Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: As Dust Dances by Samantha Young

AS DUST DANCES
Series:
Play On #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Samantha Young
Release Date: August 7, 2018

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…

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It was my turn to stare at him quizzically, but he didn’t acknowledge the look. He sipped his water and stared around the restaurant as if this weren’t awkward and weird. His nose had a slight bump in it, his cheekbones high, and his jaw chiseled and angular. Overall, he had a very hawklike profile, masculine, rugged, and intimidating. And at that moment I felt like prey, stupidly allowing myself to be caught.Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he genuinely didn’t want anything sexual from me.

I stared at him unabashedly, wanting answers.

He remained steadfast, ignoring me, until the waitress he’d called out to returned with a plastic carrier bag. “Will this do?”

“Aye.” He took it from her. “Thanks.” When I returned to the main restaurant, I put the folded-up wet clothes beside me on the bench, my underwear tucked out of sight.

I couldn’t meet the stranger’s eyes as I reached for the Diet Coke I’d asked for, savoring the taste. On tour, I’d needed lots of energy so I’d eaten well and drank plenty of water. Soda was a treat at the best of times. But I hadn’t had a Diet Coke in months, and it tasted great.

“Excuse me,” my companion’s voice jolted my gaze upward and I saw him wave down a passing waitress. “Do you have a bag?”

“A bag?”

“Carrier bag, paper bag. A bag.”

“Um … let me check.”

He held it out, staring at me with those eyes that would’ve been much more suited to a Lothario, to someone who knew how to be charming. “For your clothes.”

Oh.

It was a kind gesture, also at odds with his demeanor, and my suspicion increased. I took the bag, however, sliding my wet clothes into it and out of sight. Exasperated, I said, “What the hell do you want?”

“Food first.”

“So I’ll be well fed, satisfied, and more amenable to whatever the hell it is you want from me?”

He looked at me now, really looked at me, and the corner of his mouth curled up ever so slightly. “Exactly.”

“A good villain doesn’t admit to his plan, you know.”

“I’m not a villain.”

“What are you?”

“Fo—”

“Food first. Yeah, yeah.”

And so we sat in silence until the food arrived, and the smell of my sea bass made my stomach grumble loudly. Years ago, it would’ve embarrassed me. Now I couldn’t give a shit. All I cared about was that fish.

I dug in, closing my eyes in joy as I ate.

When I opened them to scoop up buttery mashed potatoes, I felt his gaze on me.

The furrowed brow, the glimmer of concern in his eyes, made me stiffen. But just like that, his expression cleared, blank, and he went back to eating his burger as if I didn’t exist.

I savored every morsel of that meal, including the Chocolate Fudge Fixation I ordered for dessert.

My belly felt full and satisfied, and exhaustion began to force my eyelids to droop.

And I knew it was time to pay the piper. “So …” I pushed away my empty dessert plate and slumped back against the booth, my expression baleful. “What the hell do you want from me?”

His answer was to reach into his wallet, pull out a business card, and hand it over.

I stared down at it, disbelief flooding me.

I was tethered to him somehow and I didn’t think I’d be able to cut myself loose so easily.

As Dust Dances was a gripping, beautiful and emotional romance. It was a story of pain and perseverance, of strength and second chances, and of love where you least expect it. It also had a delicious enemies to lovers vibe in a way that only Samantha Young could deliver.

I glared at him with my good eye. “Fine. Hospital. I’ll add it to the list to tell the doctor.”
“What?”
“Of injuries. Eye, ribs, wrist, and now this insistent, condescending pain in my ass.”

Once upon a time Skylar Finch had a taste of success when her band became famous. Skylar loved making music, but she was unprepared for what the fame will bring.
She tried to deal with the fact that what was once her dream was now making her miserable, but then a terrible tragedy broke her completely. Now Skylar is homeless and busking on the streets of Scotland. Having left everything behind, including her identity, she’s trying to move on while hiding in plain site. No one knows who she is here, and she’s happy that way. The last thing she expects is for her music to catch the eye of a music executive, or for him to stir something in her she long thought dead.

The kiss tasted of longing, frustration, desperation, and punishment. A punishment of each other for having feelings we knew we shouldn’t have.


The chemistry between Skylar and Killian is instant and fiery, though both of them try to deny it. Killian bullies her off of the streets and into a contract with the record label that his uncle owns. Still trying to prove himself to a man that barely tolerates him let alone respects him, Killian is determined to make Skylar a success. The attraction between them is one that they’re both attempting to deny. Their relationship begins as a deliciously angsty push and pull. Killian tries to keep it professional, and in doing so comes off as cold and calculating when he’s anything but.

Skylar was one of my favorite heroines. This woman is a survivor and music is truly a part of her. I loved the way that Samantha Young weaves the music into the story. It was effortless and the perfect icing on top of an already amazing story. Skylar has already survived so much pain in her young life; the more you learn about her, the more you connect to her and root for her.

The romance was perfectly paced and developed. It wasn’t instant and it wasn’t a super slow burn either. It developed in such a way that just felt real. You feel the connection between these two characters immediately, but it only burns hotter as the story develops. You get to see more of Killian’s softer side as he stops fighting the inevitable. Their romance is forbidden and they attempt to keep it a secret, you can’t help but read on as you sit on pins and and needles as you wait for that other shoe to drop.

This was a perfectly swoony and emotional story of love and sacrifice, and pain and perseverance. I adored it and only hope we’ll be getting more books in this series.

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

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