I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee
Series: A Sweet Mess #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 3, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance, Romantic Comedy
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With witty characters and heartrending romance, Jayci Lee, author of A Sweet Mess, returns with The Dating Dare—where two people might just find out how hard it is to resist falling in love with the right person.
No serious relationships. This is the one rule Tara Park made for herself and it has been working swimmingly, thank you very much. The occasional fling is fine, especially since she’s busy with Weldon Brewery. But when Seth Kim, temptation personified and her best friend’s new brother-in-law walks into her life, Tara might be willing to bend her golden rule...but only for four dates—the four dates she agreed to after a few good rounds of beer and a game of truth or dare. It’ll be fun. No biggie.
Seth Kim can’t believe Tara agreed to his dating dare. He’s leaving for a new job in Paris in a month and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice little distraction for both... But their secret dates, while sweet and sexy, always hit roadblocks straight out of a romantic comedy. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings are smoother, frequent, and heated. However, the more Seth sees of Tara, the less willing he is to let her go—and what was supposed to be a fun little game turns into something that neither of them are ready for.
But sometimes, the best things in life are the ones we never see coming.
I missed out on A Sweet Mess, book one in this series by author Jayci Lee, but I had no problems jumping into The Dating Dare. There’s almost instant attraction between beer brewer Tara Park and fashion photographer Seth Kim when the encounter each other at Tara’s best friend’s wedding. Tara has sworn off real relationships after being in an emotionally abusive relationship in college, while Seth had both his heart and dreams squashed by a serious girlfriend. They agree to go out on four dates over the course of the month that Seth is staying at his brother’s home while he’s away on his honeymoon, but the rule is that they not fall in love with each other.
Tara and Seth both belong to tight-knit families, and Tara wants to keep their dates out of eyes of her overprotective brothers and parents. While they do go on official dates which are cute, romantic, and thoughtful, it’s Seth and Tara’s non-dates that really shine. Tara is feisty, smart, sarcastic, and a seriously hard worker with her family at the brewery, and she just gels so well with Seth’s kind, caring, and spontaneous nature–when they both aren’t holding back. Since this is written in the dual points of view of Tara and Seth, I felt like I really got to know each of them well–even when they weren’t sharing a lot of their feelings with each other.
I give The Dating Dare a four out of five. Tara and Seth’s will-they, won’t they vibe throughout the book leads to steamy, sexy scenes. Watching these two try to deny that they’re falling for each other led to some emotional complications. I really enjoyed the little glimpses of Tara and Seth in their careers, and I would have liked to see more of Tara’s life in the brewing business. This book is a fantastic read when you want something on the lighter side, full of romance and sexiness, but also with a bit of angst and miscommunication. There were many spots with humor that brought some nice levity to break up the romantic tension. While this book was a bit predictable at times, it was an easy to read and enjoy bit of romance to pass a nice, quiet day.
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About Jayci Lee
Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. At times, she cannot accommodate real life because her brain is full of drool worthy heroes and badass heroines clamoring to come to life.
Because of all the books demanding to be written, Jayci writes full-time now, and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal, and she hopes her books will do the same for you.
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