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 | B&N
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level:One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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 Jen McLaughlin

Jen McLaughlin

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin Random House. Under her pen name, Diane Alberts, she is also a USA TODAY bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, hit the New York Times, USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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42 Responses to “Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

    Jenny recently posted: Review: Marrying Winterborne
  3. 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…

  4. 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!