Welcome to Sloppy Seconds which is a monthly feature hosted by myself and Teresa of Readers Live A Thousand Lives. Sloppy Seconds is a feature in which Teresa and I buddy re-read some of our very favorite books and then post our thoughts and feels. So sit back, relax, grab a glass of wine, and re-live some great reads with us!
Teresa Mary Rose
Wifey! Re-reading On Dublin Street with you was AMAZING! I don't think we could have picked any better!
This is the kind of book that begs to be read more than once, and I love that these discussions demand we make the time to revisit our favorite stories and fictional characters. Braden Carmichael is a man you can never get enough of (and I am not ashamed to admit that even after our re-read, I could sit down and read it cover to cover again).
Teresa Mary Rose
It really does! There is no such thing as too much Braden just not possible. And I am right there with you, I could easily start this book all over again already. Now I cannot remember, did we bond over Braden or did I push him on you early on in our friendship? I know I am a Braden pusher haha
Oooo, this goes back to the very beginning of our beautiful friendship. I believe I asked if you had read it, and you had, and you... let's see, how shall I put this... STRONGLY ENCOURAGED me to start it IMMEDIATELY. So I did -- and then I had the book boyfriend hangover of ALL TIME, which led to major discussions between the two of us followed by the "he's mine" "noooo... he's mine" exchanges but fortunately resulting in a unique and perfect compromise cementing our bond.
Teresa Mary Rose
Ahhh yes... it is all coming back to me now. We discussed Braden for DAYS I believe. And this was back in our goodreads message/emails portion of our friendship and we just went on and on and on *sigh* I love it that Braden made our bond stronger. The fact that we can share Braden (my book hubby) really says something... to quote our favorite caveman "I don't like to share."
We did! I don't think we'll confess how many days or how many messages, but let's just say that book was THOROUGHLY discussed and dissected!
Wifey! You can't start quoting Braden this soon in the discussion -- you know I'll melt into a worthless puddle of swoon and become... to quote Joss... "a mushy asshat." Haha! Oh, how I love our caveman. And the only thing I love more is Braden with Joss -- those two... sigh. You do the words -- I'm in a swoon.
Teresa Mary Rose
Yeah... no... best not share that information.
I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself! I had to quote him there, it was just too perfect. Oh Braden and Jocelyn together are just perfect. I cannot get over how well those two mesh together. Wifey, I love this series, you know I love this series, but I forgot just how good this book is and how it blows the rest of the books in this series out of the water.
We'll keep that just between us then.
I know. I love the emotional impact the story had on both of us. There is a particular scene in the kitchen -- you know the one because we have been over it numerous times -- that caused me physical pain. Like, put-the-book-down, hug-myself, cry-like-a-banshee pain. Not only did those two put each other through hell, but they put us readers through the wringer! This book is special because it started everything, and Braden and Joss are just so hard to compete with. But the mention of every character in their book just made me long to read every single installment in this amazing series. I can't say this book blows the others out of the water because I just love them all so much but in different ways. I know this is where we tend to differ on the other books, but Jo is a character who I didn't think I liked at all ... and absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with in the second book. But then... oh just forget it -- to choose a favorite book in this series would be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I hold them all dear to my heart. But every time -- every single time -- Braden and Joss have a mention or cameo... it's like a glorious homecoming, and everything is right in the world. And for the love of all that is HOLY... Adam and Ellie!!!!
Teresa Mary Rose
I cannot even think about that kitchen scene without wanting to cry. That scene hurts so so bad. You are so right, they put us poor readers through so much pain! It hurts to know that they are so right for each other but my poor poor Jocelyn fights it so hard.
Now I just need to bring this up... I adore how well Braden knows Jocelyn! He just knows how to handle her and her past. He knows when to push her and when to let her work things out herself. It is a true testament to how much he loves her and just how perfect they are for one another.
Braden and Joss really are very hard to compete with. I still adore the other books, I really do, but this one is just special for me. And I am right there with you on Jo! I kinda hated her in this one but then I fell in love with her and Cam too of course, but that is another discussion. Oh and little Hannah! She is such a cutie! I am with you though, as I read through the other books in the series I always have a moment when I get to see Braden and Joss again. AND ADAM AND ELLIE THOSE TWO!!!
