Book: Five Dares
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication Date: October 2, 2017
Length: 247 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.
But hey, nothing gets the “terrible two-o” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.
But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.
Oh man is friends to lovers totally my jam?! I love it, love everything about it. From the unrequited feelings, to the history, to the longing ... it just ticks all of my buttons. So, saying this, I was super stoked to see that Eli Easton's new book, Five Dares, was best friends to lovers. And when you throw in they're in college, well, I was all in right from the get go.
Andy Tyler and Jake Masterson have been best friends for years--through middle and high school and college. They've shared many moments together, some more crazy than others. The crazier the better if Andy has anything to say about it. There's no dare Andy won't attempt and when he has his sidekick Jake at his side, there's nothing he can't or won't do. At a college graduation party, Andy comes to the unwelcome realization that he and Jake are about to be separated, him to law school and Andy to the West Coast for a new job so in keeping with tradition, a dare is made. Andy convinces Jake to partake (not a hard thing to do) and both wind up injured and in the hospital. FYI ... holding a firecracker while it explodes is NOT a smart thing to do! With both hands for both guys wrapped in so much gauze they look like boxing gloves, they're in quite the predicament. Leave it to Andy to make things work in his favor in the form of the both of them recovering at his family's vacation home in Nantucket.
For Jake, who can't even hold a glass or shower by himself, being in pain and inconvenienced is worth it if he gets to spend weeks alone with Andy. He's harbored secret feelings for his seemingly straight best friend for years and though he's tried to keep his distance to get over them, it hasn't really worked all that well. And of course, being in such close proximity and being rather limited in ways to pass the time, things heat up between Jake and Andy before too long. Andy's dares to Jake are sexual, and to him, only a way to get off and pass the time, but to Jake they're the worst kind of torture.
Andy's growing feelings toward Jake, and Jake's continued feelings for Andy made the time they spent together bittersweet and sexy in turn. Knowing how Jake felt made reading Andy's devil may care attitude (at first) pretty hard, but Easton writes sexual tension and self discovery so well that it didn't hurt TOO much. I really liked that we got both points of view ... it was so interesting to see events from each guy as things moved from friendship into something more. Andy was impossible not to like--he's charismatic and charming. Jake is the down to earth one, but like everyone else, really unable to resist Andy's charms, not that he wants to. These two really just worked and the genuine trust and friendship they build on is so integral to their romantic relationship. Thankfully the BIG CLIMAX was resolved rather quickly and it was pretty satisfying, too.
Five Dares is a sweet, sexy, emotional romance and one I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end.
I’m excited to finally be able to talk about “Five Dares”, a college-age romance I wrote this past winter. This story has a simple but inescapable slide from best friends to lovers for Andy and Jake, two life-long best buds who are both daredevils and adrenaline junkies.
The night after their college graduation, Jake and Andy are scheduled to go their separate ways—Jake to a tech job in California and Andy to Harvard law school. But when Andy talks Jake into a dare involving firecrackers, their hands are badly burned and they end up at a cottage for the summer recuperating. That’s when the REAL trouble (and fun) begins.
For the blog tour, I wanted to have a chance to write more about Andy and Jake, things that wouldn’t fit into the novel. For this post, I’m going to talk about five MORE dares Andy and Jake might make (besides the ones in the book).
Five MORE Dares for Andy and Jake, chronologically from oldest to most recent:
1. Swim at the quarry late at night (high school). In the book, one of the dares involves a motorcycle and a daring jump at a local quarry in Boston. The Quincy Quarries is a real place, and I imagine that Andy and Jake went there often. I can envision a late night swim on a hot summer night, and a jump off the cliff into the water too, despite that being stupid and dangerous, especially in the dark. (the below photo is from a WGBH Boston news story on Quincy Quarries here: http://news.wgbh.org/post/quarries-tragedy-waiting-happen )
1. Climb to the top of the Washington Square Arch (college). When I was trying to come up with a dare Andy pulled during their college days at NYU, this was idea I dismissed in favor of the one that made it into the novel. But yeah, Andy would see this arch at the park next to NYU and he’d have to climb it. (Photo below is from the Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Square_Park Photo by David Shankbone)
1. Bet who can edge each other the longest (at the cottage). This was a scene that didn’t make it into the book, but it would take place during the time frame of the novel. Andy dares Jake to try some sexual experimentation in the book, simply as a practical matter given their incapacitation with burnt hands (natch). This is one they would totally do. Who can edge each other the longest before the victim gives in and begs for relief? Siri is used for the timer. 😊
Have sex in a public place (at their wedding!) Their wedding doesn’t take place in the novel but… let’s assume it happens someday. They would absolutely need to pull something daring on their wedding day. Since Andy and Jake are both Bostonians, and Andy’s mother works for a prestigious law firm downtown, they’d hold their reception in a fine old Boston hotel like The Lenox. Andy and Jake sneak away to a private ballroom that’s currently unoccupied and get frisky. The photo of the Lenox hotel interior is from their website: https://www.lenoxhotel.com/
1. Race across a pro hockey rink (married couple). Andy graduates from Harvard law with a specialization in sports law. He’s a sports nut, and when he starts repping pro ice hockey teams, he really gets into skating. On a business trip to Montreal, he dares Jake to a race on the ice of Bell Center, the pro hockey rink, after everyone else has left. Winner gets a full body massage and anything else they might desire from the loser. I’ll let you guess who wins. 😊 The photo below of Bell Center is from this page: http://stadiumparkingguides.com/affordable-bell-centre-parking/
Check out “Five Dares” to learn more about Andy and Jake’s penchant for crazy dares and stunts, and the sexy turn they take when they’re stuck alone together for the summer.
About Eli Easton
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, an author of paranormal thrillers, a fan-fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli Easton is happy these days writing love stories.
As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, a cat, and a potbellied pig. She enjoys reading in all genres and, when she can be pried away from her iPad, hiking and biking.
Eli Easton has published 24 books in m/m romance since 2013. She won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Romance in 2014 (The Mating of Michael) and in 2016 (A Second Harvest). Her Howl at the Moon series of humorous dog shifter romances have become fan favorites and placed in the Rainbow Awards and the Goodreads M/M Group Reader’s Choice awards. She is best known for romances with humor and a lot of heart.
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To celebrate the release of Five Dares, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 7, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!