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Saturday, February 20, 2016

ARC Review: Dared by Kristina Borden

At the very beginning of this book, I had hope that it would be really good. It opens with our introduction to Summer, the heroine. Summer was strong and sassy and I liked that about her initially. But things quickly went off the rails. It didn't take long to discovery that Summer's strength and sassiness crossed the border into extreme drama and hysterical behavior. Let me just give you a hint, Summer can't just break up with a guy. Nope, Summer is burning up a guy's clothes and kicking him out. And you know what the real problem with that is? The fact that the author didn't bother to account for how someone is able to start a fire indoors and keep it contained without burning up the whole building.

Next, we meet Damien and things get even worse. Damien is a manwhore or really just a whore. Ok, no big deal right? We read about these types of guys everyday. The problem in this book is that Damien is banging every random chick he can get his hands on even after Summer re-enters his life. I just don't like to read about the main characters in a book with other people. Even though there is technically no cheating, after Damien and Summer acknowledge their attraction to one another there are still sexy scenes with both of them with other people. That is just a huge turn off for me.

Next problem, by the end of this book, I really didn't like Damien or Summer and I really didn't care about them being together. Summer and Damien act like they are in their late teens instead of in their late 20's. Summer is constantly going on these immature rants and using physical violence to make her points. I'm as violent as the next middle class girl but I wasn't still pulling chicks' hair and kicking guys in the balls after I reached the drinking age. Summer didn't get the 'you are a grown up now' memo. Damien is also more like an 18 year old guy as opposed to a 27 year old guy. The way he treats women and speaks to women was a complete turn off and there was never really anything to mitigate the effect of his assholery.

Next problem, there are a lot of things in this book that just don't make sense. I don't mean sense on a conceptual level, I mean like this book needs some more Beta readers. At one point, Summer goes for a jog in New York, only at the time, she is living in DALLAS. At another point in the book we are supposed to be reading from Summer's POV, but suddenly it's Damien's. At another point, the name of one of the characters changes. Like her name is A in one chapter and B in the next- super confusing. Those are three examples but there was a lot of this going on in the book. Sometimes things like that don't really matter where the story line is particularly strong but in this book, the actual plot needed all the help it could get and it just wasn't forthcoming.

The last big problem (and there are a lot of smaller ones) with this book was that the resolutions of the conflicts were just really rushed and not well conceived. Damien's resolution of his issues from childhood was particularly unsatisfying. It was like he took 2 weeks, snapped his fingers and he figured out a lifetime of dysfunction. And the issue with Summer at the end of the book and how it is handled was just....stupid. Like, I really love my HEA's but they have to be logically connected to what is going on in the story. This one just came out of nowhere.

There was some potential here but in the end we wind up with two really unlikable characters who are intimate with other people in the book, can't control their tempers and have the coping skills of the average 12 year old.

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon


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