ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET - Samantha Young
On Dublin Street Series, Book 5
NAL
ISBN-10: 0-4514-7169-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-4514-7169-7
October 2014
Contemporary Romance

Edinburgh, Scotland The Present

Short, red headed Shannon MacLeod comes to Edinburgh from her home in Glasgow after her love life with a bad boy turned upside down and ended up involving her family, none of whom are talking to her. She has five boxes of belongings, no apartment, and no job until she answers a receptionist ad for INKarnate, a well-known tattoo studio. The owner, Stu, is famous for his ink and promptly calls Shannon a wee fairy. She thinks some feisty and ready comebacks, as she does throughout the story, but does not utter them so she can get the job. His business manager will be her boss, but Cole is not in the studio. The artists are Simon, who does the piercings, and Rae, the only other female, who both creates and removes tattoos. The manager is the up and coming tattoo artist. On her first day of work, the manager turns out to be Cole Walker. Nine years before in front of her grandmother's Edinburgh house, she briefly bonded in a short conversation with Cole. They had both been fifteen at the time. No matter how attracted she is, she cannot afford another bad relationship. Especially one with whom she judges to be another bad boy. Actually, Shannon seeks to avoid any relationship.

Yes, Cole has tattoos, is extremely handsome, and acts inappropriately flirtatious with Shannon, but, as she will discover, she has badly misjudged him. He recognizes her immediately from their passing meeting years before, but Shannon denies the memory. Cole also has had many family difficulties, but he finds Shannon irresistible. Anger makes Shannon utter an abusive insult to Cole, and this begins their problems. Because all those working at INKarnate are good friends, more problems and some humorous situations develop when Shannon starts sharing Rae's apartment.

ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET is a good, well-written story. The characters are quirky but likeable, and when the reader learns of Shannon's horrifying past, it explains her hesitancy about relationships and her dithering about Cole. Her inner thoughts and reactions sometimes irritate, but they are certainly understandable, and Cole is not free of those same responses. Characters from previous volumes show up and sometimes present too many characters to remember easily, so this reader suggests reading the other volumes. However, these characters serve a purpose, and the story stands alone. The plot unfolds in a natural and completely understandable way, often prompting strong emotion.

Robin Lee