Jayci Lee, author of A Sweet Mess, returns with The Dating Dare—her next witty, chemistry-filled romantic comedy.
Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual strangers. Especially when that particular stranger is her best friend’s new brother-in-law. It isn’t an easy decision, though. Seth Kim is temptation personified. His unreasonably handsome looks and charming personality makes him easy on the eyes and good for her ego.
When a friendly game of Truth or Dare leads to an uncomplicated four-date arrangement with Seth, Tara can’t say she minds. But their dates, while sweet and sexy, have a tendency to hit roadblocks. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings get frequent and heated.
Seth is 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 soon Seth realizes that Tara Park doesn’t come in a “nice & little” package--she’s funny and bold, sweet and sexy, and everything he ever wanted and never expected to find. Neither of them are ready for something serious and both have past relationship baggage they’ve been ignoring, but with a shot at forever on the line will they follow their hearts and take a chance on happily-ever-after?
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.
This book is extremely cuteeeee! Great 4S ( sweet, soft, swoon,smile) plus feel good reading which should be consumed with delicious bottle of chilled Sonoma-Cutrer rose, Ritz Toasted Chips and red pepper humus! I know how to turn my reading into a delicious book date, a literature feast, don’t I?
I saw some mixed reviews and I asked myself why people didn’t like this book so much! It’s so strange! I know there are cliches and a little cheesiness in the story but aren’t those most popular romcoms also having all of them? You know from the beginning how the story will improve, how MCs fall for them, how they fall apart, a little groveling and angst moments later we always get our marvelous happy ending! And yes, this book works incredibly well with this formula! So you know what you will get in the end: extremely happy mood and smiling face. Aren’t we needing this kind of relaxation in our lives?
I also read Sweet Mess, but I’m telling you, I actually loved Tara and Seth a little bit more! Both of them are easy to connect and root for!
Their story is simple: they met at Tara’s best friend’s wedding. Seth was the youngest brother of the groom. Seth is leaving the town in a month for a new job in Paris and he offers dating dare including four dates.
Both of them are already suffering from old relationship baggages so they don’t look for anything serious but this dating dare seems like harmless game. No one can hurt. No one can fall for each other with four dates, right? You already know your answer and you already know their predicaments.
I enjoyed their dating experiences and their chemistry was steamy, nope, steamy is not enough to define it! They’re fiery, combustible, volcanic! Just get ready to hyperventilate when you follow their intimate and blooming romance!
Overall: Easy, fun, soft, so much likable four star reading for me. Highly recommended beach read or pop corn& wine read! I absolutely had so much fun!
Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press/ St. Martin’s Griffin for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts .
Recently I read A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee and because I enjoyed it so much, I decided to dive immediately into it's sequel called A Dating Dare. Guess what? I loved it even more.
As I stated in my review for the first book, I started the series with low expectations, and I ended up appreciating it so much that I hope the author will continue giving us new books featuring characters we already got to know (for example, Tara has brothers who would make awesome MCs or that girl who works in bakery).
The writing style was very good, easy to follow and it felt kind of... comfortable.
The characters I liked even better then our first MCs, from A Sweet Mess. Being honest is one of great sides of Tara's personality and I found her so relatable. It was also a blast to read about her siblings and their brothers-sister relationship.
Seth is a brother of Landon who we already met in the prequel, so we were kind of familiar with his background. Once again, honest and that up front approach is what got me to like him.
The book is written in first person, following our MCs POVs. Both of views sound similar, which can sometimes be a miss, but here I didn't mind it.
As for the plot itself, it was good, although at some point it felt like Seth and Tara only hung out with each other, even though their whole dating dare started with an aim to have only 3 dates.
This is another love story where couple get together early in the book and then conflicts happen and they have to figure out how to be together for real.
Overall, I really enjoyed it, I do recommend it, and I hope the series will grow.
