Locked Out, by Anna Chastain
Publication: June 18, 2018
About the book:
My name is Holly O’Brian and I am a cautionary tale.
I saw a sexy man across the bar, I let him walk me home, and now I’m pregnant.
Obviously, I left out a few minor details, but I think you get the idea.
I’ve lived a quiet adult life: high school librarian by day, book editor by night (glamorous, I know), and I was fine with it. I loved my jobs, I loved my cute little house…so why did I tempt the fates and go all cavewoman over Dean Slade and drag him home with me by the hair (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration)?
Well, he is the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes on, it’s true. He is broody and gruff and so, so sexy, also true. And the storm that hovers in his eyes, I can’t help but want to be the calm too, at least for one night.
So I guess there is no answer, I guess I followed my heart (a.k.a., my loins) and decided to spend a night with a sexy Marine.
Only now I’m pregnant. And I have to tell him. And I have to let his family into my life. And I have to figure out how I’m going to make room in my schedule for a big, stupid, sexy Marine. Oh. My. Lanta, my life.
I’m so happy to bring you my review of Anna Chastain’s latest novel, Locked Out! Hopefully, you read the previous novel, Locked In, but if not, you can still enjoy this fantastic novel.
While home on leave from the Marines, Dean Slade spotted Holly O’Brian while out one night. They went home together, he went back to the Marines, and she went back to her life as a high school librarian. But then, she discovers she’s pregnant. Not knowing how to reach Dean, she contacts his sister Grace – which results in telling Dean the big news, meeting his mother, and eventually, Dean returning home. Now they’re trying to navigate this new relationship with each other while also wondering if the other may possibly feel all of the tingly feelings that they are.
I absolutely loved this novel. I loved Dean, loved Holly, and especially the presence of Dean and Grace’s uncle Red, who is just a fabulous character. It’s funny because I looked back at my review of Locked In and saw that I wasn’t crazy about Dean in the first book because he was so angry and brooding all of the time. Well, that was not the case this time because I completely fell in love.
Anna Chastain is the master of characterization, always making them so believable and relatable. In Locked Out, she beautifully and slowly unwrapped different sides of Dean and Holly, reminding us that first impressions aren’t always correct and that we never know what’s going on deeper within a person to drive their behavior and actions. Holly started out so fiercely independent and closed off to all of Dean’s family, but as she slowly faced her feelings about Dean, versus her reasons for not wanting to rely on others, she slowly opened up. Dean was the ever-professional, serious, Marine in the beginning. But like Holly, he slowly opened up as he realized and accepted his growing feelings for her. What started as a serious and at times, scary guy, ended up being someone sweet, caring, funny, and lovable.
Locked Out is funny, romantic, at times frustrating, and full of amazing characters that you will fall in love with. This is a great escape novel because Chastain pulls you in from the beginning and you most likely won’t put this one down until you’ve read the last word. This is one of those novels that when you do finish it, you find yourself smiling and feeling happy about the universe! Part women’s fiction, part romance, part comedy – Locked Out should definitely go to the top of your TBR.
*Thanks to Anna Chastain for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!