Review: Dare To Stay by Jen McLaughlin

Author: Jen McLaughlin
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #2
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Signet (Berkley)
Source: Publisher
Pages: 336
Reviewer: Marie
Rating: 4 Stars
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Fans of Katie Ashley, Joanna Wylde, Kristen Ashley, Sophie Jackson and Katee Robert will be thrilled by this dark, steamy series, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Out of Line novels, where one gang of criminals knows just how being bad can be so good...

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...

The stakes are dangerously high...and the passion is seriously intense. Follow the exploits of the Sons of Steel Row in Dare To Run and Dare To Stay.

Marie's Thoughts
Disclaimer: If you have not read the first book in this series, Dare to Run, read it first. You’ll need to! 

When I first read Dare to Run, I was enamored with this series. But when I found out that the “bad guy” in book one was going to be the main character in book two, I had some reservations. I never thought I’d like it, let alone feel any sort of strong positive emotion towards him. That being said, here’s what I liked about the book.

- I liked the fact that the story picked right up from the previous book. The world that the author created in the previous book was so incredible, that it made me happy to see the storyline continue so fluidly.
- The growth of Chris, our main character. He begins the story as an unlikeable character. Someone that tried to kill his best friend. As the story progresses, he begins to feel regret and remorse. He goes from being a hard-ass with no regard for others, and turns over a new leaf through the relationship he develops with Molly. It was so amazing to see this character grow.
- I really felt the chemistry between Molly and Chris. It wasn’t an obvious one, but being neighbors made them aware of one another. Having that connection helped breed their romance and made it seem all the more sweet when it finally reached its peak.
- The action is incredible. Chris has to protect himself from the Bitter Hill men, who are trying to kill him, as well as everyone who is seeking revenge for Lucas’ death. There are some serious close calls, but it’s all VERY exciting and made me fly through the book with an anxious desperation!
- I loved how the book was wrapped up nicely for Molly and Chris, yet left wide open for the third book in the series. It makes me extremely excited to find out what happens next!

What I didn’t like? There really wasn’t much. I enjoyed the first book so much that it would have been nice to see Lucas and Heidi appear somewhere in the storyline, but I have a feeling that will be a pleasant surprise further down the road :)

Overall, it was an action-packed, surprisingly sweet romantic story that had proved that even bad guys deserve their own happily ever after.

I read and reviewed a paperback copy of the book gifted to the blog, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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