I read and reviewed DARE TO LOVE here, when it still had its old cover. The next two in the series are just as enjoyable!
When it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.
Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men – until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.
Riley’s outburst popped the bubble of anger that had been surrounding Ian all day. She stood at the elevator, pounding at the button in a panic, and his anger, which should never have been directed at her, dissipated, replaced by concern.
She ignored him.
The elevator door opened, and Ian bolted forward, grabbing her around the waist and yanking her back before she could step inside.
“Put me down!” She struggled, but he waited until the elevator door slid shut to do as she asked.
She spun to face him, fury on her expressive face.
“What the hell was that all about?” he asked.
“You tell me! I came here to check on you, and you treated me like persona non grata in front of your family.”
Yes, he had. He’d never been so angry or hurt, and it made no sense. Why the hell did he care if his half siblings showed up or not when he hadn’t wanted to invite them in the first place? He’d only done it to get Riley’s address and phone number, and when she’d bailed too, he’d taken it as her choosing Alex over him. Which clarified his blinding anger, to camouflage the hurt.
But none of that explained why she’d suddenly freaked—because that’s what she’d done. Yeah, he’d been an ass, but not enough for her to react that way. He knew she wouldn’t budge until he gave in first.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
Her eyes opened wide.
He was just as shocked by the words that came out of his mouth. Words he never used, because in his experience, they made him weak. With this woman, it seemed there was nothing he wouldn’t do or say.
Needing space, he stalked over to the wet bar in the living room and poured himself a drink. Pausing for a long sip as the liquor burned down his throat, he studied her, seeing her for the first time tonight.
She wore a white, strappy dress that clung to her generous curves, her curls falling over her shoulders and down her back. Now that he’d regained his sanity, he wanted nothing more than to grab hold of all that gorgeous hair, pull her hard against him, lose himself in her warm, wet body, and forget that he’d allowed his half brother to get to him. Make her forget that he’d treated her so badly, but that wouldn’t solve anything between them.
They’d both overreacted. He understood his own reactions, at least when it came to her. He still didn’t understand hers, and the mystery of Riley remained.
Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all — an all-star football career and his choice of willing women — until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn’t impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests.
This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love?
Second chance romance FTW!
Alex Dare was a major player–both in football and in the bedroom. Madison Evans totally had his number, and managed to resist his charms–for a while. Once she gave in to their undeniable chemistry, she found herself cautiously optimistic about their chances.
Until Alex’s career-ending injury changed everything.
(Seriously. Thanksgivings have to be a total downer for the guy from now on–so not fair.)
A new, bitter Alex pushes everyone away–and it works, with everyone but his family. His best friend and new sister-in-law Riley seizes a chance to help him get his life back on track by helping others with a new pilot program that will assist athletes prepare for their lives after football before their careers are over. The catch? He has to work closely with Madison, whose heart he shredded last November.
This was such a satisfying read! I loved watching Alex develop back into more of the down-to-earth guy he was before he became the playboy quarterback, and seeing Madison slowly grow to trust him again. Alex and Ian’s relationship too made some major strides–they’re not going to be giving each other mani-pedis anytime soon, but it was nice to see them start to work through their issues together.
A trip to NYC gives us a glimpse of Gabe, the cousin who will star in book three. I am loving this series!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.
Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk losing her for good.
A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more?
Dare to Surrender has a different feel to it from the first two books in the series–not in a bad way, but definitely different.
For one thing, it’s told in both first person (Isabelle) and third person (Gabe) point of view. I liked how it worked here; the fact that each section was indicated with the character’s name and a fun label (for example, two of Isabelle’s consecutive sections were labeled Out of the frying pan and Into the fire) made it even better.
Secondly, even though the Dare family is here, they didn’t feel as if they were quite as much of a focus as in the first two books. Part of this might be due to the fact that Gabe is one of the New York branch, whereas the first two books focused on the Miami Dares. The elder Mr. Dare who resided in New York (he and his wife died just after Gabe’s college graduation) managed to sire only a single family, so there was less family drama here than in Ian and Alex’s books.
Finally, as part of the Invitation to Eden series, a good chunk of the story takes place on the mysterious resort on Eden Island, with gives it more of an escape-from-reality feel. The first two books were definitely more grounded in the everyday lives of the characters.
That said, Dare to Surrender is a great addition to the series. The switch to a more personal drama from the bigger family focus was refreshing–hopefully while we’re spending some time with this side of the family (the next series book is Gabe’s younger brother Decklan’s book) Ian and Alex can put more of their differences behind them. Gabe and Isabelle are great characters–Gabe is another strong alpha hero, like his cousins, though he does seem to have his act together a bit more than his Miami counterparts when it comes to knowing what his woman needs to find her way. Iz managed to re-create herself after her ex did a real number on her, which took a lot of courage and strength.
Overall the conflict and drama of this novel seemed to be brought down a notch from the other two–perhaps the influence of sand and sun? 😉
The island location is intriguing–I’ll definitely be looking into picking up more books in that series to see what kinds of experiences other couples are having there.
And I’m really glad that the Dare family is such a large one. So many more series books to look forward to!
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
And coming soon…DARE TO SUBMIT!
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?
Release: Sept 8
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