Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin

August 2nd, 2016 Kimberly Review 42 Comments

2nd Aug
Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin
Dare to Stay
by Jen McLaughlin
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #2
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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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.

Read an Excerpt

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

42 Responses to “Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin”

  1. Lizzy

    I am not usually a romance reader, but you actually caught my attention with this review…I just might look for it!

  2. Sophia Rose

    Yep, yep, yep!

    I can’t wait for book three, either. She really knows how to bring a strong, gritty story that has me cheering for the players.

  3. Heidi

    Sign me up for the romance. This sounds terrific. I wouldn’t think a book like this would make you cry.

  4. AngelErin

    Fantastic review! I still need to read the first one, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. I sure do love a bad boy too. 😉

  5. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh I like the sound of this one. Thanks for letting me know I need to read these in order. Sometimes this kind of romance can be out of order and sometimes not. I do like that cover. 😀

  6. Melliane

    Yes it definitely looks intense! I didn’t know about this one but I love the cover! I’m glad you had a great time!

  7. Annette

    Sizzling and tender? Magic words, sheer magic! I LOVE the sound of this book and the series. I’m going to have to check it out now. Thanks for the great recommendation honey! Can’t wait to read this!

  8. Kristin

    I fell hard for Chris, too!!! OMG, anyone who did what he did for Molly… Heck, I loved the name Molly for her character!! He totally worshipped her and I adored seeing that in him!!!

    Better review than mine!!! You actually reviewed it 😉 I think I gushed too much…

  9. Angela

    This one sounds like a series I’d really enjoy. I like suspense and danger mixed in with my romances and, occasionally, I like a gritty read.

  10. Katherine

    I like the intensity of this one and I love stories where you really come to understand the character – especially if it’s a character with lots of walls. Thanks for the heads up about reading this in order. I’ll have to go look for the first book.

  11. Debbie Haupt

    I’ve seen this one around Kim, it looks good but really intense. Not sure if its my kind of read but I’ve definitely got it on the list. Thanks!

  12. Leona

    Oh this sounds like a really good read. Is this a MC story or is the series about a gang or crime organization?

  13. Jenny

    Oh I need to read this Kim! But I need to go back and read book one first, I love meeting future heroes/heroines as side characters in previous books, especially characters like Chris who don’t really win me over upon first meeting. It makes falling in love with them in their story so much better!

  14. Lekeisha

    Looks like I need to be reading this series. I have tried so many in this particular genre that didn’t work for me, but maybe I’m looking in the wrong places?

  15. Nick

    I loved the romance here too, Kim! Their connection was definitely intense and passionate. I did struggle at times with Chris’ “I’m no good enough for her” thing he had going on, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment. Plus, the rest of the book was amazing! Also, I can’t wait for Scotty’s book now!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, but with his Dad constantly telling him he was no good and a mother who didn’t protect him you get why he thought that.