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
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About AS DUST DANCES:
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…
Emma-louise’s 5 ★ review on behalf of kff
This is going to appear like a strange way to write a review, but this is how it feels right to do. I’ve been reviewing for just over sixteen months now and I have never been so compelled to put words to paper the way this one has compelled me to. Usually, I stew over my thoughts for just a little while, but not on this one, oh no. This one demanded I write the review quickly, lest I forget what I was left feeling when I was grabbed by the chin and forced to listen to what these truly exceptional characters had to say. And oh boy, did they give me a lot to think over.
The author of this rare gem is not unknown to me; I have admired her work for quite a while. Just never have I actually gotten around to reading one her books, I admit shamefully. As Dust Dances is a personal journey of two mismatched people who are forced to find a way to repair their shattered pasts.
When Killian and Skylar first meet they aren’t on equal footing. They are in fact, so far apart from equal, one would have to squint towards the sun to see the other. Both are just looking to fix what is broken in their lives and live a full life without regret or pain.
What I obsessed over in this book was the music. The author added numerous song lyrics into the text and not only was it intriguing, each piece added to the feel of the scene to which it was placed. Secondary characters have some of the most interesting personality quirks as far as I’m concerned. Probably because we have so very little time to get to know them and they need to make the right kind of impact.
‘It was hard to take my eyes off Brandon. He was like a bright light that captured my attention and wouldn’t let go. I realized as all three of us sat in my apartment and talked that he held me captivated because I had no bad memories attached to our relationship. When we were on tour and I was tired and lonely, he’d snuggle up with me to watch a movie on the tour bus, or he would take me out for dinner so we could unwind and pretend we were ordinary people grabbing a bite to eat. He was the one who kept Micah at bay when I’d had enough. He was the big brother who protected me.’
The bandmates, for example, the usual character traits were there, but underneath all the testosterone and binge drinking was a family. One with a solid foundation and like most families, there is always the occasional spat or battle that breaks out. One particular scene in this book was so torn I almost couldn’t make my thoughts run straight. Real fun when you’re trying to make notes for a review. It was confusing, enigmatic, and fulfilling all at the same time.
And please, do not get me started on the ‘will they won’t they’, argh! That alone drove me into a frustrated mass of questions and agitation. The romance in this book almost took me by surprise when the smexy time happened. I’d almost given up hope that something would finally come of all the sexually charged moments and looks. Killian and Skylar were so realistic, I just wanted them to stop mucking it up and sort it out. Everything they felt, I felt. Wicked, evil, wonderfully talented author, if you ask me.
“You’re mine,” I agreed. “I’m yours.” Killian kissed me hungrily in answer. A kiss that led to us shedding our clothes so he could slide inside me slowly and deeply. We took our time. We touched and stroked and kissed. While he moved inside me, he stared deep into my eyes, and although the words were never said . . . I felt loved.’
Often enough people discover/realise that in order to move forward in their lives and to leave the dark shadows they must go backwards. Pain, trauma, any negative event or emotion can lead someone down the wrong/worst path, sometimes for years, or even decades.
Almost all of the characters in this book at some point or another come upon the crossroads. The path they decide to take will change their life for many years to come. Forgiveness oftentimes isn’t deserved; however, for some people, the act of forgiving heals them more so than the person they forgive.
As Dust Dances has something for everyone, and I truly believe that if you were to give this one a chance, even though it’s the second in a series, this doesn’t impact the story one note. You’ll come away from it feeling more emotions than you know what to do with. The last fifteen percent of this book was full of feels. Good and bad, I needed tissues and that does not happen just any all day. Congratulations Ms. Young on penning a book that feels so real I could reach out and actually feel it.
My wrist protested as I pulled my sweater over my head. I was just reaching for Killian’s tee when his office door opened. “Are you read—”
We both froze.
Me in my bra and jeans.
His lips parted, not even hiding that he was taking in every inch of me. I flushed all over.
Killian cursed under his breath and then slammed his office door shut so no one would see me from the hall while finally turning his back to me. He sounded hoarse when he spoke. “Sorry. I thought you’d be dressed by now.”
“My wrist was hurting,” I lied. “I needed a minute.”
That was all it took to make him move. Suddenly he was in front of me, grabbing the tee out of my hands. “What are you doing?” I tried to cover myself.
Killian gave me an impatient look. “It’s not anything I haven’t seen before. Lift your arms.”
“I can put the tee on myself.”
“The longer you argue, the longer I see you half-naked. I’m a man who appreciates the female form, so I don’t mind. I can do this all day.”
Grunting, I lifted my arms, my annoyance with him lessening as he carefully pulled it down over my head and then gently placed my arms through the short sleeves. He shrugged it down slowly, as if savoring those moments of naked skin.
My breath caught as his fingers brushed the sides of my breasts and my eyes flew to his as he pulled the T-shirt down excruciatingly slowly, caressing my skin with it. Those dark eyes smoldered.
Then somehow, we were standing closer, our bodies almost touching. Excitement tingled between my legs and I felt my nipples peak against the fabric of my bra.
A flush crested Killian’s cheeks and his chest rose and fell in shallow breaths.
I forgot everything.
Where I was.
Who I was.
Who he was.
All I could think about was the way my skin prickled to electrified life under his touch. I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted him to push me up against his desk, rip my jeans off, and thrust into me.
My breath shuddered at the thought and Killian’s eyes blazed even hotter, as if he’d been able to read my mind.
“Sir, Mr. Byrne would like to speak with you!” Eve’s voice called through the door and shattered the moment.
Killian stumbled back. His hands dropped from my waist, allowing the T-shirt to fall.
I tried to catch my breath as he whirled away from me. “Just … Just a second,” he called back.
He glanced over his shoulder at me, his expression unreadable. “I’m Killian again?”
Confused, I blinked. “What?”
Exhaling heavily, he shook his head. “Nothing.” Then his nostrils flared as he stared at me. I glanced down at myself. His T-shirt drowned me. It also smelled of him, which was very bad because I really needed to stop thinking of Killian and sex in the same sentence, and wearing his scent was not helping. “I look ridiculous.” But I didn’t think Killian thought I looked ridiculous at all.
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About Samantha Young:
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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