This is a Cheesy Romance, and this is the second book in A Sweet Mess series. The two main characters (Seth and Tara) in this book goes on four dates together because of a Truth or Dare game. I found this book to be a fun, cute, and funny read. The two main characters goes together so perfectly. When I started this book I did not know if I was going to like this book because of some of the reviews I saw about this book, but I am so happy that I really enjoyed this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (St. Martin's Griffin) or author (Jayci Lee) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
A Sweet Mess had so much potential, but I didn't end up loving that book. The Dating Dare sounded cute, so I was all for giving Jayci Lee another chance. But like other traditionally published books lately, this book just ended up being okay.
Tara and Seth are undeniably attracted to each other, but Tara has sworn off serious relationships and Seth is leaving in a month to go to Paris. One night leads to Seth daring Tara to date him until he leaves and Tara says yes. The beginning of this book took me a long time to get into and care about these characters. I actually started to enjoy the middle when Tara and Seth spent more time together and were truly falling for each other (though it did feel a bit insta-love), but the ending was aggravating and left me really annoyed with Tara. They would get mad at each other for not communicating, but then they themselves wouldn't communicate. And then when one would communicate, the other freaked out because they had sworn of serious relationships and didn't really want to hear how the other one was feeling. It was just tiring and dropped the book to a three star for me.
Last year I read Jayci Lee's A Sweet Mess, a charming story of a match made in heaven- a baker and a food critic. The food descriptions were so mouth-wateringly good that I immediately became Jayce Lee's fan and couldn't wait for her new book, The Dating Dare. And it didn't disappoint!
The plot is fairly straightforward- Aubrey's best friend Tara whom we met in the previous book loves her job in her family brewery, loves her home town Weldon and her supportive family. Tara is a independent, funny, loyal...but she isn't exactly in a hurry to settle down. Aubrey's brand-new brother-in-law, Landon's younger brother Seth is moving to Paris to start his dream job of a fashion photographer in a month. So when Seth comes up with a dare to go on four dates with the condition of Not falling in love, the arrangement suits both to a T. Whatever happens in Weldon, stays in Weldon, right? well, Tara doesn't like to keep her personal life and her 'real life' separate, so they try to keep the dates (and non-dates) secret.
Yes, you can probably guess (in broad terms) what is going to happen, but here the magic is in the execution, and I have to say I liked this book even more that the first one. First of all, the attraction between these two is really strong- the scene with the desserts in the park- hot, hot, hot... In case you were wondering, Jayci Lee is a master of fade-to-black at the right moment, so if you choose to listen to The Dating Dare instead of reading, you don't need to worry about desperately trying to skip some tracks. Secondly, there's so much romance! I'm dying to tell you about the dates, and all the cute, sappy things these two get to do. Thirdly, there's a lot of emphasis on treating each other with respect and consideration in everything, dreams, feelings, choices (big and small).
Tara is one of those rare case where I liked the protagonist, but didn't exactly relate to her. She has her reasons for avoiding any serious commitments and, although we don't get many details of her past, I admire her for recognising and dealingwith it. Seth also has his own emotional baggage he needs leave behind before he can truly fall in love. The ending is sweet, melodramatic and satisfying (we knew all how it was going to end!).
Once again, I loved the food descriptions. There were fewer of them- understandably, with Tara and Seth's jobs being different from Aubrey and Landon's- but they were absolutely delicious.
Sweet and fun, The Dating Dare was exactly what I needed on a hot summer day like this!
Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin's Griffin for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee 2nd book in the Sweet Mess series. Contemporary romantic comedy. Can be read as a stand-alone.
Achingly sweet and wonderful. A romance with laughs and potentially a few tears with a heart melting finish. Her answer to his “where do you live” question when she was drinking was amusing. I also loved the family closeness - working together and listening when needed. The “emergency” code precious a d heartwarming.
Tara Park isn’t interested in a relationship but the attraction to Seth Kim is too much to ignore. They agree to a limited number of dates but the Sparks soon turn into a flame they can’t ignore.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. I have also purchased a copy to share.
