Excerpt: Play On by Samantha Young

The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and Hero returns to Scotland in this passionate and evocative romance about love, loss, and surviving both.

Nora O'Brien chased a dream from Indiana to Scotland, so sure it was the right thing to do. Three years later she was left in her adopted country with nothing to her name but guilt and regret.

Until Aidan Lennox entered her life.

Older, worldlier, a music producer and composer, the sexy Scot should never have made sense for Nora. But somehow in each other they found the light they were looking for, the laughter and the passion—the strength to play on despite their past losses.

But when life dealt Aidan another unlucky hand, instead of reaching for her he disappeared. The agonizing loss of him inspired something within Nora. It fired her spirit— the anger and hurt pushing her forward to take control and reach for her dreams.

Finally pursuing a career on stage while she put herself through college, everything is how Nora wants it. She's avoiding heartbreak and concentrating on her goals.

Sounds easy but it's not. Because Aidan is back. And for some reason he hates Nora.

He's determined to be at war with her.

And she has absolutely no idea why.

…that night as I tried to sleep, I couldn’t for worrying about how vulnerable I really had made myself to a man I didn’t really know. When I was with him, those fears drifted away, but being alone and having time to think about it brought them all back.
And yet … there wasn’t only the fear. There was relief.
Relief I never expected to feel.
I’d spewed out all the ugliness I’d ever committed and he didn’t run away. He held me and comforted me and looked at me like I wasn’t a bad person after all.
My attachment to him was deepening, as my attachment to Sylvie had. And that, I knew, was incredibly dangerous. Just as my attachment to the kids at the hospital, some of whom were terminal. Spending time with them was, at best, an act of kindness, at worst, an act of self-flagellation.
But to let myself fall for Aidan Lennox when he himself was at his most vulnerable was masochistic. He was a man with a huge life beyond me, and as soon as he stopped feeling so haunted, so alone, surely little Nora O’Brien from Nowhere, Indiana, would be left behind.
As if my thoughts had conjured him, the door to the shop opened, drawing me up off the counter. My heart beat faster as Aidan walked in. He closed the door behind him and stared across the shop at me.
And I knew that my self-flagellation wasn’t over.
I couldn’t run away from him.
I didn’t want to.
Drawn to him in a way I couldn’t explain, I walked slowly toward him, and he to me. We met in the middle of the shop. As soon as I was within touching distance, he put his hand on my waist to draw me even closer. My breath caught as our eyes locked and it took me a second or two to find the ability to ask, “What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to see you. Make sure you’re okay.”
I rested my hand on his arm, the one that held me close, and nodded. “I think so.”
He frowned, reaching up with his free hand to brush his thumb over my cheek in that way that made my knees tremble. “I couldn’t sleep last night for worrying about you.”
And I saw it. What I’d been trying so hard not to see.
I saw that he wanted me … like I wanted him.
I was at war with myself, thinking he should probably leave but wanting him to stay. More than anything I didn’t want to hurt him. Again.
However, maybe friendship was the key. We could be there for each other without turning it into something that would be incredibly painful when it was inevitably over. Friendship, I could survive. We both could.
“Aidan, I—”
“Ah, good the shop isn’t on fire.” My boss’s voice broke the moment as she strode in.
Aidan’s eyebrows were drawn together, as if he knew I was in a battle with myself and the side he wanted to lose was winning.
“Oh, hello.” Leah stopped beside us and I gently extricated myself from Aidan’s grasp. I scowled when I saw my boss’s eyes running over him hungrily. I felt sorry for her fiancĂ©. “I’m Nora’s boss—Leah.” She held out a hand, grinning flirtatiously. “Are you the man with the delicious voice from the other week there?”
Aidan shot me a scowl. “No, I’m not.”
Thank you, Leah. “That was Roddy.” I looked up at Aidan. “Jim’s best friend.”
Before he could react, Leah gave a huff of laughter. “Who knew you were hiding all these gorgeous men, Nora.” She wagged her finger at me like I’d been naughty and then turned back to Aidan. “I didn’t quite catch your name.”
“Aidan.” He gave her a curt nod and stepped back, his eyes falling on me. “This isn’t over, Pixie.”
His determined expression froze me in place as I continued to fight with myself and what I wanted. Because I swear to God, every time that man called me Pixie, I wanted to show him just how naughty I could be.

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, was 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 was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland.

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 HeroOn 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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