Series: Play On #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: August 7, 2018
Format: eARC, 361 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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…
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ll admit when I started As Dust Dances I was a little concerned I would have a tough time getting into it. Not because I wasn’t intrigued by the story or anything like that, but because I never read Play On. I wasn’t sure how the story was linked and I’ve been known to have a hard time getting into a series partway through it. Turns out I worried for absolutely nothing because I couldn’t — and wouldn’t — put As Dust Dances down until I finished it. I was sucked into the story from the first few pages and just had to know what happened with Skylar. There were moments where I was legit on the edge of my seat, which was fairly unexpected. But, I’m getting ahead of myself and I don’t want to risk spoiling the story for you.
Skylar is undoubtedly the star of the show here. She was amazing, as was her journey. I’m also not entirely sure it would’ve been possible without Killian. I don’t want to be all “she needed a man to save her,” because I think that’s the furthest thing from the truth. But, I think she needed someone to believe in her, someone to push her. To say things were angsty and rocky between them would be a massive understatement. I mean, a former star who doesn’t want to live life in the spotlight anymore and someone in the music biz who is looking for his big break don’t exactly scream “dream match!” do they? They really were though. I loved watching things develop slowly between them. I loved watching both of them let go and become stronger together.
Romance plays a big part in As Dust Dances, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about second chances and finding yourself and letting go of the guilt that weighs you down. As much as I enjoyed the pairing between Killian and Skylar, what really made this book special was Skylar’s journey. She experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I swear, I was right there with her the entire time for the good and the bad. This book was about rebuilding and figuring out who you are when you can’t be who you once were any longer. It’s about taking a look at your life and, for the first time, making choices for yourself. Deciding where you want to be and pushing for it. I think everyone can relate to that — even just a little — if they can’t necessarily relate to her exact experiences.
Loving As Dust Dances as much as I did made me realize how much I need to make time to go back and read Play On. If it’s even halfway as gorgeous and emotional as this book, I’m going to have another new favorite Samantha Young book.
People want songs that make them feel good, but they also just want songs that make them feel, even if it breaks their fucking heart.
“Your songs… there’s so much pain in them. These things can turn to poison if you leave them inside to fester.”
“I’m yours. I’ve never been anyone’s until now. Do you understand?”
“Love isn’t tearing someone down to bring them to your level. Love is seeing in the person you love the best possible version of who they can be.”
I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to be braver. And most of all, I wanted to own myself again.
Have you read any of Samantha Young’s books?
Do you have a favorite?