Christine Bell’s Dare Me series reaches a HOT conclusion with Down on Her Knees, Courtney and Rafe’s story. Read on to find out all about it!
Title: Down on Her Knees
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Christine Bell
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Four lessons, no strings…
Detective Rafe Davenport has always made Courtney DeLollis uneasy. While her instincts whisper, Touch him, her mind says, Run. But since she learned that he’s dominant in the bedroom, she hasn’t been able to forget about it. She should be appalled—she knows all too well what happens when a man has too much control—but a deeper, darker part of her is fascinated…
And so is Rafe. The sexual tension between them is thick enough to touch, and damn, does he want to touch. So he suggests something that will benefit them both. Four scenes—because anything more is a relationship, and Rafe won’t go there ever again. Each scenario is designed to tease and torment. To show Courtney that with every submission comes the reward of scintillating pleasure. But once he has Courtney down on her knees, Rafe realizes that she might be the one woman capable of bringing him to his…
Steamy and fun! Down on Her Knees definitely delivered on the promise that Down the Aisle (2.5) hinted at between Rafe and Courtney in a can’t-put-it-down read.
This should work out just fine as a standalone, but you’d definitely get more out of it on the whole if you know the characters already–seeing them here will add another layer to their relationships. It begins at Galen and Lacey’s wedding, and by the end of it the future event that was revealed at the end of Aisle has happened (though we really don’t see much of it, sadly–it’s really just hearsay). Cat’s in the story quite a bit, acting as Courtney’s confidante and wing(wo)man. If you don’t already know these characters, though, don’t worry–you won’t be lost.
There was a lot of laugh-out-loud moments here, both from funny situations and humorous banter. I really do enjoy Christine Bell’s writing style–it’s a lot of fun to read. There’s definitely a serious side to her characters as well, though, and she allows them to work through their problems on their own in a believable way.
I loved Courtney’s internal dialogue. Here’s one scene–where she and Rafe show up for what is supposed to be a group outing only to find out that it’s suddenly just the two of them. It nicely showcases the humor in the novel with a nice bit of the smolder:
She plucked at her shirt and took a deep breath. If she kept touching her clothes, maybe it would help her remember that even though he was looking at her like she was naked, she wasn’t actually nude.
It’d be fine. The others would be here in five minutes tops and then it would all go back to normal.
Why did he insist on saying her name like that? Like he was even giving the syllables oral or something.
“Nice shirt,” he said, his gaze skimming over her figure and leaving a trail of fire in its path.
“Hey. Where is everybody?” She ignored his last comment and focused instead on hitching her purse up on her shoulder. With a deep breath, she willed herself to meet his stare. Mistake. If she didn’t feel naked before, she sure as hell did now. The worst part of it all was that she wasn’t sure whether she wanted to cross her arms over her chest or stretch them above her head so he could get the full view.
“Cat just texted me. Didn’t she tell you? They’re not coming. Some kind of work thing came up.”
Nerves made her throat go instantly dry, and she swallowed hard. Some kind of work thing, huh? Sounded really important. She made an internal note to murder Cat.
“Interesting. Galen and Lacey can’t make it either.”
They stared at each other in silence. What now? Surely this broke all the rules they’d set from the start. Her stomach twisted as she thought over her options. She could go in with him and eat enough funnel cake to get herself seriously ill so she could leave. Or, she could create a superhero alter ego and say that she was needed back at the lair ASAP to meet up with her sidekick, or the city was doomed.
“Are you coming or what?” He was a yard away from her, his body twisted in a way that highlighted his incredible jawline and the way his jeans clung to his powerful thighs.
God help her. Even in the horrendous carnival lighting, he looked like something out of a fitness magazine.
Decisions, decisions. “I, uh—”
He crossed the space between them in an instant, grasping her wrist before she had time to acknowledge the contact. “Look, it’s not like either of us planned this. What would we have done a month ago in this situation?”
“Nothing, I guess. Hung out at the carnival, maybe.”
He raised his dark brows and eyed her, and she pulled at her T-shirt with her free hand. The sheer electricity of his presence had her heart thumping in overtime. How was she supposed to handle an entire evening like this? Four scenes was one thing. Pure fantasy, never to cross over into reality.
A date, intentional or not, was something else entirely.
“Look, we had a deal. I don’t want to mess it up. Or something.” She mentally gave herself a high five for eloquence. She was nothing if not articulate.
His lips quirked in a crooked smile, and he led her toward the entrance. “Let’s not put more on this than there has to be. It’s a night at the carnival between friends, not a proposal, okay?”
Maybe it was his freakish height. Or the mind-melding power of his gaze. She couldn’t pinpoint why. All she knew was that she nodded her agreement before the rest of her body had time to weigh in on a decision. Within minutes, they were strolling through the grounds, marveling over the assortment of weird food carts.
“Tempura-fried Twix bars with bacon bits?” He pointed to a stand where a small rotund man was passing out carton after carton of greasy goodness or grossness, depending upon a person’s preference. “We have to try that.”
“I think I’ll pass, thanks.” She scrunched up her nose and he laughed, flashing his brilliantly white smile. God, there had to be one thing about him for her to focus on to get through the rest of the night. Couldn’t his nose have been crooked at least, or his shoulders not broad enough?
Something, anything, to distract her from the fact that he looked like he’d fallen out of the sky in search of his hammer.
You really can’t go wrong with a Thor reference; am I right? At least it’ll take the image of that Twix abomination out of your head for a bit. 😉
There has to be a limit to what you can add bacon to, right?
While the smexy scenes are definitely hot, they don’t seem to be quite enough to actually be BDSM–I’d say this is a steamy contemporary over erotica. Rafe’s dominant in the bedroom (or anywhere and everywhere else, really), but I don’t think he’s actually a Dom (not that I’m an expert–at all. And it really didn’t bother me one bit–the so-called “scenes” worked just fine for me, thankyouverymuch 🙂 ).
Down on Her Knees offers a satisfying wrap-up to the series, or just a quick, fun, steamy read for newbies.
Rating: B+/ 4 stars
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Bonus! It’s 99 cents for a limited time–definitely more than worth the price!
ABOUT CHRISTINE BELL
Christine Bell is a USA Bestselling Author of contemporary romance novels and one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun, sexy romances, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page, or find her on Twitter @_ChristineBell.