🎧 I listened to an audiobook version after reading the ebook. Narrated by Natalie Naudus, the text flowed smoothly as she switched from Tara to Seth with a distinct change in the deepness of the voice. Stress, tentative action and happiness were clearly vocalized. The narrator sounded like a native with the French words and locations. I listened to this mostly at my standard 1.25. I felt 1.5 was a bit too rushed.
Another winner. The Dating Dare certainly have all that feels for rom com. Miss Lee is a talented writer. The meet cute between Seth and Tara is appealing. Their first encounter and their banter got me.
The story continues with Seth proposol of no string attached four dates. I have to say their dates are certainly fun. And through out their dates, their relationship grows.
I hope Miss Lee still write another story in this series. And I hope her next story will also be fun and captivating.
Such a delightful couple. Sweet ending. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I had such a fun experience with the authors prior novel I definitely wanted to read the next publication that is coming out in August. Based on two best friends, who each get their own story, both can definitely be read as a standalone, but lovely to have them intertwine as well.
Lee created two fabulous characters in Seth and Tara that will capture your complete attention. A little bit of love-hate to start, and definitely heavy on the love and attraction scene as the story builds. The Dating Dare is a sweet and spicy riot of wit and personality that you cannot help but love.
These two try to keep it casual but the heat is radiating off the pages and you know they are going to be in for a big crash of feelings. Lee captures their intense feelings perfectly and builds a sweet romance that leaves the reader with a huge smile.
A delightful and fun romcom that hits the sweet spot perfectly!
Tara is not looking for a serious relationship, ever. She doesn't do love and is happy with her very casual hook-ups every once in a while. Seth is known as a playboy. He's a successful fashion photographer and it's constantly seen with a new fling.
When Seth's brother (Landon) marries Tara's best friend (Aubrey) they both end up drunk after the party and playing a game of Truth or Dare. That's when the Dating Dare starts, they must go on four dates and not fall in love with each other.
The premise is outlandish but cute. This was a light rom-com, but, from the very first chapter, the dialogue seemed so awkward. It was extremely difficult to connect to the characters.
The plot was very cheesy and predictable. And although I enjoy a low angst read from time to time, there was barely any conflict, and it got a bit old reading how they were both fascinated with each other but ignoring their feelings over and over again.
One positive was Tara's job as a master brewer. It's not every day that you read about a heroine that works brewing beer, and that was refreshing.
Unfortunately, although the premise is entertaining, The Dating Dare didn't deliver, and its fanfic style writing made the plot feel contrived.
Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for approving me for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I’m keeping this review short because I don’t want to speak negatively about it needlessly; this book might be other’s cup of tea but it was not mine.
Right from chapter 1, I was put off by the writing and dialogue. Everything felt very awkward, overly cheesy, and contradicting. The whole premise, while sounding good in theory, was not developed is a logical way. I wanted to DNF at less than 10% in but I powered through solely because I don't like to DNF ARCs (unless they're harmful/triggering to me).
I simply could not get into this book, or say I enjoyed anything about it, as badly as I wanted to fall in love with Tara and Seth.
I just---thought it was so strange that they 'just so happen' to bump into each other so many times in the beginning to force them to be together. The book also lacked focus on character development in the beginning and focused a lot on them flirting/yearning/pining for each other. It felt like two ppl who were in love but i knew nothing about them beyond that. I also lacked empathy for our two characters who didn't communicate if it's a fling or not or if they wanted something more. The whole dare part was also bit of a stretch tbh. If someone dared me to date them, I would be like no im good. LOL
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
Let me preface this by saying I love cheesy, predictable romance stories. They are fun to read and that’s why I wanted to read this book. The issue I had, however, was that the “cheesy, predictable” part of this book seemed so forced. The guy knowing he had a player persona that he puts on was a little irritating. The girl refusing to answer who and when her first kiss was, though, simply because he broke her heart in college? That made me roll my eyes. I can’t handle the over the top reaction to something as simple as a truth or dare game. At that point, I lost interest in the story and where it was going to go.
