Saturday 3 October 2015

Review ~ Dare Me by Stella Rhys

Book Description:


Lake and I never had a chance at normal. She was drop dead gorgeous from day one - our maid's granddaughter who became my mother's spoiled living doll. I hated that girl with all my heart and at the same time, I worshipped every inch of her skin, every word that she spoke. I lived for her and the twisted game of truth or dare we created to feed our f***ed up needs for shock, shame and one-upping each other. Lake was my drug, my bad lifestyle choice.

And I'd fallen in and out of love with her a thousand times till the day she disappeared.


I know I ruined Callum Pike and going back to New York may be the worst decision I've ever made, which is saying a lot. But I'm willing to risk it. I never wanted to leave and now that I can, I'm going back - to be with the man I made, who made me. I know I screwed him up. I know he's hardened and become cold. I know the love we had is gone. But I need him now more than ever and no matter how much it hurts, no matter what kind of sick or satisfying way he decides to torment me, I'm going to fight through it.

I'm going to repent for the way I broke him and I'm going to find the Callum Pike I loved again - even if it tears me apart.

**a standalone novel**
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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars

“It’s real. You two are the fucking truth.”

I do love a second chance romance and this blurb just pulled me in from the start. This couple were never conventional, they had a love/hate relationship in the beginning as kids, kept apart by jealousy but as we all know there is that very fine line between love and hate. Their games of dares as they grew older led them to being much more audacious and in return much more revealing, not only in the flesh but on an emotional level too. A close friendship blossoms from the most unlikely of scenarios yet I felt their friendship through the pages, when those lines then again blur their relationship is taken to a whole new level…until it isn’t.

“You are and you always will be.”

Lake lived with her grandmother after being deserted by her mother and Lake’s grandmother worked for Callum’s parents. When Lake’s grandmother passes away, Lake is taken in by Callum’s parents. Lake has an extremely close relationship with Callum’s mum, she is the daughter that she never had…she was spoiled rotten and here is where Callum’s resentment begins.

“You’re not a punishment. You’re worth everything.”

So we have a hate/love relationship, a friends to lovers relationship and a second chance romance all wrapped up into one book, quite a lot to pack into one novel but the author delivers. This book spans quite a few years so you grow with the characters and you do get to know their back story which helps with the character connection. Their relationship was never easy but in their own fucked up way it worked for them. When Lake mysteriously disappears one night, Callum is left devastated and despondent, his heart is broken and it changes him as a person. While their relationship never had any labels, Callum loved Lake with everything he had, so when she leaves it hits him hard and six years later when she returns, gone is the teenager who was head over heels in love, instead we have a cold hearted man who has never loved since.

“It’s hard at first but I can’t even tell you how damned good it feels when you finally get rid of the poison in your life.”

This book begins with Lake’s return and Callum is knocked sideways, but he cannot help all those old feelings that come flooding back to the surface, he should hate her, he tries, but he can’t. Callum wants answers, but they are answers that Lake doesn’t want to give. Can these two get over their past? Do they even have a future?

“I say this with all the love in the world, babe, but you deserve to know some of that hurt.”

This would have been a solid four star read for me but I wanted to know more about their early years, how their weird relationship really started, I wanted to be taken back to where and how it all began. I also felt that the flashbacks to when they were apart needed to be fleshed out a lot more. The way the flashbacks were told left you on the periphery as an outsider looking in; I wish that these had been written from Lake’s point of view so you had that personal connection. I didn’t feel what I should have in those flashbacks and that disappointed me a little. It was hard to understand exactly what she went through when you didn’t get that personal reflection. This may just be a personal preference for me as I label myself as an “emotional reader.” I need to feel everything to really connect with the characters so for others this may work.

“…I tried to tell myself to sleep it off. That I was fine and I somehow had the strength in my fractured heart to do this - to stay not just in New York but in the home of the man who’d gladly forgotten me when I only lived because of his memory.”

On the whole, I loved the story, I loved Callum. There was never a doubt about how much he loved Lake, even when he was will within his right to absolutely hate her. Their connection really was soul deep despite its unconventional beginnings. For them it worked, it was “them.” I must admit I did shed a few tears, there was one scene that really got me going and it really shouldn’t have but such was the moment it hit hard in the heart.

This was my first book by this author and I will definitely read her again.

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