As Dust Dances by Samantha Young ~ Sarah A’s Review


The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and PLAY ON returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. AS DUST DANCES is AVAILABLE NOW!

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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Heartbreak, hope, hurt, and healing. As Dust Dances was rife with a litany of emotions, those four being at the top of that list. After reading the blurb, I knew this book was going to be uniquely spectacular, and I was not mistaken. Samantha Young has consistently blown me away with her stories, and this one reinforced how special a storyteller she is.

My heart broke for Skylar from the off. Regardless of what had led her to a life of homelessness, her life was difficult. Learning about how she had arrived at that point was a different kind of devastating. Skylar’s story shone a light on the side of fame we like to pretend doesn’t exist in horrifying relief. Ms. Young gave us a small glimpse of what it might be like to not have a modicum of privacy and just how arduous that life would be, how deeply it would scar you, and how costly the complete lack of privacy would be.

I loved Skylar and Killian’s connection; it went beyond physical chemistry into something transcendent. From the moment Skylar let her guard down an inch I could feel how important their bond would be. Though neither of them wanted to admit it, they were both searching for something to fix their broken pieces and when he found her, saved her, cared for her at her weakest point you could almost feel their souls call out to one another as if they recognized each other and knew they were destined. The music they made together only further strengthened that feeling for me and I was in love with how deeply they were both connected to each other and their music.

Family was a huge theme in As Dust Dances. I adored how Ms. Young demonstrated time and again that family is less about sharing DNA with a person and more about finding the people who love you, care for you, support you regardless of what you can give to them. There is a purity in the love of family that isn’t found in any other kind of relationship and the familial relationships, the ones built on those foundations of love, care, and support, in this book were beautifully illustrated.

As Dust Dances is the second book in Samantha Young’s Play On series. These books are complete standalones and do not need to be read in order. As Dust Dances is written in first-person perspective, narrated by Skylar.

Samantha Young showed not only her storytelling chops but also her lyrical skills in this novel. While the storytelling in As Dust Dances was fabulous, I was utterly enamored with the lyrics she wrote. They were raw and provocative and, even without melody, I could feel how profoundly emotional the songs would be.

It was my turn to stare at him quizzically, but he didn’t acknowledge the look. He sipped his water and stared around the restaurant as if this weren’t awkward and weird. His nose had a slight bump in it, his cheekbones high, and his jaw chiseled and angular. Overall, he had a very hawklike profile, masculine, rugged, and intimidating. And at that moment I felt like prey, stupidly allowing myself to be caught.

Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he genuinely didn’t want anything sexual from me.

I stared at him unabashedly, wanting answers.

He remained steadfast, ignoring me, until the waitress he’d called out to returned with a plastic carrier bag. “Will this do?”

“Aye.” He took it from her. “Thanks.” When I returned to the main restaurant, I put the folded-up wet clothes beside me on the bench, my underwear tucked out of sight.

I couldn’t meet the stranger’s eyes as I reached for the Diet Coke I’d asked for, savoring the taste. On tour, I’d needed lots of energy so I’d eaten well and drank plenty of water. Soda was a treat at the best of times. But I hadn’t had a Diet Coke in months, and it tasted great.

“Excuse me,” my companion’s voice jolted my gaze upward and I saw him wave down a passing waitress. “Do you have a bag?”

“A bag?”

“Carrier bag, paper bag. A bag.”

“Um … let me check.”

He held it out, staring at me with those eyes that would’ve been much more suited to a Lothario, to someone who knew how to be charming. “For your clothes.”

Oh.

It was a kind gesture, also at odds with his demeanor, and my suspicion increased. I took the bag, however, sliding my wet clothes into it and out of sight. Exasperated, I said, “What the hell do you want?”

“Food first.”

“So I’ll be well fed, satisfied, and more amenable to whatever the hell it is you want from me?”

He looked at me now, really looked at me, and the corner of his mouth curled up ever so slightly. “Exactly.”

“A good villain doesn’t admit to his plan, you know.”

“I’m not a villain.”

“What are you?”

“Fo—”

“Food first. Yeah, yeah.”

And so we sat in silence until the food arrived, and the smell of my sea bass made my stomach grumble loudly. Years ago, it would’ve embarrassed me. Now I couldn’t give a shit. All I cared about was that fish.

I dug in, closing my eyes in joy as I ate.

When I opened them to scoop up buttery mashed potatoes, I felt his gaze on me.

The furrowed brow, the glimmer of concern in his eyes, made me stiffen. But just like that, his expression cleared, blank, and he went back to eating his burger as if I didn’t exist.

I savored every morsel of that meal, including the Chocolate Fudge Fixation I ordered for dessert.

My belly felt full and satisfied, and exhaustion began to force my eyelids to droop.

And I knew it was time to pay the piper. “So …” I pushed away my empty dessert plate and slumped back against the booth, my expression baleful. “What the hell do you want from me?”

His answer was to reach into his wallet, pull out a business card, and hand it over.

I stared down at it, disbelief flooding me.

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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NEW RELEASE!! As Dust Dances by Samantha Young


The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and PLAY ON returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. AS DUST DANCES is AVAILABLE NOW!

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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When I finished, O’Dea was sitting on the chair, his elbows braced on his knees. He was staring at the floor, like he was lost in thought. Then he looked up at me and my breath caught at the million heartbreaking emotions roiling in his gaze.

