Legal secretary, Olivia Warner enjoys being single and, aside from her closest gal pals, usually keeps to herself. But the night of her thirty-fourth birthday, she and her friends spend a fun-filled evening at a local bar where her friends dare her to approach a man, and spend the night with him.
Olivia's not one to turn down a dare, especially from her old college pals. She only hopes the man in question is in for some good conversation, because that's all she'll give him.
Darren “Dare” Shalvis has given up on women. He's tired of being chased for his money, good looks, and prowess in bed. He prefers to meet a woman who, for once, wants nothing more from him than mere conversation. If only the woman asking him to spend the night with her wasn’t his favorite legal secretary.
Accepting a dare has never been so tempting…
She gave a small laugh and lifted the glass for a drink.
Dare watched her lips as she drank. He wondered what they’d taste like. It was something he’d considered many times lately.
He was drawn to her, but unsure he’d ever act on it.
Her whole demeanor said ‘hands off.’ And he wasn’t sure he was ready for the challenge.
“Tell me about it.”
“I’ll cut right to the chase.” As he turned on the stool, their knees brushed. Neither moved.
He thought he saw her eyes lit up. Perhaps Ms. Warner wasn’t as immune as he thought.
“My friends brought me here tonight for my birthday.”
She smiled. “Thank you. The jury’s still out whether it’s happy or not. My friends decided that as a present they’d get me a man.” She blushed and reached for her drink.
“Go on.” Intriguing.
She set down her glass and continued, “They dared me. Dared me to find myself a man and spend the night with him.”
Women…who understood them? He’d only ever participated in dares when he was younger. He didn’t think anyone took them seriously anymore.
“And you need my help, how?” Dare’s heart rate accelerated. She wasn’t asking him to…
She stared up at him, her gaze steady. “I need you to spend the night with me.”
If he hadn’t heard it with his own ears, he wouldn’t have believed it. This night was the strangest he’d had in a long time. It was as if he’d been offered a million dollars on a silver platter.
Of course, he wanted to spend the night with her. He’d fantasized about it many times. He just wasn’t clear on what exactly she was asking. He didn’t want any misunderstandings. “Are you asking me to spend the night with you to…” Dare cleared his throat. “…be with you?”
“Oh! No, yes, I mean no. Dammit, I’ve screwed this up.”
“Relax.” He put a hand on her knee. “It’s okay. Let’s try this—do you want me to have sex with you?”
Olivia groaned. Dare love that sound, and heat filled his groin.
“No. Not to have sex. God, this is mortifying.” Olivia placed her hand over his where it still rested on her knee. “Just to spend the night together—a movie, hang out, whatever—until eight a.m., when the dare is over.”
Dare laughed. She talked so fast he could hardly keep up. He’d never seen her so animated before. He liked her flustered and breathless…a lot. He wondered if she looked and sounded like that during sex.
He couldn’t go that route. Not now.
“Okay, so let me get this straight. You want us to spend the night together—with no sex—until morning? All because of a dare? Why didn’t you just say no?”
“I can’t. In college, the five of us made a pact—in blood, for God’s sake—that we’d always be friends and never back down from a dare. Trust me, right now, I wish I’d never made it.”
He chuckled. “Yes, I can imagine how you feel.”
“I’m so tired after the day we had. This was the last thing I needed tonight.”
“Yeah, when I stopped by the office today you seemed a bit irritated.”
She sighed and ran her fingers over his hand. Dare was surprised how comfortable it felt to have their knees and hands touch. He didn’t think Olivia was even aware she caressed his hands…or wreaked havoc on his libido. If her innocent touches could send him into overdrive, he wondered what would happen if she put all she had into it.
“It was the day from hell. I just wanted to meet the girls for a few drinks, then head home to soak the day away.”
Dare grit his teeth and tried not to think of Olivia in a bathtub—water floating around her body, relaxed, languid. The image could send him over the edge.
“Well, you’re in luck. I’m your man for the night.”
Olivia smiled and her eyes danced. “Thank you. I really appreciate it. The last thing I wanted to do was have to pick up some random guy. I’m so glad you were here.”
Pleased he could help her, Dare grinned. He realized he wanted to anything to put that carefree smile on her face.
“So.” He took a sip of his beer. “What do you want to do?”
She scowled. “Well, we could go back to my place. I have a spare room that you can crash in if you want.”
Surprised, Dare took in her flushed face. “Are you sure?”
