Review: ★Dare Me★ by Stella Rhys

Review- Dare Me
Dare Me
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Stella Rhys
Release Date: September 30, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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CALLUM

Lake and I never had a chance at normal. She was drop dead gorgeous from day one – our maid’s granddaughter who became my mother’s spoiled living doll. I hated that girl with all my heart and at the same time, I worshipped every inch of her skin, every word that she spoke. I lived for her and the twisted game of truth or dare we created to feed our f***ed up needs for shock, shame and one-upping each other. Lake was my drug, my bad lifestyle choice.

And I’d fallen in and out of love with her a thousand times till the day she disappeared.

LAKE

I know I ruined Callum Pike and going back to New York may be the worst decision I’ve ever made, which is saying a lot. But I’m willing to risk it. I never wanted to leave and now that I can, I’m going back – to be with the man I made, who made me. I know I screwed him up. I know he’s hardened and become cold. I know the love we had is gone. But I need him now more than ever and no matter how much it hurts, no matter what kind of sick or satisfying way he decides to torment me, I’m going to fight through it.

I’m going to repent for the way I broke him and I’m going to find the Callum Pike I loved again – even if it tears me apart.

**a standalone novel**

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Review3.5 starsDare Me2-DGR

Dare MeDare Me by Stella Rhys
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars


Plain and simple, I hated her…
Because of my mom, this random girl became my damned responsibility, and I wound up hating her as much as I fucking loved every inch of her skin and every goddamned word that she spoke.


Now before I get into my review, allow me to clarify my rating. 3.5 stars means I liked the book. Quite a bit. And I did. I loved the story, the characters, and I highly enjoyed the writing. There was just one particular part missing for me (which has everything to do with my tastes as a reader and not with the book itself) that kept this being from a solid 4 stars. But I’ll get to that in a bit…

Stella Rhys is a new to me author that caught my attention with this book and it’s delicious synopsis. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the hate-to-love trope and I haven’t read one book with it yet that I haven’t liked. Dare Me was certainly no exception. We have hate to love AND second chance romance all in one book? That’s like waving a bone in front of a rabid dog for me. I kid you not. I’m on it like there’s no tomorrow.

Lake and Callum grew up together when Lake’s grandmother passed away and Callum’s mother unofficially adopted her into the family fold. Always wanting a daughter, she doted on Lake and spoiled her with all the luxuries Lake’s former upbringing didn’t allow her. Callum was the boy that she hated to love…. or is it loved to hate…

While they’re not “together” in their youth, they do allow themselves a game through their truth or dare games that constantly finds them together. They date other people, but always find themselves gravitating towards each other until they finally fall in love….but then Lake disappears and leaves Callum a broken, and cold hearted man in the place of the naive boy that was in love. Now six years later she’s back and determined to right her wrongs, but Callum won’t make it easy on her. He wants answers for her leaving; answers she’s not so ready to give.


Am I worth it to you, Callum?”
“You are. You are and you always will be.”

Now here is where I felt the book had a chance to go from good to great; the flashbacks. The flashbacks to their youth is told in a recap type of writing, that’s not quite past tense and not quite fully recap. Basically you get a retelling of what happened but you’re not fully taken back to the moment…if that even makes sense. This is what effectively took me out of the story a bit. Had the story given an actual flashback as opposed to the recap, it would have been more effective in my opinion. As it was, I felt like I was more on the outside looking in as opposed to truly being a part of the story. I also wished that their past was fleshed out a lot more. As it was, I found it difficult to truly connect to the why’s of their game. They have feelings for one another, but they continue to date other people and they’re never officially together. I can write it off as youthful stupidity or naivety, but there’s never a good enough reason that we’re given. Had this part of the story been fleshed out more, I think I would have been able to connect to it better.

I loved the characters and their romance. Lake and Callum are both very compelling characters. I knew right away that I’d fall for Callum, and I really did. His struggle for his feelings for Lake were like a live-wire you feel though the entire book. He wants to hate her, but he simply can’t because a part of him has always loved her even when he hated her. I didn’t expect for the story to be as deep as it was. It was certainly no shallow hate/love thing they had going on. Lake had her reasons for doing what she did, and the reasons you get piece by piece throughout the story. I really found myself wishing that these reasons were once again told in the form of a true flashback by really taking the reader back to that day as opposed to getting it in the form of a recap, as I felt that this would have made the actual story a lot more compelling. As it was, I found myself going in and out of the story since I did struggle a bit with the transitions of present to “recap” back to present again. For me, it messed with the flow of the story.

I did however really enjoy the author’s voice and writing style. I loved the story itself, my quibble aside, and I can say I would read any future books from this author. If you’re looking for a sexy hate/love story with an intense alpha hero and the heroine that brings him to his knees, this is a book you want to check out. My quibble aside, this is definitely a book I’d recommend and enjoyed myself quite a bit. It may not have been perfect, but it was perfect for my mood and it hit the spot just right.

ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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