The chapters felt too long and like too much was happening in them for the story to flow well. Not to mention, I felt like there was too much detail added into some things and not enough in others. I was so confused at first when they went to the brewery because there was nothing that let you know that the girl worked there, but you sure knew everything about every beer that they had and what prizes they won. I don’t know, it just felt like there was attention put into the wrong things.
To be fair, this was a DNF for me, so it may have gotten better. But the fanfic-esque writing style was just too much for me to handle. I wasn’t a fan of the parts I did read.
This was such a cute, fun read! Perfect for the summer and an afternoon with some down time and the desire to dive into something that will allow you to escape into a sweet but steamy.
Tara and Seth were both super cute. With a promise to not fall for each other, of course you know what’s going to happen. But I was fine with that. Sometimes the predictable is like coming home. It’s a comfort all on its own.
Their dates were a combination of everything, ramping both the humor and emotions up the further into their relationship they grew. While this had a lot of fun, it also had an extreme amount of steam when this couple finally took that step. And holy prickly pears! There is some serious tease going on before they ever reach that point.
Overall, a great read with secondary characters that helped to support the hero and heroine. I did not read the first book. While I think it would have added to my enjoyment with this one, I never felt lost without it.
I read A Sweet Mess last year and I enjoyed it but it wasn't one of my favorite romances of the year. The Dating Dare's cover caught my eye and the premise sounded interesting enough. Plus I recalled the ballzy Tara from the previous book.
Tara and Seth have both been burned by past relationships and neither is looking for something serious. They meet at the wedding of his brother and her best friend and there's an instant attraction. They dare each other to go on 4 dates and not fall in love with each other.
One minute this book would give me cuteness with the dates and the next it would give me janky dialogue and awkward situations. These two were on a picnic date that started off so cute the next minute they were practially groping each other in front of the kids they were playing a game with at the park.
I couldn't quite buy their love for each other because they jumped from extremely horny over each other to unable to live without each other real quick. The chemistry was kind of hot and cold throughout and it didn't help how irrationally jealous Tara would get.
The middle part of this book also needed a lot of work. And that's where the story truly fell apart for me. If it wasn't an easy read that I felt I could complete in a day I would've DNFd.
4.5 stars rounded up Ahh I absolutely loved this. The story started very quickly, so I was worried it was going to be a case of insta love, but there was the perfect amount of mutual pining and sappiness balanced out with some serious discussion and topics. Don’t get me wrong, I was swooning for practically the entirety of this novel, but there were enough unfiltered moments between the two main characters that I hardly ever felt like the romance was veering into cheesy territory. Overall, I loved this and flew through the audiobook. I’d highly recommend The Dating Dare to any romance readers who like dual POVs and pining.
Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan Audio for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book was too cute!! Tara and Seth are both engaging and their romantic tension is so charming, it had several tropes I’m fan of. Jayci Lee writes her characters really well, and the plot was just a joy to read, I had so much fun reading from beginning to end.
It was just a happy, feel-good read that I highly recommend picking up when you can!
Special thanks to the author and her assistant and St. Martin’s Griffin for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for an honest review.
Tara Park is a 28 yr. old woman from a small town in Southern California called Weldon. She comes from a big, close Korean family that lives and works together. They own a brewery and she loves her job and her life which includes being single. She doesn't do serious relationships and enjoys her freedom. Then she's pursued by her best friend's new brother-in-law. Seth Kim is a talented fashion photographer with a reputation as a player. He's devastatingly handsome and she's helplessly drawn to him. When a game of truth or dare leads to a four date arrangement she's suddenly in over her head. She will never be able to resist this sexy beautiful man, but decides to quit overthinking things. He's only in town temporarily, so their time is limited. She could give in to their attraction, have some no strings uncomplicated fun without expectations, and still keep her heart safe. The problem is she underestimated the effect he could have on her, and soon he was getting under her skin and breaking all her rules.
