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Under Locke

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  42,379 ratings  ·  3,449 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 497 pages
Published January 19th 2014
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The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana ZapataKulti by Mariana ZapataThe Deal by Elle KennedyUnder Locke by Mariana ZapataWait for It by Mariana Zapata
Slow romance
728 books — 2,318 voters
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana ZapataKulti by Mariana ZapataThe Hating Game by Sally  ThorneThe V Girl by Mya RobartsThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Slow-burn romance
949 books — 2,624 voters

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  42,379 ratings  ·  3,449 reviews

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Although this was not the raunchy, offensive, biker romance that I had anticipated, I really liked 'Under Locke'. Unlike most MC romances, this story does not focus heavily around the debauchery of the clubhouse and the biker lifestyle. There is a little danger and some club business, but it is more in the background vs. being the central focus of the story.

'Under Locke' is a very slow-burn romance. It did take some time for me to get into
A treasure trove of purpletastic prose.

The "love scenes" were simmering with so many beefy and meaty shafts, as well as mushroom and bulbous heads, that I wasn't sure if the characters were making love or cooking Beef Stroganoff.

They were also very combustible. Was it the Fourth of July?

Oh friggin’ hell. I could feel it. Feel that magical explosion of fireworks and rainbows in my toes.

Fireworks zipped up my spine for so long I thought I’d melt into him, or at least melt around his girth.

My entir
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars!!!

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Under Locke was another amazing read by the queen of slow-burn romance, Mariana Zapata. This was a little more than a slow-burn- it was a bit of a forbidden romance, an enemies to lovers story, and a brother’s friend story. Yes. A trifecta of awesomeness.

Iris Taylor’s life has been anything but easy. She’s had blow after blow since she was young, but that’s all in the past. She’s moving to Texas to start over. With the help of her older half brother, Sonny, she has a place to sta
HOLY crap!! Am I really the first person to review this book???

Well.... In case you were wondering, I got my money's worth on this book!!! It was long, not too long, loved the characters.

Iris was recommended to be a tattoo artist front desk lady by her half brother Sonny. Sonny is friends with the owner(?) of the tattoo shop, Dex. Now they definitely don't have any immediate sexual tension. Dex was an ass to her. Both Iris and Dex are bad with new people. Iris because she's just super shy, and D
If you hate women you will absolutely love this book.

Well since I'm not masochistic it was a downright disgusting and painful read, but I really wanted to rate it so I barreled through.

Iris is the shy, insecure victim who, in her almost 25 years of life, have never had sex.
Why? Why is it so important for the girl to always be a fucking virgin? I don't know why it's pissing me off except that it sends the wrong message to girls. That as soon as they have sex they're tainted and damaged goods o
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
Mariana Zapata is an amazing storyteller! First, I was captivated by Kulti, then fell madly in love with The Wall of Winnipeg, and now Under Locke has stolen my heart.

Dex is a douche to start, but Riss - without even trying - brings him to his knees and it was a thing of beauty to behold. They're such a fantastic couple!

This story is definitely edgier than those others I mentioned, and it's the closest to "just like Kristen Ashley" I've read.

No doubt about it...Ms. Zapata writes awesome charact
• Jodi Bibliophile •
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“Babe, I've handpicked everythin' and everyone in here. I know what I want and I get what I want," he breathed. "And I keep what's mine.”


What the fucking fuck am I going to do with my fucking dull life now!!!!

Why did it have to end!!!!!

Oh my Dex.

I went 30 years without ever knowing you and now I can’t handle even one minute away from you.

I’m fucking RUINED!!

When I read my first book by this amazing author about 3 weeks ago I thought to myself ‘Holy fuck! This chick can fucking wri
Sophia Triad
Dex Locke: "You've gotta be the best thing I never knew I wanted."
Iris Taylor: "I wanted to tell him that he was the best thing l never thought I'd have."

I met briefly Dex and Iris in Kulti's book. It was when Kulti went to Austin with Sal to have a tattoo and he had chosen the best shop, i.e. 'Pins and Needles'.
I loved Sal's description of Dex:
"I'd never been a fan of guys that looked like they'd gone to jail, but you'd have to be blind to not appeciate how good-looking the man was,
Aisling Zena
Re-read 6/11/17, 28/8/18

4.5 stars

I might be late for the Mariana Zapata bandwagon but I finally got here! I wont do a full review as there are already many amazing ones out there.

If like me you haven't had a chance to read this fantastic author, I suggest you bump her books up your tbr list and pronto! If you haven't heard of her please check her out she is totally worth it. A master of the slow build romance. Do give her a try!

While reading this, Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls kept playing in my
SamJ ★Needs a HEA★
I loved this.

