Dare to Love by Carly Phillips
Time and setting: Present Day, Florida
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic
Length: 292 pages
Heat Level: 3 Flames
Rating: 5 Gold Crowns
When it comes to family, billionaire football team owner, Ian Dare gives his all, but in relationships, he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley, Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her ... and does. But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he'd rather forget.
Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men - until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair heats up, they soon realize this is more than just an affair. But Riley's past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian's dominance might just cost her everything. If you like bad boy romances, alpha males or billionaire romances, this series is for you.
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This is the first book I have read by Carly Phillips. I actually met her a couple of years ago at a Readers Conference. While searching for books with the audio version available for $1.99, I stumbled across Dare to Love and remembered her, so I decided to download the book and the audio. I’m very glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
While attending a birthday party for her best friend’s father, Riley Taylor meets Alex’s half-brother, Ian Dare. The attraction between them is electrifying, but there is a huge problem. Ian and Alex hate each other. She would never do anything to hurt her friendship with Alex.
When Riley loses her job, she ends up working for the football team owned by Ian. The pull is so strong; they give in to the overwhelming passion that burns between them. Only they both have major trust issues along with the other problem with Ian’s brother.
Can Ian and Riley open their hearts to each other, or will they allow the differences that separate them keep them apart?
Riley’s character is a real sweetheart. While her childhood was horrible, she does not let it keep her from her goals. She is a loyal friend, an independent woman, and she’s determined to excel in her new job. Her backstory is truly heart-breaking and brought tears to my eyes. Ms. Phillips is gifted in writing with deep emotion, and that helped me to become vested in Riley from the start.
Ian is an extremely complex and compelling character. While he can be ruthless in business and has only had physical encounters with women in the past, he also shows vulnerabilities, especially with Riley. I really felt his pain over why he doesn’t get along with Alex and the rest of his half-siblings. That earned my empathy and helped me like his character a lot.
I greatly feared this would end in a cliff-hanger, but fortunately, it does not. There is a great “happily ever after” at the end. This is a series featuring all the siblings, and I look forward to reading/listening to the other books. If you enjoy stories with a sexy billionaire, hot love scenes that are also emotional ones, then you will love Dare to Love as much as I did. Happy reading!