Image from Goodreads

Title: Dare to Lie
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #3
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 7 Feb 2017
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

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…

REVIEW 

Although this is the third book in the series, it is not necessary to read the previous books in the series although the story lines are linked it is easily explained and expanded on in Dare to Lie.

Scotty is divided, torn between his duty as a DEA agent and his loyalty to the street gang who were responsible for providing a safe haven to him as a teen. Growing up in an extremely tough neighbourhood, Steel Row, with only his older brother to support him, ensured the only way to survive was to join a gang. An idealist at heart, Scotty joined the DEA in the hope of cleaning up the streets he grew up on; attempting to give the younger generation more options and opportunities than he had himself. However, the lingering gratitude for the help he received from the Sons adds to his conflict when faced with betraying the people who helped save him.

Skylar is the sister of the Sons leader, Tate. Although Tate has ensured her anonymity and knowledge of his dealings with the street gang. In my mind the gang and his leadership, following in his fathers footsteps was reminiscent of the crime families like the mafia but on a smaller scale. Skylar also grew up in Steel Room after her parents bitter divorce, separating her from Tate. Their upbringings couldn’t have been more different. this also makes her far more savvy than anyone gives her credit for.

Both Skylar and Scotty pride themselves on being able to read people, and they see beneath the surface of each other quickly, recognising the depth of the masks they both find it necessary to wear. Something just clicks into place with Skylar and Scotty, they fit together perfectly. They are far more alike than I would have initially thought, carrying secrets to protect others, fiercely loyal, realistic but yet able to carry a degree of optimism for the future they are trying to create.

With similar backgrounds, their experiences have shaped them and fueled their aspirations to help those in less fortunate or perilous situations. The portrayal of the recruitment of youngsters into the gang culture was brutally realistic making me consider the seemingly never-ending cycle of survival and violence. It is amazing what people will do in order to protect and nurture the ones they love when they have no other options. The narrative also made me aware of the cost of gang wars on the humanity of the people involved, having to separate their emotions from their actions, with each subsequent involvement the risk of losing their compassion completely.

Dare to Lie is fast paced, action packed, full of tension and if that wasn’t enough the romance is equal measures sweet and hot where two people are able to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow ♥