Monday, August 25, 2014

Dare Series Spotlight | Author Carly Phillips | Review of the Series and Giveaway

Dare Series Spotlight
Author Carly Phillips


When it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men – until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything. (love story, contemporary romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sports heroes, bad boys, billionaire) 

Riley’s outburst popped the bubble of anger that had been surrounding Ian all day. She stood at the elevator, pounding at the button in a panic, and his anger, which should never have been directed at her, dissipated, replaced by concern.


She ignored him.

The elevator door opened, and Ian bolted forward, grabbing her around the waist and yanking her back before she could step inside.

“Put me down!” She struggled, but he waited until the elevator door slid shut to do as she asked.

She spun to face him, fury on her expressive face.

“What the hell was that all about?” he asked.

“You tell me! I came here to check on you, and you treated me like persona non grata in front of your family.”

Yes, he had. He’d never been so angry or hurt, and it made no sense. Why the hell did he care if his half siblings showed up or not when he hadn’t wanted to invite them in the first place? He’d only done it to get Riley’s address and phone number, and when she’d bailed too, he’d taken it as her choosing Alex over him. Which clarified his blinding anger, to camouflage the hurt.

But none of that explained why she’d suddenly freaked—because that’s what she’d done. Yeah, he’d been an ass, but not enough for her to react that way. He knew she wouldn’t budge until he gave in first.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

Her eyes opened wide.

He was just as shocked by the words that came out of his mouth. Words he never used, because in his experience, they made him weak. With this woman, it seemed there was nothing he wouldn’t do or say.

Needing space, he stalked over to the wet bar in the living room and poured himself a drink. Pausing for a long sip as the liquor burned down his throat, he studied her, seeing her for the first time tonight.

She wore a white, strappy dress that clung to her generous curves, her curls falling over her shoulders and down her back. Now that he’d regained his sanity, he wanted nothing more than to grab hold of all that gorgeous hair, pull her hard against him, lose himself in her warm, wet body, and forget that he’d allowed his half brother to get to him. Make her forget that he’d treated her so badly, but that wouldn’t solve anything between them.

They’d both overreacted. He understood his own reactions, at least when it came to her. He still didn’t understand hers, and the mystery of Riley remained.

I am really hooked on these Dare men! This particular story is about Ian and Riley. As you have read in the synopsis, Ian is resentful of the fact his father betrayed his mother by cheating with another woman. Not only was he cheating, but he created a totally separate family unit with Savannah and had 3 children with her. Discovery of his father's new family only served to alienate Ian from the father he idolized and now Ian does not want to have anything to do with that second family.

Meeting Riley as his half-brother Alex brings her to a benefit ball, totally throws Ian off sync. Their immediate chemistry is "combustible" and felt by both. This is a love affair that will take finesse and patience since Ian swears by the one-night-stand rule and Riley is not into man-whores. What ensues is an emotional, gripping, and passionate stories I have read in a while.

Carly Phillips continues to amaze me with the versatility of her writing. Her stories are well written, straight forward, and full of passion. Her descriptions of the psychological impact our characters have on each other are so real you cannot help it but feel deeply for these characters. 


Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all -- an all-star football career and his choice of willing women -- until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn't impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests. 

This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love? 

“Alex, I believe you know Madison Evans.”

Blindsided — and his half brother knew it — Alex strode up to her. He inhaled her familiar fruity scent, which only served as a reminder of the hot times he’d spent breathing her in as his cock moved inside her body. Her effect on him was potent, and even the most common expressions failed him.

“Alex,” she said, her cool tone bringing his head out of the desire-filled fog he’d found himself in.

“Hey, Angel,” he said, using the endearment he’d started calling her during their brief time together. Another sign he’d had it bad, whether he’d wanted to admit it or not.

Her head whipped up, her eyes narrowing and settling on Ian. “This won’t work.” She turned to go.

Alex still had excellent reflexes, and he grabbed her arm before she could stride past him.

She glared.

He didn’t look away, determined to win this battle of wills. This potential job, which had interested him on an intellectual and emotional level initially, suddenly felt even more important, and she was the reason.

“We need to talk,” he insisted.

“I have nothing to say.”

“Ian’s proposition said otherwise.”

Madison looked over his shoulder in search of Ian and frowned. “Well, the traitor is gone. No big surprise there.”

Smart man, Alex thought. “If I let you go, will you stay long enough to discuss this position Ian and Riley want me to take?”

She let out a frustrated puff of air.

He took that as a yes and released her.

“Us working together is not a good idea, and somewhere in that thick head of yours, you know that.”

“Because we slept together? More than a couple of times?”

She set her jaw. “That was a mistake.”

Ouch. That hurt, he thought, and filed away the why to deal with later. “I want to know more about this training program and what my role in it would be.”

“Why? You can’t possibly be interested.”

“It sounds more like you don’t want me to be interested.”

She rolled her shoulders back even farther, stiffening her posture. “You’re right. I don’t. This is a serious project that could help a lot of people and have far-reaching positive repercussions for years to come. I need a partner willing to go all in. And let’s face it, I’ve seen your staying power. It’s nonexistent.”

He winced, knowing she was really referring to him and relationships. And she was right. At least, that’s how he had been. Six months with nothing to do but live in his own head, had brought changes she knew nothing about.

Eyebrows raised, stern expression on her face, she glared at him as if he were something she’d scraped off her shoe.

In the span of five minutes, she’d insulted him more than anyone had in probably his entire life. So why was he turned on? He shifted his stance in a futile effort to adjust his cock and gain some sort of ease or comfort. Not happening around her, and he knew it.

