If you like a good Regency Romance with some exhilarating sex scenes, then you’ll love Dare to Love by Alleigh Burrows. The story is, for the most part, fast paced and holds your interest throughout. There are a few sections which could have been eliminated or condensed, but they did not distract from the whole. I must admit, there were times I felt I had previously read this book, even though it is a new title, and there were few surprises in the plot line, nevertheless, it was an enjoyable romp.
Lady Nivea Horsham has secretly been in love with her older brother William’s best friend, Adair Landis, since the boys spent holidays at her home and included her in their dramatic play acting. They were the knights and she was the damsel in distress. Unfortunately, Nivea did not grow up to be a beauty. A little overweight and seemingly shy, after five years on the marriage mart she is destined to be a spinster. The noted rake, Lord Dare is asked to accompany Nivea to her family’s home in the country, but when the carriage wheel is damaged, they are forced to travel on horseback in order make it in time to attend her sister’s wedding. Since Nivea is on the shelf, there seems to be no need for a proper chaperone. (A little far fetched in my opinion). Thus begins the love story as Nivea reaches out to her childhood crush and he, at first aloof, gradually begins to respond to her ministrations. While Nivea is kindhearted and loving, Dare is nasty and cruel, due to his childhood in an abusive family. It takes most of the novel to break through his self imposed barriers to find the kind of man worthy of the love Nivea bestows. Most of the lose ends are nicely tied up and the future looks rosy for the reformed, newly annointed Marquess of Raynesforth and his bride.
The major problem with this story is that Dare is not a likable character. Yes, he’s devastatingly handsome, but his actions towards women are hurtful and his words lash out everyone, even his best friends. You wonder why anyone tolerates his presence. The fact that he was verbally abused and lashed with a whip as a child, easily explains his behavior, but it does not make his horrid manner acceptable. However, the brief flashes of his humanity gives the reader a reason to accept this character. Plus, he is an attentive lover, even though he rejects the women he seduces immediately after the act is completed. Dare’s continued attraction towards Nivea surprises his sensibilities and makes his behaviors ocellate between lust and rage. Despite the fact he considers himself a gentleman, his actions seem to defy this title. Dare is too busy avoiding the marriage mart to observe the niceties, including offering his hand to Nivea once he has taken her virginity. No, he believes she is the one who is trying to entrap him while she is simply confused, but supportive. Thus the push pull of their relationship.
The minor characters are well defined and add relevant details to the story. In fact, it is hoped they will appear in Burrow’s future literary endeavors, since this is her first novel. Nice job!
I give this book four stars.
I would like to thank Kensington Books for allowing me to download this novel for free in exchange for an unbiased review.