by Jen McLaughlin
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #2
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...
“In his arms, I felt special. Unique. One of kind. Like a princess. And he was my tarnished prince.”
Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin is the second book in the Sons of Steel Row series. Once again McLaughlin impressed me with this intense, heated romance that takes us into the dangerous world of the Sons of Steels. Gritty, raw and sexy it delivered a tale that pulled at my heartstrings. I devoured Dare to Stay and cannot wait for more.
Each book in the Sons of Steel Row series shares one couple’s romance However, the series ARC has me recommending you read them in order of release. For this reason I have avoided spoilers for everyone. Read my full review of book one: Dare to Run
Five reasons to grab Dare to Stay
- McLaughlin weaves a tale of crime, passion, and life on the city streets of Boston. Unlike Lucas, who joined Steel Row Gang out of necessity, Chris O’Brien grew up as the son of an ambitious Sons of Steel member who taught Chris with his fists. We met Chris in Dare to Run and witnessed him reach rock bottom. Wounded, lost and ready to give up Chris finds redemption through the eyes of an angel (Molly Lachlan).
- Kudos to McLaughlin for once again creating a dark, inked, and cold as steel bad boy who curled my toes. I was not exactly a fan of Chris after the events in Dare to Run and wondered if I would connect. I should have known McLaughlin would pull me in and have me swooning in no time. Once she began peeling back Chris’s layers and revealing the child/man underneath I was lost. She shared all of his secrets and his personal pain while giving us insight into life within these gangs. I could not imagine the pressure and daily fear they encounter.
- The overall ARC in Sons of the Steel Row is intense. The game Chris and others are playing is deadly. The man is battered, shot, and bruised throughout much of the story. Every encounter on the street has a body count and I found myself holding my breath. McLaughlin continued to flesh out Lucas’s brother Scott Donahue and we will get his full story in Dare to Lie. McLaughlin shares a taste of his story in the back of Dare to Stay and OMG peeps. I cannot wait until February!
- The romance was incredibly hot but also filled with tenderness that made me weep. Molly may have grown up in a home the completely opposite of Chris’s but she has some baggage. In fact, she lives a very sheltered life, rooted in fear. I loved the backstory of how Chris and Molly know each other. His feelings for her growing up nearly had me come undone. The chemistry was sizzling and the dance McLaughlin led us on shared their struggles between logic and the heart. Thankfully, passion brought them together and holy hell it was HOT. We do experience some angst as both characters must grow, but it was worth all the breath holding and nail-biting.
- Dare to Stay was intense, and highly addictive. McLaughlin perfectly balanced the suspense thread, overall series arc, and romance allowing the reader to lose track of time. While the romance between Molly and Chris had closure, unlike Lucas, we will still see these characters in Dare to Lie. The danger is far from over and I am anxious for more.
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