Review: Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin

Posted February 1, 2016 in Review / 8 Comments

Review: Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin

Dare to Run

Series: The Sons of Steel Row #1
by Jen McLaughlin
Published by Penguin, Signet on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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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.

Bad Boy Book Love Romance Well Written

Dare to Run felt dark, gritty, and so real to me.  I flipped through its pages fast and could not make myself put the book down for a second.  I seriously lost hours engrossed in this suspenseful romance between a self-confessed bad guy and a girl who grew up on the streets and was given a chance on a good life.

Bad buy Lucas Donahue is not someone you want to mess with.  Having evaded a murder attempt while serving time in jail, he’s out and back to work in the gang he’s been in since he was a young teen.  Turns out the murder attempt follows him out of jail because someone is trying to kill him before he ascends in the gang to a higher position.

Heidi Greene is not shy or naive when it comes to running a bar in the Steel Row neighborhood where she grew up.  When Lucas reluctantly comes to Heidi’s rescue outside her bar, it sets off a chain of circumstances that has Lucas now having to protect Heidi.  Unfortunately for strong willed and bossy Lucas, Heidi has a will and a mind of her own and she intends to use it.

What I enjoyed most about this story, besides how fast and precise it was written, was the interaction between Lucas and Heidi.  Each character on their own were intriguing.  But when you put those two together in a room and had them interacting, just talking a problem out, I loved those moments in the story best.  Those bits in the book are what I looked forward to the most.  Yes, I always enjoy dialogue the most, but for some reason, I just loved how the relationship between these two evolved from their conversations.

Heidi is probably one of the best heroines I’ve read in a really, really long time.  If I’ve said that before about anyone else, just knock that other one down a notch because Heidi is up on top right now (note to self: keep a list of these heroines somewhere!).  Heidi has a horrible past but she does NOT dwell in it at all, she looks forward and is grateful for everything she has.  She sees someone in need and helps them out.  She’s also street smart in that she “mostly” knows how her neighborhood gang dynamics work.  She knows when to push, she knows when to stand down.  I could only dream of being as smart as Heidi.

Throw in a crazy, mad, off-the-rails ending and I am jonesing for my next fix of this series.  With the way this one ended, I must know NOW what happens next to a certain character… one I didn’t particularly like throughout the book but all of a sudden, I’m all about knowing HIS story now!

About 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.

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 four cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.


About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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