Seth Kim has a successful career, and is moving to Paris in a month to follow his dreams. He's worked hard for this opportunity and is excited to start the next chapter in his life. Then he's thrown a curveball when he finds himself captivated by the maid of honor at his brother's wedding. Tara is absolutely stunning, and he enjoys flirting with her. As they spend time together she makes him feel alive. He wants to explore what's between them, but since he will be leaving soon they have an expiration date. Will they say goodbye or take a chance on love?
The Dating Dare (A Sweet Mess, #2) by Jayci Lee is a heartwarming friends to lovers romance full of humor, chemistry, and self discovery. It is filled with moments that are sweet, steamy and emotional. It can definitely be read as a standalone. This was my first book by this author, and I look forward to reading more by her. I especially now want to go back and read the first book in this series, A Sweet Mess to get Aubrey & Landon's story. This book also had some great secondary characters I wouldn't mind getting a story for.
-When Seth pulled Tara close, his body reacted as though he’d touched a live wire.
-He’d never felt desire so instantaneous and powerful before.
-She wasn’t just any other woman. She was Tara. He was already well on his way to being infatuated with her. Taking his eyes off of her when she was nearby was a study in discipline.
Author needlessly and repetitively refers to: Tara's ex (Jason), Seth leaving for Paris soon, and flavors of foods and drinks. Oh and she constantly refers to "dating dare," as if we forgot. Can't you just call it the "dare" after a certain point or alternate... or something?
The tone is forced and worse it's simplistic and facile and generally juvenile. There are emotions described here but it is robotic and merely descriptive.
This book had been on my radar for a while and I'm so glad I finally got to read it, even though I only realized it was the second installment in a series halfway through. Seth and Tara's story is cuteeeeee, sexy and so funny. A perfect mood lifter!
The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee is the second book in Jayci Lee’s A Sweet Mess series. It’s just so cute, funny, and adorable. It’s a quick read and has a satisfying end.
Tara Park works in a brewery with her brothers and is not interested in relationships. When she goes to her best friend, Audrey’s wedding, she can’t help but notice the best man, Audrey’s new brother-in-law, Seth.
After the wedding, and a few drinks, Tara and Seth engage in a friendly game of truth or dare, and Seth proposes a dating dare. Seth has only one month before he leaves for Paris for an exciting photography job, but before he leaves, they have to go on four dates, with the stipulation that neither of them can fall in love. A no-strings relationship sounds simple enough, and with an expiration date on their dating, Tara believes this is the perfect time for a little bit of fun.
This book is just so cute. Both Tara and Seth are easy to like, and I just rooted for them both throughout the book. I found their motivations to be believable, and angst-worthy. Their progression into falling in love was also believable, and fun to read.
This book is set in a cozy small town, and I love small-town romances, lots of small-town quirky characters to enjoy here.
Although this is the second book in a series, it is easily a stand-alone book. It’s fast-paced and is a lovely book to read on a weekend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
"You'll know when I'm trying to kill you... Softly. With my words."
3.75 stars - rounded up
Mutual pining burns through the page in The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee
The first third of this novel was an effort and half to get through because it starts off really rocky. You are thrown into a situation with little context and are expected to read between the lines. Part of me wondered if this was a consequence of not having read book 1 in the series, but after looking at other reviews I can see that I was not the only one.
That being said, I really enjoyed the later two-thirds of this novel. Once I gained my footing, I fell in love with our characters. They both had traumatic past relationships that broke them as people, both Tara and Seth were adamant about never opening their hearts again. They also had some hilarious banter between one another and I vibed with that.
What I really loved was that they felt like friends first and lovers second. There was something really pure about their connection and the way they were vulnerable with one another. That being said, the sexual attraction they felt was palpable. I loved the little innuendos they threw at one another and how they were constantly wanting to be in contact. I also thought it was hilarious how they were mutually pining for one another and would go out of their way to stage coincidental meet ups. They had me smiling at how goofy in-love they were, even though they both refused to admit they were falling.
Also, we get a scene where one character has to look after the other because they get injured and that is one of my FAVOURITE tropes.
