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Review – Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

Dare to LovePublisher: Self Published
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: eARC from author

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.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I have been a long time fangirl of Carly Phillips, and when I heard she was going to be doing her next series as self-published books, I couldn’t wait to see what she came up with. This book was a little more sexy than her other books, and who doesn’t love that?

Ian Dare loves his mother and sisters more than anything. But his father and his second family? Ian could do without. The last person he ever expects to find himself lusting after is the best friend of his half-brother and rival, Alex. But something about Riley is captivating to Ian, and he can’t seem to stay away.

Riley has not had an easy life, but her best friend Alex has always been there for her. But the moment she feels herself falling for his half-brother Ian, Riley knows trouble is coming. The two brothers can’t stand each other, and Riley and Ian’s relationship makes everything worse. The only thing that seems to be able to bring these two together is a dark memory from Riley’s past that she would rather forget than deal with.

I loved the set up of this book. The animosity between Ian and his father, as well as his half-siblings was so well done. I can’t imagine finding out your father, that you look up to and adore, has been living this whole double life for years. The ages of all his children span over many, many years, and the only reason his father came clean is because of an illness from one of his daughters. Oh man, the feels associated with this whole situation are off the charts, and Phillips nailed it.

The romance was both awesome, and a little much for me. It seemed like both Ian and Riley fell in love VERY quickly, which surprised me given the way Ian felt toward Riley and her association with Alex in the beginning. It felt as if he went from mild curiosity to lust to hatred to full on “I love you” in the span of two weeks. Their relationship moved a little quick for me on the emotions front, but by-oh-boy were the sex scenes smokin’! Phillips took a new direction in this book. I was a little hesitant because so many mainstream authors are doing the BDSM thing, but I found that Phillips toned-down version worked for me. Phillips didn’t go too over the top, and I felt like there was a good mix of kinky and sweet.

I can’t wait to find out where Phillips takes the family dynamics in this series. It seemed as if Ian and Alex were able to find some common ground, especially when it came to Riley. I hope that we get to see a lot more play out between not only these two, but also the other brothers and sisters. I love watching these messed up family dynamics at work! 🙂

The secondary plot with Riley and her past worked well for me. I thought Phillips did a wonderful job of bringing out Riley’s pain and anguish with her past, and resolving it in a way that worked for everyone. I would love to see Phillips write a romantic suspense book some day, because I think she did a great job incorporating some aspects of RS I love into this story!

All in all I enjoyed Phillips first self published novel. I felt as if the book moved much quicker than her other novels, but it was a good, fast read. I really loved the interplay between the half siblings, and can’t wait to see more of that in future books. The romance between Riley and Ian had a few troublesome spots for me, but overall I really liked them both.
I give Dare to Love a B.

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

3 replies on “Review – Dare to Love by Carly Phillips”

Great review! I was interested to see what Phillips would do with a self-pub as well. I’m with you on the insta-love in this story. It didn’t work for me at all and I also had some trouble with Riley being so okay with Ian’s dominance considering her past. I loved the family dynamic and look forward to seeing where she plans to take it. I liked Alex’s character; I think he’s up next!

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