Carly Phillips: Dare to Love

carly phillips dare to loveOkay. A little disclaimer first: negative reviews are hard to write because I do not want to be negative, but I do feel like I need to be honest. I really respect and appreciate authors because they do something that not a lot of people can do. They have the ability to create entire worlds in their head and put it down on paper for the rest of us to come visit.

It is even harder for me to write a negative review about Carly Phillips because I usually like her books. This has been the first and only time – so far – that I have not liked something that she has written.

This was a short read that took me a lot longer to finish than it should have.

He noticed her, across the room and couldn’t keep her eyes off her, but she arrived with his estranged half brother (blah, blah, blah), very clichéd and not too much of a plot. The writing seemed a bit amateurish for Carly Phillips, but she is delving into a new area of romance than what she usually writes. She usually writes contemporary – very well I might add.

Riley is hesitant about Ian because he seems too dominant. Carly alludes to something in Riley’s past with her dad and before we find out what that issue is and it gets resolved (as it usually does in romance novels), she decides that despite all her concerns she is ready to jump into bed with him.

Even though this is the first book in the Dare to Love Series, I felt like I was being dropped right in the middles of an established series with a few books ahead of it.

The characters are not well developed. I didn’t really feel like I ‘knew’ them. Other authors have written erotica in short story form and still managed to make you feel connected with the characters because they were well developed. Because I wasn’t connected, I found myself thinking and drifting off about other things during the sex scenes (which felt like they were about every other page).

It was too dramatic and cheesy. It was at the same time too much and not enough.

Poor Ian couldn’t do anything right. I understand that Riley had some trauma in her past, but I just didn’t like the way she kept projecting onto Ian for absolutely no reason. I was not attractive of likeable. When he was being dominating she didn’t like it. When he wasn’t she wanted him to. I just wanted to yell, “MAKE UP YOUR MIND, LADY!”

Here are some of the thoughts that I had as I was reading the book:

  • Painful
  • Not much detail/descriptions of the surrounding which takes away from the story
  • The dialogue was kind of horrible. I understand that with the family dynamic there is meant to be a sense of awkwardness between the members, but awkwardness in the story seemed to go beyond that.

One the plus side I really liked the character of Ian’s mother, Emma. She seemed to be one of the few ‘normal’ people in this novel. I really hope that we get a story about her. If I had to choose a part of the novel that I like the best… it would have to be the end. Not because it meant that the novel was over, but because I believe that the book really started to come together at the point.

What do you guys feel about negative reviews? Do you appreciate them? Hate them? Or think that they are a necessary evil? Post your thoughts in the comment section!

Head here for an excerpt!


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