My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Initial reaction: I’m a little torn on my sentiments for “On Dublin Street” because it’s not as if this couldn’t have been a more interesting, immersive read, but I couldn’t really care about many of the characters, particularly the main couple, or the overarching struggle through the novel. For me, it felt the characters lacked more fleshing out and the genre derivative points for me still stuck out like a sore thumb.
I’ll be honest, I was actually looking forward to reading “On Dublin Street” because there were so many people in my reading circles who loved this book and there was still a part of me that hoped I could break the string of bad reads that I’d had with book with similar narratives. But I feel like the odd woman out on this one, because…this narrative felt like it had several key pieces of the story missing, including character development and vetting. I should’ve felt more for Joss, a young writer who lives in Dublin and had moved there to get away from a painful past. Yet, despite a few times where this book did show some promise, I couldn’t get behind Joss as a character because it was hard to see how she couldn’t identify other people’s struggles around her or the linearity of her coming to terms with the pain of her past.
This book did fall in the very heavy cliche of “love heals all”, and had a hero who really wasn’t anything to write home about. I did not like Braden very much – his personality seemed to lack something despite being an alpha male lead (and usually I do like strong alpha characters). He was very rude and abrasive; he would get jealous fits and threaten or beat other characters who so much as flirted or kissed Joss. The sex scenes were many, but they lacked fire and connectivity for the most part. There was one funny scene I remember where Joss rolls Braden out of bed and that made me laugh just because I wasn’t expecting it. I wish there could’ve been more truly intimate moments in this novel where you could delve into the heart of the characters for their pains and experiences, especially considering the numerous weights this narrative takes on with respect to the cast. I just didn’t feel like this narrative developed any of them in a mature, true coming to terms, and the two main leads had abrasive qualities where they were either overmuch or lacked any true resonance or depth.
Overall score: 1/5 stars.