*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
And here I thought Grandma Nadine’s meddling ended with the Titus brothers. I’ve never been gladder to be wrong in my whole life. Written in Rachel van Dyken’s trademark wit and humor, The Dare is an enjoyable end (?) to her Bet books. But damn, I don’t think I’m prepared to say goodbye to Grandma just yet!
Rating: 4 out of 5 Grandma Nadine stars
Boring Beth Lynn has always lived up to her nickname… until she wakes up in a hotel bed next to a sexy as sin state senator she re-connected with at a wedding the previous night.
The biggest problem? She can't seem to remember anything about the night before except for crying into a box of cookies, and she’s pretty sure Grandma Nadine slipped something in her drink. And what should have been a one night stand turns into a six day adventure when Grandma whisks them off to Hawaii to save them from the ensuing media firestorm.
Jace isn't looking for commitment — he believes he made that clear when he left the wedding with Beth. Then again, he can't remember much of anything other than the way her skin felt beneath his hands. Now he's stuck with her at some lame couple’s retreat and trying his hardest to fight the attraction only a woman like Beth could invoke.
He doesn’t think it can get any worse.
But one spider attack… A donkey ride from hell… And an unfortunate episode with Viagra tea — and there’s one thing Jace knows for sure: He should never have agreed to Grandma Nadine’s suggestion in the first place.
Because if this isn’t paradise, and it isn’t a vacation — that only leaves one option.
But to make it through alive… they might lose their hearts in the process.
The Dare is written much like the first two books in the series. It is told in dual POVs: Beth’s and Jace’s. I think this is RVD’s greatest edge when it comes to writing. She’s able to get well inside the head of her characters that each POV is unique to that character. I mean, even without the chapter headings indicating who’s telling the story, it’s clearly evident who is. You know it’s Jace. You know it’s Beth. And I love that! It gives her characters more depth and definition and allows readers to connect with them on a less superficial level.
And also like the first two books, what played a huuuuge part in the plot of The Dare is Grandma Nadine’s attempts to set-up Beth and Jace (both of whom we first meet in The Wager). She just can’t leave well enough alone. After *spoiler* successfully setting up her grandsons Travis and Jake (who are now happily married to the love of their lives, all thanks to Grandma), she takes on the challenge of bringing together Beth (Jake’s wife’s sister) and Jace (the Chris Hemsworth lookalike senator who Grandma Nadine enlisted to help get Jake and Char on the love train). Nothing is off-limits to Grandma.
Beth and Jace, after a one-night stand that they know would ruin Jace’s career, are whisked off to a private island to give time for the media shitstorm to die down. When they get there, they unknowingly find themselves on a couples’ retreat… and they aren’t even a couple. Not if Grandma Nadine has anything to say about it! Man, that woman can give Patti Stanger a run for her money!
What I love about Beth and Jace is that as much as they both seem to know nothing about each other at first, it turns out that their feelings run much deeper than the instant attraction they feel for each other. There’s a history there and I’m not about to say anything about it. It’s something you have to read the book to find out! All I can say is that for Jace, Beth was the one that got away.
Right from the first page, their chemistry is undeniable. Jace’s cockiness goes head to head with Beth’s willful personality. Add that to the fact that they’re both as stubborn as mules! It makes for quite an interesting pairing, to say the least. And as they try to deny their feelings for each other, Grandma Nadine is there to save the day by shoving them into situations that make it undeniably apparent how perfect they are for each other.
But the thing is, as much as they want each other. Some things always get in the way. This time, it’s Jace’s fear of rejection. He’s had enough of those from Beth… and it goes waaaay back before they met again at Travis and Kacey’s wedding (I swear, you MUST read The Dare!). Is Jace ready to let her Beth get away twice in a lifetime? Or is he finally going to man-up and chase her. And Beth, stubborn as she is, won’t make it easy for Jace. After all, she has resigned herself to a fate with 30 cats in her future, it would take a gesture of epic proportions to get her to see that their fairytale may actually be within reach… if they only dare to reach out.
The Dare is yet another feel-good book from Rachel van Dyken. You know how after reading some books, you just sigh and stare at nothing in particular with a self-satisfied smile? Well, this is that kind of book. The thing about The Dare that I really enjoyed reading is how it makes me laugh out loud one minute, then teary-eyed the next. It evokes a myriad of honest emotions in the reader without being melodramatic.
It was such a pleasure to read and although it is a bit sad to say goodbye to this gang, readers are still left with happy feelings about how their fairytales played out.