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Search tags: dare-to-take
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review 2019-01-10 14:22
Girls of Steel
Dare Me - Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott takes the Mean Girls trope to extremes in her novel Dare Me, about a team of high school Cheerleaders who revel in their sense of entitlement and perceived immortality.  Addy Hanlon is the sixteen-year-old narrator who identifies herself as the “lieutenant” to her best friend and Team Captain, Beth.  Even as she kowtows and follows Beth’s every command, Addy recognizes how cruel and ruthless her idol can be. The alpha-beta balance of their relationship is threatened however, when the squad comes under the leadership of a new coach.  Colette French is not about to be dazzled or overtaken by Beth. Coach French is also a domineering force with a magnetic personality that upsets the team’s hierarchy and engenders loyalty and adoration from the girls, including Addy.  Beth is so furious with this competition for Addy’s affection that she embarks on a campaign to sabotage the interloper at any cost.  That includes implicating the coach in the suspicious death of a young Guardsman recruiter working at the school.  It is also possible, however, that Beth’s theory is correct- that their Coach is as guilty as she would like her to be.  Addy is torn between the two possessive women, the focus of their power struggle and a pawn susceptible to their deceit.  In this novel, all of Abbot’s female characters are depicted as either rapacious and cruel or passive and vulnerable.  Still, the women fare better than the men, who are mostly shadows in the background- all apparently weak and completely clueless. The themes of domination/submission are omnipresent, with no representation of a healthy relationship in any form.  Still, Dare Me is a well-written and gripping read, with some decent (if implausible) plot twists.  Wicked fun if a reader likes their thrillers dark and does not require likeable characters to root for.

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review 2019-01-02 16:54
Christmas on the Rocks (The Cringle Cove Christmas Chronicles #6) by Michelle Dare
Christmas on the Rocks - Michelle Dare



Anyone who says a broken heart builds character, clearly hasn't had a heart that's been deeply wounded. Dare lays out an exercise in healing. Christmas on the Rocks is a heart-tugging tale of lost love. Haunted by regret and tempted by forever history has a way of finally setting hearts right. For Maxton and Shaine maturity has taught them to tread carefully when it comes to matters of the heart. This time, can the couple who happened to get romance wrong, succeed at finally getting it right?


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review 2018-12-31 22:20
Historical Romance
Once Upon a Winter's Eve - Tessa Dare

Once Upon A Winter's Eve is a fantastic historical romance by Tessa Dare.  This is a fairly quick read, perfect for those with limited reading time.  Ms. Dare has given readers a well-written book with a fabulous cast of characters.  Violet has enjoyed her time at Spindle Cove and is not looking forward to going home to her parents.  When a man barges into the ball and drops at Violet's feet he seems familiar.  Christian was sent to France to intercept packets and pass them along to the home office.  Christian and Violet's story is full of suspense, action and sizzle.  I enjoyed reading Once Upon A Winter's Eve and look forward to reading more from Tessa Dare in the future.  Once Upon A Winter's Eve is book 1.5 of the Spindle Cove Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.  

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review 2018-12-26 02:03
Machine Metal Magic (Mind + Machine #1)
Machine Metal Magic (Mind + Machine #1) - Hanna Dare

I saw this described as Firefly-inspired sci-fi, and while I don't normally read sci-fi, I'm a huge Firefly fan so I had to give this one a try. There is certainly a strong Firefly influence, with a good dose of Skynet from Terminator. Basically, in a dystopic future, the machines have turned against humanity, pushing humans off Earth and out into the universe, where we've made a survival/living for ourselves in a system with moons we can populate and hide from the machines, here called the Singularity.


Some factions exist among the survivors wanting to take humans back to the pre-Industrial age. Other people have genetically altered themselves to be able to talk to computers. How that's a genetic ability, I don't know, but *hand wave sci-fi mumbo jumbo*. There's a big clash between these two groups. 


It's in this future that we find the crew of the Serenity...er, I mean, the Wayward Prince. I think this was a little too much like Firefly, but without the character building of the "side" characters that I would have expected. We know their names, what they do on the ship (kind of) and maybe one personality thing about them, but other than that, I really only got a clear picture of the captain, Sebastian Garcia and of Mags, the Mal and Zoe of the crew. 


As for the MCs, we've got Rylan, the newest member of the crew and his kind-of-but-not-really hostage Jaime Bashir, who joins the crew on a temporary basis. Jaime's a "wizard" and can talk to computers directly. Rylan has some secrets, and that's really all I can say about that. Oh, and he has an artificial arm with computer components and he's not that keen on the idea of someone being around who can manipulate his arm besides him. While their first encounter wasn't ideal, they quickly become allies and friends.


This was a lot of fun, and the world building was more or less handled well, not too info-dumpy but sprinkled throughout as needed. Once the action starts, it doesn't really stop, but it doesn't really get going until the last quarter of the book when we find out more about what Rylan's actually up to. The characters are all lovable, as much as we know about them - but then I'm basing that mostly on Firefly as, again, we didn't get to spend a lot of time with many of them.


And that's the main issue I had here. As much fun as this was, it really needed to be longer, to take some more time than it does between the action to show us who all these multiple characters are and why we should care about them. But this is the first in a series, and as an intro, it does a decent job of setting the board. Hopefully, we'll see more character development for everyone in future books.


The editing is mostly good, but there are missing words throughout, pretty critical ones too. 

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review 2018-12-18 00:00
The Governess Game
The Governess Game - Tessa Dare This was a sweet, light-hearted read. The hero lacked depth, I think, but i didn’t care, I was still kinda swoony from his first eulogy. (I love when people take kids seriously. I don’t mean humor them, I mean live in their reality). Alex was a spark. The romance was cute, but I kind of liked this for the ensemble most of all...quite a few laughs...
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