And then they were gone, as if they’d never been there.

“That’s all I have so far,” I whispered, so confused by him. “No more songs.”

His expression was unreadable. “Your visitor’s visa is about to run out.”

Bewildered by the response, I could only nod.

“You’ve no money.”

I tensed.

“You’ve run away from your identity, from your life in the band, in the US. You’ve no family to speak of, and you abandoned your friends.”

The man was the soul of sensitivity. “Your point?”

“My point is that you don’t have many options. I think you were living in some naive fantasy that you could keep running from your problems and live a relatively peaceful life as a homeless person. Somehow, miraculously, you survived unscathed for five months. But last night you were given a giant fucking look at the reality and dangers of homelessness. I wish it hadn’t happened that way, but there was never any other way it was going to end. And it has ended, am I right?”

“So, do you get, like, a bonus at the end of every day if you say a hundred patronizing things in a twenty-four-hour period or something?”

He ignored me. “You can’t go back to sleeping rough.”

“I think I got that, thanks.” I waved my cast at him.

“So … it’s either call your old manager, your band—”

“Not an option,” I snapped.

O’Dea smirked. “Then I’m all you’ve got. And I’m no fucking Mother Teresa. I’m in the business of making money, Miss Finch. You’ve already proven you’re good at making it. And from what I heard today and have heard you playing when you busk, I think the world hasn’t even seen a fraction of what you can do.”

There was really nothing to do but glare and hope that he withered under it.

“I’ll let you stay here in this flat free of charge, give you a weekly stipend for clothes, groceries, a new guitar. You can heal up here. But all of it in exchange for a record contract. A one-album deal, that’s all I ask. When you’re healed up, you’ll be straight into the studio to record.”

The thought made my stomach pitch. “I don’t want to be famous again.”

“Tough shit. There is no being famous again. You are famous. And you’ve got more talent in your pinkie finger than most do in their entire being. And that talent deserves more of a platform than standing on a street busking. It’s a goddamned insult to all those people out there trying to make the big time. I don’t care what it is you’re running from. I care that you sort yourself out and make some music again. Music that matters. Music that will heal you.”

I bristled. “I’ve made music that matters. I’ve got the fan mail to prove it.”

“Your music in Tellurian did its job. It was catchy, appealing, and teenagers related. But your voice is meant for something else. The songs you just sang to me … those are songs that will really make people feel. It’s vulnerable and brutally honest and that’s the stuff that resonates with people. People want songs that make them feel good, but they also just want songs that me them feel, even if it breaks their fucking heart. You’ve been through a lot, Skylar. Even if I couldn’t read a newspaper, I’d know that by listening to those songs you sang.

“Two years ago, you were a leader on social media and the lead singer of a pop-rock band that teens and college freshman loved. I’m not asking you to go back to that. I’m asking you to become an artist in your own right. If you don’t want the social media exposure, we’ll have someone else run that stuff for you. And we’ll do what we can to minimize the tabloid exposure. It will be hard at first considering your disappearance, but once it dies down, we can make it so you’re not hounded. It is possible.”

“It doesn’t matter whether they hound me or not. I hate the fame. I hate the touring. I hate it all.”

“No.” His expression hardened. “You don’t…”

young passionate couple able to kiss while standing near the wall

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young ~ Sarah A’s Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. Don’t miss THE FRAGILE ORDINARY releasing on June 26, 2018, and get a sneak peek of the book below!

I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

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As the beginning of a coming-of-age story, The Fragile Ordinary was amazing.  All the things I could think of to address in that genre were there: relationships with friends, parents, romantic partners, teachers, struggling to find your place in the world, bullying, drugs, questions of who you are.  As a complete story, however, it felt like it was just getting off its feet.

Comet was all of us.  She was strange and awkward, contemplative and self-deprecating, shy and introverted.  I easily identified with her and understood her desires.  The pain she had suffered at the neglect of her parents was hard to cope with; sometimes I feel like absent parenting is just as damaging and abusive parenting – in different ways of course.  Seeing how her lack of parental care manifested in her other relationships was hard.  Knowing that she was just a child and she truly had no model to understand what a person should do for the people they love, yet she still strived to be a kind and sympathetic friend made me fall a little bit in love with her.

The primary focus of The Fragile Ordinary was the interpersonal relationships Comet experienced as she finally found herself and how those connections changed.  Tobias helped her begin to find the strength she needed to speak up for herself to her friends, her parents, her bullies, and him.  Since her life had been so void of real love and affection before he entered it, it was lovely to see how beautifully she flourished when given something so simple as genuine compassion and support.

The Fragile Ordinary was a snapshot of Comet’s life in a certain, pivotal moment of her life.  She changed and grew into herself so much over the course of the novel; I almost wonder if she’d have recognized herself.  Witnessing her transformation from somewhat of a doormat to the girl who finally found her voice was fantastic.  I did feel like we were left hanging as far as where she stood with most of the people in her life, though.

I wish at least one of the many storylines going on in this novel had a satisfying resolution.  There is a case to be made for Comet’s relationship with Tobias finding some sort of resolution, but it felt so rushed, I found it frustrating.  I just wish there were a few more chapters to tie up more of the loose ends in Comet’s life.

