Review: Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin

Author: Jen McLaughlin
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #1
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Signet
Source: Net Galley
Pages: 384
Reviewer: Elizabeth
Rating: 4 Stars
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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.

Elizabeth's Thoughts
***CONTENT WARNING: There is a lot of violence, attacks on women and attempted sexual assault. This may make many readers uncomfortable which is why I’m mentioning it. I don’t want to spoil the book, but I don’t want readers surprised and upset about the graphic content either***

Looking at the cover of the book, I thought the story would be the usual bad boy redemption, good girl attracted to the bad boy and story completely full of angst. I’m so glad I was wrong.

DARE TO RUN is not an angst-ridden journey of redemption, it’s a story about a man and a woman, victims of circumstance and their struggles of survival. It’s about a poor neighborhood in Boston where respect is earned through violence in a dangerous sub-culture with unspoken rules in a dog-eat-dog world.

The book grabbed my attention from the start and wouldn’t let go. I fell easily into the Sons of Steel Row universe and became deeply engrossed in the story and the politics of life on Steel Row. The book was exciting, engaging and very dark. There’s also intrigue, betrayal and crazy surprises! Heidi and Lucas had palpable chemistry and were always struggling for dominance in their relationship. It was entertaining and sometimes even comical to watch, like two junk yard dogs fighting over a bone.

I would definitely recommend DARE TO RUN to readers. It is a solid story with an exciting plot and a cast of characters that will have you completely enthralled!

I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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