Book Review – Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

by Maryse on July 6, 2014 · 8 comments

in My Book Reviews

Under Locke
<— I’m a little late to the game with this one, but better late than never, right? Recommended to me a TON (when it first came out back in January and then continuously, as a “favorites” suggestion). I finally buckled down with it. How could I not, considering these heartfelt reader recommendations (hearing things like “slow burn” and “KA feel”, and “work for it”) :D ?

Nadja: Hi Maryse, Just finished “Under Locke” by Mariana Zapata And it was GREAT! Alpha biker bad ass with a bad temper. Enjoyed the book very, very much. It was funny (parts I had to laugh out loud my boyfriend was looking at me like I was crazy ) sweet and cool. and it’s definitely a must read!!

Rhonda: I love, love, love hot alpha males – but geez I want my alpha to work for it!  I want my heroine to have some self respect!  I just finished Under Locke (4 stars).  That was a great example of an alpha being a jerk and then having to WORK for the heroine’s regard.  Working for it with actual words and actions, not just hot abs and grunting (abs total bonus).  Oh and another request, the more dirty monkey sex the better.  ;-p

Lauren: I read Under Locke when it came out & actually reread it over this past weekend (I was searching for a book… distracted….ended up rereading some favorites that I came across). So, so good!!

Margie: Love KA. Just finished Under Locke by Mariana Zapata (released Jan 2014). It has it all. Unrequited love, overhearing H insult h, alpha H, feisty h – great read.

Niki: I’m in a little slump so am rereading Under Locke cuz its so good :)

Jodi: I loved, loved, loved Under Locke… It was really good!!

Kandace:  I read it and freakin hardcore loved it. I’ve been shouting all over facebook how great this book is. This story has everything I love in a book. The beginning was a little hard to follow up it doesn’t take long to take off. Kudos to the author for giving us a complete story. … Great and awesome book. 5 stars. Loved every word.

So… if you’re looking for another book with a Kristen Ashley feel, this one is CLOSE! Not as “perfect” to me, and at times even a little bumpy, for me, in the similarities. A bit of the storyline here and there, the way “he” talks, and a few added “names” that brought to mind other books etc. But the “feel” was right, the writing was good, and I contentedly buckled myself in right from the get-go.

Maryse’s Book Blog: He’s so moody. And rude. And bossy. And kinda mean. And at times…. SO sweet (which is my favorite ’cause when he is, it’s so special). Yep. LOVING!!

Lisa: Loved it. Can’t wait for your review to see what you think.

Barbara:  i devoured it last week.

Jaime: Loved this book, but I did kind of lose interest at some point between the middle and end. <— Maryse side note: Yep! As much as I would recommend this for those looking for that feel… I too, seem to have lost that intense romance-momentum later on in it’s second half. Still good though!

Donna: I loved this book!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Hehe. The first night when they all had to share the hotel room. Gah that was funny. :P

Debbie: One of the books that I’ll read over and over again, loved it!

Ana: This was a favorite of mine definitely finished it in a day.

Kandace: Perfect description of him: Moody, bossy, mean-ish but also protective and at at times sweet. It’s definitely a slow burn.

Maryse’s Book Blog:  I like slow burn… <— YES. I. DO.

Ashley: Such a good book. I keep wanting another book with someone like him. Sigh. Slow burn is a PERFECT description!

Michelle: You know, I liked it. I liked it a lot. A lot a lot…. but it’s been a few weeks, I think, and now I can’t remember a thing about it. So there you go… not a five star for me if I can’t remember anything about it.

Erica: I liked it too but I noticed a whole lot of Kristen Ashley similarities (Sweet Dreams + Motorcycle Man). And a few other things. Not sure how I feel about that but I did enjoy reading it.

So yep. Definitely some similarities. But if you’ve read everything from Kristen Ashley, and you’re craving more in that “feel”? You know… biker gangs, tattooed bad boys (or more like men ;) these are definitely not “boys”), good guys, bad guys, dirty mouths, selectively sweet hearts and bad attitudes! This one should do it for you (or at least satisfy a bit of that KA sweet-tooth). Let’s consider it a VERY high up option on a “What to Read After Kristen Ashley…” list. After all, when we find a book that we love (or an author), we usually want to continue in that genre. IN that feel. Continue reading in that momentum.

It’s long, so if you’re into it, you’ll be happily reading for hours. And hours. ;)

Michele: Under Locke was really good BUT, was 915 pages! Just a f.y.i…

Maryse: It feels like it (’cause when I started, I had been reading for a few hours and was only at like… 8%). LOL! 480 pages (as per Amazon) <— Ahhhh that explains it. I’ll be at this for er… quite a few more hours. Hey I’m not complaining. This one’s totally working for me.

Erica: On GR they were saying it was 900!! But after I said that I discovered 480 LOL. A little better than 900

LOL! Who knows? But either way, this is not a quick read. It took me DAYS to read it, but you can’t go by my schedule as of late, considering Book Bash prep and then the full on Book Bash. I can usually gauge just how into a book I am, with how often I start and stop it (if at all). With how quickly I read through it. I stopped and started this one at least 20 times, but again, Book Bash. ;) And let me tell you, I was REALLY into this one.

Maryse: I know… longest time I’ve ever taken to read a book, but I’m tellin’ y’all, still loving it! “Charlie” <— teehee!! He reminds me of back in the day a couple a years go when I fell hard for my alpha-males. He’s just so… WHOA! UGGGH!!!! and then… ahhhhhhhh . And her? I just… feel as if I’m her (her reactions to stuff, her thoughts, and the goofy stuff that comes out of her mouth when she’s angry). LOL!!! That’s totally me. Nothing so far *crazy* is happening but plenty of “enough” (emotions of all sorts, especially) that has it so I’m connected to ‘em and enjoying this one big time. <— Total book zombie right now…

Laura: I loved it to ur probably taking so long because it’s like a million pages lol was really good though shows a different sort of side to mc’s ways!