The Fragile Ordinary is a standalone young adult novel.  While there are elements of romance in this book, I wouldn’t qualify it as a romance, but a coming-of-age story.  The book is written in first-person perspective, narrated by Comet.

Samantha Young writes powerful young adult stories.  She manages to touch on several issues facing teens today in a manner that feels timely and real.  She also manages to tie several themes that affect people of all ages, like drug use and the loss of loved ones, into those stories to add a note of poignancy readers of all ages can identify with.

It was the weekend before Christmas, and we had our last week at school ahead of us. In all the time we’d spent together, Tobias and I had never ventured out of Portobello. I didn’t know if it was a conscious decision or if we’d spent so much time concealing our friendship that we feared going out anywhere that we might be seen together. Whatever the reason, it no longer existed, and after a week of tentative silence from our tormentors I suggested he and I go into the city for the Christmas Markets and Fair.

I watched Tobias’s face as we got off the bus early that Saturday morning. He hadn’t been happy about me dragging him out of bed at the butt crack of dawn, but the market always got incredibly busy as the day wore on. As we walked passed Edinburgh Waverly train station on Princes Street the sky was still a dark violet blue, making the Christmas lights twinkle spectacularly. It was like walking into another world. White lights sparkled in the trees like Jack Frost had danced all over their branches. The Star Flyer ride, lit up in a million different lights, stood beside—and as tall—as the Scott Monument. The ride was a pole with a flat umbrella top that moved up and down and spun. Attached to that top were bucket seats on a swing. When you were in the seat you were taken right to the top of the Star Flyer and spun out like the hem of a poodle skirt. You could see all of the city from up there—a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view.

On the other side of the monument was the massive Ferris wheel. With somewhere in the region of twenty thousand lights all over it, it looked like it was covered in sparkling jewels. The wheel was more my speed, with little sheltered carriages to sit in so you could enjoy the view of Edinburgh without feeling like you were going to be thrown out of your seat.

“What do you think?” I asked Tobias as we crossed the street to stand beneath the Star Flyer.

He gripped my hand tighter in his and smiled down at me. “Pretty cool.”

I grinned back and hugged into his side as we continued to walk down the main street of the city. The center of Edinburgh was split into two historical areas. To our left and uphill the roads led to Old Town, the medieval area. Up there was the Royal Mile, where old tenement buildings towered over the wide, cobbled road. In between the buildings were narrow passageways and stairwells, leading to a “secret” underground world. The Mile stretched all the way up to Edinburgh Castle, perched upon its volcanic rock.

From down on Princes Street it felt like the castle loomed over all, majestic, proud, and as I looked at it through Tobias’s eyes, awe-inspiring.

“That is pretty cool,” he said as we stood at the lower end of Princes Street and stared up at the castle. At this time of the morning, warm lights placed strategically in the rock face of the volcano it sat on lit up the castle in a surreal, ethereal glow. The streets were quiet, even of cars, taxis and buses, and for a moment we just stood there, huddled together in the cold winter morning, staring at all the lights.

It felt like we were part of a wonderland. Why had I not appreciated that until I was standing with Tobias, seeing it from his perspective?

From there we walked upward on our right. Here was the other historical region of the city—New Town. It was famous for its eighteenth-century Georgian architecture. Up there, where the expensive shops, nice restaurants and luxury hotels were situated, was George Street, and my eyes widened at the sight we found.

On the west end, bejeweled in green light like something out of Wicked or Disney, was Edinburgh’s Street of Light structure. It loomed as high as the buildings with two towers at the front and two at the back. Connecting those were arches, giving it the stunning appearance of a 3-D castle made up of stained glass. At night choirs and bands played under it, making the whole experience feel so magically Christmassy that it reminded me of how different my own Christmas experience was compared to a lot of people my age.

“Wow.” Tobias said as we stared up at it.

I burrowed closer to him, not just for heat, but because I couldn’t help myself from wanting to be as close to him as possible. Always.

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

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 HeroOn 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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NEW RELEASE!! The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. Don’t miss THE FRAGILE ORDINARY releasing on June 26, 2018, and get a sneak peek of the book below!

I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | IndieBound

By the time we got to the house and I let us into my bedroom, I was a jittering wreck. Massive waves of nervous energy were emanating from Tobias, making me worse. He was rarely nervous about anything. Once inside my room, I waited impatiently as Tobias slumped down on my bed, elbows on knees, head in hands.

I shrugged out of my jacket and unwound my scarf. Still waiting.

“Comet,” he huffed, not looking up. “Sit down, okay, you’re making me nervous.”

“You’re making me nervous.” I sat on the armchair across from him. “You and Stevie didn’t kill someone, did you? Did Dean dispose of the body for you and now he’s blackmailing you?”

Tobias’s broad shoulders shook and he lifted his head to stare at me with amusement tinged with sadness. “You’ve got to stop reading so many books.”

“Never.”

He smiled at me, his look so tender that I squirmed with the need to shoot across the room and throw my arms around him. Instead I met his gaze and asked directly, “What happened back there?”

“I just chose you over Stevie,” he said.

I swear my eyebrows must have hit my hairline at this pronouncement. “What?”

“Stevie and some of the guys have been hanging around Dean more and more. Dean is a dealer. And he’s part of something bigger—we’re talking an adult-sized, criminal gang who deal drugs and steal cars for a living. Dean deals cocaine to kids. Blair Lochrie High School is one of his grounds. He sells to quite a few kids there.”

