cover image Dare to Stay

Dare to Stay

Jen McLaughlin. Signet, $7.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-0-451-47760-6

The mean, gritty streets of Boston’s Steel Row provide the setting for McLaughlin’s tumultuous, compelling tale of love between an unyielding gang member and a tenacious kindergarten teacher. Chris O’Brien is a member of the same gang that his abusive father belonged to, and he fights for his life on a daily basis. It’s all he’s ever known. When his old friend Molly Lachlan finds him half-dead in an alley, she brings him to her home, understanding that going to a hospital will raise questions better left unanswered. While he’s recuperating, Molly uncovers his softer side, and her nonjudgmental attitude encourages his romantic feelings for her. However, his presence is a threat to her safety, so he tries to stay away. When she refuses to give up on him, she becomes the perfect pawn for rival gang members and is thrust into his dark, dangerous world. As love blurs the line between privilege and misfortune, readers will root for this unlikely duo. The action is heart-stopping, and reformation occurs at a believable pace without diminishing the unpleasant truths of gang life. Agent: Louise Fury, Bent Agency. (Aug.)