Contemporary Romance

Review: Under Locke – Mariana Zapata

Rating 4 Stars

What’s the book about?
He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.
But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.
… she should have chosen the strip club.

My Review
If you’ve been wanting to get into MC (aka Motorcycle Club) romance but aren’t sure where to start, Under Locke is a great introduction. It’s very lite on the MC activities so you get the bare bones foundation of MC life. You get to read about a group of men with a “President” (leader) who wear “cuts” (leather vests with patches relating to their club) and ride around on their motorcycles. There are momentary scenes with outside MC’s and gangs that showcase a criminal side and add drama to the plot but even those scenes were quite lite compared to many others written.

However, the easy-going nature of this MC story doesn’t detract and I still found myself enjoying it a lot. It was very different from the other, darker MC romances I typically read and it was a nice change of pace.

I found the characters and their relationship dynamics to be quite interesting. When they first meet, the hero and heroine’s animosity towards each other almost make you think this will be an enemies to lovers story but looking back on it, I don’t think they quite become enemies. It’s more of a general dislike. The hero has quite the temper and unless you’re on his good side, he takes it out on anyone and everyone – a trait that kind of annoyed me to be honest. The heroine starts out being quite shy and feeling like a burden so she takes the brunt of his temper through verbal insults and allows her negative feelings towards him fester. There is definitely a dislike towards each other on both sides but it never fully develops into enemy status.

Then on the flip side, when they do eventually start developing other feelings for each other, they get a little cheesy in their relationship and this contrast added fun and more drama to the story. This was probably one of the few instances where I didn’t mind some cheesy dialogue and behaviour between characters.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one and would love to pick up more of Zapata’s stories in future. She has a way with words and creates a wonderful cast of characters in each of her books. However due to the lightness of this book, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who prefers the darker romance found in most MC stories. If you’re new to MC romance or enjoy contemporary romance but want something with just a little more edge, I would definitely say give this one a go!

Add to your TBR!

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