I’ve been a big Kendall Ryan fan and generally rate her books four or five stars but “The Dare” just doesn’t live up to the hype. The opening gambit is a great hook but it goes downhill from there. Cade is a sometimes cage fighter/construction worker/new to the role of porn star. He’s over endowed in the “package” department when he has to go to the ER with a massive, painful erection from taking not one but two of the little blue pills so he could perform for the cameras. He passively takes them at the insistence of the creep directing the porn flick. Duh! Neither of them is the brightest bulb in the box. In the ER, his student nurse Alexa is young, fresh-faced, beautiful and obviously well brought up. She’s intrigued by his predicament and only so-so sympathetic but she doesn’t know Cade is making porn flicks to be able to pay for his six year old sister Lily, of whom he has sole custody and she suffers from Spina Bifida. Dramatic enough?
Later when Alexa and her friends are out celebrating her 21st birthday, she runs into Cade at a club. Seems she’s still a virgin but not by choice and he agrees to help her take that off her To-Do List, big hearted guy that he is. Fast forward to one night of phenomenal sex between them and the resultant insta-love on Alexa’s part. But the relationship is fraught with land mines because she doesn’t know his reasons for the porn star role – good money that will help with Lily’s medical costs. She’s from a wealthy family and is clueless about things as mundane as financial need. And everything goes awry from that point on.
The plot is promising but fails to deliver. The action is rushed and unconvincing. The characters lack authenticity and the conflict is contrived at best. Add to that my disappointment from the numerous typos, mixed up homophones; e.g. bare/bear and shuttering/shuddering and the resultant distractions to the reader from sloppy writing and a lack of decent copy editing. I expected better from author Ryan. I’ve nagged before about her closer to novella than novel length stories and this one is no exception in that area. (Sigh) Three stars.
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