PJV Quickie: I was looking forward to Hannah and Marco’s story after I finished the previous book in this series (Before Jamaica Lane). While there were parts of this story that worked for me, there were also parts that didn’t, but you can still count me firmly in the “fan” category for Samantha Young. I wasn’t expecting it, but Fall From India Place made me cry – that’s some powerful writing!
Hannah Nichols has only ever been in love with one man – Marco D’Alessandro. After saving her from some bullies, they grew into a deep friendship, and, on Hannah’s side, love. And even though Hannah knew he cared about her, he never acted on it, until that night. But instead of leading to a deeper friendship and possibly a romantic relationship, that night led to heartache and pain. It’s been five long years since that night, and Hannah knows she needs to get over it but can’t quite seem to get there.
Leaving Hannah was one of the hardest things Marco D’Alessandro has ever done; at the time he thought he was doing the right thing, but now he knows leaving her was one of the stupidest things he’s ever done. When she unexpectedly falls into his path, he knows this is his second chance…and he’s not going to mess it up.
A lot can happen in five years, and neither Hannah nor Marco is the same person they were then: Both of them have secrets that open old wounds and things may be too complicated for a second chance at love.
I’m going to be blunt: Hannah made me a little bit crazy – I mean, I understand that Marco’s actions devastated her young heart and caused her real, physical pain. She’s never been able to love again and her heart still hurts. When Marco’s secret is revealed, she feels betrayed and angry. I get all of that, but her actions didn’t sit right with me. She held on to her secret, not allowing Marco a chance to understand her over-the-top reactions, and as a reader I was frustrated. BUT, I absolutely loved reading Hannah’s teaching scenes, both in the high school and the adult literacy class; those were the scenes that brought out the most emotion for me, this is the character I wanted to read about, these are the scenes that brought tears to my eyes. So, even though I was frustrated with Hannah’s inability to let go of the past and accept the chance to build a future, I was absolutely charmed by her enthusiasm for teaching and making a difference in other’s lives.
As far as Marco, while I liked him, I kind of wanted to yell at him too; if he hadn’t run into Hannah, would he have tried to contact her? I get that it took him a few years to get his head right so I feel like maybe he should get a pass? I don’t know, it’s a complicated situation, and just like ‘real life’ there are no easy answers.
Although I kind of figured out their secrets, I did not figure out how things would play out, so that kept me reading, hoping that Hannah could get past the wall she’d built around her heart; she shored it up high enough that she’s lucky Marco wanted to get back in.
I will say that by the end of the story I was happily sighing… It was nice to be back with the Dublin Place gang, there are lots of characters to keep up with now, and they’re getting married and having kids. Even though I’ve read all of the previous books in the series I had some trouble keeping track of the characters – many of the names are sort of similar and that’s always a problem for me, not just with this series but any long-standing series with multiple characters and/or characters whose names start with the same initial. I am super-excited to read the next book in the series, Echoes of Scotland Place, which will be Cole’s book. Cole is Jo’s little brother (Jo’s book was Down London Road) and we got to know him a bit better in Fall From India Place. Definitely looking forward to his story.
Fans of the Dublin Street series should enjoy this latest installment, also fans of second-chance romance and couples keeping secrets will probably devour Fall From India Place. Also, if you like reading books where the heroine is a teacher, this is the book for you – the teaching scenes were my favorite!
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