Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance

Review – The Dare by J.L. Beck and C. Hallman

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The Dare; North Woods University #2 (Series)
by J.L. Beck and C. Hallman (Authors)

This review is from: June 30, 2019 By Kay Daniels
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Heat Level:🔥🔥🔥🔥

The Dare was a first read for me from both authors. I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything with this being the second book in the series and jumping into it at this point, so The Dare can be read as a complete standalone. The authors write well together, but this book overall just didn’t light my happy book place up.

What exactly does that mean?

Yes, this is a bully romance, I know it’s not all sunshine, giggles and rainbows. I’ve read this trope before, yet at the end of the reading my happy book place should be filled up with a love-hate relationship that I feel content with and lots of happy angst over how the couple arrived at their HEA. The best ones make me feel happy-angsty for days, even weeks after I’ve finished them and honestly I mourn the couple because I’m no longer reading about them once I have to finished the book. Sigh.

Sufficed to say, The Dare did not leave me with that feeling. Most of the time I felt the characters suffered from a whiplash of emotions, which might actually be a more honest teenage emotional landmine and not the fictional bully trope I’ve read. When I read I want to escape instead of facing reality. I still have teenagers at home whose moods turn on a dime, I don’t look forward to reading about them.

While I love a friends to enemies to lovers theme, Vance dove too far into the dark side for my personal tastes. Ava also was a girl who took a lot of personal blame for everyone in her life upon herself. What happens to these two children were the cause of something out of their control and they basically become a sadist and masochist because of it. This isn’t a theme in the story, yet they both have those tendencies and I could see that lifestyle for them in the future.  Perhaps a thought for the future as the series progresses, as these characters mature and need a place to release their emotions.

In conclusion, The Dare just didn’t personally hit my happy spot, but the authors are well written and I would read them again.

Anyway, Vance and Ava are childhood friends. They love playing the game of Truth or Dare. One night this game leads to the course of changing their future forever. Five years later, their parents are getting remarried, to each other, and Ava is moving in to Vance’s mansion. She has no where else to go.

Ava’s father is in rehab, she is beginning college and moving in with her newly married mother is the only smart choice. However, Vance hates his ex-best-friend. He blames her for ending his parents marriage and for what has happened in his life for the past five years.

Ava has no idea what Vance has been up to since they moved away five years ago and her parents got divorced. She has no idea that he hates her guts and that he now has set out to ruin her life. They were once best friends, but things change.

Truth or Dare, which would you pick?

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