Review: The Dare by Elle Kennedy

THE DARE
Series:
Briar U #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: June 16, 2020

College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

AMAZON

Yup, hungering for Conor Edwards is very, very bad. Because he’s exactly the kind of man who will break my heart. Even if he doesn’t mean to.

I’m like a kid at a candy store when it comes to Elle Kennedy books. Every time she releases a new one, I do a happy squeal and a dance around the room. I just can’t help myself. Her books are my happy place.

Now don’t pay much mind to my rating. Because a 3.5 star for me means that I enjoyed it. Quite a bit actually. This was a super cute, slow burn, friends-to-lovers trope with plenty of laughs and deliciously steamy. Of course I will never get enough of the Briar boys, so I was all over this like white on rice.

Conor. *swoons* Who doesn’t like a sexy goofball that’s quite the manwh*re but with a heart of gold and plenty of hidden insecurities and vulnerabilities. Certainly not me. I fell fast and hard for this man.

Taylor and Conor are a total case of opposites attracting. Taylor is trying to survive her sorority one ridiculous dare at a time. With some catty girls that certainly have it out for her, it’s not as easy for her to slide under the radar at their parties. So when she gets dared by one of her more catty sorority sisters to pick up the hottest guy at the party, she goes for it. And tells him exactly what she’s doing and begs for his help. Conor, being the true gentleman that he is, is happy to oblige. And so begins the cutest friendship with an overload of sexual tension. It was sew gewd! I absolutely loved these two together.

What I didn’t love was the amount of time this story focused on their insecurities. Taylor and her body issues eventually began to wear on me. I think us females all suffer from this so I can absolutely sympathize with a girl that’s on the curvier side who is constantly surrounded by skinny perfection having some body issues. But she focuses so much on this, that it began to wear on me. It’s all she thinks about. I was thrilled to see her finally grow a backbone towards the later part of the story and begin to come out of this shell, but I’m not going to lie, it did drive me a bit crazy. Considering that Conor has his own insecurities to boot with not being good enough and going from dirt poor to the rich and have everything side and still feeling like he doesn’t belong. However, so much of the story concentrated on this, that it began to wane my interest a bit. I found myself pausing more than usual and it took me a lot longer to finish than any other Elle Kennedy book.

That being said, the ending of the story certainly made up for a lot of this. I loved seeing Taylor take back her power and the way that things resolve in her sorority. I also really loved the way that her and Conor both fight for each other. They’re not my favorite Briar couple, but they’re still up there. There’s a secondary relationship that happens in this book that I absolutely LOVED. It served up some laughs to boot.

If you’re looking for a swoony and steamy New Adult sports romance, this will certainly fit the bill. Was it my favorite in the series. Not quite. But it still hit the spot just right.

#NewRelease & Review: The Perfect First by Maya Hughes

THE PERFECT FIRST
Series: Fulton U #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: April 25, 2019

“How long do you last in bed?” Those were her first words to me, swiftly followed up with, “And how big would you say you are?”

Cue the record scratching, what?!

Persephone Alexander. Math genius. Lover of blazers. The only girl I know who can make Heidi braids look sexy as hell. And she’s on a mission. Lose her virginity by the end of the semester.

I walked in on her interview session for potential candidates (who even does that?) and saw straight through her brave front. She’s got a list of Firsts to accomplish like she’s only got months to live. I’ve decided to be her guide for all her firsts except one. Someone’s got to keep her out of trouble. I have one rule, no sex. We even shook on it.

I’ll help her find the right guy for the job. Someone like her doesn’t need someone like me and my massive…baggage for her first time.

Drinking at a bar. Check.

Partying all night. Double check.

Skinny dipping. Triple check.

She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met. The walls I’d put up around my heart are slowly crumbling with each touch that sets fire to my soul.

I’m the first to bend the rules. One electrifying kiss changes everything and suddenly I don’t want to be her first, I want to be her only. But her plan was written before I came onto the scene and now I’m determined to get her to re-write her future with me.

AMAZON

I’d give her the other firsts, as many as I could, because if I gave her too much, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from never wanting to stop.

Calling all New Adult Romance fans, because The Perfect First is an absolute must read. It was a swoony, quirky, steamy, funny and utterly endearing page-turner. I devoured this. I binge read it. I couldn’t put it down for even a minute.

I’ve read my fair share of New Adult romance and some of these stories are a dime a dozen. But this was not one of those stories! There was this uniqueness to this book that just resonated with me. It made it into one of those books that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Shy virgin meets sexy college football superstar? Yes, please. But this book was so much more than that! I think what really made the story for me was Seph. On paper, she’s not a heroine that I gravitate towards. She’s a shy and totally sheltered genius. She has no friends because she has no idea how to handle social situations. She’s never so much as been exposed to them outside of school mixers with older professors and tutors. But she’s not the quirky introvert that I was expecting. Her father is a domineering tyrant that expects nothing short of extraordinary from her and it’s been a weight on her shoulders for her entire life. Being away from home and in college, she’s determined to have all of the firsts that she’s missed out on her entire life, even if she has to take an ad out for the perfect first to take her virginity.

