Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Review for Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family… siblings shaped by a father’s secrets and betrayal.
Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.
Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. 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.


As the first book in her Dare to Love series Ms. Phillips isn't breaking any new ground but has instead crafted an engaging story with an intensely emotional storyline.  With a story involving secrets, lies, and control issues there's enough upheaval to keep readers turning the pages of this emotional roller coaster ride to HEA between two people struggling with daddy issues.

Ian's a commanding presence who hides the pain of a father who walked away from what Ian always thought was a happy family to create another family.  This act left Ian angry, closed off his emotions, and made him completely dominant in many aspects of his life.  He never wants to set himself up to be hurt again so he tries to control everything around him.  Meeting the enticing Riley though catches him off-guard in the throes of insta-love.  He's even more bent on having her as she's with his half-brother Alex, who he has an adversarial relationship with.  He and Riley have a steamy connection, one based on shared pain courtesy of their fathers.  Their scenes are intense and full of push and pull reactions to Ian's dominance and Riley's fear of being controlled that puts them through the emotional wringer.  Though I didn't feel a deep loving bond between them, their sexual bond is blatant.

Riley is a strong-willed woman who was verbally abused by her father growing up and wants nothing to do with powerful and controlling men.  She too never wants to set herself up to be hurt but can't help being drawn to Ian despite the animosity between him and her friend Alex.  Can she relinquish enough control to make a HEA with Ian or is she destined to be alone forever?  It's a rocky road to redemption and the overcoming of past hurts for them to reach their much-deserved ending with lots of steamy encounters and sparring along the way.  Neither character is perfect but they are memorable as they struggle to put the past behind them to preserve their future.

Ian and Riley are strong characters carrying a lot of emotional burdens.  They're far from warm and fuzzy but they are memorable with their strong-willed natures and sensually dominant connection.  Ian in particular has a lot of emotions to deal with as he discovers his father's other family and must come to an understanding with them and his father.  His pent-up emotions don't always bring out his best side but his hurts are easy to understand and his commanding nature is immensely appealing.  Alex too is appealing and seeing him and Ian interact makes for an even more engaging story as they struggle to accept one another and their part in not only their father's life but Riley's too.  Alex is a strong character in his own right and I look forward to seeing him take the lead in the next book in this series.  Ms. Phillips crafted a solid, if average, series starter that her old fans and new fans will both appreciate!

My rating for this is a B.

*I got this book from the Rock Star PR for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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