I Dare You to Love Me by Lori G. MatthewsI Dare You to Love Me by Lori G. Matthews is a humorous enemies to lovers romance with loads of popcorn and several adorable pets.

Doctor Danielle Clarke is not happy when her fiancé William brings home a dog committed to chewing everything in the house into a pile of fluff. She doesn’t have time to train the dog, whatever his name is, so when she hears about a great doggie day care it’s like an answered prayer.  The owner comes to pick up the dog and Karen, or Karina, or whatever her name is, quickly gets on her nerves but somehow begins to star in some very sexy dreams.

The only thing that annoys Kara Britton more than Dani not knowing her own dog’s name is how quickly the woman begins to star in the sexiest dreams of her life. Even if she was inclined to pursue a relationship with the doctor, who she doesn’t like anyway, the woman is engaged to be married and not available. Somehow, she keeps running into her, possibly thanks to her friends. They bring the popcorn to watch the sparring, Dani and Kara dream of each other, and an angry, hot kiss begins a torturous, reluctant courtship.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

A breezy writing style keeps the story going forward through an amazing number of funny scenes. There are a good number of characters, including the four legged variety, and all of them are well drawn, central to the plot and romance, and often hilarious. I don’t remember ever being so supportive of characters taking forever to get together, but the author made me happy to wait because it provided more laugh out loud moments.

Dani’s fear of crossing the titans of hard-assery, her mom and grandmother, keep her unavailable to Kara. Normally that sort of spinelessness can be irritating, but here it keeps the women apart long enough to give rise to more than a couple of hilarious set ups. Set up by their friends who can see the sparks and have a little too much fun watching the two work things out. I may never eat popcorn again without laughing.

Despite the loads of humor, there are also heartfelt moments of angst that enhance the sense of all the characters feeling very real. All the players are essential to the story and completely relatable.

Cons And Heads Up

Dani’s friends are rambunctious and sometimes go too far for a joke, and I was uncomfortable with the level of violence directed toward a male character, even if he is a lecherous sleazebag.

The Conclusion

The humor is unrelenting, and had me laughing out loud more than a few times. The author’s breezy writing style kept the story coming at a good pace and the great cast of characters included some sweet pit bulls and a few kitties, not all of those entirely sweet. Good friends continue to throw the women together until they can work through their issues, all while consuming colon killing levels of popcorn. The book is a fun romp with the most glacial flirtation of all time.

Excerpt from I Dare You to Love Me by Lori G. Matthews

An hour later, Dani sat on the couch with Zoey. Both sported safety goggles and clear, plastic rain ponchos.

Jen walked in and glanced from one to the other, and back again. “You cleaning up a crime scene?”

They just stared back. No one uttered a word for a few moments.

Finally, Jen broke the silence. “What happened?”

Dani spoke first. “It started in the kitchen.”

“I can’t wait to hear this,” Jen mumbled as she took a seat.

Zoey cleared her throat. “At first it looked like your usual doggie accident. He lifted his leg to pee on the stool.”

Dani gave her a nod of encouragement and patted her thigh.

“The pee sprayed everywhere. We chalked it up to an excited dog. But the second time, the second time it hit the ceiling. Straight in the air. Then it took a hard-right turn. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was lucky, my sandwich was safe. But the pastrami…” She glanced at Dani, who, with a quivering bottom lip, slowly shook her head side to side. “The pastrami was hit. And it didn’t make it.”

“Where’s the dog now?” Jen asked.

They shrugged.

“What’s his name?”

“Piss boy,” Zoey said.

Dani shot her a look.  “Oliver.”

“Oliver! Come here, boy,” Jen called. The dog wagged his way into the living room and sat down in front of her. “Are those Will’s briefs?”

Zoey nodded.

“You put men’s tighty-whities on the dog?”

“A maxi pad’s shoved in there, too,” Dani said.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781642473896

Publisher: Bella Books

Lori G. Matthews Online

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