Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry (Thunder Road book 1)

Emily’s biological father, Eli, left her mother behind when she found out she was pregnant. They rarely see one another, once a year in fact. Her mother doesn’t want to talk about her time in Kentucky. Their life has been complete since her mother married her father, who adopted her at the age of five. Emily comes home one day to find her mother in tears and in her bedroom. She is thrown for a loop when her father hands her an email Eli sent. It asks that they tell Emily the news and his mother’s obituary is attached. Emily had never met her grandmother. Not one to try new things, she is shocked when her father informs her that her mother has already purchased plane tickets to attend the funeral. Emily hates funerals. Once in Snowflake, Kentucky, Emily's mother is stricken by a panic attack and she and her dad go to the funeral home alone. The cab driver is reluctant to leave them because of the biker gang hanging out on the parking lot. Emily cringes when he tells the driver that she is family. Walking towards the door, a woman and toddler come out and her dad, a pediatrician, goes over to help. The child is having an asthma attack and the mother cannot get her to use the inhaler. With a soothing voice, her dad has no problem helping the child. He wants to stay with the two and sends Emily in to find Eli on her own. Not wanting to stay too long, she is horrified when a drop dead gorgeous guy near her age asks if she is lost. Everyone stops to look at her. She states that she is looking for Eli McKinley. The boy checks her out and an older guy that absolutely scares her states that he is inside. She goes in and finds a large crowd. The young guy from outside is following her and Emily looks for Eli. She finds him in the viewing room next to the open casket. She cannot help but notice how young her grandmother looks. Eli is thrilled to see her, it means a lot to him, but wants to know how she knew. He sent her dad the obituary and Eli is puzzled. A woman says that it means a lot to her as well and Emily freaks out. Her dead grandmother is out of her casket, talking to her. Eli tells his mother to stand back. She apologizes, saying that she thought Emily knew. Eli introduces her to Olivia, her grandmother. Emily loses her breakfast all over Olivia's shoes.

Oz cannot wait to follow in his father's footsteps and join the Reign of Terror, a motorcycle club. The club runs a security business that escorts tractor trailers loaded with high priced goods through highly pirated areas. He is skipping going to his graduation ceremony for Olivia's wake. She and Cyrus are the closest people he has to grandparents. Her illness has caused hard financial times for the members of the club. He follows Eli's long lost daughter, Emily, through the funeral home and witnesses her freak out. Only the McKinley inner circle knows about Emily. Oz is glad that he isn't blood related to Eli because Emily's mother is considered a traitor and Oz feels that Emily is a traitor as well for how she pushes Eli away. When Eli offers Oz a chance to prove himself for joining the Reign of Terror, he jumps at the chance, even if it involves Emily. The club is having problems with The Riot, an illegal motorcycle club based in Louisville. The Reign is doing some business in what the Riot considers their territory and they are demanding payment. They are beginning to go after members of the Reign of Terror. Oz’s father was attacked the night before. With Emily showing up unexpectedly, Eli wants to keep his only child safe and away from the Riot. Oz is to watch her until she is on the plane back to Florida.

Exhausted from a late night and everything else that is going on, Oz falls asleep on his watch. He wakes up just in time to see Emily leave the hotel room at 3am with members of the Riot waiting nearby. She heads towards a drink machine. He is able to get to Emily and keeps the two of them hidden. When the coast is clear, Oz gets Emily to his truck. Not wanting to leave her parents behind, Oz tells her Eli is on his way and his priority is to keep her safe. They leave and Oz drives for around 40 minutes before taking her to an exquisite log cabin secluded deep in the woods. Emily is shocked to learn that the cabin belongs to Eli’s parents. Her perspective on a motorcycle gang is about to change. All Emily wants to know is if her parents are safe. Oz tells her the last he checked they were but he isn’t one to offer false hope. On the porch, she sees Cyrus, the grandfather she never knew that she had. Inside, Olivia tries to fuss over her. Emily is uncomfortable when Cyrus and Oz go back outside to talk. Cyrus informs Oz that it is obvious Emily trusts him. Inside, Emily just wants to go to the bathroom. Exhausted, she will sleep when she is back with her parents. Olivia offers to show her the way. I her bedroom, Olivia shows Emily a photo from her jewelry box. It is of Emily’s second birthday. Olivia isn’t suppose to tell Emily about the past but with one foot essential in the grave, she no longer cares what Eli wants. Emily doesn’t believe that she and her mother lived with Eli’s parents until she turned two. She doesn’t want to believe anything Olivia tells her and asks to go to the bathroom. Olivia takes her to by her former bedroom before showing her the bathroom. Emily is rattled

Emily doesn’t come back. Since everyone knows that she trusts Oz, he is sent to check on her. She doesn’t answer when he knocks on the door. He unlocks it and lets himself in. He finds the window open. Going through a window, he finds Emily outside watching the sunrise. Neither one has ever stopped just to watch before. The mutual attraction between the two of them is hard to ignore but they do their best. Emily doesn’t want anything to do with the motorcycle club and Oz considers her a traitor. He is determined to do whatever it takes for Eli let him join the club and Emily cannot wait to be reunited with her parents. They hear the rumble of some motorcycles and walk around to the front of the porch. Eli comes towards them and Emily asks if her parents are coming. Eli tells her no. Oz catches her before she hits the porch floor. Emily had fainted.

Tensions between Emily and Oz increase when her parents and Eli agree that until the Riot is subdued, it is best for her to stay with Eli. All of her summer plans have just been disrupted. And a life she never wanted is now her reality.

Did Emily and her mother live with the McKinley’s until she was two? Why did her mother take her and leave? Are her parents alright? Can she and Eli ever have a relationship? Why did Olivia fake her own death? What happens when Oz confesses to Eli that he fell asleep while watching Emily? Will he still be allowed to join the club? Can the Reign of Terror stop the Riot from striking out at them? Does the Riot come after Emily? Will Emily accept her past and make amends with Olivia before she dies? What happens when the spark between Emily and Oz ignites? What fallout occurs?

Book two in the series, Walk the Edge, will be Razor's story.

Visit Katie McGarry’s website.

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