At our high school?

Class A drugs at our high school?

“Bloody hell,” I whispered, “Where have I been?”

“Where I prefer you—safe with your nose stuck in a book.”

“Tobias…Stevie?”

Hearing the worry in my voice, he winced. “I tried, Com. I tried to keep him out of it, but he’s so messed up and I couldn’t stop him. I hung around to make sure he was okay.”

“Is that why you’ve been avoiding me?” God, please let that be why he was avoiding me.

“Yes.” A million apologies swirled in his gorgeous eyes. “I didn’t mean for Stevie to find out about you, because I didn’t want you anywhere near the stuff he was getting involved in. But then you two got along, so well I thought you might…have feelings for each other, so I told him that he either stopped hanging around Dean or he stopped hanging around you. He agreed keeping you out of that stuff, away from the boys, was better for you. So we stopped coming around as much and then stopped coming around at all. Tonight was his initiation into Dean’s crew. It was supposed to be both our initiations, I guess, because Dean was sending Stevie to some other party with drugs, and I was following Stevie as backup. Now I’m not.”

There was so much to process in what he’d just said.

My brain blurted out the first thing it wanted to deal with. “Stevie and I don’t have feelings for each other. I don’t like Stevie, Tobias.”

His eyes widened as my tone implied that I liked someone else. “No?”

“No.”

“Good. Because I just left him to that hell.” He stood up and started pacing back and forth. “I tried to help him even if it meant hurting you, and he just let himself get pulled further down into that crap.”

I stood up, reached out to touch him, to slow him down. He stilled, looking at my hand on his arm. “What did you mean? You chose me over Stevie?”

“Comet, Dean made it clear that if I left with you, I couldn’t go around there or anywhere near him again. So I either had to stay and go with Stevie as his backup on a drug deal and leave you to handle Dean on your own, or I could walk out of there with you and leave Stevie to do it alone. For good.” His gaze moved over my face, as if he were committing each feature to memory.

My heart started thudding so hard the blood rushed through my ears. “So you chose me.”

“Of course,” he choked out. “I’d never let anything happen to you. And seeing you there…I never want to see that crap touch you again. It was a wake-up call for me. I don’t want to be a part of that shit either. That’s not me.”

Seeing something in his expression made me brave in a way I never thought I could be. Knees trembling, I stepped up to him and placed a hand on his chest, over his heart. His chest was strong and hard beneath my hand, his body heat surrounding me and that woodsy, spicy, citrusy scent he wore teasing my senses. I wanted to sway into him, hold him tight, and never let go, but I had something important to say first now that I had his absolute attention. “Being a good student, working for something, achieving something, playing hard at football…it wasn’t all for your dad, Tobias. There is no maybe about it. Deep down you want those things for yourself, too. You’re smart and good and such a special person.” I gave him a tremulous smile, wondering if how I felt for him was as obvious to him as it was to apparently everyone else. “You deserve the life you really want.”

His chest rose and fell faster beneath my hand as we stared into one another’s eyes. Tobias licked his lips, as if he was nervous. “What if I want to get my grades back up?”

“Then I’ll help.”

“And join the rugby team?”

“Then you’ll try out.”

He nodded and slowly lifted his hand to cover mine. He took a step closer to me, his breathing sounding a little shaky. The thud of his heart racing beneath my palm made mine accelerate. My legs shook and my fingers curled into Tobias’s shirt. “And…what if what I really want…is you?”

Joy flooded me. I can’t truly describe the feeling. The euphoria. The excitement and thrill and fear and worry that cascaded through me at the thought of being with Tobias King.

No matter the plethora of emotions that came with his question, my answer was instant and absolute. “Then you have me.”

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

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 HeroOn 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. Don’t miss THE FRAGILE ORDINARY releasing on June 26, 2018, and get a sneak peek of the book below!

I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

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Hearing and feeling Tobias’s heart beat beneath my cheek was the most wonderful feeling in the world. Despite my worry for him and for Stevie, I couldn’t help but feel happy as the boy I loved slept in my bed with his arm around me.

The morning sun woke him around nine in the morning. He groaned and then grew still, maybe realizing I was curled up against him. For a moment I tensed, fearing he was going to regret everything he’d said last night.

Instead he trailed his fingers down my arm. “You awake?” his voice rumbled above me.

I smiled, liking the tingles that bubbled and fizzed in certain parts of my body at the mere sound of his voice. “Yeah.”

“What time is it?”

I told him.

“Crap.”

“What?” I asked, sitting up as he reached across the bed to where his phone lay on the bedside table.

“Stevie and my mom.” He cursed again as he flicked the screen. “They’ve texted and called a bunch of times. I better call my mom back first before she calls the police or something.” He pressed the screen and held the phone to his ear. “Mom,” he said almost immediately. “I’m fine.” Tobias scowled. “I’m a big boy…no…no, I didn’t…I’m with Comet…” Streaks of color appeared high on his cheeks, surprising me. Tobias rarely got embarrassed. “No, we just fell asleep…yeah…I’m on my way.” He hung up and gave me an apologetic look. “I have to go.”

At his beleaguered tone, I placed a reassuring hand on his arm. “She’s your mum. It would be weird if she wasn’t worried you didn’t come home.”

