Review: Beneath These Chains by Meghan March

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 sure stars!

Another winner from Meghan March! Why am I not surprised. =D

Okay, so this review is waaaay overdue! It wasn't that I did not enjoy it because hello, Maghan March fan over here? So, delay reasons aside, here's my opinion of this book in a nutshell:

"Lord, oh Lord!"

BENEATH THESE CHAINS is way more humorous than the first two in this series (both standalones, by the way). Elle and Lord were already introduced in the earlier books. Lord is co-owner and manager of the pawnshop, Chains. He first came across as this mysterious guy born on the wrong side of the tracks.  Elle is a loud, sassy, wealthy young woman who is all curves and attitude.

Right of the bat, there are two things that makes things complicated for these two people who are obviously very attracted to each other:

Firstly, Elle is the best friend of Lord's brother's girlfriend... so if ever things go south between Lord and Elle, things will get sticky for all four of them. Out of respect to his brother Con, he puts Elle firmly in the off-limits zone. At first.

Secondly, with his tattoos and obviously seedy background; and her all poised and polished, and coming from an upper-class society, there is an obvious discrepancy that is not lost on Lord.

But then really, there's nothing to worry about because Lord, oh Lord!

Once he realized that he's willing to try for something real with Elle, he set those two complications aside and instead gave his best shot at tearing her defenses down.

"I wasn't lying when I said any time you need me, all you have to do is call. I may not be anyone's version of a white knight, but I'll still be coming."

I love that he was the first one to say, I want to go into this relationship with you, but you also have to go all-in with me. All or nothing, baby! Surprisingly, it was Elle who's more reluctant. She's the one who prefers one-time only flings. She doesn't like the idea of relationships because to her, that would be like giving up her independence. She is a single-minded woman who wants to get what she wants. That's the reason why they were thrown together in the first place: Elle demanded that Lord hire her as an employee at his pawnshop. Why? Because she wants to retrieve a precious item that was wrongly pawned off by her jackass step-brother. But this is just one subplot in this book.

Now true to form, Meghan March packs a lot into the storyline. There are a couple new characters who added dimension (and tension) into the love story; and of course, a couple of surprising plot twists that caught me off-guard.

This is really what I love and will always look forward to from the books in this series! :D Refreshing storylines that keep me on the edge of my seat. Several murders, a possible conspirator from within their circle.. whew. These twists did not just pad the pages, though. They also strengthened the main characters' relationship. By the last chapter, nothing feels contrived or superficial. As with the previous two books, Meghan March convinces me that Lord and Elle will truly last, what with everything they went through together.

One of the best aspects of the book, and what readers can look forward to, is the funny banter between Lord and Elle. Even when they are burning up the sheets, those scenes remain light and funny because of Elle's cheeky one-liners.

"Bring it on, pawn star."

I like how their opposite personalities balance each other out. Lord is a bit more serious and very intense. Elle's personality is so out there, but there are also moments where you can see she is vulnerable somehow. Those are the times when Lord's single-minded determination comes in handy. When Elle is vacillating between yes or no, Lord is telling her, I am yes all the way. The ball is now in your court. Whatever your decision will be, you know where I stand.

She looked up at me, eyes big and lost. But I wasn't backing down. This woman was worth it. Worth fighting for, even if I was fighting her. 

I just love that characteristic in a hero! It's so alpha without being too overbearing. Oh, and fair warning: Lord is a vocal caveman with no filter. Match that with Elle's shameless wit and sass, you get an explosive pair with a chemistry and sex appeal that leaps off the page.

BENEATH THESE CHAINS is a standalone, but I highly recommend reading books 1 & 2 first. You'll understand the character references better, and you'll appreciate the character arc development even more. Plus, take my word for it, these books are soooo worth the money!

"I love you. I don't deserve you, but I love you.""That's where you're wrong. You deserve everything--and I'm going to give it all to you."

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My thanks to The Rockstars of Romance and the publisher for the ARC of this awesome book!



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