Review and Excerpt Tour: Dare Me: Rebecca Shea

Dare Me
Rebecca Shea
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Expected March 28, 2016

Five coworkers.
Four drinks.
Three glances.
Two fleeting smiles.
One dare.

A dare that will change my life.

That’s all it takes to send me plummeting into the arms of the mysterious Holt Hamilton. Behind his crystal blue eyes is a secret, one that screams danger but calls to me anyway.

My name is Saige Phillips.

I never walk away from a dare.

Arriving back at our room, I find Holt sitting at the small oval table, his cell phone pressed to his ear. A smile pulls at his lips when he turns around. He’s talking, but his eyes follow me as I walk back to the attached bedroom to hang up my dress in the closet.

Not wanting to disturb him, I kick off my shoes and lie down on the bed to rest for a few minutes. Minutes later, I hear him come into the room, but I keep my eyes closed. “Shopping is exhausting,” I mumble and let out a small laugh.

“Do not let my mother hear you say that,” he says, laughing in return.

“Speaking of your mother, how was lunch?” I push myself up and sit cross-legged on the bed.

He frowns. “She had to cancel, but we’re having dinner with her tonight.”

“Who’s we?” My eyebrows shoot up.

“You and me, Saige. It’s just dinner, nothing serious, so don’t read into it.” His tone tells me he’s annoyed.

“I wasn’t,” I lie. I mean, shit, sleeping with your boss on the first night…that’s fast. Meeting his parents a couple of weeks later…that’s warp speed. I try to picture meeting her, but I instantly begin to get anxious and try to think of an excuse as to why I can’t go.

Pushing off the bed, I blurt out, “I mean, I’m pretty tired; maybe you should just go. Plus, she hasn’t seen you in ages. She’s not going to want to spend her time worrying about including me in conversation.”

“Saige.” He walks over to me, placing his hands on my upper arms. “She wants to meet you.”

“I don’t have anything to wear. I only packed casual clothes.” I play nervously with the small diamond that dangles from a chain around my neck.

He rubs his thumbs softly on my skin. “Well, it’s a good thing we’re eating at her house. Nothing fancy required.” He’s making it difficult for me to get out of this, I think to myself.

“I have a headache. I had a really brutal day shopping.” I nod toward the closet and close my eyes to show my exhaustion. When he doesn’t respond, I finally crack an eye, catching him watching me. He sees right through my bullshit.

He rolls his eyes. “Yes, Barney’s can be so tiring. Personal shoppers running around while you wait for them to return is now classified as a high-intensity cardio workout.” He smirks at me. He can be such an ass, but I can’t help but chuckle. Clearly, he’s a seasoned Barney’s shopper.

“Holt—” I’m about to whip out another lame excuse when he interrupts me.

Exasperated, he finally snaps. “Saige. Stop. What you’re wearing is fine. You look beautiful. I promise, my mother is much more casual than what you’re thinking. She lives in Brooklyn in a beautiful brownstone. She’s married to a normal guy, and they have a dog. She’s the least pretentious person you’ll ever meet, and if you decided to show up in pajamas, she wouldn’t bat an eye. In fact, she’d probably run upstairs and change into hers.”

From everything he just told me, I think I already love her. “What kind of dog?” I ask, as if this will be the deal breaker.

His eyes soften and I can hear his tone relax. “A basset hound. He’s a real pain in the ass, but he’s the cutest damn dog—”

“Fine. I’ll go.” I toss my head back in defeat.

“It was the dog, wasn’t it?” he jokes.

“Yeah. A cute dog will always get me.” I wrap my arms around his waist and hug him.

“Noted.” He laughs.

One Dare initiates a night together. The next dare sets them on fire. 

Saige Phillips is a smart, sassy, independent woman who enjoys her new career of designing the interior of specialized planes. Holt Hamilton is one of the VPs of the Aviation company she works for. He is charismatic and bold. They begin an intense , undefined coupling that moves very quickly, but is not labeled. He is full speed ahead but she is guarded and fearful of relationships or getting hurt.

Holt is an easy hero to love. He is totally sexy, sweet, and swoony. He is determined, decisive, strong, successful, but also humble and has his own fears. He did not come off as the typical aloof, entitled, rich businessman, but a man with a sense of humor, charm, and a big heart. Although he does have a few alpha tendencies like protectiveness, possessiveness, and a bit of jealousy. But he is not afraid of expressing emotions. His secrets eat at him, as does his fear of losing  Saige because of them. 

Saige is smart, capable, charming, and confident in business. But in her personal life she is a bit of a mess. She has up big walls and is stuck in the past and her nightmares. She is good at pushing people away and avoiding. She is a work in progress and could be a bit frustrating at times.

They have a fun, witty rapport and good chemistry. But he wants fast and she wants slow. Their tentative trust could be ruined by his secrets. And their pasts affect them both adding complications.

There is a quirky group of fun side characters around the office with Zay, Emery, Rowan, and Kinsley and her room mate Evelyn adding humor, support, and that extra push when needed. His friend Jack Morrison is an alpha type that I could see as a male lead. 

There is a mystery surrounding his past, but hers was laid out in the prologue. I have to admit that the fast pacing of the relationship and feelings felt insta-lovey and I was able to figure out what he was hiding pretty early on. But it was a sweet, romantic story of two individuals that are dealing with the fall out from their pasts and their journey to try to face their demons, forgive, let go,  and move on. 

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

One dare changes Saige Phillips’ direction, when her friends send her to Holt Hamilton’s table. One dare caused her to face her attraction to the boss. One dare would change her world.

Saige is independent, fierce, and sassy. She can hold her own with her group of boisterous co-workers, but keeps to herself outside of work. Only her roommate knows everything about her past.

Holt is a leader, sexy, and a little dark. He was so easy to like, it wasn’t a surprise that most of the female population at work watched his every move.

Holt is taken by her confidence and self-assuredness from day one at the office. While he has far more money than Saige is used to, and he doesn’t have any problems spending it, he also takes her wishes into consideration when she mentions she isn’t comfortable by the extravagance. Ultimately, he lets her do what she needs to do, but does have a tendency to take on Alpha qualities when he feels it is important. Their chemistry was warm and natural, progressing quickly once the sparks started flying.

The past and secrets drive both characters forward. While they each deal with the past in different ways, the sparks fly between them. Holt is considered untouchable at work because that is the air he projects, but when he starts paying more attention to the design department, workplace rumors fly.

There is a great group of side characters here. The instant messages between Saige and her co-workers had me cracking up each time they were sent. The care and concern they feel for Saige comes out in their interactions, and I love the way they stand up for her when they think she needs the extra support. 

This was a good employee/employer office romance with a twist. There were so many secrets floating around that the pages flew by as I tried to line up all the twists and turns. Dare Me turned out to be an easier read than I was expecting. It was a good story, if a little predictable at times. I had figured out one of the major mysteries quite early (near the quarter mark), but that didn’t stop my interest in the story and if anything it spurred my reading faster as I waited for the truth to come out. 
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

Rebecca Shea
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Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

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