Sep 15, 2015
I received an ARC of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks in exchange for a honest review.
*Quotes shared in the review may not be in the final copy.*
Aubrey has her life all planned out. College, career, marriage, kids - her future was clear to her. But everything falls apart when her father gets into some legal trouble, her family slowly becomes dysfunctional, and she is pulled out of college and is taken under the wing of her grandma who lives in Tennessee. Aubrey has to leave her safe cocoon in Portland, and starts a life in the small town, where bikers play a significant role in the community. Her perfect life turns chaotic with the intervention of a tough cookie grandma, too hot to handle bikers, and a mystery to solve.
Undaunted was a breath of fresh air to me. I've been devouring all intense stuff, and mostly high fantasy books, and it was super refreshing to take up a NA romance read after some time. It's about bikers, yes, but it's actually a really tame read considering the fact that it tackles an intense concept, and is a New Adult book. If you're looking for a light yet entertaining NA romance with a lot of sexual tension and angst to keep you occupied, then Undaunted is your book!
I had mixed feelings for Aubrey. She was a nice girl, but she got on my nerves most of the time! Also, she came off as pushy at times, but still it made up for the fact that she suddenly has so much in her plate, considering the fact that she led a pretty uneventful life until then. I also really liked her transition from a straight laced lifestyle to a relatively carefree one.
"I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want to be safe, not after he’d planted such forbidden images in my mind. I yanked my mind out of the gutter and climbed onto the motorcycle, wrapped my arms around his waist, and tried not to shiver. I shouldn’t like the way he talked, but I did. I liked the whole package: the rescue, the insinuations, the motorcycle."
Now, Undaunted should have come with a warning for hot guys! There was not one, but three guys who were vying for Aubrey's attention - one was a complete asshole, so let's get him out of the picture. The other two, Zion, and his cousin Noah, were smoking hot! Both guys were so charming, protective and I loved these two so much!
Zion is, obviously, the love interest. *sighs* He is a super rough guy - which is evident by the fact that his biker name is "Killer", but he's also completely adorable when it comes to his feelings for Aubrey and it was so cute to read it! Aubrey and Zion had a smoking hot chemistry, and there was more tension and teasing than action, which I loved since most of the times, I get tired of the number of..... you know what scenes in NA books :D
"But kissing her when she was barely dressed was dangerous. He wanted to prove that this wasn't just lust, that the girl he held was special, that he thought she could be the one who got him."
I really liked the secondary characters as well. Noah, the "other guy" was a great character as well! I felt sorry for him at places, because he deserved so much more, and I am looking forward to read his own story. Ellen, Aubrey's quirky new friend, was pretty entertaining! And I loved Aubrey's grandma, Echo, and all the guys from the Motorcyle Club! There were all terrific characters!
I had some minor problems with Undaunted as well. First of all there's the fact that Aubrey gets a bit annoying and frustrating at times. She also kept expecting Zion to change his ways, which irritated me a bit. Most of all is the fact that I wanted more angst. I originally expected this novel to be darker and more intense that it actually was. Maybe it was because it was written by Melissa Marr - who is writing under her pseudonym - because, I absolutely adore her Wicked Lovely series, and she is one of those rare authors who never shy away from writing really dark YA. But then, I might be biased there, and maybe I shouldn't have expected a lot from Undaunted, because after all, she's starting afresh by taking on a pen name.
That being said, Undaunted is your typical NA read, only with less steam and darkness. It has action, family, lots of tension, great characters and a mystery to keep you hooked. I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for a light contemporary read with a hot guy and smoking chemistry, and fans of Katie McGarry.