“Yeah, whatever.” He shook his head and got off the bed, leaving me to frown at him.

Tobias seemed to be in a continually bad mood with his mother. I wish I had the guts to tell him to talk to her about why he was so mad, but I didn’t want to push too hard too soon on such a delicate subject.

“I’ll go appease her,” he said, slipping his trainers on. “Then come back?”

I opened my mouth to agree and then remembered my promise from the night before. “I’m going over to Vicki’s this morning.”

“Right. How about I meet you outside the Espy around three o’ clock?”

Relieved and delighted that he not only didn’t regret saying what he had last night but that he wanted to see me again so soon, I grinned and got off the bed. Tobias gave me that boyish smile of his and I reached for his hand, needing to touch him.

He squeezed mine, a solemnity entering his gaze. “I want to invite Stevie to meet us. I’m hoping that together we can talk him out of this bullshit. When it was just me I wasn’t getting anywhere, but he cares about you. Maybe he’ll listen.”

I nodded, loving him even more for wanting to help his cousin. “Definitely. If we let him know we’re here to help him through everything with his mum but that we can only do that if he walks away from Dean and the drugs…maybe he’ll see sense.”

I hoped.

Tobias hoped, too. I could see the turmoil in his eyes and I wanted desperately to be able to take it away.

It was as I was leading him from my bedroom to the front door that I heard the hallway floor creak behind us. I turned ever so slightly, catching sight of my dad in my peripheral. Ignoring him I hugged Tobias goodbye and waved him off down the garden path. I closed the door and turned to face my father. He stood frowning at me in his pajamas, a cup of coffee in one hand, a piece of toast in the other.

“Did that boy stay over?” he asked, sounding incredulous.

His tone suggested I’d done something wrong. I stiffened. “Yes.”

Dad took a step toward me, glowering now. “Don’t you think that’s something you should run past us first? You’re only sixteen, Comet.”

“Almost seventeen.” I bristled. How dare he suddenly play the parental card! Just when I was happy and didn’t need him, he wanted to stick his nose in where it was not wanted! A fire lit inside me and swept out of me before I could control it. “And let’s not play the concerned parent act, Kyle.” I strode toward my bedroom and shoved open the door. “You don’t get to decide which parts of my life you want to take an interest in. Having a kid? Kind of an all-or-nothing deal.” I stepped inside, gripping the door in my hand as I sneered at him. “You decided long ago it was nothing for you. No changing your mind now.” And with that I slammed the door in his shocked face.

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

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 HeroOn 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.

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The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young ~ PAPERBACK RELEASE

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again.
Grab your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

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One of my very favorite things about YA is how current and culturally relevant they tend to be.  I love that YA authors aren’t afraid to deal with delicate topics in a way that feels real.  The Impossible Vastness of Us was a great example of that relevancy to important societal issues.

The Impossible Vastness of Us was a very fresh story to me.  I’ve never read anything quite like it and I am finding in difficult to properly describe the what the experience of reading it was.  I went into this book thinking it was going to be more sappy romance than substantial commentary on the ills of the world.  My take away was completely opposite of what I had assumed and I am very happy about that.  Samantha Young wrote a book about the struggles and rewards of discovering the parts of you that make you and individual, whether they’re something others understand and accept or not.  Above the romance and finding love, The Impossible Vastness of Us was a story of learning to love yourself in spite of the things you may not find lovable.

There were moments in the book that veered into the monotonous, parts that seemed more like filler than plot development, but they were overshadowed by all of the intense emotions and horrors of the past that the characters experienced.  The plot of The Impossible Vastness of Us was so unique, compared to other books I’ve read, that it was easy to overlook those moments that didn’t work for me in favor of the intrigue of the rest of the book.  At one point in the book India says she used to need books to have a happy ending, but she’d come to a place where she just wanted them to have the right ending, to which her mother states that the right ending is a happy ending. That interaction perfectly sums up how I feel about this book.

When I first met the characters in this book I wasn’t sure which, if any of them, I would like or even identify with.  By the halfway point, I was sure that a few of them were beyond redemption, even if they thought they were doing the only thing they could given their circumstances.  When I read the final line of The Impossible Vastness of Us, I realized how ridiculous my pre-conceived notions were and that even if the motivations of a person don’t make sense on the surface with time and explanation understanding was easy to come by.  I fell in love with almost every character in the book and there were pieces of each of them that were things I could see within myself.

Though I’ve had several of Samantha Young’s books sitting on my selves for years, this is the first book of hers that I’ve actually read.  I was quite impressed with her writing and storytelling abilities.  She wove a plot that was interesting and felt real, while still remaining relevant to the particular circumstances each of the major players were facing.  I also greatly enjoyed her characterizations and will definitely be adding more of her books to my short list.

“India, I’m not using her. I mean, I am, but it’s not like that. Eloise is getting what she wants out of this relationship, as well.”

“Like what?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“You are using her.”

“I’m not.” His chair screeched as he pulled it closer so our knees touched. His dark eyes moved over my face and I sucked in my breath at the open appreciation I saw there. “I’m not using her…but we are in a relationship together. I guess it just never occurred to me that I might actually meet someone in high school. Someone I…”

That feeling in my chest, that thick, hot feeling, threatened to overwhelm me at all the things he wasn’t saying. “Finn, Eloise is going to be my family.”

He looked so forlorn it took everything within me not to reach for him.

