( Dare To Love #1) by Carly Phillips
Published: November 18th, 2013, Carly Phillips
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️
It's been years since Ian Dare found out about his father's double life and second family, but the betrayal still runs deep. If it wasn't for his sisters' insistence, he wouldn't be at his father's celebration, but for he would do anything for his family.....well, his half of the family. It was tough being around his half-siblings, especially knowing that his father ultimately chose them. Which is why he is on his way out the door having made his command appearance, when he spots her......on the arms of his half brother.
Alex had been Riley Taylor's friend since forever, her rescue when things got nasty at home for her, and his family a safe haven. But this is the first time she would mingle with the 'other' half of the family, and the brother her friend had warned her about, Ian, was good looking and charming. Good thing Riley is not one to invest a lot of time in relationships, since this one has danger stamped all over him, with his dominating tendencies. Although that kiss he managed to get did take the stuffing right out of her!
Riley is determined to keep a safe distance from Ian, but when she finds herself in a serious bind, she contacts him, and when Ian finally hears of her dilemma, he feels compelled to make her world right and safe. Riley's draw on him is so strong that he will do anything to have her, even if it means bridging differences with his other family, especially Alex, his half brother and Riley's best friend.
Ian has the ability to sweep Riley off her feet and make her forget where she is at, but his tendency to take charge still gives her doubt and brings back some dark memories. Most confusing though, is that when Ian takes over all control in the bedroom, Riley finds herself incredibly turned on by it. The question is whether she will be able to learn the difference between harmfully controlling for one's own gain, or lovingly dominating for mutual pleasure......
Bring on the ice!!!! A hot and steamy one!!!
But written by one of my beloved writers, Carly Phillips, who this time around, cranks up the heat a little more!! For me, this is a double bonus!! A writing style that feels like a warm bubble bath, with not just the regular touch of naughty, but a sensual onslaught of stimulating scenarios. Yup.
If this is the way Carly goes Indie.....please don't ever go back!!
I enjoyed the back story tremendously, great breeding ground for a slew more books!! Plenty of interesting siblings, lots, if not all, connected with sports somehow (Woohoo!!), and a minefield of family dynamics to wade through to provide each story it's own unique identity. I can see this happening!
Being the oldest child in both sets of children, Ian felt the abandonment of his father strongest. The focus of his jealousy was Alex, being the oldest boy in the 'other' half, now got his father's attention. Of course he tried picking up the slack where his father left off and took the responsibility for his siblings very seriously, and still does, controlling his movements and behaviour very carefully, not leaving much of anything to chance. Meeting Riley throws off his tight control and allows him to start living a little again.
It really isn't a whole lot different for Riley. Her traumatic childhood ensured that she would always be the one to be in control of any type of situation or relationship. When you stay in control, you run less of a chance to get hurt or damaged. Of course with Ian, there isn't a chance in hell she would be allowed to be in control, nor does she really want to be. Ian actually has the ability to make her feel safe, although this is something not easy for Riley to give in to, afraid that it is synonymous with giving herself over. This is her struggle.
The story is not too heavy, but compelling and interesting, and we get to know the characters sufficiently to understand their motivations and mindset. Both Ian and Riley are very likeable, loveable really, imperfect and fallible, as good heroes should be, they portray both strong and sensitive aspects of their personailties. Something for us to identify with.
Great writing, poignant plot, decadently juicy love scenes and me with a big smile on my face at the end of it!!!!
✨A wickedly sexy, insightful and edgier side of Carly!!✨
**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**