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Review: All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

by Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil's Rock #1
Genres: Contemporary, Adult
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★1/2
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There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil’s Rock . . .

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste . . . until the only crime is denying what feels so right . . .

“When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will fly out.”—Ho Chi Minh

I was really nervous to start All Chained Up because it features a romance with a convict, not something that I would normally gravitate towards. Having loved Sophie Jordan's previous romance novels though, I was still eager to give this book a try. All Chained Up turned out to be quite the addicting read and mostly what I expected out of the book.

Like I said before, I was very wary of Knox's character at first. The fact that he was a murderer should have made me (and the heroine) run in the opposite direction, but I found myself being very intrigued by his character. As you may have guessed, he was very much rough around the edges, intense and guarded his emotions. He was incredibly difficult to gauge because he wasn't the most open guy when it came to his feelings. Despite his murderer status, throughout the book, I began to grow an understanding of his personality. While his reason for killing was understandable, it still didn't excuse it. I didn't love his character, because I felt really weird rooting for a murderer, but I did feel like Sophie Jordan did a good job at making him redeemable. Briar, the nurse that Knox meets in prison, was a character that I liked overall. She was definitely a bit too innocent and naive for my tastes, but she had her moments where she really shined. Her compassion, dedication and inner strength that she exhibited after a dreadful and terrifying experience at the prison made her likeable.

The chemistry between Knox and Briar was on fire from their very first meeting. Their connection was electric and you feel all that passion that they had between them from the beginning of All Chained Up. Nothing physical happened between them for a bit, but once they started, the two had a ton of steamy scenes together. While I thought Sophie Jordan excelled at the sexy times, I did want to see more of an emotional connection between Briar and Knox. A few more scenes of them connecting in a non-physical way would have been fantastic. Towards the middle, near the end, I did get really irritated with Knox for repeatedly pushing Briar away. I wanted him to get his shit together and fight for Briar and stop with the "I don't deserve her" thoughts. Thankfully, his frustrating behavior didn't last too long.

In the end, I thought All Chained up was a captivating, intense and very enjoyable read. We meet a bunch of secondary characters in this one that I'm hoping will also get their books next. I'm looking forward to more in the series for sure.

What are your thoughts on romances with unconventional heroes? Have you ever read a romance novel with a convicted felon as a hero?
Let me know in the comments below!