Additionally, Tara was a really cool character because I had never read about a woman who were a Master Brewer before. I really loved this aspect of the book and hope one of her brothers get a romance so we can see more of it!
Because the first 60 pages were a real effort to slog through, I had to take off a star. The last .25 star was taken off because we kept getting blue-balled. Like, really. We would get these super descriptive, super hot foreplay scenes and make-out scenes and then... FADE TO BLACK. Argh. I know it happens, but I am still allowed to be salty.
Overall, I would consider reading more from Jayci Lee in the future.
This book was so so so bad. The dialogue is so cringe. It’s like torture to my ears listening to this audiobook. I know it’s hard to come up with original plots but God this was the lowest of the low. I absolutely despised this story.
I have been wanting to read this book since I finished A Sweet Mess so when I got the earc, I was actually jumping for joy and internally screaming!! I fell in love with Jayci Lee's writing and have read other books from her in the mean time, but it is finally the time to talk about Seth and Tara, and I am SO excited!
I am officially turned into pink goo from this book. It was just so sweet, so cute, Seth is so adorable as a character, his passion for art is noticeable in the book, you can feel how passionate he is for it, and Tara is super stubborn and just the best. I loved these characters right from the first book so it was so much fun for them to have their own story. One thing that I actually found very interesting is that eve though this is a second book of the series, the characters in the first book, Aubrey and Landon, actually didn't make too much of an appearance, which was nice in this case as it allowed Seth and Tara to really grow in a relationship and to shine on their own.
I am still a fan of Jayci's and I hope there will be another one in the series, (maybe one of Tara's brothers?? EEK!!) so I'll be here waiting patiently for that day to arrive!
Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for the earc in return for an honest review.
I swear that Jayci Lee can do no wrong in my eyes! Everything she writes is just simply perfect and The Dating Dare is no different!
Seth and Tera are wonderful characters that had me cheering them on! I loved the game of Truth or Dare that started the whole thing. Sometime I love from this author is the diversity. I’ve read books where it felt so forced or like the author was checking a list. Not with Jayci Lee. Everything is organic and true, which makes it just that much sweeter.
This is a fun and cheesy read. Perfect if you’re feeling down or even a great beach read. I was so warm and fuzzy after reading this and I know you will be too!
The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee was very fast paced, as in I read this entire book within 24 hours of opening it on my kindle. It was addictive and I fell head over heels in love with Seth almost immediately! Don’t get me wrong Tara can definitely hold her own against Seth but he’s more a sweet heart than a playboy so she had no chance of winning this dating dare. Don’t be fooled by his physique because this man is way too sweet to don the playboy or regency rake title given to him by Tara herself. This book also got me through my latest reading slump so thank you very much Netgalley and the publishers at St. Martin’s Press for an early copy of Lee’s latest novel!
“You need to stop staring at my ass,’ she said with her fists planted on her hips.
He smiled and turned to face her squarely, sliding a hand into his pants pocket. ‘On the contrary, I was studying all of you. Not just your stunning backside.’
‘Studying me?’ Did he say stunning? Huh. She was tempted to swivel her head for a peek at her ass.
‘I’m a photographer. It’s hard for me to ignore things of beauty,’ he said smoothly, his dark eyes holding her gaze. An involuntary trill shot down her spine.” ____
I don’t know how much interaction they had in Lee’s first book, A Sweet Mess because their attraction spoke of a past history or relationship (like they’ve known each other longer than the book makes it out to be) Tara instantly dislikes him and calls him out on ogling her at the wedding despite his occupation as wedding photographer. So it speaks that they have had prior scenes together from the previous book. I read book 2 before book 1, please forgive me! I will fix that immediately because I have now fallen in love with Lee’s amazing writing and great storytelling!
“He appreciated her honesty, intelligence, and loyalty. A conversation with her was an adventure—always interesting and often hilarious. And, God, she was so beautiful that she literally took his breath away. Seth wanted Tara to the point of distraction, but that wasn’t the driving force behind his proposition. It was about the fun and excitement of getting to know her better.”
