Review: ★Dare to Run★ by Jen McLaughlin

Review-DareToRunDare to Run
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #1
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Release Date: February 2, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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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.


Review3 starsDare To Run teaser-DGR

And that was why this whole thing was so scary. I knew he’d bring me nothing but trouble, and yet I still wanted him with every single breath I took.

I struggled with my rating for this book for several weeks. I adore this author and everything she writes. I was a huge fan of her books under the Diane Alberts pen name, so when I saw she has a new series coming out with Berkley, I was beyond excited. Even more so when I saw this ridiculously hot cover. I was looking forward to a gritty and sexy read, and while this was definitely both of those, it also wasn’t quite there either.

Lucas Donahue is no innocent. A member of The Sons of Steel Row, a Boston Gang that makes their money from illegal arms dealing, he’s used to violence and he doesn’t shy away from it. His recent stint in prison is proof positive. But after he gets out, he years for a regular life. He sees the gang suck his brother in deeper and deeper and it kills him considering the lengths he went through to shelter and protect his younger brother when they were growing up. But no one just leaves the gang life, and Lucas knows that too. When he notices a rival gang attacking a beautiful woman from the bar next door, he knows he can’t just idly sit by…but his decision just may cost him everything.

Sounds delicious, right? It was, for the most part. What I had trouble with was the heroine. Considering the woman knows who the rival gang is that is threatening er life and who the Sons are, she really should understand the danger she’s in. But her ‘I am woman hear me roar’ mentality made her a bit TSTL at times. The things she’s say, the decisions she made, her almost blatant disregard for her own safety was mind boggling at times. She smarts off to men that she should be running in the other direction from. I kept hoping she’d see reason, but this continued through the whole book pretty much.

I was also hoping the writing would feel grittier. I believe that this is the author’s first foray into a genre like this and writing a true-anti hero, so I’m hoping she’ll grow into her voice a bit more as the series progresses.

The plot was interesting and I loved Lucas as well as the secondary character of his best friend and the mystery of his brother. While I struggled to connect with the story for the majority of the book, it really did pick up in the last 20% and I loved the direction it took. So while this book wasn’t exactly what I had hoped, I’m definitely sold on the series and curious enough with the events that took place at the end of it to continue on. This could have merely been a case of “the firsts” with the first book in the series and it’ll get much better with the next ones. I for one am curious enough to find out.

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