Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. 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.
Published May 2015. First book in the Thunder Road series.
I don't remember exactly when I first heard of Katie McGarry, but it was when she only had a book or two out. I read Pushing The Limits and loved it. Since then I've been reading all of her published books and wishing I could get my hands on some of the exclusive ebooks she's published. She's a great author, one of my favorites I'd say and one I really look up to for her writing style and characters. But let's get down to what I thought of the book, now that I've established that I love this author...
Likes: The family vibe between the wives and daughters of the Reign of Terror members and those who rode and were members. There's a great familial connection that I felt was very evident. I loved and adored Emily's grandmother. She was easily my favorite character, she brought the whole family together and everyone loved her, she has to be one of the coolest grandmother's out there! I was there 100% with the build-up of the mystery (what possibly could have happened in Eli's past?!), right there, alongside Emily. It wasn't exactly what I expected, I was thinking there would be more action and motorcycle chases, I guess? It's not really like that, there really isn't a whole lot of action, but that doesn't mean that it isn't exciting. Emily's grandmother sends her on a treasure hunt around the family's property looking for hints and clues in solving the mystery of Eli's past. Of course, there's also the tension and attraction between Emily and Oz that they keep hidden from each other at first and then, later, hidden from Emily's father. So it's not as if I got bored ;)
Dislikes: The big reveal about Eli's past was almost a little disappointing. I think the way that she wrote it, (highlight to see spoiler) how she had Emily's step-dad assuring her that the enemies of the ROT were imaginary and didn't pose a threat, mixed with the secrets that Emily seemed always on the brink of discovering, and the little hints that we got from reading things in Oz's perspective of his talks with Eli fit the way things were revealed, in the end. So while the ending didn't sit great with me, I can see how it fit with the rest of the book. I admit that there are times when both Emily and Oz are a little cliche or annoying, but I kind of ignored it for the most part or it didn't bother me that much. The only thing that I can think to mention is there was a particular phrase, something about (from Oz's perspective) wanting to lick Emily's super flat stomach
Overall, this wasn't my favorite book from Katie McGarry, but I still enjoyed it. I was very happy with this first introduction to the Reign of Terror and their wives, sons, and daughters. I look forward to Razor's story that's to come next despite the things I disliked about this book. I have high hopes that this series will improve with each book. And it's not like it was awful, I think the setting and connections between the members and their families were very well done, especially. I'd recommend to fans of her other books or someone looking for a slightly more edgy, steamy romance.