Review: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry
Publication date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, safe neighborhood. She's curious about her biological father—the one 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 among relatives she never knew she had, it's clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys & family. And while Emily—the gorgeous 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, 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. (

The good
I won’t lie - I was skeptical. I wanted to read this book because Katie McGarry wrote it, plain and simple. I enjoy her writing, I care about the characters she creates and she knows how to write romance. That said, I still thought to myself — Reign of Terror motorcycle club? I wasn’t sure about this. If you feel any of those same skepticisms, I can tell you now there’s no need. She absolutely makes it work and this new series is as addicting as ever. I couldn’t put the book down and it was the first book in a while that had me planting myself on my couch and not moving until I finished.

Emily is seventeen-years-old and lives an admittedly sheltered life, not that she minds. She’s very close to her mother and stepfather and trusts them implicitly. She’s a good student, with a great group of friends. Her biological father is one of the leaders of a motorcycle club,and her interactions with him are restricted to one day a year. She may be curious about him at times but she has no desire to have him be an active part of her life. Then circumstances force her to visit him in his hometown and it turns her entire summer upside down. What was meant to be a short trip turns into a summer vacation (not that she sees it as a vacation at first). During her stay, she gets to know her extended family, learns more about their lifestyle and she meets one extremely hot and charming guy named Oz, who ends up becoming her first real friend there (and more!).

On the flip side, we do get to see Oz’s point-of-view and his life couldn’t be any more different. He’s lived in this town all his life. He considers her extended family to be his family. And he wants nothing more than to become a member of the Reign of Terror. Emily’s father gives him the responsibility of protecting her and if he can do that, he’s in. Of course, protecting her most definitely doesn’t include making out with her but that’s part of what makes their relationship so great. Gotta love a forbidden romance! Despite their different lives and initial first impressions of each other, they quickly learn that there’s more to each than meets the eye. He sees her fiery spirit and kind heart. She sees his loyalty and how deeply he cares. And yeah, they also see the intense attraction between them. It’s hard to ignore and I wanted them to cave into it immediately.

But Nowhere But Here is about so much more than that. It’s very much about family as well and  that’s what really hit me. Emily gets to discover her roots. Part of her roots includes learning the truth about the relationship between her parents and getting to know her grandmother. We also get a deep look into her relationship with her stepfather and the truly amazing dad he’s been to her. This is a girl with a lot of family who love her deeply and it’s those moments that always turn me into a sap when I read about them.

(No) Reservations
More Oz and Emily please?

Do I recommend?
I do! If you’re already a fan of Katie McGarry, you won’t be disappointed. And if you haven’t read her books yet, you must start!


  1. I am an absolute fan of Katie McGarry and I haven't seen a single bad review of this book. I have read her Pushing the limits series and I completely fell in love with all the characters and the stories. So glad to hear you have enjoyed it! Is the rest of the Thunder Road series going to be companion novels like the Pushing the limits series?

  2. "More Oz and Emily please?" -- I couldn't agree more. I seriously want more of these two! Actually, I just want more of this world with the Reign of Terror motorcycle club. Who would have thought I'd be able to say that? But you were spot on when you told me I'd enjoy Nowhere But Home. I really, really did, and I absolutely cannot wait for more!


with love,