Dare to Stay

  • Author Jen McLaughlin
  • Release Date August 2, 2016
  • Publisher Signet
  • ISBN/ASIN B01839Q530
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by Raonaid

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Our Review

Chris O’Brien is a second-generation member of one of Boston’s top gangs, the Sons of Steel Row. He feels guilty over betraying his long-time, childhood friend, Lucas Donahue. To redeem himself, Chris plans to sacrifice his own life to keep Scotty Donahue’s secret from the rest of the gang. After an encounter with a rival gang, the one woman he can never forget comes to his aid. Chris refuses to involve Molly in his crime-filled world, but she makes walking away difficult. Can Molly convince Chris not to throw his life away? Will she become Chris’s last hope at redemption?

Molly Lachlan works as a kindergarten teacher. She is the typical girl-next-door type: wealthy, wholesome, and born on the right side of the tracks. On the anniversary of her father’s death, fate brings Molly to a pharmacy where she happens upon a wounded Chris O’Brien, her neighbor’s son. She knows Chris belongs to the Sons of Steel Row gang, however, she decides to follow her father’s footsteps and help him. Molly acknowledges that he is all wrong for her, yet Chris makes her intent to keep an emotional distance difficult. Can Molly give Chris the determination to leave the Sons of Steel Row?

After his shoddy actions in DARE TO RUN, I disliked Chris. However, after learning of his bleak and dismal childhood, my opinion of the man altered and changed. Chris quickly redeemed himself with his daring to go against his gang by helping his friend’s brother keep his dangerous secret, all for personal atonement. For such a hardened bad boy, I love that he is a closet Disney movie junkie. I understand the appeal those cartoons had on a lonely and jaded person like Chris. I found it sweet the secret things Chris had done for Molly over the years while keeping silent about his infatuation with her.

Molly surprised me, in a good way. She is the opposite of the type of heroine I usually enjoy reading. I admire the strength and determination it took Molly to disallow fear to further dictate how she lives her life. Chris’s presence proves beneficial to Molly finally coming into her own. I love, despite her skittishness, that Molly finds the bravado to hold her ground with Chris in certain circumstances. Molly often found herself in unchartered waters; however, I like that she never gave up but followed through until the end. But what I liked the most about Molly is her insistence on bringing peace and light to Chris’s bleak and torturous soul.

DARE TO STAY is book two in Jen McLaughlin’s suspenseful, THE SONS OF STEEL ROW series. I like how this book immediately picks up right where DARE TO RUN left off.

DARE TO STAY is a positive yet nail-biting story about a man’s quest for atoning his gravest sins only to find love and acceptance. I am happy with the way the author successfully redeems Chris after his role in the first book. I cannot wait to get my hands on Scotty Donahue’s book.

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