“What is it you’re hiding?”

“I can’t tell you. Please, just trust me.”

Hurt and frustration swept through me in equal measure but I tamped it down. It wasn’t my place to demand his secrets.

My frustration was suddenly mirrored in his eyes as he looked up at me. “I wish things were different.”

But they weren’t different. And yet they were the same, history repeating itself. I cared about someone and they didn’t care enough about me back to be honest about what was really going on.

I didn’t know if I was angry at Finn or just angry that nothing ever seemed to be easy for me. Everything was always a fight.

It felt like I lived in a constant clusterfuck.

I gave a huff of laughter. “Story of my life.” I shook my head, grabbed up my bag and, unable to look at him, said, “Thank you for your help tonight.”

“You’re not leaving without me.”

His protectiveness confused and pissed me off even more. “I’m not? Funny, it looks like that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

His familiar scowl was back in place at my sarcasm. “You’re also not going home alone after what happened here. I’ll give you a ride.”

“Finn.” I slumped, suddenly feeling exhausted. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Sadness flittered through his eyes before he managed a carefully blank expression. “I think I can handle driving you home.”

Still a trembling mess after everything that had happened, I gave in and followed Finn out to his car.

The tension that we’d shared before was nothing compared to how it was now. Now that Finn had in a roundabout way admitted he liked me and I’d realized that what I was feeling for him was attraction, the tension could not be mistaken for anything else but sexual.

I’d never felt anything like it before—it was the most frustrating, scary and exhilarating feeling in the world.

When we eventually pulled up outside the house, the guilt washed over me. I shouldn’t be feeling this way about Eloise’s boyfriend and he certainly shouldn’t be feeling this way about me.

I felt like we were to blame for the whole thing but I didn’t know why.

I hadn’t asked the universe to make Finn like me.

And I had definitely not intended to like him in return.

“India,” he said just as I moved to get out of his car. “I’ve never really cared what anybody thought of me before…but I really don’t want you to think I’m a bad person.”

I stared into his beautiful eyes. “I can’t imagine ever thinking you’re a bad person. I meant it earlier…thank you for coming for me tonight. I’ll never forget it.”

“This feels weirdly like a goodbye,” he said with a bitter twist to his gorgeous lips.

“Maybe it is. I guess we’re both just a complication the other doesn’t need.”

Slowly, so slowly my heart had time to increase in hard, steady thumps, Finn slid his hand over the center console between us and stroked his thumb along the side of my hand. I felt that simple touch in every nerve, my body reacting to it in a way it never had to the touches and deep kisses that had come before it.

I stared at our hands for a moment, wondering how different my life could be if Finn wasn’t Eloise’s boyfriend, if we’d just met as strangers at school, felt the inexplicable bond between us and were free to do something about it.

Suddenly very aware of how long I’d been sitting outside the house in his car, I fumbled for the door handle. “See you around, Finn.”

 

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

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 HeroOn 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.

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As Dust Dances by Samantha Young ~ COVER REVEAL

The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and PLAY ON returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. AS DUST DANCES will be releasing on August 7, 2018 on all retailers!

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

TITLE: As Dust Dances
AUTHOR: Samantha Young
SERIES: Play On
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: August 7, 2018
COVER DESIGN: Hang Le

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY ~ The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young ~ Release Day Blitz

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Grab your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

Amazon US Hardcover: http://amzn.to/2f0RQGu

Amazon US eBook: http://amzn.to/2kj5JD1

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2s6JJNr

iBooks US: http://apple.co/2kbLRC9

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2q7Bd2S

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GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2qtHGR8

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Kobo US: http://bit.ly/2rnAuey

“India, I’m not using her. I mean, I am, but it’s not like that. Eloise is getting what she wants out of this relationship, as well.”

“Like what?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“You are using her.”

“I’m not.” His chair screeched as he pulled it closer so our knees touched. His dark eyes moved over my face and I sucked in my breath at the open appreciation I saw there. “I’m not using her…but we are in a relationship together. I guess it just never occurred to me that I might actually meet someone in high school. Someone I…”

That feeling in my chest, that thick, hot feeling, threatened to overwhelm me at all the things he wasn’t saying. “Finn, Eloise is going to be my family.”

He looked so forlorn it took everything within me not to reach for him.

“What is it you’re hiding?”

“I can’t tell you. Please, just trust me.”

Hurt and frustration swept through me in equal measure but I tamped it down. It wasn’t my place to demand his secrets.

My frustration was suddenly mirrored in his eyes as he looked up at me. “I wish things were different.”

But they weren’t different. And yet they were the same, history repeating itself. I cared about someone and they didn’t care enough about me back to be honest about what was really going on.

I didn’t know if I was angry at Finn or just angry that nothing ever seemed to be easy for me. Everything was always a fight.

It felt like I lived in a constant clusterfuck.

I gave a huff of laughter. “Story of my life.” I shook my head, grabbed up my bag and, unable to look at him, said, “Thank you for your help tonight.”

“You’re not leaving without me.”

His protectiveness confused and pissed me off even more. “I’m not? Funny, it looks like that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

His familiar scowl was back in place at my sarcasm. “You’re also not going home alone after what happened here. I’ll give you a ride.”

“Finn.” I slumped, suddenly feeling exhausted. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Sadness flittered through his eyes before he managed a carefully blank expression. “I think I can handle driving you home.”

