Samantha Young is an author I’ve long seen on Twitter and Bookstagram – one that I’ve wanted to read for a while. I’ve long seen her On Dublin Street series being read by my favorite reviewers, but I was a little intimidated by how long the series was. When I stumbled upon a copy of Fight or Flight at my local used bookstore, I decided to take the leap and give her a shot.
The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.
When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….
I’ve never related to a character more than when Ava met Caleb – they met in an airport when Caleb jumped in front of her in line and got the last first class ticket. The rage she felt when he cut her in line, that was incredibly relatable. Ava never stopped being relatable to me – she was a young professional, cutting her teeth in a cutthroat business – it was hard for her to let her guard down and to let people in, especially an asshole who stole her plane ticket.
Caleb and Ava were a fascinating couple – at the beginning, their relationship was truly as enemies – they genuinely greatly disliked each other. From the start of the book, I was unsure if I would be able to root for their inevitable happy ending – they harbored that much animosity for each other. Samantha Young quickly proved me wrong when she flexed her character writing prowess. She deftly worked their hatred and sexual chemistry into friends with benefits chemistry to… something more. Her ability to write two characters who grow together as a product of getting to know each other was wonderful and really made this book memorable.
If you’re looking to give Samantha Young’s works a try, Fight or Flight is an excellent place to start – it takes enemies to lovers to a new extreme – one where chemistry is born out of both hate and mutual attraction. If this trope is your jam, you should definitely pick this book up. If you’re looking for other great enemies to lovers romance novels, check out The Ex Talk or The Hating Game. 4/5