the little black book of good romantic book boyfriends.
I give ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET a C+

MinnChica: All in all, while I enjoyed the book, it was by far my least favorite in the series to date. I think there were a lot of missed opportunities by Young to make the story strong, especially in terms of the social domestic violence issues, and yet it fell short for me. That being said, Cole and the deeper romance did end up saving me from being completely disappointed.
I give Echoes of Scotland Street a C+

Lou: Like Minn said, this is also my least favourite book in the series. It’s really hard for me to get into a story when I dislike a heroine, and instead of showing Shannon’s mistrust in scenes, it was told constantly by Shannon to Cole which was a little strange. I really hope Young’s next heroine is developed otherwise I don’t think I could read another book with similar issues like this one had.

I give Echoes of Scotland Street a C-

By Lou

One thing that Lou loves most is her HEA in romances.

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