Still a trembling mess after everything that had happened, I gave in and followed Finn out to his car.

The tension that we’d shared before was nothing compared to how it was now. Now that Finn had in a roundabout way admitted he liked me and I’d realized that what I was feeling for him was attraction, the tension could not be mistaken for anything else but sexual.

I’d never felt anything like it before—it was the most frustrating, scary and exhilarating feeling in the world.

When we eventually pulled up outside the house, the guilt washed over me. I shouldn’t be feeling this way about Eloise’s boyfriend and he certainly shouldn’t be feeling this way about me.

I felt like we were to blame for the whole thing but I didn’t know why.

I hadn’t asked the universe to make Finn like me.

And I had definitely not intended to like him in return.

“India,” he said just as I moved to get out of his car. “I’ve never really cared what anybody thought of me before…but I really don’t want you to think I’m a bad person.”

I stared into his beautiful eyes. “I can’t imagine ever thinking you’re a bad person. I meant it earlier…thank you for coming for me tonight. I’ll never forget it.”

“This feels weirdly like a goodbye,” he said with a bitter twist to his gorgeous lips.

“Maybe it is. I guess we’re both just a complication the other doesn’t need.”

Slowly, so slowly my heart had time to increase in hard, steady thumps, Finn slid his hand over the center console between us and stroked his thumb along the side of my hand. I felt that simple touch in every nerve, my body reacting to it in a way it never had to the touches and deep kisses that had come before it.

I stared at our hands for a moment, wondering how different my life could be if Finn wasn’t Eloise’s boyfriend, if we’d just met as strangers at school, felt the inexplicable bond between us and were free to do something about it.

Suddenly very aware of how long I’d been sitting outside the house in his car, I fumbled for the door handle. “See you around, Finn.”

 

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

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 HeroOn 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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GIVEAWAY ~ The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young ~ Review and Excerpt Tour ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Order your copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US today!

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

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One of my very favorite things about YA is how current and culturally relevant they tend to be.  I love that YA authors aren’t afraid to deal with delicate topics in a way that feels real.  The Impossible Vastness of Us was a great example of that relevancy to important societal issues.

The Impossible Vastness of Us was a very fresh story to me.  I’ve never read anything quite like it and I am finding in difficult to properly describe the what the experience of reading it was.  I went into this book thinking it was going to be more sappy romance than substantial commentary on the ills of the world.  My take away was completely opposite of what I had assumed and I am very happy about that.  Samantha Young wrote a book about the struggles and rewards of discovering the parts of you that make you and individual, whether they’re something others understand and accept or not.  Above the romance and finding love, The Impossible Vastness of Us was a story of learning to love yourself in spite of the things you may not find lovable.

There were moments in the book that veered into the monotonous, parts that seemed more like filler than plot development, but they were overshadowed by all of the intense emotions and horrors of the past that the characters experienced.  The plot of The Impossible Vastness of Us was so unique, compared to other books I’ve read, that it was easy to overlook those moments that didn’t work for me in favor of the intrigue of the rest of the book.  At one point in the book India says she used to need books to have a happy ending, but she’d come to a place where she just wanted them to have the right ending, to which her mother states that the right ending is a happy ending. That interaction perfectly sums up how I feel about this book.

When I first met the characters in this book I wasn’t sure which, if any of them, I would like or even identify with.  By the halfway point, I was sure that a few of them were beyond redemption, even if they thought they were doing the only thing they could given their circumstances.  When I read the final line of The Impossible Vastness of Us, I realized how ridiculous my pre-conceived notions were and that even if the motivations of a person don’t make sense on the surface with time and explanation understanding was easy to come by.  I fell in love with almost every character in the book and there were pieces of each of them that were things I could see within myself.

Though I’ve had several of Samantha Young’s books sitting on my selves for years, this is the first book of hers that I’ve actually read.  I was quite impressed with her writing and storytelling abilities.  She wove a plot that was interesting and felt real, while still remaining relevant to the particular circumstances each of the major players were facing.  I also greatly enjoyed her characterizations and will definitely be adding more of her books to my short list.

“This is Jay,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest in defiance at the stern look on her face.

I hated when she acted like she gave a crap.

“I don’t care who he is.” Hayley tried to fry his ass with her eyes. “You can leave.”

Jay stared back at her with as much defiance as I did, making me like him more. He turned to me and pressed a slow, intimate kiss to the corner of my mouth. “See you at school, babe.”

He laughed at the mischief in my eyes.

I waited until he’d brushed by Hayley without a word and I heard the front door close behind him. “Nice. Thanks.”

Hayley’s dark eyes narrowed into slits. “Don’t talk to me like that. I’m tired, it’s been a long day and now I come home and find my daughter being mauled by some walking hormone. Am I supposed to be happy that you’re dating some guy who looks like he’s seen the inside of prison more than once?”

“We’re not dating. We’re just fooling around.”

“Oh, well, then, why am I so upset?” She threw her hands up in exasperation.

“Hayley.”

She flinched, like she always flinched when I called her by her name (so she flinched a lot). “Don’t ‘Hayley’ me. I have a right to be upset about this.”

“Don’t be. I’m not serious about him. And I’m not getting pregnant. Anyway, you’re home early.”

