The Dating Dare follows Seth and Tara, two people that have had bad luck with relationships in the past, but agree to a short term fling (the dating dare) before Seth leaves for Paris.
Full disclosure, I think this book is considered a stand-alone spin-off of book one, A Sweet Mess, but since I didn’t read book one, this was my first interaction with these characters, which felt a little awkward, and I think reading the first book probably would’ve given me some better context. (i.e. seeing people regard Seth as a playboy rather than just being told that most people think he is one.)
But anyways, let’s start with what I liked: Seth is fantastic. He seems all around just dreamy and wonderful, and the narrative was seamlessly split between his and Tara’s narratives. I really liked the premise, and I am all for characters promising not to fall in love with one another. And the side characters, though they don’t play a large role, were all fleshed out in a way that made me want to learn more about them, building a charming little small town world around the two leads.
That said though, I’m afraid I really didn’t like Tara. I felt like Seth did nearly all the romantic lifting throughout the book, and their banter felt a little forced or cheesy to me. But this may have been in part due to the fact that I thought her voice in the audiobook was a little annoying. Other than that, this book doesn’t pack a whole of lot of surprises. It’s a cute little romance that progresses exactly how you think it would, with a satisfying ending. For this one, I think I’d recommend picking up the first book for context, and then maybe sticking to the ebook instead of the audiobook.
Thanks so much to the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC!
Thanks for reading!