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Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?
Dare to Submit, though it’s the fourth book in the series, would work well as a standalone. Decklan, like Gabe, the hero of Dare to Surrender, is from the NYC “cousin” branch of the Dare family. If you read book three, you were treated to a short glimpse of this book’s hero.
Decklan, unlike his siblings, isn’t an active part of his family’s nightclub business. He’s a cop, something he’d wanted to do his entire life and a goal which his big brother Gabe made sure still happened after their parents’ untimely death. Losing his parents has left him with some pretty hefty scars, though–Decklan doesn’t like to be touched, and he doesn’t form permanent attachments beyond his family.
Amanda spent her entire life believing that she wasn’t quite enough, thanks to her domineering and critical mother. Her insecurities, along with a disastrous “first time” (seriously, that guy needs to have his private parts given a good kneeing), have led her to choose a life which is rich in friendship but devoid of emotional attachment. But then she meets Decklan…
Unfortunately for the two, they don’t have a “meet cute” story they can share with future kids. I’m pretty sure “Your mother and I met at a private BDSM club where I watched her for months before ever speaking to her” would make any previously well-adjusted offspring require years of therapy. Fortunately for readers, it does make for a good story 😉
Dare to Submit is being billed as one of Ms. Phillips’s hottest books to date, and it does kick the steam factor up a notch above even Gabe’s book. It’s not hard core BDSM, though, it’s much milder. (A reassurance–or warning. Whichever you need 😉 )
Dare to Submit is a quick, but enjoyable read–Decklan is an intense hero, and he and Amanda got closer faster than I thought they would at the novel’s start, which was a bonus. The Florida Dares don’t make an appearance here–though they are mentioned–but both of Deck’s siblings, Gabe and Lucy, show up in keeping with the series’ strong sense of family.
I was a bit nonplussed at first by the relationship’s “black moment”–for some reason, I didn’t realize that Amanda’s secret was that much of a secret at that point–but the characters at fault eventually realize their pigheadedness, get over themselves, and all is well in the end. Everything is wrapped up nicely at the novel’s conclusion, and readers are left waiting to see what will be in store for the next Dare family member to have their own book. (It’s Olivia, whose romantic drama was hinted at in Alex’s book Dare to Desire. Can’t wait!)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
He put his phone back in his pocket just as Max arrived, settling into his usual seat. “I have to say, for a man who insists he’s not going to renew his membership, you’re here all the time lately.”
Max knew exactly why Decklan was here, so there was no point in answering.
“If she does show, at least tell me you’ve got a plan?” Max said, pushing as usual.
“I have no fucking clue.”
“Well I hope you get one.” Max slapped him on the back. “I see Emmy giving me the eye. I’m going to go remind her who’s the Dom,” he said. “You ought to find a sub and do the same.”
“Have fun,” Decklan said, ignoring the suggestion. He wasn’t in the mood. Hadn’t been for a long time, but especially since that night. Since Amanda.
He glanced around the room, familiar with all the spaces and places in the club. The St Andrews cross on the wall was occupied, a dark haired female getting pleasure from absorbing pain. His gaze slid onward. A group of men sitting and talking, their subs at their feet. A quick look confirmed she wasn’t one of them. His emotions were already frayed tonight and if he found her with someone else, he couldn’t promise himself he’d keep a handle on his temper.
He ordered a Glen Livet on the rocks and tried to put his night with her in perspective. Chemistry. They’d had that in spades. But there was something more to her. A strength combined with a vulnerability he didn’t see often. They’d clicked in bed and out. He’d had fun with her, a word he never associated with sex. And most importantly, the thing that unnerved him the most, she tempted him to want her touch. To free her from the restraints so he could feel her soft hands on his cock, her nails at his back, and her arms wrapped securely around him.
Shit. He shouldn’t be here. Didn’t need that kind of intensity and seriousness in his life.
She wasn’t here again, something he took as a sign. Definitely time to go.
He stood, pushed back his chair, turned and saw Amanda paused at the threshold to the main room. His breath left on a whoosh of air, the unexpected sight of her when he’d all but given up, a shock to his system.
Over the last few weeks, he wondered if he’d over exaggerated the memory of her affect on him. No such luck.
Her head bowed, hands clasped together, she was clearly working up the nerve to enter. And every muscle in his body tightened at the sight.
She finally lifted her gaze and glanced around the room, her stare lingering on various places and people, just as he’d done earlier. And then she looked towards the bar. The sounds around him, the people, the lights, everything dimmed. There was only her.
Whatever it was, it was still there.
He’d waited for this moment and now that it was here? Decklan had never backed away from a challenge. He wasn’t about to do so now.
Breathe, breathe, breathe, Amanda told herself. But the very sight of Decklan was both a relief and sent her into panic mode at the same time. His dark eyes slid over her and for a brief second, she feared he was going to dismiss her. She’d unravel if he did.
Then he rose and slowly walked across the room. All the air left her lungs. She hadn’t imagined one thing about him or the intense physical attraction he inspired. Today he wore the same type of outfit, black denim and a black tee-shirt that hugged his masculine, well defined body. She had no doubt he worked out and she still wanted to feel those hard muscles beneath her hands. If he’d let her.
He strode up, so close she was enveloped in his delicious scent, and all her strategic female parts went on red alert. Her nipples suddenly ached for hands, his mouth, his teeth.
“Tell me you came here for me,” he said, not beating around the bush. At all.
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today’s readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carly-Phillips/e/B001I9W0MS