Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
Published: May 26th 2015 by Harlequin Teen
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Family
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones.
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.
Nowhere but Here, is the first installment in Katie McGarry’s new series, Thunder Road. The series focuses on members of the Reign of Terror bike gang. Throughout this book we get an insight into the dynamics of this gang and explore the sense of brotherhood that exists between its current and aspiring members. I’ll admit, going into this book I had no idea what to expect. My knowledge of these biker gangs is very limited and admittedly stereotypical, so I had no idea what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.
This story is a dual narrative. Our female protagonist, Emily, is a seventeen year old who, due to some unforeseen circumstances, is forced to spend the summer with her biological father, his biker community and a family she didn’t know existed. At first Emily is unwilling to open up to this community due to the mistrust and resentment she feels towards them. However, with the mystery surrounding her biological father’s past and his relationship with her mother laying heavily on her mind, Emily uses this summer as an opportunity to discover the truth about her past. At first I wasn’t too keen on Emily. She had a habit of thinking she was better than these bikers and would often look down on them. However, as the story progressed I found that I could really connect with Emily and I understood her conflicted emotions with regards to her new family. Her determination to find out the truth that has been hidden away from her was admirable and I could definitely understand her frustrations at being kept in the dark. However, as she slowly lays down her walls and opens up this new family, she also begins to learn more about herself; from her strengths to her weakness and above all else she finds her voice.
“My body is a gift, not something to be carelessly given away.”
In the process of this journey, Emily meets Oz. Growing up Oz has only ever had one goal in mind, to become an official member of the Reign of Terror; his family. However, Emily’s appearance shakes everything up. Having being charged with looking out for Emily, Oz’s perception slowly shifts and he starts thinking about the possibilities found outside of the gang. Also the more time Oz spends with Emily, the more he falls for her. I adored Oz. He’s tough, dependable and loyal. He would do anything for his family. On top of that, despite this tough exterior, Oz has no shame in expressing his emotions. He’s an honest guy through and through and I love how supportive and understanding he was of Emily’s situation. I loved the dynamic between Oz and Emily and their relationship was beautifully developed. I can’t wait to check in with them in the next book.
There is an array of secondary characters that have a very prominent presence in this book and again I loved that we got to explore this dynamic between the Reign of Terror. Family does not end in blood and that is what I loved about this community. However, I was a little unsure about how realistic the climactic event of the book was but that is probably due to my lack of knowledge of the biker community.
Overall, this was a great start to a wonderful series. I loved exploring the biker community. The character dynamics were humorous, heartfelt and romantic. I can’t wait to see what Razor’s story has in store for us in Walk the Edge.