November 12, 2015

Book Review: One King's Way (On Dublin Street #6.5) by Samantha Young

One King's Way (On Dublin Street, #6.5)One King's Way by Samantha Young
Rating: /5

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‘Could a realist and a romantic ever work together?’
What a surprise that Samantha Young decided to put one more last touch to On Dublin Street series since I thought Moonlight on Nightingale Way would be the last book of the series―not that I’m complaining, mind you. One King’s Way is presented as a novella which is actually a little worrying for me since I don’t really have a good history with romance novella (the one with an independent plot and not just a continuation of previous full-length book). I found their plot usually too simple and the endings weren’t executed quite well. Colleen Hoover’s novella Finding Cinderella so far was the only novella that perfectly suits my taste of a short read. I’m glad that Samantha finally added another piece to this barely-called-a-list of mine with this one.

One King’s Way brought us back to the memorable period of On Dublin Street. It’s right after Joss and Braden just finally gave in to their egos and made way for love to fill the space between them and when Jo’s still struggling with her issue. The story featured Craig Lanaghan, in case you forgot; he’s one of the bartenders at Club 39 along with Jo and Joss.

Craig was known as one of the biggest flirt walking. He would flirt to anyone from club visitors to his fellow bartenders. Sometimes he did it out of habit that he himself couldn’t quite differentiate when he really meant it. After all, Craig wasn’t into any serious relationship at the moment that he saw it was fine to do anything he wanted to do. Also it helped him to gain more money to his tips jar, so why not keeping it up? Simply put, Craig was happy enough with his life the way it was: bartending, flirting, and checking up on his family when he’s not bartending and flirting.
When a gorgeous girl clad in stunning 1940s style walked in to the club one evening, Craig instantly felt drawn to her up-to-something demeanor. The girl looked so calm in her movement yet so determined in the way her eyes searched around the club for something… or someone Craig had no idea.
Rain Alexander was her name. She kept coming to the Club 39 and seemed to always being surrounded by this anxious and determined aura every single time. Craig grew frustration to Rain’s secretive act that he kept pestering and―of course―charming her. Rain who was on mission needed no distraction, especially from a devilishly hot guy who was so eager to get her attention all night long. Craig made her feel special and lovable even without any physical contact; something that Rain never felt before and something that she’d been dreaming of feeling all her life.
‘He was heartbreak waiting to happen.’
Being a romantic was not always what men wanted from Rain. But growing up wishing for a prince charming to sweep her off her feet, Rain held a high hope to find one someday. Too bad the only man to whom she felt that feeling was no other than Craig the king’s of manwhore. Rain needed to stay away from Craig fast since 1). Distraction was a big no at the moment and 2). A big flirt like Craig wouldn’t want to settle down with only one woman any moment soon, especially with a hardcore romantic like her.
When Craig’s action showed that he was not just up to casual fling with Rain, his determination was tested to the point where he was faced with options whether he would keep clinging onto his ego or let Rain have her dream comes true. But it was not the only test coming their way. In the other side, Rain was faced with options whether she would choose her own happiness over everything or revisited her old mistakes again.
Anything could interfere with their future but Craig and Rain could make the one way between them work smoothly and all sunshine as long as faith was on the line.

I love everything about this novella. It was just enough: enough plot, enough twists, enough romance, enough satisfaction. Sometimes when you read a novella, you’d find yourselves wanting for more. One King’s Way gave you enough everything to enjoy in 158 pages. Not that I didn’t want to know about what kind of future they’d get eventually, but it’s more like I liked how they ended up for now and I did want to know more but not necessarily in a single story on their own. I’m just glad with how it played out in the end.

"And so the realist becomes a romantic."

"Only with you, darlin', only with you."
Craig’s dual side of personality: a flirt and a family man, was the attraction point of him. At one side, he might be the last candidate of man for you to make a long commitment with. But in another side, he had a potential to be a loyal partner in life because he grew up in a family like that. The limited pages of the novella didn’t force their romance into an ‘insta’-kind in my opinion since it started as a physical attraction at first, then it turned to be a bit more like a challenge for Craig toward Rain’s craving for affection which kept shifting a little into an exclusive relationship that led to Craig realizing his deep love for her one morning watching her sleep. That one scene when Craig’s realization came crushing down on him as he was reminded to the memories of her parents in the same situation, it was so beautiful and really touching. I swear I wanted to cry at that point but held myself because I was in public.

I could so relate with Rain’s romantic personality. But what I love from her more was the fact that she was also a strong independent woman in another side. These kinds of two sides of characteristic made a complex delineation of characters in this novella. And their issue of a realist and a romantic was executed very well. The introduction of the issue was presented from the start along with little confrontations between the characters even before the relationship began. Then it hit the climax and how it was resolved was just perfect for me. The ending was not like I expected but I didn’t complain about it. Guess it’s because I got what essential message the author actually wanted to relay through the conclusion.

One King’s Way was the first ODS book that didn’t make me think of Joss and Braden as much as I did in the other books and I think it’s a good sign because it meant this couple successfully directed my attention solely on them. But this novella just makes me miss this series even more. Hopefully Samantha Young would write another novella of this series again or just write a whole new series in the future that as good as ODS.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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