By now, I’m sure you know how much we love Mariana Zapata. If not, you’ll soon see in this Under Locke by Mariana Zapata Review. Or, you could just jump ahead and get it here. I know you want it.
In this particular book, Zapata gives us an interesting story featuring a motorcycle gang and she really develops the bad boy feature of the story.
Some of the links here are affiliate links and if you purchase anything through them, we may earn a small commission from it.
And yes, as you’ve come to know through a few of my other reviews of her work, Mariana’s the queen of the slow burn romance.
Some of the reviews I’ve done on her other work are on:
I’m sure there will be more to come soon…
The Back Story
The heroine of this story – Iris – is looking for a new start in a new town after having gone through a seriously rough patch.
Like having been abandoned by her father, being raised by her mother and then eventually her grandmother.
She’s had to deal with sickness and death in her family for what seems like her whole life.
She needs a new start, a new place to stay and a new job.
And her half-brother Sonny seems to have the perfect solution: a job at a tattoo shop & she can stay with him.
But she meets Dex and sees exactly why he’s run through a string of assistants & why nobody wants to work for him.
Under Locke Mariana Zapata
Given the title, you may think that this book may descend into a fair amount of motorcycle club style raunchyness.
But, thankfully, it isn’t the case.
Sure, Zapata paints a vivid picture of Dex as a bad boy, but thankfully it’s devoid of so many of the motorcycle gang atrocities that are often featured in a motorcycle club themed book.
The members have motorcycles, are in a club and wear the appropriate MC gang clothing, but it kinda stops there. So it isn’t some super crazy Sons of Anarchy type MC gang book.
Dex comes across as being a typical douchey bad boy. True to the stereotype motorcycle gang guy.
A motorcycle gang member, a widower, a womanizer and a guy with a big temper who owns a tattoo shop. Yup – he ticks all of the boxes when it comes to an alpha jerk.
But that only lasts for a while until Mariana begins to really unwrap who he is and what he’s been through. At least it gives a certain explanation or degree of understanding to him and the way he acts.
There are some rough edges – sure – but it helps with his bad boy personal and is fitting for his character.
Besides, one of Mariana’s real strengths as an author is in developing realistic characters. Not perfect. Realistic and believable characters with all their inherent flaws in addition to their strengths.
And with Dex, we find beneath the rough exterior he actually has a soft heart.
This being an “opposites attract” romance story, Iris is the polar opposite.
She’s patient where Dex has a short fuse. She’s kind, sweet and innocent. And yet she has enough inner strength to deal with Dex and put him in his place a bit when need be.
What the Critics Say
Some say that they feel the romance in the story is a little contrived. A little to convenient, and that the plot is a little loose.
But I think that’s just a matter of opinion.
For someone like Mariana Zapata, you either LOVE her stuff or you hate it.
There really isn’t much in between as her slow burn style either grabs you or bores you to death depending on what you are looking for in a novel.
Many of the critics mentioned how they didn’t like the way Dex spoke to Iris. But for me, I felt that this was true to his character. It really cemented the differences between the two and just how opposite they are. Even if it comes across as a little shocking or uncalled for.
I think Zapata stayed true to the language and behavior we commonly associate with MC gangs and their members, and I think that this is the root problem for the majority of the people criticizing her work.
Along those lines, some critics have said that the ending is a little too sweet or convenient. But again, I’d say that’s a preference as well.
When it comes to romance novels, you have to find the style and author that you like and stick with them. If you branch out, you have to view it as an experiment.
And if you’re looking to branch out, try one of Virginia Hodgson’s books here. You can get one for free when you sign up for her email list as well.
Under Locke Read Online
The best place by far to get and read Under Lock online through Amazon here.
In fact, you’re able to get the audio version of it there as well. Along those lines, many people have said the the Under Locke audiobook version here is absolutely fantastic.
Some people go through the trouble of trying to get a free copy by searching for “under locke mariana zapata epub” or “under locke mariana zapata pdf” but all they end up with are a few new viruses on their computer.
Given the quality of her work (by now I’m sure you know I’m a big fan) and the low price, I’d say there is a tremendous amount of value given by purchasing a copy for yourself.
If you’re looking for something different, try reading our review on “A Different Blue” by Amy Harmon here. And by different, I mean COMPLETELY and TOTALLY different from a Mariana Zapata novel.