Exactly!! Oh. My. Heart! Joss does fight incredibly hard, and I feel for her more than I can express. What she went through... what she lives with -- it just hurts so much. And Braden just gets it. Even before he truly knew her... he got her. Braden sees Jocelyn. He sees beyond that tough exterior and that impenetrable wall she has built. He has his own past that helps him understand her, and I love that our demanding caveman has so much patience with her as she works through everything. You are absolutely right -- they are perfect for one another. They are two halves that make a whole.
And I can't wait until we re-read that book so we can delve further into Jo and Cam's story. LOVE THOSE TWO! Oooo yes! Hannah!! I love that sweet girl! Sigh. I never, ever want to be without this world Samantha Young has created. I just need it to go on for always. Okay?
I want to mention something about Jocelyn and her issues. I absolutely love that the author made her struggles so realistic in the sense that her problems were bigger than those that she could work out on her own or that even a friend or someone as wonderful as Braden could solve. Joss saw a therapist and we readers got to sit in on some of those sessions. I found that to be very responsible of the author; and although I don't know what a true session with a therapist would be like and can't weigh in on any specifics, I just thought it was essential that readers see how important it is to seek a professional when dealing with things beyond our reach. What are your thoughts?
Teresa Mary Rose
Yes... perfectly put. Braden just knew Joss... even before he really knew her. Also, I love the reversal of the relationship in this book. That the girl is the one with commitment issues and the guy is the one who is pushing for more.
Jo and Cam's story is easily my second favorite of the series! I am so with you. I never ever want this series to end! And we get Cole's story soon which is sure to be AMAZEBALLS.
That is actually something I have written in my notes to discuss, because I too love that aspect. I love that Joss recognizes that she needs to talk to someone and that she does have stuff she needs to work through. Braden is wonderful and Ellie is wonderful, but them alone could not fix Joss. She has to be willing to fix herself to an extent and while Braden may help her realize this, in the end it is herself that makes the decision to work through her issues.
That is something I adore, too! It was a nice detour from other story lines of a similar nature.
I'm so excited for Cole's story! His friendship with Hannah was something I loved in Hannah's story and I can't wait for more. Speaking of friendship, I just adore the relationship between Joss and Ellie. Joss has a best friend in Rhian, but their history is a painful one. Those two enabled each other and completely unintentionally kept one another from moving forward. I like that they worked through that, but I especially liked that that was a non-issue with Ellie. Joss needed a friend like Ellie who was truly a ray of sunshine to her dark past. When she realized that her self-preservation tactics and barricades were hurting Ellie, it really made an impact and I believe helped her turn the corner she needed to turn.
Excellent point. A loving support group is crucial, but only Joss could do the work and learn how to heal.
Teresa Mary Rose
Cole's story is sure to be another winner! I loved Joss and Ellie's frienship! Ellie really allows Joss to see that it is okay to love someone else and that letting someone in isn't a bad thing. As much as Braden helped Joss, I really think Ellie had the bigger impact.
Now I have a few things I want to discuss certain scenes in particular and what not. First, I need to comment on Jocelyn's use of profanity because I love it. It really endears me to her. Second, I want to discuss the scene after Braden and Jocelyn's first time together when he makes her cuddle. I just love that scene. And lastly, I want to discuss Elodie because as much as I love her there is one scene where I got really mad at her and I am sure you know which one I am talking about. Your thoughts?
Jocelyn's entire inner dialogue makes me giggle! She's so funny -- even when she doesn't mean to be. And the WAY she uses profanity. Hilarious. Oh my goodness, the few moments after the... ummm... shared bliss... when she realized he wasn't leaving and she tried to kick him out and he wanted to SPOON! I love every line, every word, and every second of reading that.
