Review: Dare to Lie by Jen McLaughlin

Dare to Lie
(The Sons of Steel Row #3)
by Jen McLaughlin
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: Feb. 7, 2017
Genre: Romance

As an undercover DEA agent in the most powerful gang in Boston, Scott Donahue accepts the risks of living a double life. But when Tate Donovan, leader of the Sons of Steel Row, assigns Scotty to take his place in a bachelor’s auction sponsored by his sister’s sorority, he’s exposed to a whole new level of danger. Even though Tate makes it very clear—Skylar is off limits—the second Scotty sees her, he’s a goner. But how does he tell Sky she’s falling for a man who doesn’t exist?

Sky can’t resist Scotty’s cool confidence or the raw, edgy power oozing from his perfect body. She’s always been the good girl, but he brings out the bad in her. And even though she knows so little about who he really is, Sky’s willing to take the biggest risk of all. But putting her heart on the line is no guarantee that Scotty won’t slip through her fingers…



My thoughts…


When Scotty is assigned to keep the leader of the Sons sister safe, what was supposed to turn into a simple bodyguard duty turns into more. However, instead of this being your typical bodyguard to lovers trope, there’s a lot more going on. You see, even though Scotty is in the Sons, a gang that is notorious for selling guns, he’s also an undercover DEA agent. He joined the Sons in the hopes of cleaning out his neighborhood, Steel Row, from the inside out. So yeah, while there is the usual bodyguard to lover trope, this is not your usual romance.

From the moment we found out about Scotty and the fact that he was an undercover agent, I’d been waiting for his story. I mean, reading about criminals who have a change of heart is all fine and dandy, but reading about an agent who’s been undercover for so long, who has so much invested in this, and who has done things he’s not proud, all for the sake of trying to make his old neighborhood a safe place again. Something about that just really drew me in. You knew you weren’t going to be in for just a normal bad-boy good-girl romance.

I liked both Scotty and Sky’s character. Sky is the sister to the leader of the Sons. You would think she’d be some calloused chick who doesn’t take crap from anyone. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When she was young, her parents got a divorce and her father took her brother and her mother took her. While her brother was groomed to take over the gang, she was leading a normal life. She has no connection to her brother’s gang and no one in the club even knows she exists. Well, that is until Scotty is tasked with keeping her safe. Heck, her brother hid her ties to him so well that even the DEA didn’t know the leader of the Sons had a sister. So yeah, she was not your typical biker chick.

Like the previous two books, there’s a layer of suspense because you are reading about characters who are in a gang, who are always getting shot at. However, the stakes are much higher because not only are they sort of at war with another gang, but Scotty’s secret identity at the DEA is kind of huge. You’re always wondering if anyone suspects, if he will be found out, that you’re kind of on the edge of your seat the whole time. So I feel like this one had more suspense than the others because so much could go wrong for Scotty and none of the ending results are good for him. It’s not simply a “should I stay in or try to get out” sort of thing like the previous two books, he’s a sheep in wolves skin and things could go down horribly for him if anyone found out about him.

One thing I love about this series is that you think you know something, and then you realize you don’t know a darn thing. The author adds so many twists and turns that you’re never sure what you’re going to get. While I felt like the romance moved a little too fast and that aspect wasn’t all that surprising, I did find some developments that left me with my jaw open. Not to mention that the hint at who the next Sons story will be, I can’t WAIT! While I tend to read series out of order, and I guess technically you could do so with The Sons of Steel Row, I really recommend you read the series in order. Like I said, Scotty’s story has been building for the past two books. In fact, each character had a major role to play in the previous book leading up to theirs that sort of plays a major role and is the catalyst for their own book. Don’t worry about needing to read the other books before getting to this one though. They are highly addictive and enjoyable. I have pretty much read each of them within a day or two. 😉


Favorite quote…

“I was used to playing a part, pretending to be someone I wasn’t. Right now, I was a DEA agent, pretending to be a loyal gang member, pretending to be an intern, pretending to be a good guy who hadn’t just been in a deadly shoot-out. ”


Previous reviews from The Sons of Steel Row
Dare to Run
Dare to Stay



4 Thoughts on “Review: Dare to Lie by Jen McLaughlin

  1. ohhh, isn’t those cover so hot?! I need to check out this series!

  2. I went to go add the first book to goodreads and found out I already did. LOL. Love your review. I love jaw dropping moments, on the edge of my sit reads.

  3. I have this one in audio for review, Kristin, but I have to read the first 2 to get caught up. You have me really excited to dive in, honestly. I, of course, am eager to read this one because I’m curious about Scotty and Sky and how things are going to work out with him being DEA and her not involved in the MC life. But what I’m most excited about is what you said about thinking you know things about the series and then realizing you know nothing. I love books and series like that. 🙂 So I can’t wait. Great review!!

  4. Okay I need to give book one another go I’m thinking. I wasn’t in the right place when I tried it back then but man these do sound good. I’ll add it to my March list 🙂

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