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.
Worldbuilding: Snowflake, Kentucky was a pleasant setting and an interesting choice for Reign of Terror’s home base. I liked the whole gang versus club(family) thing going on, too, even though I’m not a rabid fan of biker stories, especially when they involve groups (call them whatever you’d like/feel appropriate). I’m not a joiner by nature, lol, so while I appreciate the value of groups/communities and loyalty, affection and all, I will admit I’m not a fan of what one might call “boys club”. That’s a subjective thing, of course. Katie McGarry presents the Terrors beautifully and makes good distinctions between a community based on integrity and loyalty and a gang, and I liked that aspect of the novel very much.
Characters: Emily was lovely, though I didn’t really “feel” her all the way. I never do “feel” the utter good girl type, probably because I was a rebel by nature since infancy from I’m told, haha. I appreciated Emily’s love for her father, her gratitude, even her reverence, her manners, values and so on – she was a sweetheart. I liked her, but I wouldn’t say I loved her. Again, subjective.
Oz was the bikers kid equivalent of Emily, in a way. A good kid, a biker, a bit of a dog here and there, a hottie; very devoted to his loved ones, good values, all good. Again, liked, not actually loved.
I think my fav character was Olivia. I cried my eyes out, because… you’ll see when you read the novel. But I loved Olivia to bits, probably because she reminded me of my grandma quite a bit. Minus the MILF outfits vibe, lol :))
Plot: The YA romance was angsty, no triangles. Well built, good tension and pace of events. The story outside of that was interesting as well, all kinds of nuances on the good vs bad theme, and it gives you quite a bit to think about, like do you condone Meg’ actions? Do you support Olivia’s view? Do you wish you’d get a sneak view of Oz ten years from this story, lounging half-naked on his bike? Okay, maybe that last one might not be on your mind, lol, but other than that… good topics to ponder on.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Emily’s and Oz’s POV. I liked their voices, but I can’t say I was in love with either.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb, awesomesauce author name – impulsive buy material.
All in all, this was more of a 3.5 kind of read for me. But that’s because I’m not that into YA as a general rule, bikers is not necessarily a turn-on for me (at least in organized groups and in this age group). I enjoyed the Pushing The Limits series concept more, I think. More badass-ism by large, loners rather than joiners… more my kind of thing.
But if bikers, YA contemporary romance and good girl meets presumably bad boy that’s actually a knight in shining armor is your thing, then most definitely jump in on this train, because Katie McGarry delivers an entertaining ride, no matter what’s your thing!