Admittedly, it took me a couple of chapters to get into it, at first the writing seems a bit choppy and a cpl of times I had to go back a page or two to remind myself of a question a character had asked.

However, once it settles and who was who, what connected them and the history of the characters made itself known, it just flowed and I started to really enjoy it.

Iris Taylor has had a hard life. She has had to move across country and move in with her half brother who is part of the
Giorgia ~ Reads

Just re-read this because M. Zapata has it as a freebie on Amazon (in case anyone is interested) and I had it on KU last time.

Anyway, it was as good as I remembered. I’ve noticed things that escaped me before - or rather, I didn’t appreciate as much before. I was saying a million Hell Yes’es in my head while Iris was giving Dex some lessons in human interaction 101 lol.

But honestly, I totally loved Iris. She had loads of self respect. Was she insecure and naive at times? Sure. But at
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it

It started out as this...

At some point, it turned into this

Cue a decade later and the baby ended up like this...

There was nothing explosive in this book. The story arc resembled a

That's not necessarily a bad thing. In lieu of a roller coaster ride, we had a slow burn. I love it when attraction gradually evolves into love. This book had the makings of something great:
1. A well developed love story. The plot was brimming with unresolved sexual tension;
2. A cold asshole for the H - ju
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, romance
I know Zapata books are famous for the slow-burn romances. I loved her other book Kulti which made me decide to read some of her other books.
Dex and Iris make a guest appearance in Kulti which made me select this as my next read as I really wanted to know more about them.

Even before I started with this one, I knew looking at some of the reviews this is not as good as Kulti and my verdict is the same. It is nowhere near as good as Kulti. It maybe unfair to compare it to another book even though
bella farren
5/5 stars


this is beginning to get ridiculous, but I still adore this book every time I read it, it's my comfort read

SO I reread this only a week after finishing it, I just couldn't get the characters out of my head and I didn't want to read anything but this. And I don't regret a thing. I loved it just as much the second time around, I relate hardcore to Iris and I just want a Dex for myself. I highlighted some of my favourite passa
Yeasmin Alo
🔞💦T-H-I-R-S-T💦 TRAP🔞

Charlie Dexter Locke:

"But you," his nostrils flared, "my sweet, sweet baby, have gotta be my favorite by far. I think you win first through one-hundredth place."


His teeth nipped at my jaw. "Love you like this," he murmured. "All soft and wet for me, baby." Dex thrust hard, making me cry out. "My own sweet little pussy… all mine… isn't that right, honey?"

"You're doin' so fuckin' good, baby—squeeze—shit, squeeze me a little harder, h
Sheryl C. Nash
LOVED IT!!! I loved how sweet and funny it was and most of all I loved how NON-GRITTY it was!!! I get that being in a MC is not all rainbows and unicorns, but I honestly do not need to read the brutal aspects of it hence why this book was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for me!!!

Sure, there seemed to be elements of KA in this book, but heck, KA inspired lots of indie writers out there and I for one LOVE KA and her writing, so if I read it and it reminds me of KA AND its not a rip off (and it wasn't at all th
Edit: Re-read a few good parts because this is one of Zapata's books that I have selective memory for🙈 (yes that implies that I am BIASED).

Okay so I'm gonna go ahead and say this- I totally had a love-hate relationship with this one for like 60-70%. One minute I liked them and the next I was shaking my head so hard, my neck was aching.

This review isn't going to be coherent at all, and as it is there are a lot of amazing ones.
Did I like this? Duh. Of course yes! It's Mariana Zapata and it's hard
✰ Liz ✰
"You’ve gotta be the best thing I never knew I wanted."

Under Locke is another brilliant slow burn romance by the "Slow Burn Queen" Mariana Zapata! With forbidden romance, motorcycles, a smoking hot tatted bad boy, and one spunky heroine, Under Locke is 497 pages of pure goodness. Iris Taylor just moved to Austin and lands a job working as a receptionist at a tattoo shop. Her boss Dex is everything Iris is NOT! He is cocky, gruff, and confident. Although Iris is determined to embrace thi
⊱✿⊰ Alicia ⊱✿⊰
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: slow-burn
4 Stars!!

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Mariana is the queen of slow burn, as I have said before I am not usually a fan but so far I have enjoyed all of Mariana's books. I found Under Locke didn't have as strong of a plot as her other books and at times I did get a little bored but it picked up.

Iris moved to Texas after her younger brother Will who she'd been raising joined the military. She moved in with her older half brother who is a member of the Widowmakers MC, the same club her no good father was a part of.

 photo gettingtattooed_zpspbxzyaiu.gif

Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars

"You've gotta be the best thing I never knew I wanted."

This is the story of Iris, broke and living with her brother, she takes a job at a tattoo parlor. Unfortunately her new boss is a total jerk. She just has to work there long enough to get another job elsewhere....

