Sunday, May 1, 2011
Review for When You Dare by Lori Foster
This book is the first in Lori Foster's new series entitled Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor and features sexy and strong men going above and beyond to save those in peril. For Dare Macintosh his latest job is to head south of the border to save his best friend's sister from a human trafficking ring. His mission goes according to plan except for one thing....Molly Alexander. Dare's drawn to her the minute he sees her and is soon racing to find out who had her kidnapped and why. Along the way attraction heats up and the question remains...will he find out who has a vendetta against her before it's too late or will he lose the one woman to ever make him feel alive?
This is a very suspenseful read with lots of action, both in and out of the bedroom, and some very likable characters. Among those that make this story enjoyable is Dare himself. He's super sexy and very able to protect those he cares about. He takes things slow with Molly and acts ever the gentleman when caring for her injuries. Their sexual interludes are sexy and are slowly built up and nicely spaced throughout the story. His assistant Chris is also fascinating and I'd like to know his backstory, but I feel that that will remain somewhat of a mystery. Dare's friend Trace, who we see in a few scenes and whose story will be told next, is very similar to Dare in his strength and the intensity he exudes and I look forward to reading more of his backstory. These men are the best part of the story and the reason I kept reading.
The biggest problem with this story is the heroine. I find Molly to be a very irritating character. Her reactions to her ordeal don't ring true and it gives the impression that she's some sort of superwoman. After being beaten and drugged she continually insists she's fine and immediately starts falling in love with her savior. She never truly seems to have any long term residual problems related to her ordeal and it just feels unrealistic to me. Molly is a romance suspense writer and spends a lot of time explaining what her character does and this allows for the author to inject her own views through the words of her character. It sometimes feels as though the reader's being preached to in regards to the right to read romance novels and while the message is one I agree with, I found it a bit off putting coming from a character. I also got very irritated by her perceived perfection. Both Dare and Chris couldn't stop saying how wonderful Molly is, how brave, how wonderful her writing is, and how strong she is. These constant comments made her less relatable and rather unlikable. And because of how irritating I found Molly, I kept thinking that Dare deserved someone better. He needs someone more real, someone that's not so high up on a pedestal.
The other problem with this story is the villain. The villain was kept pretty well hidden until towards the end of the book, but the reasons behind their actions were unbelievable and a bit laughable. Again, through the villain's motivations, it felt as if the author's agenda was being reiterated and this made for an unsatisfying conclusion.
This book ultimately leaves me feeling annoyed and irritated when I think of the heroine. Molly's extreme perfection leaves me cold and wishing for a more worthy companion to Dare who is exactly what you want in a hero, both sexy and strong. I have enough interest in Trace that I'll definitely pick up his book next and hope that his heroine is more believable and likable. I don't regret reading this book, but wish the author wasn't so heavy-handed in conveying her message.
My rating for this is a C+
*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.
*Book cover photo courtesy of www.goodreads.com.