Dare to Lie (The Sons of Steel Row #3), by Jen McLaughlin
Publish Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) 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...
I've been looking forward to Scotty's book since the very beginning. He's been stuck between a rock and a hard place - willingly - and in Dare to Lie, things get even harder for him to manage.
Scotty's days as a DEA agent undercover in the Sons of Steel Row gang are wearing on him. He's been playing both sides of the fence for so long that sometimes he forgets who he really is - a good guy or a bad guy. This is never more true than when he meets his gang leader's sister who is goodness personified. It drives home the differences in their lives and the need to keep away from her. Well, that and the fact that his gang leader threatened to chop him up into pieces if he touched his sister.
But, it's hard when Skyler seems to always be there. And she obviously has no problem acting on the attraction that they have. There's no way Scotty can deny himself something that he truly wants - a good woman and a shot at happiness. But, his life is dangerous, and his enemies will use the people he loves against him. Scotty knows that the end of the Sons is near, and he is trying to make sure Skyler doesn't get taken down at the same time.
I can appreciate Scotty's impossible situation, and it really does seem like there's no good answer for him. He does lead a very dangerous life, and it seems like there's not going to be a way for he and Skylar to be together. It's frustrating because Scotty really is one of the good guys. He might not believe that, but he is. And after his brother and then his brother's best friend found happiness and love, it's impossible to not want that for him too.
"I don't know what you're doing to me, but every time I close my eyes, I see you. And when I see you, I need you close by, to fill an emptiness I have a feeling will never stop."
So, I loved the constant question that ran through my mind of how Scotty and Skyler would find a way to be together in the end. It was always there, and it wasn't clear how that might happen until the very end.
That wasn't the only question I had, though. There was also the question of whether Tate was really as cold and ruthless as he projected. There always seemed to be more to him than what met the eye - sometimes I would catch glimmers of a good man who was capable of a lot of love and goodness. Other times, he was that calculating, horrible man that he would need to be as the leader of a gun-running gang. I loved how Jen McLaughlin kept me guessing on all accounts.
I also loved the peek we got into the next book. I was thinking there would only be three books in this series, but I'm thinking now that we might see a fourth. The door was certainly opened in the end, and I definitely want to know more. I loved how we were able to keep up with Chris and Molly in Dare to Lie, but I feel like I need one more book to give us the chance to bring Logan and Heidi back for a reunion too. If that book gets written, I'll be first in line on release day.