“Babe, I've handpicked everythin' and everyone in here. I know what I want and I get what I want," he breathed. "And I keep what's mine.”

The first half of this book I really enjoyed, the second half got a little b

Ever since reading the book that literally put me in the worst book slump ever, because it was so effing fantastic, I've made it my mission to read everything MZ has or will ever write. That book is Kulti. I still get goose bumps when I see it. It might seem irrational? Maybe others who've read it are scratching their heads, but to me, it was the gold standard.
Anyways...this was really, really good. I loved it. I'm also glad I waited so long after finishing Kulti, because anything woul
Reread Dec. 2020

Bumping it up to 5 stars. Past Whitney was trippin'

Original Rating and Review:

4 stars!

I’d never been a big fan of that saying, “Everything happens for a reason,” but maybe, sometimes, every once in a while, things coalesced into a complex, intangible reason. With tattoos and piercings and bad words and unfailing loyalty topped with a temper. And in its own imperfect way, it couldn’t have been any better.

Iris Taylor is starting over in a new town. She left behind haunting memo
I thought Winnipeg was brilliant but this was even better.

A slow burn, featuring a biker gang, an asshole boss, one of my favourite female characters ever and (when we finally got there,) the hottest, most erotic smut I've read in a long time.

And he's got a dirty mouth. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.

I absolutely loved this one. Highly recommended and on ku.
Review written May 9, 2016

3.8 Stars - Nice and fun, a tiny bit too 'longish', but all in all very good

Yes it is strange but true, I went from listening to one MC Club m/f (Chaos #1 by KA) directly to another one. Even, yes even, if I'm not even sure I like (or can fully tolerate) these MC club world's in my romances. Well, we don't always do what best for us. Or?

This time was it a pretty sweet and nice MC story by an author that already impressed me with her wonderful funny and lighthe
Reread 1/12/2021 to 1/14/2021
I loved this book just as much the second time around.
One of my favorites by MZ.
5 stars for the Queen of slow-burn romance.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I picked this book up without reading the blurb as I am so smitten with this author's writing and ability to tell a story that I had no doubt I would enjoy it and I really did. In fact I ended up loving this book.
I admire the way Mariana slowly builds up the story and develops her characters, making them deep, com
Renegade ♥
5 stars

Another one by Ms. Zapata to add to my favorites shelf. *smile*

Also want to mention that I really enjoyed the narration/audiobook by Callie Dalton.

(I would definitely listen to more from CD in future, as I loved her narration/performance of Kulti as well.)


ETA on 01/26/18

Wrote this in one of my group threads so I'm adding it here:

UL has a KA like feel, was a slow burn to some degree (though definitely not to the degree of Kulti or The Wall of Winnipeg and Me) and Locke can be a mean SO
3.5/5 stars

“You’ve gotta be the best thing I never knew I wanted.”

I just flew through this story!! I've been fully captivated by this slow-burning romance novel for the last few days, and now all I want to do is binge this author's other books. Dex and Iris had an emotional journey full of humour, romance and friendship. I absolutely loved the slow pace to their romance as I could become full enveloped in their story and watching their relationship grow an thrive. Under Locke was a beautifu
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm late on posting a rating for this book. My family got sick and then passed it to me. Once I was recovered my laptop cord broke. When it rains it pours. So, I'm behind in reviews and blogging.

Since it's been awhile since I listened to it... I'll make this quick. The cover has a motorcycle on it and while this has some elements of a motorcycle romance I wouldn't categorise it a hardcore Sons of Anarchy type of book. If you like slow to burn romance then give this one a try. I enjoyed listeni
Michelle [Helen Geek]
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone. A nice solid read
Recommended to Michelle by: GR KA Ladies
03/10/2016 -- Re-read this and enjoyed it as much the second time. Maybe a bit more.

02/02/2014 -- Original read

Overall Rating = 4 Stars
Book Cover / Book Blurb / Book Title = 3 / 3 / 4 = 3.5 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 4 Stars
Character Development = 4 Stars
Story Appreciation = 4 Stars
Worth the Chili = 5 Stars -- [$2.99 on Amazon]
Smexy [HEAT] Rating = Mild
915 pages, but felt more like 450 or so.

I really enjoyed this one. I've seen it compared to Kristen Ashley, maybe. If so, it was much better. As much
Dee Montoya
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
***3 Unexpected Stars***

Let me start by saying that this is not your typical MC story, the characters in this book are more of Motorcycle enthusiasts who are loyal to each other and wear leather cuts only when they hang out together. No mayor use of curse words, no whoring around and getting wasted every single day, these guys all own different businesses and look after each other, and I enjoyed this fact more than I thought I would, very refreshing!

Iris Taylor has had a difficult life; after h
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