Elodie. I absolutely love Elodie and Clark, and I would love their story. But boy oh boy, do I know that part. Elodie made a huge mistake in how she worded that little talk. She didn't know Joss well enough to *ahem* impart that wisdom. I only forgive her because it was her mother's love for Braden and not being able to handle seeing him hurt that led her to approach Joss like that. She must have felt horrible when she learned more about Jocelyn's past and how devastating her words were -- even though she thought she had Braden's best interest at heart. That was the beginning of the awful downward spiral right there.
Teresa Mary Rose
Her use of profanity is the best. I think I really love it because it reminds me of the stuff that goes on in my head. That whole scene is just perfection. OH and then the scene where he sneaks in bed and she literally kicks him onto the floor. I die every time!
I'm glad you share my feelings on that moment. I adore Elodie and I know that she thought she was looking out for Braden but boy oh boy did she start some trouble there. She put a lot of bad things into Jocelyn's head. I know she was looking out for Braden but I was so mad at her for that.
I loved the "kicking him out of bed" moment. Poor Braden. He had his hands full with Joss. Hands-down one of my favorite relationships.
It was a mess! And how about sweet angel Ellie? Her running commentary on the "luncheon date with Isla" was almost the nail in the coffin. Geez Louise. At that point I yelled "STOP HELPING!!"
Another favorite aspect: the flashbacks. I am so very happy that even with the panic attacks they brought on, Joss could appreciate how wonderful and loving her family was. It was one of those things that was extremely bittersweet. It was beautiful, but it hurt so much.
Teresa Mary Rose
Yes he really did. But they really are a wonderful couple and just work so well together.
Oh Ellie... her too. Again, coming from a good place but NO JUST NO. Everyone needed to stop and let Braden handle it... HE HAD IT UNDER CONTROL!
Yes, so much pain, but at the same time it was beautiful. I love that she was able to come through it and appreciate her family again.
The epilogue is perfect, and I love that we don't have to say goodbye there. There's more Joss and Braden in Castle Hill (wonderful novella), and of course we get to 'check in' on them from time to time in the other amazing books of this series.
Teresa Mary Rose
Oh the epilogue makes me cry all the happy tears! The moment where they discuss kids and Braden just goes "Are you done?" LOVE LOVE LOVE! Just a perfect example of how well Braden knows Joss.
*sigh* Castle Hill is the novella that puts all other novellas to shame! So perfect and I love checking in on them again and again.
Okay are we ready for quotes?
I loved "Are you done?" He is the all-knowing caveman. Lol
This book just offers so many different things. Sweetness, hotness, some mysterious back-stories, unique relationships, unexpected friendships, wonderful family, heartache, and the promise of happily-ever-afters.
Oh, you know I am! I promise I whittled them down and tried to leave the smexiest ones for you to share
"'You're good with the words, I'll give you that.'
'I'm good with my hands. Will you let me give you that?'"
"'Why do you insist on calling me Jocelyn?' ...
'Joss is a girl's name. Possibly a tomboy's name.' He smirked. 'Jocelyn, on the other hand, is a woman's name. A really sexy woman's name.' ...
Okay, he could call me Jocelyn."
"'I wanted to create something beautiful in place of all the ugliness.'"
"My heart ached for little boy Braden."
"Sometimes words aren't needed for you to know a change has come upon you. You can share a look with a friend that cements a deeper understanding between you, and thus a stronger bond. A touch with a sister or brother or parent that says 'I'm here, no matter what' and suddenly someone who was just a relative, a person you love, turns out also to be one of your best friends."
"'Delusional numpty.' ...
'Did you just call me a numpty?'
'Yup. A delusional one.'
'What, may I ask, is a numpty?'
'A person demonstrating a lack of knowledge of a situation; a silly person; an idiot; a dumbass.' ...
'Numpty. Good word.'"
"For anyone who saw me, knew they were watching a heart in the process of it breaking."
"That's how Braden found us the next day -- lying with our heads tucked into one another, holding hands, sleeping with dirty, tear-stained cheeks like two little girls."
"'I know you love me, Jocelyn, because there's no f*cking way I can be this much in love with you, and not have you feel the same way. It's not possible.'"
"I liked pre-Braden Joss. She was spunky and cool and independent. Post-Braden Joss was kind of a mushy asshat."
