Release Date: 4th June 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighbourhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.
Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.
I have become a little bit of a Netgalley fiend. I’ve definitely requested more books in the past few months than I have probably in the entire time I’ve been on Netgalley, but my God I’ve had some good books which I’ve requested. My philosophy is to only request books I am genuinely interested in reading, because I have a terrible habit of ignoring books if I have too many options, and I certainly don’t want my NetGalley rating to suffer because of my mood reading. This has worked extremely well for me thus far, and apart from that time I got The Winner’s Crime to review, this is probably my second best request, or third after Court of Thorns and Roses as well.
This book is a combination of Sons of Anarchy (with a lot less violence and betrayal) and the typical romance and family drama seen in McGarry’s other books, which turns out to be a really fantastic read. I really enjoyed it, like there are not enough good things I can say about this book… but I’ll try to say them all anyway.
When I first began reading I was a bit concerned, the pacing seemed to be slow and I wasn’t sure if it was going to keep my attention, a major issue with reading is story pacing for me. It took so long to really delve into Emily and her life, and her actual personality, that I became concerned her lack of character was going to drive me away. She came across so timid to begin with, possibly even a bit of a wet blanket, that I was scared I might not even like the book with a protagonist who didn’t seem strong enough to keep my attention. Luckily for me, the action began not too far into the book, and that’s when the real story started for me. People came back from the dead, Oz blew onto the scene to rescue her from a rival gang and the story truly began, her venture into another world is when things got interesting. And even better, Emily’s personality was shown, her shyness and timidity to begin with was not her, as she became comfortable in foreign surroundings she relaxed and she became such a fun character to follow.
The story is all about Emily staying with her biological father for the summer and her journey to get to know the side of her family she has essentially ignored for the majority of her life. She meets family she did not even know about, all whilst there is a supposed threat from a rival MC that is hanging over everyone. As Emily began to grow comfortable in her situation and relax and act like a normal person I began to realise she was not the bag of fear and nerves we were first introduced to, instead she is stronger and way more badass than it first seemed.
I adored the whole family dynamic in the book because it was an unusual family. Emily had a father, but then Eli was biologically her father, and she was having a major issue with identifying family to try and avoid hurting people, it wasn’t helped with the mystery her mother shed on her life in Kentucky and with what happened when she got pregnant and ran away. I like families that aren’t the typical two parents and 2.5 kids because I’ve never experienced that family, so to read about confusing families is always interesting. Thankfully McGarry is good about writing complex relationships, because there are so many different things going on with this family you are at risk of being confused.
McGarry knows how to write a confusing story with mystery, a hella good romance, and some people you quickly grow attached to. And the fact I have a soft spot for boys on motorcycles definitely helps with this book. This is a story about family and all the different kinds of family that exist, both biological and those you choose to keep around you. It shows you a very different world where family means a different thing to the typical definition, and you know what, I wanted to be apart of that family. There were some messed up things that happen why you did have to agree with Emily, they were messed up, but so are any other families. And the fact that these people were often choosing to view themselves as family made it all better. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series and to reread this book when it’s released. I recommend it to you all, it’s a fun contemporary read, but it isn’t overbearing in the romance department, something which continually ruins books for me.
It is a fantastic read I would recommend to all, you should check it out. Biker gangs, romance, and some epic family drama are to be experienced. One of my favourite contemporary reads of this year so far.