Author: Rebecca Shea
Series: Dare Me #1
Release date: March 28, 2016
(Sub)genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Two fleeting smiles.
A dare that will change my life.
That’s all it takes to send me plummeting into the arms of the mysterious Holt Hamilton. Behind his crystal blue eyes is a secret, one that screams danger but calls to me anyway.
My name is Saige Phillips.
I never walk away from a dare.
“It’s me,” I whisper, wanting him to know he’s not hallucinating. I’m here. And I’m not leaving him again. Ever. He swallows hard and clears his throat. “I know. Don’t you ever leave me again.”
Saige Phillips has just start working after finishing school. She has landed herself a job as an interior designer at one of the nation’s leading aviation companies, not because of her looks but because she has excellent qualifications. She is good at her job, and enjoys working with her colleagues and living in Chicago with her friend. Ten years ago Saige’s world was shattered when her father killed himself, and to this day she’s suffering from the loss, doesn’t do romantic relationships. When her co-workers dare her during some after work drinks, it doesn’t take long before sparks start to fly between Saige and their boss. Sparks Saige doesn’t want or need.
“I take note of how he’s rolled up the sleeves of his blue dress shirt, and his tie is loosened and hanging from underneath his pressed collar. I like—wait, no—I love casual Holt. I take a deep breath and will myself not to faint. “Ms. Phillips,” he says as I finally reach his table. “Mr. Hamilton.”
Holt Hamilton is a self-made man with a successful business, but he acknowledges he did so with the help of his hardworking employees and the right investors. At age 19 his father’s wrongdoings rocked his world, and to this day Holt is making amends for his father’s mistakes. He doesn’t have to do so, but he feels morally obliged to repair all damage done. Just like in his business, Holt knows what he wants in his personal life, and since he has met Saige in person she’s all he wants.
“Saige.” I turn and address her, keeping it together on the outside while my insides thrum wildly at the sight of her. “Mr. Hamilton.” She smiles warmly at me. “Holt,” I correct her. “Holt,” she acknowledges.”
From the moment Holt and Saige met at the office, there is an attraction between them, but it takes a silly dare to actual start talking. Both have lived lives before they’ve met, and both know what they want and like; inside and outside the bedroom. The developing feelings between them is what makes it different from all previous relationships. But where Holt embraces the developing relation, due to her believes and insecurities Saige fights him at every corner. It takes a lot of patience from Holt and hard work from Saige before the couple has a chance at an Happily Ever After.
Dare Me is my first read by Rebecca Shea, and she has pleasantly surprised me. I enjoy her writing style and the realistic way she portrays her characters. The story is told in a double POV, therefor you get to understand the thoughts and motives of both Saige and Hold. Besides the main characters I like the secondary characters, they are supportive of the couple and are not the cause for extra drama. I also like that for once there aren’t crazy and jealous ex-partners in the mix, everything that does happen is fitting for the story.
“I knew you’d use those words against me someday.” She laughs as more tears spill from her eyes. I’ll never forget her spitting out those words on my patio… that she’d never be my girlfriend turned fiancée turned wife. I made it my mission to prove her wrong and, proudly, she’s mine. My fiancée.”
I love Dare Me, and I will definitely pick up the other books by this author. I give the story of Holt and Saige 4.5 stars.
~~ Dare Me was provided in exchange for an honest review ~~
A quick train ride later and I’m pushing through the revolving doors to Jackson-Hamilton Aviation.
“Morning, Larry!” I wave and hustle past the security desk where Larry sits.
“Mornin’, sweetheart,” he yells back, never once taking his eyes off the newspaper he’s reading.
My heels click loudly on the granite floor of the open-air atrium as I hustle over to the elevator bank. I frantically press the call button for the elevator and glance at my watch. I’m already five minutes late. I hate being late. Punctual is my middle name. If I’m not five minutes early, I’m late. That’s how I roll.
Groaning, I tap the toe of my shoe impatiently. When an elevator finally arrives, I scurry in just as a voice from behind me hollers out, “Hold that elevator, please.” I grumble but hold the doors as Holt Hamilton glides in, a cell phone pressed to his ear. With a curt nod, he steps aside and the elevator doors close while my heart pounds wildly in my chest.
Holt Hamilton. The sexiest man I’ve ever seen and the Vice President of Jackson-Hamilton Aviation—basically my boss. Standing at least six-foot-three, he could be Henry Cavill’s twin brother. With striking blue eyes and dark hair that’s styled back off of his face, he’s the perfect combination of businessman meets runway model. His cut jawline is accentuated by one very perfect dimple on his left cheek.
His athletic frame is highlighted by his custom-tailored suit that hugs each and every curve of his shoulders, arms, and waist, showing every muscle the man owns as he leans against the side of the elevator. Today he’s wearing a charcoal suit with a blue shirt and striped tie. The blue shirt makes his blue eyes stand out against his tan skin. I catch myself staring and quickly turn to face the doors of the elevator.
“Morning, Ms. Phillips,” he says with a tight smile. He shoves his cell phone into the pocket of his suit jacket.
Again, my heart is racing. “Mr. Hamilton.” I nod and keep my eyes on the digital display showing the floor numbers. Fifty-seven, fifty-eight, I silently count as we continue to rise. Only thirty more. I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself.
“How are you settling in?” he asks, his voice deep and commanding. I half-turn to speak to him and catch his smirk, but he quickly composes himself and adjusts his tie.
“It’s going well. I submitted the final orders for both planes that were overdue. Mr. Jackson emphasized those were priority.” I raise my chin confidently, but my heart continues to race with nervousness.
“You closed both orders?” he asks, surprised. “As in, you got both clients to agree to every last detail?” He looks skeptical. These particular clients were a nightmare. I knew when I accepted the job that I’d have demanding clients, but those two were the cream of the crop.
“I did.” Another confident nod.
“Huh,” he mumbles, giving his head a little shake. “So how’d you do it? Rachel had been working for months with those clients, and they wouldn’t agree to anything she recommended. She tossed their client portfolios on my desk the day she resigned and swore we’d never close the deal on those planes.”
I try to contain my smirk. “I get to know my clients, Mr. Hamilton. I make an effort to really understand their likes and dislikes—their personal preferences. What excites them. What motivates them. Not just shove today’s best-selling aeronautical features down their throats. I work with them and, in the end, they trust me and my recommendations—we’re a team.”
“It’s that easy?” He cocks an eyebrow in amusement.
I cock an eyebrow in return. “It’s that easy. Payments are finalized and in the Jackson-Hamilton account, Mr. Hamilton. Planes are scheduled to be delivered to both clients in the next ninety days.” I rub my sweaty palms down the sides of my pencil skirt.
He stares at me silently, just chewing on the inside of his cheek when the elevator finally slows to a stop. The doors open and Holt reaches out and places his arm against the open door so as to not let them close on us, but in doing so, places himself shoulder to shoulder with me. Too close. So close I can smell his body wash and his minty breath.
I quickly step out of the elevator and into the lobby of Jackson-Hamilton Aviation and begin to walk down the hall toward my cubicle, the opposite direction of Holt Hamilton.
“Nice work, Phillips,” he says from behind me.