"Jealousy is a horrible thing. The pain of it is almost as consuming as heartbreak, and I would know because I was feeling both at the same time."
"'Breathe, babe. Just breathe.'"
Okay, Wifey hit me with the smexy quotes. I'm ready. Haha!
Teresa Mary Rose
That right there is blurbworthy!!!
OH MY GOSH SO MANY AMAZING QUOTES.. I need a second to bask in all the feels
"You know, Braden, I've watched you over the last few months and you're such a gentleman to everyone but me. What's with that?" "I want you in my bed. Gentlemen are boring in bed." Good point. "Gentlemen are gentlemen in bed. They make sure you're having a good time." "I'll make sure you're having a good time and that you're okay with everything that we're doing. I just won't be well mannered about it."
""I would say it was nice to meet you, but I was naked, so... it wasn't. I have a lot to do. I'll tell Ellie you dropped by." Laughing, Braden shook his head and stood up to pull on his suit jacket. "You're a hard nut to crack." Okay, clearly I had to lay it out clear and simple for this guy. "Hey, there will be no cracking of this nut. Now or ever." He was choking on laughter now as he stepped toward me, making me back into the couch. "Really, Jocelyn... why do you have to make everything sound so dirty?" My mouth fell open in outrage as he turned and left… having the last word."
"I miss someone who gets me. I called a woman on my research team a bitch - you know, in a friendly way - and she told me to go to hell. And I think she really meant it." "Rhian, we've talked about this. Normal people don't like to be called names. For some reason they tent to take that personally. And you are a tad bitchy, by the way."
At that, Braden looked affectionately amused. "Sex and holidays." "Uh, what?" "I'm making a list of things that make you agreeable." I scoffed, pushing my foot into his leg. "And all you got is sex and vacations?" "The length of this list is not my fault." "Are you saying I'm disagreeable?" He raised an eyebrow. "Woman, how stupid do you think I am? You really think I'm answering that? I want to get laid tonight."
"Braden shrugged and reached casually over to the kettle to turn it on. "About bloddy time. You two were giving me a headache." My mouth fell open along with Adam's and Ellie's. Not once in the entire time we'd been dating did Braden let on that he knew what was going on with Adam and Ellie. That sneaky bastard. "You really are a know-it-all pain in the ass," I announced, brushing by him rudely. I stopped quickly at Ellie and Adam to say, "I'm happy for you." And then I hurried down the hall to the bathroom to get away from Braden and his perceptive, growly, inflexible ass. I heard Braden's soft, scratchy laugh, his delicious voice echoing in my head as he countered, "She loves me, really.""
"I also wondered when the hell she'd started getting so good at lying. She couldn't lie for shit when I first met her. Oh. My fault?"
"Because" - he sighed - "you make me laugh, you challenge me, and you turn me on like no one else can. I feel like I'm missing something really important when you're gone. So important I don't feel like myself. I've never felt like someone was mine before. But you're mine, Jocelyn. I've known that from the moment we met. And I'm yours. I don't want to be anybody else's, babe."
"We both really did. But that's over now. From now on I'm completely in charge. I think we'll have a lot less drama, and definitely no more breakups, if I'm in control of this thing."
"Sometimes the clouds weren't weightless. Sometimes their bellies got dark and full. It was life. It happened. It didn't mean it wasn't scary, or that I wasn't still afraid, but now I knew that as long as I was standing under the sky with Braden beside me when those clouds broke, I'd be all right. We'd get rained on together. Knowing Braden, he'd have a big-ass umbrella to shelter us from the worst of it."
Haha! I'm glad you liked that!
Wifey, I predicted you would choose most of those, and you didn't let me down one bit! Perfect quote picks!!! Those capture some of my favorite moments in the story! How are we going to recover from this re-read? Our first sloppy hangover.
Thank you for *insisting* I read this one sooner rather than later and for sharing all the wonderful moments with me. We'll always have Dublin Street.
Teresa Mary Rose
The simple answer is we are not going to recover... but I think we have come up with some sort of a plan to start moving forward with our next SS pick *winks* I am so glad we were able to share our love of Braden!