Thursday, April 17, 2014

Special Content Review - DARE TO DESIRE by Carly Phillips


(Dare to Love #2)
Author: Carly Phillips
Released: April 10, 2014
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Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all -- an all-star football career with the Tampa Breakers and his choice of willing women -- until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. When he is offered a ground-breaking position with a rival team, he’s intrigued, but there’s a catch. He’ll be working alongside the same woman he hasn’t been able to get out of his head for too long.

Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows first hand what it means to have-not. She isn't impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests. This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily.

But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. The playboy athlete must prove he’s got game in more places than on the field. He means to prove that he’s a changed man but no sooner does he begin to break through Madison’s defenses when a new opportunity comes knocking and threatens her new-found trust. Can he make Madison take a risk and dare to love?

(Dare To Love #2)
by Carly Phillips
ARC Review
Released: April 10, 2014

My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️

One moment he is on top of the world with a successful career and more attention than he knows what to do with, the next quarterback Alex Dare finds himself in a hospital bed wondering what the hell he is supposed to do next. Bitter in the face of his career ending injury, he alienates anyone who dares come close and proceeds to close himself of for the next six months. Until his half-brother Ian extends him an opportunity he can't refuse, even if it means facing the woman he kicked out of his hospital room half a year earlier.

Taking a chance on the wealthy and charming playboy quarterback was not something that had come easy for social worker, Madison Evans. But the close connection through friends had put the constant temptation in front of her until she finally gave in, took the leap, and had her heart broken. Growing up in foster care, rejection was a tender point for Madison, and once pushed, the effects lingered hard and long. So when her boss, Ian, proposed teaming her up with Alex on a new project, she had to steel herself for the inevitable onslaught of emotions seeing him would surely bring on.

Alex has had a lot of time to consider his life before and his actions since his injury and he is not the same man he was before, but that is not something everyone is ready to accept. Especially not Madison, the woman he has not been able to get out of his mind since he sent her packing. He is determined to have another chance with her and works to slowly break down the formidable walls she has thrown up. But not without taking some serious risks of his own...


YES!!! Carly Phillips.... I love this new edgier side of you!!!

Oh a man's pride is a fickle thing. Strip him down to where all that is left is just him, without the name, the fame, the ego, the game......and he is lost. Alex simply has no clue who he is or what he wants from life without his beloved football. Such narrow vision. Such short-term ideals. Feeling he is nothing without the fringe..... Ironically overvalueing himself when on top of the heap, and severely underestimating his value when he has nothing holding him up. And isn't that kind of typical??

And Madison, so keen on protecting herself from the pain of rejection, she has almost forgotten to live in the moment. Always consumed by thoughts of "what if?", infusing every potentially uplifting experience into a nailbiting descent into insecurity. Phenomenally talented in erecting an aloof and professional persona around the unsure, frightened and craving emotional turmoil that lives inside. Self-defeatist? Perhaps...... Recognizable? For sure! Once burned, twice shy....

Loved seeing the exploration and subsequent breakdown of each of their emotional barriers at the hands of the other. The tentative trust given consciously, even when their bodies were light-years ahead of them, instinctively knowing. 

I also enjoyed revisiting the complicated Dare Family dynamic and seeing it slowly develop in the background. The cast from Dare To Love are very involved in this book, making it helpful to read these stories in sequence, although technically I would consider them standalone novels.

I have to say, I am in awe of a writer like Carly Phillips, who with so many years of great success, manages to find a new level of writing - taking a bit of a risk exploring a slighter darker and edgier  side with a distinctly more carnal flavour - and pulling it off very successfully. I for one, wouldn't mind seeing even darker and edgier!! 

✨A book with so many soulful, stirring and spicy layers!✨

**Copy provided in return for an honest review.**

Without replying, Ian opened the door. They stepped into the room, and Alex laid eyes on the one woman he hadn’t been expecting to see. The same woman who’d haunted his dreams and sidetracked him from many of his nightmares.

Madison faced him head on. Her shoulders drawn back, golden-blonde hair pulled away from her face, she didn’t back down from his stare. She wore a pair of black slacks that hugged her curves and a white silky-looking top that clung to her generous breasts. And those unusually blue eyes frosted over at the sight of him.

“Alex, I believe you know Madison Evans.”

Blindsided — and his half brother knew it — Alex strode up to her. He inhaled her familiar fruity scent, which only served as a reminder of the hot times he’d spent breathing her in as his cock moved inside her body. Her effect on him was potent, and even the most common expressions failed him.

“Alex,” she said, her cool tone bringing his head out of the desire-filled fog he’d found himself in.

“Hey, Angel,” he said, using the endearment he’d started calling her during their brief time together. Another sign he’d had it bad, whether he’d wanted to admit it or not.

Her head whipped up, her eyes narrowing and settling on Ian. “This won’t work.” She turned to go.

Alex still had excellent reflexes, and he grabbed her arm before she could stride past him.

She glared.

He didn’t look away, determined to win this battle of wills. This potential job, which had interested him on an intellectual and emotional level initially, suddenly felt even more important, and she was the reason.

“We need to talk,” he insisted.

“I have nothing to say.”

“Ian’s proposition said otherwise.”

Madison looked over his shoulder in search of Ian and frowned. “Well, the traitor is gone. No big surprise there.”

Smart man, Alex thought. “If I let you go, will you stay long enough to discuss this position Ian and Riley want me to take?”

She let out a frustrated puff of air.

He took that as a yes and released her.

“Us working together is not a good idea, and somewhere in that thick head of yours, you know that.”

“Because we slept together? More than a couple of times?”

She set her jaw. “That was a mistake.”

Ouch. That hurt, he thought, and filed away the why to deal with later. “I want to know more about this training program and what my role in it would be.”

“Why? You can’t possibly be interested.”

“It sounds more like you don’t want me to be interested.”

She rolled her shoulders back even farther, stiffening her posture. “You’re right. I don’t. This is a serious project that could help a lot of people and have far-reaching positive repercussions for years to come. I need a partner willing to go all in. And let’s face it, I’ve seen your staying power. It’s nonexistent.”

Dare to Love (Dare to Love #1)
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find all information about Carly at her website and other social media sites ...
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