I loved the idea of the Dating Dare! But it seemed like they liked each other way too quickly. I was looking for more animosity between them because of the tone set at Aubrey and Landon’s Wedding. Tara seemed to really dislike him but then after just the first date she already seemed smitten. I can’t blame her completely because Seth was adorable especially when he played the useless prince for the little girls at the park. Lee started Seth’s dates off so strong that I can’t really blame her for falling for him.
“No matter how much he wanted to date her, he wanted her to choose him because she wanted to, not on a drunken whim.”
Her cute little quirks on the night of the Dating Dare was adorable. First her want of tater tots, hilarious but then she followed suit with the fact that she hates peas and cooked carrots. These funny little details really brought the characters to life and added great chemistry between drunk Tara and relatively sober Seth.
“Honey, please.’ Tara snorted. ‘You’re pretty to look at, and I might be a smidgeon attracted to you, but love is definitely not on the horizon.”
I love the use of the word ‘smidgeon’ here! It’s such a funny word and it was perfect for drunk Tara to use! Plus it made me laugh because I use this word too much!
I swooned when he said that she didn’t need shape wear. So many of us are worried to embrace our curves and do everything we can to try and hide them and here’s Seth saying she’s perfect without it. (DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying that men need to tell us that for women to feel comfortable I just appreciate the recognition on his part that shapewear isn’t necessary to feel and be seen as beautiful) It was an ADORABLE moment! This is definitely something that I was so glad to see in a romcom for 2021 because female body image suffers greatly in the romance category because they are stuck in one form of beauty (you know the one, slim and slender) but here The Dating Dare breaks that mold. It’s not the first to do so and I really hope it isn’t the last but it was great to see. I also loved how Lee used Seth’s perspective to say that shapewear isn’t necessary because that is a huge insecurity for women! He also thinks it rather than saying it which is huge because that makes it genuine. He’s not saying it to impress her or get her in the sheets. He’s simply saying his opinion in his mind as he tries to help her. There was nothing for him to gain by it which only made me fall harder.
“If she gave into her attraction for Seth, would he begin demanding more of her? More of her time? More of her affection? If she fell for him, she would do anything to make him happy. Nausea churned in her stomach. She would be lost. But what if she was so badly broken that she turned into the one to confine him within her expectations—the one to constantly demand more until he believed he wasn’t good enough. For a moment, terror swept through her.”
It did get a little annoying near the end when rejections happened between Tara and Seth because you could tell that they were perfect for one another and being provided both perspectives told you that they really did love one another. I get that it throws a twist into the story and might provide a more realistic thought process for Tara especially, but trying to make her stay true to her principles regarding love actually made her slightly more unlikable.
So there is something that definitely needs to be addressed because it was right at the beginning of the romance in this romance novel and it was also very YIKES!
You’ve been warned!
There was this point where they were eating and they shared their first kiss but the way it went down was so gross to me! So you know I included it in here for you guys (don’t hate me!) EW ok the feeding each other thing was cringey to me. Like y’all are both adults. Feed yourselves. To me this isn’t a romantic thing to do so it bothered me. A LOT. Especially when they share their first kiss by tasting a salted caramel brownie. Like she’s mid eating it and then he lunges in for his “one bite” which was a cute concept until I realized that his one bite was basically mid chew mama bird style by Tara. Just nope that is not my thing whatsoever! I did enjoy all the food references and comedic writing throughout despite this aspect to the romance. Seth is a guy who shares his fries, acts as a personal seat belt and remembers that she loves tater tots and hates peas and cooked carrots. This is definitely a guy who has fallen in love ahead of the girl (which I also I really liked because it’s usually the men with the commitment issues ahah)
If you love romantic comedies like I do, definitely check this one out! They kind of reminded me of Jasmine Guillory’s third book, The Wedding Party as these two seemed similar to Theo and Maddie. If you have no idea what books I’m referring to here, please check them out! The Wedding Date was my first romcom and first book in Jasmine Guillory’s, Wedding Date series and they are so good as well!