ARC Review: The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee
The Dating Dare
Book Info

Released: August 3rd 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Sweet Mess #2
Pages: 320

“…a fun small town romance.”

~ Under the Covers

Tara Park sticks with friends with benefits relationships and avoids anything too serious. But her best friend’s new brother-in-law, Seth Kim, is super tempting. Plus, he’s leaving for a new job in Paris in a month. During a game of Truth or Dare, drinking edition, Tara agrees to a four-date arrangement with Seth. Although their dates don’t go quite to plan, their non-dates and chance meetings start to be pretty sexy. But past relationship baggage for them both might get in the way of their chance at forever.

This story is fun right off the bat. Sparks are flying and Tara and Seth’s dating dare creates a ridiculous, but enjoyable, situation to read about. Their dates go well, but also somehow a bit disastrous, every time. Seeing the bizarre and awkward things that come between them is quite funny. The moments in between when they’re actually getting to know each other (both mentally/emotionally and physically) do give us a sense of who they are. Unlike with a lot of romances, we see them sharing at least bits of their past and seeing how that impacts how they approach relationships now. Their family and friends are also really present, giving us a more complete picture, especially of Tara. I hope we get to read her brothers’ stories too!

I do wish that Tara was a bit more open with her family so we could have seen how supportive they are a bit earlier and she could have gotten the advice she really needed, but I understand that it was important to the story to have Tara work through her past on her own. The opening interactions between Tara and Seth was also a bit odd and set up a confrontation that made them each seem a bit crazy in a way that didn’t align with how they acted for the remainder of the book. I think there are ways to get to know them better. However, I didn’t read the first book in this series, so some of their behaviors may have been necessary to connect to the versions of these characters found in the previous book. It also felt weird how much Seth seemed to think he should be praised for being a wonderful person because he didn’t rape Tara while she was passed out drunk.

I definitely suggest checking out this book! Tara and Seth are super cute together and it’s a fun small town romance. The peek into the brewery, owned by Tara’s family, and all the desserts from Comfort Zone might make you hungry though, so grab a snack and curl up with this story.

Trigger Warning: Past emotional abuse

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  1. I recently read this book and really enjoyed it. It was a little repetitive to me which got annoying. I didn’t need to be constantly reminded that he was leaving for Paris and that he was a playboy even though he’s not. Also this book made me realize I don’t like fade to black sex scenes. It didn’t ruin the book or anything but when it first happened it was a bummer. I didn’t realize it was part of a series when I accepted the NetGalley widget but luckily it could be read as a standalone. I definitely want to go back and read the first book now.

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