Book Review: Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin

Dare to Stay
The Sons of Steel Row # 2
Author:Jen McLaughlin
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Released: August 2, 2016
Review Source: Signet

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.

The story:  Dare to Stay, book 2 in "The Sons of Steel Row" series, is Chris O'Brien's book.  It starts out with him bleeding out in an alley way of South Boston believing he is on death's doorstep.  He did the absolute UNTHINKABLE in book one: betrayed his life long best friend and gang brother, Lucas, in the worst way possible.  However, instead of flat out killing Chris, Lucas allows him to live.  Molly Lachlan the gorgeous, well-off, classy "girl next door" teacher, finds Chris and saves him from death.  Molly has dealt with devastating loss from gang violence before and she doesn't want to let anyone in that could have the potential to put her through that type of loss again.  Sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants.        

The likes:  I started the series with book 2 and had no problem getting into the story.  I wasn't lost at all because Jen does an amazing job of giving just enough details from book one to "catch the reader up".  I like that the book was written in dual point of views because I loved getting inside both Chris and Molly's heads.  I thought the setting descriptions were excellent!  I could clearly picture the run down, scary, gang filled streets of Boston.  I thought the chemistry between Chris and Molly was undeniable!  There was a little bit of insta-love with Molly and Chris, which isn't my favorite, but I cheered them on the entire book.

The dislikes:  I loved Chris' character development but would like to have had a little more from Molly.  I kept waiting for a big climax to happen but I don't feel like there was one.  I was left wanting just a tad bit more plot wise.

The rating:  My rating for this book is a solid 4 stars because I thought it was edgy and entertaining.  I read this book very quickly and would definitely recommend this series. I cannot wait to read book 3!!

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