Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Dare: Rachel Van Dyken

The Dare
The Bet #3
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From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken, comes the third and final book in the New York Time's Bestselling Bet Series...

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.

What the hell?” A deep voice rumbled from somewhere underneath me.
I closed my eyes.
“You can’t close your eyes. I already know you’re awake.”
“This is all a dream,” I muttered, my voice sounding scratchy and unfamiliar. “I’m a figment of your imagination. Swear. In two seconds you’re going to feel—”
“Shame,” the voice said. “Isn’t that what you were going to say? Absolute mind-shattering shame?”
I opened my eyes. “What?” I should have left them closed.
Really. It’s the small things in life that get you. Close your mouth. Close your eyes. Pretend you don’t see that. Crap. Some things just can’t be forgotten.
And that face?
Those lips?
Bright blue eyes?
Blond hair that fell just below his ears?
Officially stored into my permanent memory until I died, alone with all my cats.
“I was kidding.” Mr. Sexy chuckled. “I just thought I’d throw that in there to make you feel more comfortable.”
Right, because lying across a complete stranger in nothing but a smile screamed, Hey, let’s joke around. I’m game. I quickly grabbed at the sheet and pulled away, kneeing the poor bastard in the process.

I am new to this series and just recently devoured the first two books. These books are so refreshing! They are over the top and slapstick, outrageous, and hilarious. Grandma Nadine is the most outgoing, crazy, meddling, unfiltered, matchmaker from Hell ever. She takes no prisoners when she is setting her couples up. Nothing is too sacred or shameful for her. I fell for Travis in The Bet and could not wait to see Jake redeem himself in The Wager. And found myself laughing all the way through them.
In this third installment, we follow Beth (Char's sister) and Jace (The hot young Senator) that we met in The Wager. And just like those that came before them, these two are soon entangled in one of Grandma's manipulative match making schemes...all under the guise of helping them get away from a media backlash. What could possibly go wrong on a impromptu vacation to Hawaii? Remember, Grandma is involved so the answer is anything and everything!

Next thing they know they are in a Paradise that also mirrors Hell. They only way to handle Grandma's shady plans is to just go with it. But they add a dare of their own....For 6 days he agrees to the fairy tale romance she has always dreamed of, and in exchange she agrees to help him get out of his political mess once it is all over. But on day 7 he plans on walking away. 

Beth has always felt boring, uninteresting, and nerdy. She has been burned before, does not trust, and is insecure. She wants it all...true love and the fairy tale, but does not feel worthy of it. But is willing to take what she can get  even for a short time. 

Jace  has issues from his past that changed him.  He has sworn off women and relationships.  He strives for acceptance and perfection, but tends to bury his feelings and also has feelings of unworthiness. His career is most important to him and right now it is riding on him fixing his media situation.

I loved Jace and Beth together. They were funny, sweet, and had good hearts. They had a witty rapport and chemistry(though this book did not have to rely on sex scenes to see it). Their past recollections and brief shared  history melted my heart. I loved their attempts at romance when they were in a good place, and their feisty interactions when not. I got frustrated when they lived in denial land and I wanted to shake them at various times. I laughed at Grandma's crazy schemes with Jace and Beth, and the other two couples that got dragged into the mess(they can never really escape Grandma). I enjoyed more time with Travis and Kacey and Jake and Char. I loved that they were now the survivors of similar plots and could give advice. I especially loved the changes in Jake. And the chapter toppers focusing on Grandma Nadine explaining the whole story to an outside party had me rolling. The way her mind works is just mind blowing. 

It was a a lot of back and forth between the couple and there was tons of stuff going on in the background. It was a bit manic, frantic, and humorous, but there were also times of sweetness and swoon. There were twists and surprises, and a bit of mystery about the past woven in. 

The humor is slapstick, off the wall, and totally out there, but half the fun is just pretending like you drank one of Grandma's drugged drinks and just going with it. It was a fast, funny, wild ride full of wackiness and adventure. It was a story of second chances and soul mates. But it was a long twisty road towards hope, trust, self worth, and forgiveness. No matter how good they could be together, it would never be enough unless they accepted themselves and realized their true self worth. 

This is a perfect read when you want to laugh, swoon and be entertained. It is silly, quirky, a bit corny, but engaging. It was told in both points of view letting you see their horrified thoughts of their situation as well as their fears, hopes, and feelings. It was a romance wrapped up in a layer of crazy, a layer of drama, a layer of comedy, and  a layer of fun. I loved Grandma Nadine but gotta say I do not think I would want her meddling in my life. Although I have to admit she is one tough, smart, manipulating, loving Grandma. She can't help it if what she does for love also leaves mayhem and chaos in her wake. It is not about who wins (Grandma will always win) but how you play the game and where all the pieces end up.

Even though each book is about a different couple and you could technically read it as a stand alone. I think each one builds up on the other and you really get more from The Dare by knowing the stories of the other two couples and understanding all that Grandma Nadine is capable of. So I recommend reading them in order. And they really are a lot of fun.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

How to describe The Dare in one word? Hilarious. Plain and simple. Continuing with characters that were introduced in The Wager, Beth and Jace are left with little suspicion that they are being set up. What they don’t know is just how far Grandma Nadine will go to get what she wants. And this time, the hilarity is transported to Hawaii, in a series of events that leave Jace and Beth wondering just how they come to be in Grandma Nadine’s crosshairs.

Jace, the youngest state Senator in Oregon history, was brought into The Wager to push Jake to man up and change his playboy ways. Beth, Char’s sister, is plagued with similar self-doubt that Char herself felt in The Wager. She has nearly resigned herself to becoming a crazy cat lady, as a single, 30 year old. Waking up in a hotel room sends the pair on a whirlwind trip to Hawaii to escape the media frenzy that has somehow gathered outside the building. 

While neither Jace nor Beth are actually related to Grandma, they are not immune to her influence. As Char’s sister, Beth could be considered family, but by the time the couple reaches Hawaii, Jace is reconsidering the favor he thought he was paying a friend when he stepped in to play his part in The Wager. 

Grandma Nadine was back to her match-making antics, but the best part about her antics in The Dare were the chapter openers as she is being interrogated by the FBI for Jace and Beth’s disappearance. As readers, we don’t know where they have gone either, until the very end, and that added bit of suspense only heightened the humor of the story as it was told. Each of Nadine’s scenes lead nicely into the rest of the chapter, which was told from Jace or Beth’s perspectives. 

Reading all three Bet books back to back meant I spent three full days laughing. They are pretty quick reads, but so full of over-the-top hilarity and situations. Each book has a little bit different feel, based on the needs of the characters, but Grandma Nadine’s attempts at matching her grandkids (and those she considered part of the family) remain at the center of all the fun.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
The Bet
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The #1 New York Times bestseller...

"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal ...

The Wager
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Lose a bet, lose your heart...

What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after-of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable . . . until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it . . .

Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! 

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