eARC Review – The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

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Title: The Dating Dare (A Sweet Mess #2)

Author: Jayci Lee

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication date: August 3rd, 2021

320 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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?

Review

The Dating Dare is the companion novel to A Sweet Mess, following Tara and Seth’s love story. Both have been broken by love before and have vowed to never again give themselves over to that emotion. But after a drunken evening, they begin a dating dare, 4 dates – and no one falls in love. Because Seth is moving to France in a month for work, and there’s no way he’s giving up that opportunity.

This story was absolutely delightful, but also tackled some big issues. The character development was top notch and I loved that Tara runs a brewery – it’s definitely a male dominated field so it was refreshing to see a woman in that position. The banter between the characters caused me to snort a few times and and I loved how they switched from banter/sarcasm to tender moments so quickly.

Even if you weren’t as enthused in A Sweet Mess like me, I encourage you to give this one a try anyway. I resonated a lot more with the characters and the romance than I did in the first book. I was more interested over all in this one, comparatively. The original characters also are not really in the book, it’s really focused on Tara and Seth. Also, I seem to have caught a potential love connection for a third book… which I’m really hoping for!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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