Monday, May 9, 2016

Blog Tour: Dare to Take

I love a good, steamy, enjoyable romance every once and awhile. Actually, who am I kidding? I enjoy them as often as I can in between some of the other books I have to review. Because I've read two of Carly Phillips' Dare to Love books before, I knew I wanted to read Dare to Take, the latest (and possibly last...but don't quote me on that) in the series. It was exactly what I was looking for and I devoured it in one day.

Here's the synopsis:
A one-night stand.
A secret.
A mistake they tried to forget.
 On leave from the army, Tyler Dare is just looking for a little fun, but his sister's best friend is off limits. Yet unable to deny how sexy and alluring she is, he finds it all too easy to succumb to a night of passion and heat that ends the next morning in the worst way possible.
 There are just some guys you don't touch-- even someone as innocent and inexperienced as Ella Shaw knows that. But when her best friend's brother is up for grabs and willing, she can't resist. After all, she's wanted him for years...
 Now, Ella is stranded on a tropical island with a hurricane bearing down, and only Tyler can save her. It's his chance to make amends for the past and show the woman he's never forgotten that he's coming after more ways than one.
I really liked Ella. She's a smart, strong woman who's fiercely independent and an amazing friend. That independence comes from a less than ideal childhood and is actually one of Ella's flaws. It's hard for her to accept help and accept the fact that some people, like Avery, her best friend, and Tyler, Avery's brother, want to help her and think the world of her. For most of the novel Ella is unable to let her issues go and that causes huge problems with Tyler, who wants nothing more than to make sure Ella is taken care of. The issues Ella had to work through made so much sense based on her past and, even though it was annoying when they created roadblocks in her relationship with Tyler, it was still easy to love her and hope for a picture perfect Happily Ever After.

Ella and Tyler had crazy chemistry and I loved reading and waiting for them to finally get together (again). It wasn't just chemistry between the sheets, either. (Though those scenes were definitely enjoyable.) Once the two started to put aside and work through their issues, you could tell they had a solid foundation for a relationship - which is probably why they both quickly realized that whatever they were doing was more than "just sex". 

The one thing I find awkward about companion series like this one are the sheer number of names and characters tossed around. Because Dare to Take is so late in the series, everyone else is already coupled up and having babies, adding even more names into the mix! There was also this odd character whose full name was mentioned and Ella had one conversation with and we never hear from again. As far as I could tell, the only reason Jillian Novak is brought into the story is because Ella needed someone who wasn't Avery to vent to about Tyler. I did wonder if she was a character in another of Phillips' novels. (A quick Google search returns nothing but it could be the character was named after Jill Shalvis and Brenda Novak - two other romance authors.) I also wasn't a huge fan of how the next series was introduced. It seemed to forced to have Kade show up in the epilogue the way he did. But maybe I'm just being super nitpicky and thinking too much about these things.

Dare to Take wasn't my favourite out of all the Carly Phillips novels I've read. Maybe it's because everything between Ella and Tyler seemed too easy or that the problems that came up were just based on stubbornness and not communicating. I can handle that in some romance novels but something about this one didn't quite work for me. I did enjoy reading it though, I promise. I didn't want to put it down and I think a big part of that is because it's a second chance romance - one of my favourite kinds of romance novel! I don't like to think of this as the final Dare to Love book so I might actually backtrack and start reading some of the earlier ones I missed!

*A copy of this novel was provided by Rockstar PR & Literary Agency for the purpose of a blog tour. All opinions are honest and my own.*

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