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Nowhere But Here

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin TEEN on May 26th 2015
Pages: 496

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.
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.

I first read Nowhere But Here last year in August. I fell in love. It was one of the first books that made me second guess my opinion of books with romance.  Since then, I’ve completed the entire Pushing The Limits series from Katie and tonight I’m starting Razors story. I can officially say that Katie  McGarry has changed my opinion and I’m so glad she did. I find myself wanting more at the end of every single one of her books.

Emily is one hell of a woman. I know I wouldn’t have been able to walk into that funeral home with my head held high.  I would have been a wreck. I have to say, though,  that’s one hell of a way to meet your grandmother. She has two strong father figures in her life.  He biological father,  and the father she’s known since she was 5. She’s torn between knowing her biological father and hurting the man she’s called dad since she was 5.

Emily has a fire. The feistiness in her really starts to show the moment Eli asks her if she has a boyfriend. That response was so perfect, and it ended up causing him to slam on the brakes. She knows how to fire back when needed. Emily knows how to take what she wants, even if it may seem like it’s not her. What she did to get Oz to take her from that office, to listen to the conversation between her mother and father was genius. It was hot, but it was also incredibly smart. She knew that he wouldn’t want her telling Eli that he kissed her. That would mean that he wouldn’t get into the club. She played her cards right. As you watch her history unfold more and more,  the truth changes get in many ways.  Each change,  I feel,  is for the best. A change in the way she sees the club and Eli. She knows what family and loyalty are;  how strong bonds can be.

Oz (Johnathan) has known what he’s wanted and where he’s going in life. He knows the meaning of respect and he keeps his word. He’s a man of honor. His family and the club are everything to him. They are in the beginning and they still were in the end. He has not only respect for the club but for people in general. You see this when he helps the young disabled boy play a game of football.  He’s a strong male role model,  and I’m hoping to see more of him in upcoming books. He has a personality that is so easy to fall in love with. Katie has yet to disappoint me when it comes to her main men in her books.

Emily walks into his life and he feels like it’s the end of everything he’s worked for when in reality it’s part of his future. You could feel the strain between them in the beginning but it started turning into something more the moment he saved her at the vending machines. From there, he knew damn well he was walking a dangerous line. Eli’s daughter was like royalty, and he knew he risked it all falling in love with her. He kept his word, though. He made sure she was safe until the very end. Katie has a way of writing characters that make you want more. Even just a little bit, because you find yourself hooked into their personality and history. I’m hoping to see more of him in upcoming books. He has a personality that is so easy to fall in love with. Katie has yet to disappoint me when it comes to her main men in her books.

My absolute favorite moment with Oz and Emily is when they were at the trailer. He compliments her and she looks away.  His response is incredible. ‘Don’t deny a true compliment by looking away. You’re braver than that.’ That moment says so much.

Olivia. There is so much that could be said.  This woman knows how to make an entrance and introduce herself.  Even if it involves getting puke on her shoes. Olivia had cancer and right from the beginning,  your heart hurts for her. She’s wanted to know Emily for a long time,  to make sure she knew the truth about her parents. She wanted not only Emily but Oz to take a different direction with their lives. Right from the beginning, she is helping her granddaughter find out more and more about her past,  even if it is like a scavenger hunt. She’s one of my favorite supporting characters from any of Katie’s books. I know I will be hearing more about her in books to come from the Thunder Road series.
Those stars on Eli’s arm say so much. There is no doubt in my mind the love that Eli has for Emily or her mother. In church when he held Oz to the wall with a gun pulled on him, that was a deadly serious moment and threat. His daughter was in danger and not even Oz was going to get in the way of that. He made it clear the repercussions if she were to fall in danger. The ending is the part in the book that had me on edge. I won’t spoil it,  but I was crying.  The amount of love and bravery it took to do what he did is huge. He’s an amazing man.

Razor. The unpinned grenade is how Katie described him. Not a lot is mentioned about him, but one important part is that his mother messed him up quite a bit when he was younger. The moment between him and Emily in the kitchen discussing Olivia was a big thing for him. Walk The Edge is out with his story, and I can’t wait to see what happens there. He’s like the locked room you’re not supposed to go into, but you really want to unlock the door and peek in. I’m about to Open that door and peek in.

Did you catch the relationship between Isaiah and the Thunder Road series?  If not,  you might want to try and find it. It’s an interesting connection,  and I’m strongly hoping we learn more about that situation.

This book teaches you that you need to look beyond what’s on the outside. Judgment is a dangerous thing,  and often you’ll be proven wrong. I’m definitely be keeping this in the back of my mind more often.

Sarah LeBlanc

★ Borderline battler ★ Bookish lover ★ Hunger Games fanatic ★ Jodi Meadows Fangirl ★ Raising Awareness of Mental Health and BPD ★

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