BOOK REVIEW — Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

“You’ve gotta be the best thing I never knew I wanted.”

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OH EM GEEEE GUYS!!!! This book was so freaking amazing!!! It was an intense, MC romance that brought up every single emotion in me. It was FUN, ANGSTY, SWEET and totally HOT. LOVED IT!!!!

Can I just start by saying what an incredibly talented author Mariana Zapata is. Her story telling skills are on point. Her books are long, but not unnecessary. I love every single word that I read and I will keep going back as long as she keeps writing. It’s so nice to read a story with just enough ‘story’ that it’s never over the top. Her books are not filled with pointless drama or conversation and they always seem so easy and effortlessly written. Read these books. They’re a joy to experience.

“Right then, in that moment, Dex The Dick grinned. Grinned. And sweet mother of God, it was devastating. So completely catastrophic I just stood there and absorbed the nuclear bomb going off in front of me, defenceless.”

So, Dex is a complete ass. A dick. A tattooed bikie with a serious attitude that no-one dares to cross. Until the heroine, Iris, walks in with her gorgeous looks and smart mouth and brings him to his knees with her very first “go fuck yourself”. This couple is electric. I loved them. Their relationship is rocky at first. Iris is battling and trying to accepting her past after her dad left them high and dry at the most vulnerable time in their lives, and Dex is struggling to seeing her for what she really is – the women he had no idea he needed in his life.

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widow, 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.

Mariana is the absolute queen of slow-burn romances. I can understand how some people get frustrated with the length of these books and how little ‘romance’ there is for such a long time. But you know what? Romance takes time. It’s like you’re really living through the lives of these characters. You feel everything. You ‘see’ everything. The day to day routines, the relationships with their family and friends – yet at the same time, nothing is lost. Mariana doesn’t lose sight of anything in her stories. The plot is full – it never goes off track. The romance is there, from the very first time they meet. It’s there. I think stories like these go under appreciated. I’m always looking for a book that it ‘full’. And what I mean by that is, it just needs everything – plot, amazing characters, friendships – things that I can relate to or see myself with. I’m not looking for insta-love. I want to see the characters work for each other. And Dex does exactly that. He chases Iris, and it’s so refreshing to see. I never found myself checking how much I’d read or how long I had to go. I just kept turning page after page, wanting more of these characters. Mariana had me completely invested from the very first chapter, and by the end, I had the most ridiculous smile on my face because I felt complete.

“But I’m not a good man, and I’m gonna take everythin’ you want to give me and everythin’ you don’t.”

Books like these are my weakness. When you mix an overprotective, moody, stubborn asshole type of hero with a heroine who can hold her own in any situation, it ignites something in me. And I go on the hunt for more books with the same criteria. Most of the time they fall flat though, but then a little gem like this that’s been hiding on my kindle for god knows how long is opened at just the right time, and I’m hooked. This book gave me butterflies. It had my heart racing, and aching, all at the same time. I laughed, I swooned, and I fell head over heals in love with this book.

“Babe, I’ve handpicked everythin’ and everyone in here. I know what I want and I get what I want,” he breathed. “And I keep what’s mine.”

Gah!! Dex was just soooooo sexy. He wasn’t a romantic kinda hero. He was strong, scary at times, ruthless and completely insane but Iris brought out a side in him that even his friends were happy to see. She tested him. Pushed him. Loved him. And it had me rooting for them and their happy ending. He never once made me feel like he was going to do something stupid and ruin his relationship with Iris, and I think that was a big reason as to why this book felt right for me. It wasn’t about a sexy biker who had women falling at his feet at every moment. I felt safe. I knew from the very beginning that he wasn’t going to be ‘that’ kind of guy. I was able to sit back and enjoy watching them fall in love with each other without the fear that another woman was going to come in and ruin the entire thing.

I can honestly say that this was one of the best MC books that I have ever read. Nothing overpowered the story. The characters were amazing. The chemistry was hot. The writing was captivating, and so easy to read. It just flowed so well. I definitely recommend this book guys! I absolutely loved it!!

5 stars! 

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