by Jen McLaughlin
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
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
Jen McLaughlin sets Dare to Run, the first book in her new Sons of Steel Row series against the backdrop of Boston, Massachusetts. I was curious after reading the synopsis and the cover sealed the deal. Dare to Run was intense, dark, funny, and full of feels as we enter the world of the Boston criminal gangs and meet our dark hero Lucas Donahue.
Five Reasons to grab Dare to Run
- I love the Boston setting and McLaughlin takes us into the underbelly of the city and into the lives of its locals. The criminal gangs run deep in this story and their hands reach into the pockets of local law enforcement and its politicians. Lucas’s membership and ranking within the gang and its mentality added an edge to this romance. I favor romances where we get both perspectives and Dare To Run had alternating chapters between Lucas and Heidi.
- Lucas Donahue is sexy, intelligent and lethal. He entered the gang and moved up the ranks out of necessity. After his release, he struggles with breaking free and finding normal, but circumstances and family and making that difficult. McLaughlin peeled back his layers and made me fall for this bad boy. Being inside of his head was fantastic and his voice rang true. His inner dialogue was hilarious and made me sigh.
- Heidi Greene’s story may be just as tragic as Lucas’s but intervention from a stranger changed things for her, and she has done the same for another. Heidi has spunk and is loyal. She knows Lucas is all wrong for her, but when he steps in to help her, they find themselves together. The more she learns about the man, the more difficult it becomes to resist him. Her inner struggles felt real, and I quickly connected with her.
- The plot of Dare to Run was intense, action-packed and offered some edge of your seat suspense. A few twist will catch some readers by surprise. McLaughlin added subtle clues so I figured out aspects of it but this did not diminish my enjoyment of the story. The storyline was addictive and I kept reading late into the night. Secondary characters from bosses to Lucas’ brother and best friend Chris notched up the suspense and believability of the tale.
- The romance was sweet, heartbreaking and at times sizzling hot. I really connected with the couple emotionally and felt their feelings were genuine. Heidi is independent and Lucas’s inborn nature to protect and often created tension in the form of banter. These two had me laughing aloud.
Completely addictive Dare to Run, grabbed me from page one and never let go. Fans of an action-packed romantic suspense will enjoy their story. I am looking forward to the next novel in the Sons of Steel series.
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