“They put me on a shorter flight.” She dumped her purse on the couch as she moved farther into the room. “We’ll discuss Jay later. I need to tell you something.”

I tensed. “Yeah?”

She stared pensively at me for a few seconds before finally taking a seat by my side. “I’ve met someone.”

Dread instantly filled me.

Scrutinizing me for a reaction and getting none, Hayley smiled reassuringly. “He’s wonderful. His name is Theo and he has a daughter who’s actually your age. He lives in Boston. We met on one of my flights out there.”

My stomach churned. “How long?”

“Several months ago.”

“I knew something was going on,” I muttered.

“I’m sorry I kept it from you for so long… I just wanted to make sure it was real between us.”

“And is it?”

“Very much so. We’ve fallen in love.”

“That’s some long-distance relationship.”

“I stay with him when I fly out there. I see him as often as possible.”

I snorted. “And you think he’s faithful all the times you’re not around?”

“Don’t.” She cut a hand through the air. “Those are your trust issues, India. Not mine.”

My blood boiled with indignation. She was completely naïve if she thought for one second this guy wasn’t’ a loser. She had chosen badly before, after all. I had a right to the dread that was making me feel sick.

“I just wanted to give you a heads-up that it’s serious.”

“What does that even mean?”

“It means that if this is going where I think it’s going, then that might mean a big life change for us.”

Oh, hell.

I stared at her in horror.

Hayley sighed wearily at the expression I wasn’t even trying to conceal. “I’m going to make a cup of tea. I’m tired so we’ll talk about Jay another time.” She turned but then stopped to stare at me sadly. “Thanks for being so happy for me, by the way.”

That didn’t even deserve a response.

There was a time Hayley couldn’t give a damn about my happiness. I felt it only fair that I feel apathetic now about hers.

 

 

 

 

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

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 HeroOn 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.

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The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young ~ Excerpt Reveal

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Don’t miss THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US releasing June 27, 2017, and get a sneak peek of the book below!

 

 

About THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US:

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

 

 

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When Hayley arrived I got into the car without a word and we drove home to the apartment in silence. Once inside, Hayley finally spoke.

“I thought we could do takeout tonight.”

We couldn’t afford to do take-out nights all the time. Take-out nights were reserved for birthdays and the last night of school summer vacation. Sometimes even Thanksgiving.

Something was up. “Aren’t you supposed to be on a flight somewhere right about now?”

She shrugged, avoiding my gaze as she wandered into the kitchen.

I followed her, watching as she pulled take-out menus out of our kitchen drawer.

“What do you want? Chinese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese?”

“I want to get this ‘talk’ over with.”

Hayley regarded me, taking in my tension and the hard look in my eyes. Finally she sighed. “This is good news, India. Truly it is.”

“Just say it.”

“Theo proposed. I said yes. And we don’t want to wait. We’re getting married this December.”

My mouth dropped open. “I haven’t even met him.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose at my shout. “And that would be a concern if you were younger. But you’re starting junior year. You’re sixteen. Before we know it, you’ll be going off to college.” She stepped toward me and grabbed my hand. I let her squeeze it. “And, sweetheart, you can go to any college you want now.”

“How?”

“Theo is…well, he’s wealthy. And he’s already made it perfectly clear that he wants the very best for me, and that means the very best for you.”

“Are you trying to buy my acceptance of this whole ridiculous thing? You are aware that this isn’t normal, right?”

Hayley dropped my hand. “Don’t be melodramatic. I just want you to know that yes, or course it will be difficult to leave behind school and your friends here and move to Massachusetts, but the upside is that we’ll never have another financial worry in our lives. Ever.”

Jesus, how wealthy was this guy?

As if she read the question on my face, Hayley smiled dreamily. “He’s an incredibly well-respected attorney from a wealthy family. Boston’s elite.”

“And he’s marrying you?”

“Nice,” she snapped. “Very nice.”

“I didn’t mean it like that.” I shrugged. “I just…I thought those people stuck to their own.”

“Usually. But Theo doesn’t care about that stuff. He just wants to marry the woman he loves.” She waved away my negativity with a shake of her hair over her shoulders. “He married a well-to-do woman, and they had a daughter, Eloise, before she died of cancer a few years ago. He hasn’t been serious about another woman since, until me.”

“Oh my God.” I shook my head in disgust. “You think you’re living in a fairy tale.”

“Don’t talk to me like that.”

“You’re hauling me across the country to move in with some guy I’ve never met!” I heard the hysteria creep into my voice, but couldn’t seem to stop it. “Let’s remember the last guy you chose that I had to live with. Or have you already forgotten?”

Understanding dawned on Hayley’s face. It was shocking that I even had to say it out loud. A good mother would have known exactly why I was taking this so hard. “Oh, sweetheart.” She moved toward me but stopped when I flinched back. “Theo is not like him. Not anything like him. I’m not a stupid kid anymore. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.”

I stared at the floor, trying to will my heart rate to slow. I could barely hear anything over the whooshing of blood in my ears.

I started at Hayley’s touch and looked up. She’d decided to ignore my body language and cross the room to take hold of my arms. She ducked her face to stare into my eyes.

“No one,” she whispered fiercely, “no one will hurt you. I promise.”

Liar.

LIAR.

LIAR!

The scream rang out inside of me but somehow I swallowed it.

This was happening.

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 will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017

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.

 

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