Under Locke by Mariana Zapata
Under Locke by Mariana Zapata
This is a long book and in this case I actually think that was a good thing. Yes perhaps, if I am being pedantic, it didn’t need to be all of the 900 pages it was and it could have been trimmed back a little but honestly I was glad to have had the additional pages.
The story was a definite slow burner, taking its time to develop and progress – which in light of many of the other books in this genre was definitely not the norm but was most welcome.
The female lead is Iris, the sister of MC club member Sonny and she comes to Austin to live with him after relocating from Florida. We are introduced to Iris as a fairly shy soul to start but we learn early on that she has had a tough past, losing her mother and grandmother in quick succession and all this on top of her own health issues. This quiet reserved girl is actually quite immature for her age, but I found it quite endearing to watch as she grew into her own skin. Philosophical about the trials she has had to face I found her outlook on life refreshing, she didn’t want pity or to be treated any differently – she just wanted to be accepted for who she was and what she could give to the world. And my god, she is so funny although most of the time it is quite unintentional, her nicknames for Dex made me smile and her inner monologue is at times hysterical.
Not wanting to be a burden to Sonny, she is indebted to him when he calls in a favour from his friend Dex to get her a job.
Little does she know that the world as she knows it is about to change and all because of Dex Locke.
Charles Dexter Locke – or Dex as we are introduced is the epitome of Alpha male... Owner of Pins and Needles Tattoo shop he is as bad tempered as he is gorgeous. Never one to filter what he says he puts his foot in it with Iris very early on when she overhears him saying she is an “idiot” for not being able to grasp the system on only her second day at the shop. I liked Dex- he may have been a little rough around the edges but the author made sure early on that we all got to see his good qualities also – he is fiercely loyal and protective of everyone he cares about be that Iris or any of the other guys from the shop. Dex is old school – he hides nothing from anyone – he calls it as he sees it and expects others to be able to do the same. Only one problem with that and that is he doesn’t want to admit to himself that he has feelings for Iris and that is not a situation he is comfortable with at all.
Sonny heads off with Trip to try and track down his father in order to stave off the threat being made by a rival gang to Iris and the Widow’s Motorcycle Club's and while he is away he asks Dex to look out for Iris. Dex understands one thing – his definition of taking care of Iris may not be exactly what Sonny had in mind and balancing the two may require more self-control than he has.
Circumstances take a turn for the worse and eventually the only solution left is for Iris to move in with him while Sonny is away. This being the beginning of their mutual attraction coming to the fore – I was happy that the writer took her time with the build up to the inevitable.
The road trip that they take to resolve the situation with Iris’s father was handled well and it showed how far Iris had come to grow the strength needed to deal with the situation. It also gave us the chance to see that their relationship was most definitely rounded and Dex (or Charlie as Iris prefers to call him) is most definitely an equal partner for her.
This is far from a typical MC novel, it is funny and sweet mixed in with a number of steamy scenes and a little mystery and mayhem.
Rating 3.5 out of 5