The Dare by Rachel van Dyken

Well…that was disappointing. Definitely my least favorite book in “The Bet” series, even though it probably had the most potential of all three. My biggest problem with this book was following the logic behind many of the characters’ decision-making. Mainly because it was void of all logic.the dare

Beth has always been described by others as boring. In fact, it’s her unofficial nickname: boring Beth. I’d like to take a moment here to say that if anybody tried to give me that nickname I’d smack ’em upside the head. But anyway, Beth is boring. Until she wakes up one morning after a friend’s wedding to find a sexy senator tangled up in the bed sheets next to her, and no recollection of what went down the night before. So unfortunate. First time the girl has some fun in her life and she can’t even remember the details.

Our sexy senator is Jace, and he and Beth actually have a bit of a history, although neither one is very willing to talk about it. This really ticked me off because it is undoubtedly the most romantic aspect of the entire book. The two met at Beth’s prom years before, but because they went to different schools they didn’t really know each other. Beth had actually been asked to prom by the hunk of the high school, but it was more an act of charity than anything else. While she’s sulking in a corner, a handsome stranger approaches her asking for a dance. Enter Jace. Whereas all of her classmates made fun of her and thought she was boring, Jace found her to be beautiful when nobody else did. Good God I think I need a tissue! The two teens shared a brief kiss on the dance floor before Jace hurried off into the night, and it was years before the two were reunited. See what I mean? Definite potential. Sadly, the author chooses to sort of leave this amazing back-story by the wayside, so it doesn’t get the full amount of attention that it really deserves.

Ok, so that was their past, now let’s get to their present. This has got to be one of the more confusing relationships I’ve ever encountered. The book is entitled The Dare, but to this day I really don’t get what the whole dare was about. Basically, Beth dares Jace to give her “the fairytale” for one week while they are stuck at a couple’s retreat (don’t even ask). Now, what that fairytale is, I have no idea. In my opinion, “the fairytale” would involve lots of hot monkey sex with the hunkenstein that you’ve thought about since high school. Although taking a break now and then to soak up some sun wouldn’t be too bad either. Oh, and maybe a back massage. But apparently Beth’s idea of a fairytale involves no sex at all. Just some steamy kissing, a bit of rubbing, and no relief whatsoever. They get frustrated, I get frustrated, and we don’t see any real action until the last freakin’ chapter of the book.

I understand that in most romance novels the two main lovey doveys can sometimes be hesitant to begin a relationship. That is the case in this book as well, but their reasons for not wanting to start something make no sense at all! Jace keeps saying that he knows he’ll just walk away from her eventually, and that he has to choose between Beth and his career. Umm, definitely missed something here. Firstly, Jace isn’t a player, so I don’t see why he’d walk away. It’s not like he has a history of leaving behind a trail of broken-hearted females. Secondly, somebody please tell this idiot that nowhere in the senator handbook does it say that you can’t have a girlfriend. When another character told Jace that he was basically being a major douche I wanted to crawl into the book for some fist bump action. There were so many pointless discussions in this book about walking away, and making the big gesture to show that he cared. You know what’s a big gesture? Leaving your pity party and just having sex already!

This book did have some humor in it with the character of Grandma Nadine. She has been the not so behind-the-scenes puppet master matchmaker in each book of this series, and she’s crazier than ever in this one. I did find myself giggling a few times while reading this book, but it was usually accompanied by some massive eye-rolling. Grandma Nadine’s antics were just so over-the-top, and not in a good way. I mean I’m all for bringing together two lonely people for the sake of love, but when you have to resort to using the date rape drug to accomplish that you might be overstepping your bounds a little bit. We are supposed to just laugh it off as another silly ploy by Grandma Nadine, but it sounds like her medication might need some adjustment.

Series: The Bet series, book 3.

Should you read it? I pray that this is the last book of the series, but if it isn’t I can tell you that it’s definitely the last one I’m gonna bother reading. Honestly, the whole series can probably be skipped.

Smut Level: Every time things started to get hot and heavy our lovebirds would get interrupted. I grunted from annoyance one too many times.

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