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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

I LOVED this book and frankly I couldn't be more surprised about it! I DON'T read MC books. Though I love motorcycles I came to realize a while ago that them and me, at least in books, don't mix and yet this book though was NOT my usual 'cup of tea' was impossible to put down, drawn me in, sucked me into the story, and kept me interested every step of the way (even though it's WAY longer than I'm used to in "regular" Contemporary Romance novels). So yeah, I'm a fan :)

Iris Taylor lived a very difficult life. Through her father abandoning her mother with her little brother, through sickness she fought and won, and a sickness her mother hasn't. Raising her younger brother when they are left alone in the world just the two of them after her grandmother's passing as well. Lucky for her there is another fixture in her life - her half brother Sonny. They might share a horrible father who abandoned all of them, but mostly they share a kind of relationship many siblings wish they had. So now, with her younger brother in the army, finding herself with no job to support herself, Sonny comes to her rescue, offering her a place to stay and also a possibility of a job, if only she can make herself work for the grumpy and mean Dex Locke, a Motorcycle member like her brother (and their father) something she loathes by definition as well as an owner of a Tattoo Shop. 

Iris starts as a loner, someone who knows how to stand for herself but mostly doesn't because she would rather duck her head down and stay at home than deal with the people around her. She might be close to her brother but her life taught her to guard herself and that she does well by staying on her own. Most of the people in her life either abandoned her or disappeared on her (except for Sonny) and so she isn't interested in making new connections. She is surprised with herself the friendship she DOES form with the other 3 workers in the Tattoo Shop though and as the book progressed it's beautiful to see her opening up to them. 

Dex is another subject entirely. They start on the wrong foot, he and his big mouth - offending her and looking down at her. I guess he had in his mind his own version of who Iris is through the little he heard from Sonny and through what he sees - on the surface - of her. He couldn't be more wrong on so many levels! and yet that's Dex. Quick to judge and mostly quick to react with his hot temper. I can't say it's a quality I find appealing in any shape or form but in a way, I sort of liked the fact that it also made him humanly flawed. I hate those Alpha males who navigate a woman into the places they want her to be but you know what, with him it also kind of worked because what he did was somehow make Iris stay a bit in the places that frightens her most - the places she is vulnerable - where she needs to trust and believe the person on the other side would STAY. So even though he was pushy beyond what I would have been comfortable with in a romance novel I think I came to realize along the way that he is NOT a man I could ever find myself with, yet for Iris he is simply perfect. I also think that though he can be mean with the things he says, Iris learns how to deal with him, put him in his place and make her wishes clear in a way he listens. It showed that not only she grew in this book, but he did as well (though we only get her POV throughout the book). 

The main issue in this book isn't just about her and Dex it was also dealing with the sins of her father.. and not the ones he committed years ago when he abandoned his children, but more recent ones - owing money to the wrong kind of people who find the best way to get what they are owed is through his children - Sonny and Iris. They might not know he doesn't have any connection to him, but nevertheless it puts both of their lives on the line. Lucky they have the help of their MC club to try and find him and make him pay his dues. I truly didn't know how it would come to pass once they DO find him since the MC have been clean of unlawfully behavior for years now, and though I was surprised the way it ended I actually really liked it. 

This book have truly been a great surprise to me. Motorcycles Club are REALLY not my thing, and I REALLY don't have patience for neither Alpha Males and not so much to SUCH long books (unless it's a PNR with a longer world building) so this one - being so capturing and engaging was so NOT what I was expecting. Yeah Dex got on my nerves a few times and yeah, Iris could be a bit annoying with the worshiping of Dex's perfect body but truth be told, it simply didn't matter in the grand scheme of things (and just putting it out there - the sex was HOT). The book just held me on the edge of my seat and all those little things didn't bother me that much. Even Dex's behavior at the beginning, since I knew there's going to be some sort of redemption on his part, I looked for it from the start and saw not this horrible guy, but someone who has struggled all his life with his temper, a closed off man who doesn't know how to truly rely on others. Iris was everything he needed as well, someone to ground him. It was beautiful to see him change yet in a genuine way. He didn't become a whole different person, no, it was more realistic than that. 

So yeah. A GREAT novel. Really recommend it. Put your judgement on the side and give Dex and Iris a chance to show you how even flawed people deserve a chance in love.

Read on:
24-26 March 2018

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