Dare to Run is the first novel in the Sons of Steel Row series by Jen McLaughlin. You’ll definitely want to take a look at this action packed romance!
[Some Spoilers; Mature Audiences]
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lucas Donahue has been a member of the Sons of Steel Row since he was a teenager. He needed the money to support his sick mom and little brother, but then it became a way of life and something he was really good at. He’s back in action after being sent to prison for two years on an assault charge, and he’s looking for a future with no complications.
It’s a shame that complications seem to find him. First, someone has put at hit out on him then he saves the life of Heidi Greene, killing two men from a rival gang in the process.
In order to get the gang off their back, they’re going to have to act like a real couple. Sharing space with her shouldn’t be so hard, but then again, nothing is ever easy with their kind of chemistry.
Dare to Run is the first in The Sons of Steel Row series. It’s full of tough guys, but none like Lucas Donahue. Despite his certified bad boy status, he believes he’s not worth much at all. He’s a killer and a thug. He’s been to jail, and he doesn’t think he offers anything to the world. In fact, there’s only one way out of his lifestyle—death. Lucas doesn’t get involved with women for longer than a night for that very reason.
Heidi Greene is the gorgeous bartender/owner that works down the street from where he lives above his garage. She’s had a rough life but landed on her feet thanks to a kind man named Frankie. His bar, The Patriot, is now hers since he passed away, and she takes pride in it. One night, she’s viciously attacked by men outside the bar, and Lucas rushes to save her.
What follows is a whirlwind non-romance. I say, “non-romance” because neither Lucas nor Heidi want to fall for the other.
“This is a mistake, but, sweetheart, I’ll make sure that I’m the best mistake you’ve ever made,” he said, twisting his lips into a small smile. “That I can promise you.”
Lucas is a very charming guy, and it’s easy to see why Heidi can’t resist him. However, she doesn’t see how Lucas can feel the same way because he’s constantly telling her she should run so she can be safe, especially after Lucas finds out who has put a hit out on him.
Their banter throughout the book is pretty funny, too. Heidi doesn’t take anything from Lucas, and it’s worth a laugh to see him comes to terms with that. There’s also gems like this one, too.
“Just doing something at work. What do you need?”
“Are you torturing someone?”
“I’m a car parts salesman.” He paused. “Why the hell would I be torturing someone, darlin’?”
Dare to Run had a lot of great things going for it. It has a strong premise, and I’m a sucker for love stories where the couple of trying to stay apart but really can’t because the feelings are so obvious.
I’d say this one just needed a little more tweaking. The dialogue felt forced at times, and it would take me out of the moment because I couldn’t see a man like Lucas saying certain things. I felt the ending wrapped up a bit too nicely, as well. After all that build up, everyone just goes their separate ways after the murders of several people, none of which are part of the Sons of Steel Row.
Overall, it’s a solid love story with some loose ends, but those could be addressed in future Sons of Steel Row books. I like Lucas and Heidi, and they definitely have chemistry.
I’m glad they found a home in each other. To quote Lucas, You hold your hands out to the fire, and eventually…you thaw out.