“I’ll give you that one insult because I deserved it.”

She wrinkled her nose in confusion.

Good. He liked her off balance. Much better than spitting mad. “Any more and I’ll have to take action.”

She opened her mouth then closed it again, because as they were both intimately aware, he’d have no trouble following through on his threat.

“Care to tell me what you have planned for this program?” he asked, deliberately all business. He strode over to the chair at the head of the table and settled in.

She obviously realized he was serious because she headed for the stack of folders on the table and sifted through them.

Coming up with the one she wanted, she opened it and glanced down only briefly before speaking. “Football players — anyone in training for prolonged periods of time — live a very regimented life. From what and when they eat to their exercise routine to when to practice and attend team meetings, everything is laid out for them. One injury and everything changes.” She eyed him warily from beneath her lashes.

He was surprised she’d still worry about his feelings after how he’d treated her. “Go on. I can take it.”

She nodded. “Suddenly they can eat what they want, when they want, and they gain unhealthy amounts of weight that isn’t balanced out by the exercise they used to do. Lack of education and preparation result in poor financial choices. Most athletes run through any good money they might have made in a short amount of time. Marriages crumble from the strain. Not to mention, they get bored, and depression sets in. I have statistics, but for now, you can just take my word for it.”

He didn’t have to. He’d begun experiencing some of it himself.

“What’s your solution?” he asked, impressed with the knowledge she already had regarding the problem they faced.

“Education.” She tapped the folder on the table. “All football colleges and universities need to have programs geared to post-career options. It’s not enough to offer a finance or business major. They need to target post-professional life. From our perspective, that means we start from the ground up. We contact schools and propose just such an approach. We hire ex-players willing to speak to the kids about the importance of thinking beyond football. And at a team level, we begin to provide all sorts of counseling and training. Nutrition, business classes, psychological counseling. Another goal is to eliminate the stigma of retirement, and to do that, we need to prepare our players for the future.” She finished her speech, her cheeks flushed pink and her eyes wide, her passion for the subject evident.

Fuck, she was gorgeous.

He’d seen a similar look on her face before, right before he’d slid his fingers inside her and teased her to climax. He closed his eyes, dragging in a controlled breath.

Wrong time, wrong place. Wrong everything.

He might want to return to where they’d been before he’d opened his big mouth and thrown her out of his hospital room, but she wanted nothing to do with him. She didn’t trust him, and he didn’t blame her. He needed to win her over before he could let himself even think about sinking back into her body. She needed to see he’d changed, grown up.

And maybe he needed to prove the same thing to himself.

“I’m in,” he told her.

“Excuse me?”

“I’ll take the job.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “Didn’t Ian tell you it’s up to me who to hire?”

Alex shook his head, silently cursing his manipulative brother. “No, I think the plan was to throw us in here like gladiators and see who survived.”

To his surprise, she let out an amused laugh.

The desire to kiss the dimples on either side of her mouth was strong. Beneath the table, he curled his fingers into fists, curbing his desire. His frustration wasn’t as easily controlled.

“I really don’t think we can work together,” she said, sobering.

“Then I’ll just have to convince you otherwise.”


Now it is Alex Dare's turn. His initial romance with Madison has crashed and burned. It was all his fault and now he must live with it. Unfortunately, for the past 6 months, he has been unable to focus on anyone else but his memories of Madison.

After the football accident that ended his career, he has been drifting along without purpose. It is high time he find a purpose in his life ... and a means to earn some income that will not embarrass him.

Working alongside Madison and under his half-brother Ian is not a perfect solution. Communicating with Madison on a daily basis is a great opening for him to rebuild the relationship he threw away. He knows it and he is ready to grovel if need be.

This story is about trust and letting go of negative emotions. Trust is not built in a day and requires constancy. How can you trust anyone who is not willing to let go of his harmful ways? Alex must convince Madison he has grown and changed. The limelight no longer lures him like before and he is willing to commit to a greater cause. Alex has his work cut out for him!

Again we have here a story in Carly Phillips unique style that draws us in to the real problems our characters must face. Passion and lust is not enough. Our characters have to make real life decisions regarding the obstacles that face them. I love it when a flawed character recognizes the the need to work on his problems and grows during the course of the story. Both Alex and Madison face their problems and make the decisions they must in order to move on and grow. Really enjoyed reading this story! 


After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more? 

How do you explain attraction to another individual whom you have met a few times and talked to even less? From the moment Gabriel met Isabelle (and vice versa) the attraction to each other has been palpable. One problem - Isabelle is Lance's girlfriend. When Isabelle finds out Lance is not who she thinks he is, she dumps the douche-bag ( well done!). Only one problem, she leaves the house without much money, no cell phone, no clothes or jewelry, and in a car Lance will not let her keep.

Carly Phillips has given us a memorable story of two individuals attracted to each other, and yet with conflicting purposes, that keeps them apart . He needs to be in full control; she needs to finally build her self esteem and declare her independence. Isabelle needs to prove to herself she is capable of taking care of herself and of choosing her own destiny. Gabe is seeking to nurture and care for her by exacting his need to control to ensure her well being.

The Invitation to Eden series continues to fascinate with love stories that are both erotic as well as a joy to read. This particular one had me reading it in one seating, totally forgetting my bedtime. Carly Phillips this is a masterpiece of erotic romance! Hope you readers enjoy it as much as I did!


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.

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DARE  TO  SUBMIT (Release: Sept 8)

Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?

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