Dare to Touch (Dare to Love #5)
Olivia Dare, executive director of the Miami Thunder and team travel director Dylan Rhodes share more than just a passion for football. Their chemistry is explosive--their feelings for each other intense. Yet Olivia has ended things for reasons he still can’t fathom and she won’t explain.
Unwilling to let something special go so easily, Dylan has been pursuing Olivia ever since. When the Pro-Bowl takes them to the tropical paradise of Hawaii, Dylan is determined to make sure their time together isn’t all business. What happens in paradise is life altering but once Olivia admits her deepest secret and fear, will Dylan still want the forever he’s been pushing for?
Rating: 4 stars
Ok let’s face facts, there just not that many authors that can bridge over from light and often funny romance novels to the darker and more erotic stories that are becoming more popular these days. However, I can say with all honesty that Carly Phillips is one of the ones that have managed the feat with great aplomb. I was very surprised when I learned one of my favorite contemporary authors was trying her hand at this genre and was skeptical right up until release day, but I was thrilled to find out that this is just one more aspect of Phillips’s writing that I love. The Dare to Love series revolves around a rather prolific and intriguing clan of individuals, both immediate and extended, that all have darkness in their pasts and are working to overcome trauma and emotional issues. As each of these stories unfolds, with another Dare sibling (or cousin) falling in love I find myself more and more intrigued with the family dynamics, and am rooting for them all to find a way to overcome the screwed-up relationships they’ve witnessed with their parents and find a healthy and loving relationship. Phillips writes so beautifully that even when you are tearing up for the problem the characters are facing you know that she will find a way for them to overcome all odds and bring the couples together.
Olivia has endured more than many women ever imagine and she is still able to be a strong cornerstone for her family, even if she hides from the truth and her personal pain. She has been running from men for so long that when Dylan finally decides he will do whatever necessary to catch her she has little to no defenses. I loved seeing Olivia as she grew into the strong woman that she always presented as a façade to others, finally finding that core of steel that she hid under insecurities for too long. I hurt for her a lot during the story but seeing Dylan right there at her side I knew she would be able to overcome even her traumatic past. Dylan has his own issues he has to work through, but his true strength is his willingness to support and lift Olivia in everything that happens between them. The softer side to his very dominant personality is what makes him into such a great mate for Olivia. There was a lot of sweetness, emotional upheaval, and ultimately a personal growth between these two that carried the story.
Dare to Touch is about more than just Olivia daring to open her body to a man, it’s about her opening her heart and daring to allow someone to touch her soul. She has been hurt so much in the past, but Dylan is the man that will finally hold her heart with care and really give her all the love she needs. It was great to see these two characters, splintered but not shattered, find a way to shore each other up and become stronger for being together. Forgive the terrible analogy, but it was like two trees twining , stronger together than they could ever be standing on their own. It was great to see all the couples from previous stories and of course, to get a glimpse of stories that might be coming for the other siblings in the future and I am dying to see what happens with Avery and Scott, not to mention the other Dare siblings. What a great way for Phillips to show us that sometimes even the most heartbreaking of betrayals can be overcome if we embrace the love that is offered to us and find a way to heal.
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.