Book Review

Book Review: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ★★★☆ (3.5)
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 497 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 19th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club. 


I knew there might come a day when a Zapata book wasn’t my favorite. Unfortunately today is that day. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book a lot, but it was more on and off then a consistent lover for one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. The setting and theme were some of the best aspects.

The love interest, Dex, flirting with the a-hole/grump line waayyy too often for me. Maybe this is also showing that that type of hero isn’t my jam (which is fine!), but I kept waffling back and forth with how he treated Iris. There were some truly kind moments and a few great, don’t touch her moments too. A mixed bag for him though.

Iris was a great heroine…most of the time. I think she had a lot of spunk and was trying to make the best decision she could when obstacles kept being thrown her way. There were some truly frustrating moments where I could in no way, get behind what she was thinking. I don’t love dumb decision making.

Something that I don’t generally take off star rating for (and didn’t for this book), though I do like to mention, is that this is MUUUUUUCH steamier than I expected. I skipped many long scenes that were on the super graphic side. If you love this kind of steam, then I would recommend this backlist MZ read. If not, I’d go ahead and skip this and read some of her newer books.

The audio narration as always was stellar and it felt like a quick read even at 16 hours. I’m looking forward to continuing my backlist MZ books!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: heavy and strong
  • Romance: multiple very explicit open door
  • Violence: mild
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: abandonment, cancer, death of a parent, gun violence, physical violence, infidelity (not with the main couple!), sexual assault

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