Lauren: Loooooooved that book!

Kate: 50% in and really loving it! He’s so grumpy and then sweet and then grumpy and then sweet….

Anne: I loved that book! I like how long it took for it to develop – the stolen moments and building between them was awesome!

I loved the start. How “not in the mood” he was, for his new employee. A totally irritable, no-nonsense, and often, irrational, alpha-jerk. And well.. he says some hurtful stuff that had me fuming!!!

I needed a paycheck like I needed my next breath. I shouldn’t care what one delinquent biker thought about me, as long as he paid me, right?

Right. Why did it feel like I’d gotten stabbed in the gut, though?

At first, he was all… “So? Get over it!” <— I FUMED EVEN HARDER!!! (and loved every minute of my ire!) ;)

Such a beautiful man, and he was a complete friggin’ a$$hole Go figure.

Heh. Yep.

But then as he gets to know her, and gets over himself… yeah. I like that kind of backpedaling. Tee hee!!

“Just let it go, ‘kay? It drives me f@*&in’ crazy that you won’t look me in the eye,” he breathed. “I don’t do this awkward sh!t, babe.”

And that wasn’t his only umm… “d!ck” move, let’s just say. One of ‘em FREAKED me out!!! ;)

For me, a catchy start, an alluring friendship that plays itself out nicely (slow burn, the works!). And of course, when you’re crushing on the King of alphas, with his gorgeous but always scowling face, and his hulking physique, and he turns to you and gives you his “sweet eyes” or walks by you and momentarily lays his hand on your back as he passes you, or … pretty finds any excuse to gently, respectfully, touch you well… *sigh* <— That just gets me EVERY time.

On the occasion that he was in a good mood, he’d smiled at me exactly three times – and God, it was a smile – and once he touched my hand when he walked by.

Not that I was counting or anything.

Tee hee!!! I WAS INTO THIS!!!

Excitement-wise? There were a few bumps in her romantic world. Her father was an ex-biker, hustling numerous gangs as he went. Thing is… his trouble found her and her siblings (one of ‘em, being her step-brother and now roommate). But being brought up in a biker family, with her brother now officially part of a biker family, none of this came as a surprise to her. And overall? Nothing too crazy (dangerous, sure) but the action/drama wasn’t drawn out (or too detailed). For some (looking to focus on the developing love story), that might be a plus. For others looking to be on the edge of their seat, the lack of scary-oomph might be a negative.

Speaking of her (Iris), I connected BIG time. Sweet, goofy, vulnerable, yet a survivor. Strong when it counts, and yet she’d make some decisions that would have me face-palming rolleyes (and at the same time cringing, wondering if I would have come up with the same er… bone-headed “solutions”). razz LOL!!!

… I knew what I was about to do was monumentally stupid. Astronomically dumb. And if – okay, when – my brother found out, he’d more than likely try to strangle me.

But screw it. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

Eeeeep!! Yeah, I could see myself in her, and therefore crushed hard with her as she pined for the larger-than-life, unattainable Dex.

But I will say, the first half hooked me hard, going into the second half, too. The last quarter however was a bit more sluggish for me. I was anxious to get to the end, find out what happens, start a new love story. But then again, I can’t say for sure if I lost my momentum because of the many starts and stops due to my hectic schedule, or if it really just leveled itself out to a slow simmer, instead of the fiery burn that I love, in my romance books. I love when my world is turned upside-down numerous times in a book, even right to end (or close to the end). While I don’t need much “action and danger” in a book (I prefer the romance and the angst), I do need that kind of crazy-adrenaline rush in my heart, you know? That unforgettableness. This one… not so much of that, as the story progresses.

Michelle: I really liked it, but like I said somewhere else in another post, after a couple of weeks (?) I can’t remember a thing about it. … Just didn’t stick with me. That’s what I am looking for in a summer read. All the time in the world, and nothing has put me in a fog.

Yep, Michelle. My never-ending quest for that love-fog. I get you! And true, while I read this one I was SO addicted to it. Couldn’t wait to get back to it. But the last half, of the last half? Hrmmm… not as riveting for me, for some reason.

*sigh* I dunno.

I’m giving the first half 4 stars (maybe even 4.5 stars… ’cause I was so into this. That push-and-pull, alpha-jerky *oomph* that I crave, was there in spades!). And the second half (or the second half OF the second half) 3 to 3.5 stars.

Overall? 3.5 to 4 stars for me.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Peju Garraway July 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I read this book and loved it, if you liked it another one that is similar and really good is lock and key by cat porter

Maryse July 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Thank you Peju! I’m going to look it up right now. :D

Maryse July 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Oh yesssss THAT ONE!! Right right riiiiiight!!! I wanna read it! Okay one-clicked. :D

Jill July 6, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I finished this one last week. It was very good. Great writing. But I’m in agreement with you about the last part of the book. I was ready for it to end. It was just a little too long. For me I needed their… er… ‘love scene’ to happen a little bit sooner. I loved the long slow burn but by 80% I was a little over it. I would still recommend though.

Erin M July 6, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I just read this book too…I completely agree. First half I loved but then it took to long for them to get together. I wanted to read more of them together.

kandace Lovesbooks July 7, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Loved this story but I read it in two days. I always lose the connection if I stop and start too much too.

LauraB July 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Worth reading… First romance I have ever read where the H/h fart.

PeggyM October 27, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I read the book after reading your review and I loved it.

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