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Genre: Adult | Contemporary Romance | Dislike-to-Love
Series: Dare to Love #1
Read Count: 1
My Rating: 4 stars!
Description: In a deliciously sexy twist on the classic game, Mira Lyn Kelly proves that when playing truth or dare—always choose dare.
After her one attempt at commitment ends with the discovery that her fiancé already has a wife and kid, Maggie Lawson vows that the only people she’ll love ’til death do they part will be her friends. Unfortunately that means Maggie letting her bestie rope her into a year-long dating dare: score a new date each month or pay a penalty. Seems doable—until Maggie’s date stands her up, leaving only one option: the sexy stud who just moved in upstairs. The problem? He and Maggie can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning. His name is Tyler Daniels and the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue. Tyler’s in Chicago for one reason: to woo back his selfish ex in order to reclaim the child he once thought was his—and that means keeping Maggie out of his bed. A tall order, since Maggie has become a bigger temptation than he ever expected to face. But before they can even consider leaving the past behind, Maggie and Tyler must accept a brand-new dare: real, forever love.
“Apartment Three, whatever you’re offering. I’m interested.”
I read Truth or Dare the same I read Shortcake – both at the recommendation of Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat, and I have to say, wow. I went into this one thinking it was going to be a snarky story, but one that was overall very light-hearted. I love characters who snark and have amazing banter and camaraderie, and this one did not let me down in that department. Before I sing its praises, let’s talk about the book description. It follows Maggie Lawson, who lives in the same apartment building owned by one of her friends in their friend-group of four. And let me pause to say that this friend group was a riot of hilarity and shenanigans!! FRIENDS theme song, hit it! *claps along*
But a new guy (Tyler) moves in upstairs and immediately rubs Maggie the wrong way after being a dick when she was doing the friendly-neighbor-cookie-delivery-thing. But then their friends start to bring this guy around, and they engage in this dislike-banter thing whenever they see each other. They’re vicious, lobbing blows one after another. But soon… they realize that they’re having quite a bit of fun with it. Ahhhhh my favorite trope!!
“I pass you on the stairs and it’s barely a nod. I miss the way you used to the look at me. With all that pent-up cranky, like you couldn’t wait to find the right weakness to exploit.
What happened to the jabs and cheap shots, Apartment Three?
What happened to us?”
Y’all know that I love it when love interests last-name each other. But these two refer to the other by “Apartment Two” (Maggie) and “Apartment Three” (Tyler). Yummmm :) I loved their little rivalry-to-friends-to-lovers situation that they had going on! You know I love a good forced-proximity romance, and with Tyler living only one floor up, that was delivered in spades. Yayyy! The rivalry thing was quite fun – Maggie even started complaining at one point that Tyler had made her laugh. Yeah what an asshole 😂
Not to mention this little caveat, that shortly before Tyler made an appearance, Maggie and her best friend made a pact to go on a date at least once a month, in an attempt to find a love life. And if the pact isn’t realized, there’s heavy repurcussions. There is a whole set of rules where if you go multiple times with the same person, certain stereotypical progressions have to happen, etc, etc. BUT this is also how Tyler comes into play, when Maggie is left unexpectedly in the lurch on the last day of the month, and he offers to be her date. And things go from there *wiggles eyebrows*
This girl and her borderline unhealthy obsession with trash talk. He loved it. “Nothing says ‘just friends’ like a little mudslinging.”
“That’s the idea,” she agreed on a laugh.
Like I said, I really thought this was going to be a fun, snarky rom-com that I would laugh and enjoy, but one that was easily forgettable. And yes, it is all of that (in spades), but this book isn’t easily forgettable, because it took a bit of a unique turn. There was a lot of sexual tensions still (and YOWZA the sexual tension), but there was also something else going on. Something that while Maggie&Tyler both loved and enjoyed what they had, it had to be temporary, through no fault of their own. Tyler’s issue was something completely new, something I haven’t read before, and I loved it. Well… not it = the situation, but the newness of it. No tragic background, just tragic circumstances.
I felt like beating my head against a wall while I was reading this. I loved Maggie and Tyler together! They have a fantastic sizzling, and passionately, hilariously, argumentative relationship that I loved. They clearly adored the other, but a situation beyond their control was pulling their puppet strings and keeping everything very temporary and casual. This book had so much heart for me, far from the funny but easily forgettable rom-com that I was (sorry Mira Lyn Kelly!) expecting. The pacing was absolutely perfect, because their relationship was so genuine. They were obviously great friends, and passionate lovers, something that you usually get an either/or of in these types of books, where both don’t come through quite strong enough. Highly recommend!
Other books you may enjoy…
All with characters who… don’t like each other much in the beginning 😉
Do you enjoy the hate-to-love trope? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!