Review: Dare To Stay by Jen McLaughlin

Review-Dare to StayDARE TO STAY
Series: Sons of Steel Row #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Release Date: August 2, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

Dare To Stay

Fans of Katie Ashley, Joanna Wylde, Kristen Ashley, Sophie Jackson and Katee Robert will be thrilled by this dark, steamy series, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Out of Line novels, where one gang of criminals knows just how being bad can be so good…

Bruised and bloodied on Boston’s mean streets, Chris O’Brien is reeling from the loss of his childhood best friend. But after barely escaping a hit placed on his head, Chris is desperate to live. A safe haven comes to mind – the home of the perfect girl from his childhood, Molly Lachlan. Before he has fully considered what it would mean to involve her in his mess, he finds himself on her doorstep.

When Molly agrees to let Chris inside her home, she realizes she’s also letting him into her life. Danger and desperation are coming off him like steam, and yet she can’t bring herself to turn him away. His bad boy charm always had a hold on her, but now there’s a soulfulness and sorrow in him that she’s never seen before. And despite the heart-stopping risk of helping him, she hopes against all reason that he’ll stay…

The stakes are dangerously high…and the passion is seriously intense. Follow the exploits of the Sons of Steel Row in Dare To Run and Dare To Stay.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview-DGR3.5 starsDare To Stay-DGR Teaser

My life didn’t need to be all murder, guns, and meaningless sex. It could’ve been more- if I’d been born into another family. Another life. But I hadn’t been.

When I saw that Chris would be the hero in the second installment of The Sons Of Steel Row series, I’ll admit to having doubts. After all the events at the end of Dare to Run, I wasn’t sure how the author would redeem him enough to make me feel for the man. After all, Chris not only betrayed his best friend, he tried to kill him and the woman he loved in order to go after a power position within The Sons. How do you come back from something like that? Will the author be able to justify his decision? Make it believable? Make the reader connect with an anti-hero like that? Well I’m happy to report that the answer to all of those is a resounding YES.

He was more monster than human. All men like him were. Deep down, beneath his acts of neighborhood friendliness and that devastatingly handsome smile…He was a killer.

Dare To Stay picks up immediately where book 1 left off, with Chris bleeding in the alley, waiting for certain death. If you haven’t read Dare To Run yet, don’t worry, you can easily jump into this book first and the author gives plenty of background to ensure you won’t be lost for even a minute.

Molly Lachlan lost her beloved father to the violence of street crime and gangs. Chris and her grow up next door to each other in the same nice neighborhood, but their upbringing couldn’t be more different. Now Chris is a deadly killer and she’s a kindergarten teacher and they may as well live worlds apart. But when Molly finds a wounded Chris, all she can think of is fixing the broken man.

While I liked this book a whole lot better than the first, there were still a few things that kept it from being a solid 4 star read for me.

I had an issue with Molly’s personality at times. After all she’s been through and the way she lost her father, her connection to Chris never quite clicked for me. He should be everything she wants to stay away from, yet she’s willing to put her life on the line from the very beginning for him. I understood their history goes back many years, but I just didn’t feel that connection between them right away. She was just too self sacrificing at times.

Chris’s never ending back and forth of ‘I want her’ but ‘I’m not good for her’ started to grate on me too. I understand that he’s not a good man, but I just didn’t need it repeated at every turn. Or at least it felt that way at times.

I knew, even after all the blood, dirt, and sweat washed away, I would still be dirty. I’d never be clean.

The story itself was gritty and sexy. There was just enough to make me connect to the characters and keep reading curious to know what happens next, yet not quite enough to make it feel like an unputdownable read.

The romance was great and I definitely liked Molly and Chris a whole lot more than Lucas and Heidi. Heidi also had a lot more self preservation than Heidi did, which was a huge issue for me in the first book. I really liked Chris and her together, and there were definitely plenty of sizzle added into the mix.

I kissed her like I was a dying man and she was my last chance at salvation. And she was.

I had a hard time with the believability factor of the ending, but I can understand that Chris couldn’t have the same options as Lucas did. What I do know for sure, is the set up for the third book sounds utterly amazing. And I can’t wait to finally get my hands on Scotty’s book.


SONS OF STEEL ROW SERIES

DARE TO RUN (book 1) 
MY REVIEW | AMAZON

DARE TO LIE (releasing February 7, 2017)
PRE-ORDER

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