Sunday, February 7, 2016

DARE TO RUN by Jen McLaughlin

Sons of Steel Row #1
Berkley Signet Books, February 2016
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN:  9780451477590

Jen McLaughlin’s DARE TO RUN is a fast-paced, action-filled romance that tugs at heartstrings and reminds readers that nothing is as it appears.

Lucas Donahue has done his time in prison and just wants to live a normal life now.  But no one leaves one of Boston’s strongest gangs unscathed, especially not one of the boss’ most trusted men.  And now that is appears like someone wants him dead, the last thing he needs are romantic complications.

Heidi Greene has grown up on the streets of Boston and knows to avoid the complications that come with bad boys.  But when Lucas walks into her bar, Heidi can’t take her eyes off him.  After he rescues her from a near rape outside her bar, she finds herself glued to his side for safety.  But the longer she stays with him, the more the danger escalates and the harder it becomes for her to walk away.

McLaughlin’s DARE TO RUN was sheer excitement from page one straight through to the end.  The characters were well developed and well matched; the Boston setting and the gang element went together well and the danger was palpable.  The characters are not your usual romance characters.  Heidi has been around the block a time or two having grown up on the Boston streets before being taken in by a kindly bar owner who later leaves her the bar, so she is hardened to life and not your usual naïve teenager looking for love in all the wrong places.  Lucas is a gang member with a heart of gold that he tries to keep hidden.  Just out of prison, he is forced back in the gang scene and on the fast track to a leadership position that he frankly isn’t all that interested in.  But someone is and they plan to eliminate the competition.  And now that Lucas has saved Heidi from a rival gang by pretending to be her man, he has her to protect as well as himself.  Figuring out just who Lucas can and can’t trust proves to be a jumble of leads and nasty surprises that just keep coming. 

This reader really enjoyed DARE TO RUN and fans of suspenseful romances are bound to as well.  Jen McLaughlin seems to have a real winning series in the Sons of Steel Row books and this reader can’t wait to see what the next book in the series is going to do to try to surpass the excitement of DARE TO RUN.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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