Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Dare To Run (The Sons of Steel Row #1) by Jen McLaughlin

Dare To Run
(The Sons of Steel Row #1)
by Jen McLaughlin
Signet (February 2, 2016)

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The New York Times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston, where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good...

She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.


Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

My Thoughts:  Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin introduces a different kind of Alpha male heartthrob who operates on the wrong side of the law, and his name is Lucas Donahue.  Lucas is rough around the edges, hard, hot, and kind of scary.  He's just gotten out of prison and now finds himself back on Steel Row, whether he wants to be or not.  In a gang...a place....from which there is no escape, at least not unless you're in a body bag.  Heidi Greene runs a local bar, one Lucas Donahue is frequently regularly, though he won't admit it is the girl that runs it that really captures his attention.  Then, one night when Heidi finds herself in danger, it's Lucas who comes to her rescue, much to her surprise, and much to Lucas' surprise as well.  

Determined to keep her safe, Lucas and Heidi find themselves in a situation which tests both their resolve.  Heidi's falling for him, and falling hard.  Lucas has already fallen, though he doesn't dare to think he could ever have Heidi, not with who he is and what he does.  As the situation intensifies, so does Heidi and Lucas' relationship.  Danger, betrayal, loyalty, and strangely enough, the promise of freedom envelop them as they are forced to decide what they are willing to risk for each other and what they are willing to give up in the process.

I enjoyed Dare to Run and like both Heidi and Lucas, though Lucas' character had to grow on me. Despite his hard exterior, Lucas has a lot of goodness on the inside, something Heidi sees right away.  Heidi is a pretty touch heroine, and very loyal as well.  McLaughlin immerses the reader into the culture of the crime world with all that entails, while providing the romance element that fans crave. Dare to Run looks to be the beginning of an intriguing series and I am looking forward to reading more.


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