She nodded. “Yeah. We don’t exactly have to stay up all night. It’s still spending the night together, right?”
He chuckled. “Yeah, in a manner of speaking. Your friends weren’t specific.”
A smug smile crossed Olivia’s face. “No they weren’t. Which is a testament to how much they thought this through. I would have made a list of do’s and don’ts.”
They both laughed. Olivia had a naughty streak and he liked it. Liked it—and her—very much. A night with Olivia Warner wasn’t what he’d expected.
Sure, he’d thought of her in his bed often, writhing and moaning with passion, but he never thought fantasy would become a reality. He couldn’t let the opportunity go.
His buddies didn’t call him Dare for no reason. He could never resist a challenge.
He placed both hands on her shoulders, drew her gaze from her glass, and put his cards on the table.
“What if we have an agreement?”
She frowned. “What do you mean?”
“For us to spend the night together, we should have some ground rules.”
“I will spend the night with you. More than eager to do so, except one thing.”
“What’s that?” she whispered. He barely heard her but saw her lips move.
He wanted to taste them, desperately.
“I don’t want to sleep in any spare room.”
“You don’t?” She gawked at him.
Her expression was comical but Dare didn’t feel like laughing.
“No. I want to spend the night in your room.” Dare had her full attention. She stared at him, eyes wide. “In your bed.”
Posted by Unknown on 29th Jan 2013
On her thirty-fourth birthday, Olivia's friends dared her to approach a man (a stranger) and spend the night with him. Olivia could never turn down a dare from her old college pals, and she only hoped the man would be in for some good conversation. The target is Darren Shalvis, who was intrigued by the proposition, if only the one doing it wasn't his favorite legal secretary…
Olivia and Dare were very intriguing characters. However, the short length did appear to put some limitations on the secondary character development. This was regretful because I wanted to see more of the friendship, but I understood it being a novella. Being the greedy (or needy) reader I am, the instant I finished this book I sent the author a message asking about whether she had plans to write books for Olivia's friends – Holly, Jessica & Candy. If she wrote them, would you read them? I know I would.
Posted by Unknown on 23rd Dec 2012
Olivia and Dare are acquaintances from the law firm where she works. He has always wondered if there is more to the buttoned up facade that she portrays at work. Seeing her in a club, asking him to spend the night with her has definitely shown him another side. And he likes it. A lot.
Olivia can’t believe that her friends have dared her to spend the night with a man. At least she gets to pick the man, and they didn’t specify what she had to do with him. Now if she can just survive the next 24 hours without dying of embarrassment, she’ll count her blessings and enjoy the time spent with a hot hunk of man-flesh.
Dare is a fun, sexy story about taking chances and enjoying the fallout. The characters are witty and the ending is somewhat of a surprise…well, not the happily ever after part. I’d enjoy hearing about Candy next.
Posted by Unknown on 21st Oct 2012
I'm hooked. It’s been less than 24 hours and I’ve read Dare by Kacey Hammell twice already. After reading it the first time, I just couldn’t get characters Darren and Olivia out of my head. In little more than 60 pages, Ms. Hammell managed to create a devilishly hot, fun, alluring story.
Although at first glance Dare might seem like your typical romance novel (quiet girl meets rich hunk), it’s not. The reason for this is the way Ms. Hammell depicts her characters. Both Olivia and Darren come off as real people. As a single woman, I could identify with Olivia’s lack of interest in the dating scene but also her desire to find the right man. Darren was hot, but he was also hard working and invested. Furthermore, I loved the way the author takes us step by step into his thoughts and reveals how he is falling for the pretty secretary about whom he had been fantasizing.
It’s true that the character’s fall in love fast, but it is a short story and the passion between Olivia and Dare is so intense that it makes up for it. Besides, the author’s description set an image of such natural ease between them that I felt from the beginning that they were perfect for each other.
Furthermore, behind the hot sex Kacey Hammell throws in a mystery, which surprisingly comes to play an important role in the development of the characters' relationship.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that I really liked the fact that Ms. Hammell worried about her character’s health record and condom usage, something sometimes rare in romance novels. This did not detract from the story one bit, but rather added another layer of reality to the whole plot.
Dare was a quick, extremely enjoyable read for any moment of the day, if you dare get hot and bothered at any time.
Posted by Nancy B on 8th Oct 2012
Although this is a quick read it is very enjoyable :)
I recommend this book if you enjoy sweet and sexy romances with hot loving.