Reece doesn’t answer her ad. He has no shortage of willing females on campus being the football superstar that he is. But when he inadvertently stumbles on Seph’s “interview session” he can’t help but be intrigued by the girl. What starts as an unlikely friendship soon begins to develop into something neither one of them were expecting.

I can’t tell you enough just how much I loved Seph’s character. There was this sweet and naive quality to her. It was so entertaining to see her grow into herself with each new experience she has with Reece. Until she finally grows into someone that stands up for what she wants. I loved watching her become more and more comfortable in her own skin. I loved the way her friendship with Reece slowly develops into that something more. I seriously couldn’t get enough of the two of them together.

The Perfect First was simply delicious! I’m talking finger-licking good sort of NA and I’m beyond excited for this brand new series. Every secondary character that’s been introduced already has my full attention and all of the grabby hands. I need LJ and Nix’s books like YESTERDAY. If you’re a fan of fun and quirky NA with plenty of steam, unique characters, and a romance that you will root for from begging to finish, The Perfect First is NOT TO BE MISSED!


Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.

Author Links

INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

GIVEAWAY

Review & Excerpt: The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney

THE COACHING HOURS
Series: 
How to Date a Douchebag #4
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: February 5, 2018

THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.

Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about.

This story is about me—the coach’s daughter.

When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university’s take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he’d make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.

Wrong on both counts.

ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.

A bet is placed, and I’m on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first.

Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.

And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.

AMAZON 

She perks up. “Wait, you’ve never had a back massage?”“No?”

“Ever?”

“Nope.”

“Well, what the hell? How can I, in good conscience, lie here letting you rub my back when you’ve never had anyone rub yours?” She scoots over, pointing to the mattress. “Lie on your stomach, I’ll do you first.”

I wave my hands in front of me in protest. The last thing I need is her warm hands roaming my body. “No, no, you don’t have to. It’s not a big deal.”

“Are you crazy? Back massages are the best—like, better than an orgasm. You’re first, so lie down.”

“And you call me the bossy one?”

“Quit stalling and get on the bed.”

Obediently, I climb to the middle of my bed in nothing but a pair of gym shorts, legs hanging off the side. Next to me, the mattress dips, Anabelle on her knees, approaching my side.

A finger glides down my spine. “It will be easier for me to do this if I’m sitting on you. Hope that’s okay.”

“Is that the approved method?”

“No, but my arms will get tired if I have to lean over you the whole time.”

“Do whatever then, I don’t care.”

I stiffen when Anabelle swings one leg over my body, straddling my ass. Warm palms at my lower back.

“You’re so tense. Try to relax,” she coos, making it worse. “Tilt your head to the side, that’s it.”

I hear the lotion bottle snap open. Click closed. My roommate’s palms rubbing together, warming it up. “Sorry, I don’t have any actual massage oil. This will have to do.”

When her hands make contact with my back, I almost groan it feels so fucking good. Warm. Smooth. Pressure in all the right places, pushing gently into my muscles.

Slowly.

Slower still, caressing along my shoulders, thumbs and fingers working together to soothe the burning on my right side.

“Doesn’t this feel great?” Her soft voice cuts into the silence. “You’re loosening up. That’s good.”

I feel her leaning as her hands move up and down my spine until they stop, hovering at the base of my neck. Thumbs stroking the skin below my hairline, back and forth.

Kneading.

Her torso dips, hands maneuvering my arms, placing them at my sides. Palms slide up and down my biceps.

For several minutes, she rubs my arms and shoulders. Then she skims down my ribcage unhurriedly, in no rush, making little humming sounds inside her throat.

I know I’m not imagining the feather-light way her hands drift down my spine. I remain still, letting her touch me, basking in it.

Remain still when her lips kiss the tender spot of my shoulder where it meets my neck, nose nuzzling behind my ear, her breasts rubbing against my back and what the fuck was that all about? What does she think she’s doing, trying to drive me insane?

 

A heart is racing but I’m not sure if it’s his or mine. I’m not sure whose heart is beating fastest.

This final installment in the Douchebag series was the complete antithesis of why I was originally hooked on it. There are no douchebags, no cocky jock hero, no hate lust, no enemies to lovers vibes. But what it did have was a swoony, slow burn friend to lovers story that was full of sizzle and smiles.

There are no jocks to be found in this book. Well, not the main character anyway. But there is the coach’s daughter, her friendship with a guy that she didn’t see coming, and the development of their relationship from something sweet to something with a lot more sizzle.

I love a good friends to lovers trope, and this one delivered in spades. The progression of the relationship in this book was what really made it for me. It was just so perfectly paced. I loved getting a nice guy for once, though that’s not to say he was without his own brand of issues. And while the book took a turn into a particular plot device that I’m not typically a fan of, it totally worked for me here. I also loved a particular secondary character that gets redeemed in this story. This served as the perfect icing on the cake.

This story was cute and swoony, and definitely hit the spot just right. There’s a reason this author went straight to my auto-buy list from the very first book in this series; her versatility to deliver amazing characters that stand out in their own right is just a small part of it. I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I can’t wait to see what Sara Ney has in store for her readers next.


Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Website

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: