Book Review: Jessica Lemmon’s If You Dare

July 21, 2015 4 out of 5, review 0 ★★★★

Book Review: Jessica Lemmon’s If You DareTitle: If You Dare
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: He'll make her a bet she can't refuse...

Lily McIntire is in the creepiest mansion in town. Alone. At night. Because she's an idiot-and can't ignore a dare from her cocky and infuriatingly hot co-worker, Marcus Black. But she'll be damned if she's going to give him the satisfaction of winning.

Marcus has had a thing for Lily for ages, and he has no intention of losing this bet. His plan? Scare her out of the house, and into his arms. Once there, scaring her turns into protecting her and soon after, into seducing her. And his plan is working...

Lily is having trouble relegating Marcus to the role of "asshat" as easily as before. He came to her rescue, and he's actually funny. Charming. Sexy as sin on a stick. But Lily has a strict no-love-in-the-workplace rule, and even one night of the best sex ever won't make her change her mind. So she's calling everything off...

Surviving a night in the mansion might just be the easy part. Surviving Marcus's increasingly convincing advances is going to take everything she has. Losing is not an option...

In 2013, Jessica Lemmon wrote, If You Dare, a spooky novella where unrequited love and a bet was at the heart of the story. I really enjoyed it and my only big complaint was the length (I wanted more) because I wanted more of Marcus! Originally published by Entangled as part of their now defunct Flirt line, Lemmon expanded If You Dare and what we have is a full length novel. When Lemmon asked if I’d be interested in reading the new If You Dare, I couldn’t pass up the chance especially since there would be more Marcus!

We have really good character development. I liked Lily and it was easy to associate with her. She’s hard working and goal oriented. She also has a no strict dating policy regarding co-workers and we get to know why. We’ve all had at least one co-worker like Marcus and her annoyance with him is perfectly justifiable. I also really liked how she wasn’t one to back down from a bet and took it seriously. What I can say about Marcus? Oh ladies, he’ll easily steal your heart! He’s cocky and never alone, but he secretly has a crush on Lily! Can we get a sigh here? I just adored Marcus and I’d love to go on and on about him, but I’ll let you meet him. We have a few secondary characters that a play a role including Clive and Joanie, both of them work alongside Marcus and Lily. I really enjoyed getting to know them better and can I dare hope that Lemmon will give us a novella regarding their romance?

Narrative is third person and overall, it’s a fun read. Lemmon does a superb job with the plot. I’ll be truthful, I had some concerns regarding the rewrite of If You Dare and I was mostly concerned that we’d get a few new added scenes here or there. Boy was I wrong! While I recognized a few scenes and basically knew the reason why Lily makes a bet with Marcus, there was a lot I didn’t know. I really enjoyed the back story Lemmon gives us and it all felt as if I was reading If You Dare for the first time. Stories with a paranormal aspect can go either way, but If You Dare is intriguing and heart pounding that will leave you screaming at Lily and Marcus NOT to investigate the house. Lemmon’s descriptions of the house and events surrounding the bet are so life like that you can easily picture If You Dare being adapted for film. Heck, don’t be surprised if you suddenly hear unexplained noises while you read.

I have several favorite scenes, but I just loved the scene where Marcus tries to scare Lily. I really liked how he was prepared to win the bet (I don’t blame him. Paradise was on the line!). I loved the interaction between Marcus and Lily in the novella and I’m glad to report, nothing has changed. I wanted to be a fly on the wall at the office then and I still do! If I have one complaint, it’s that the spookiness that was at the center of the novella took a backseat as the romance dominated. There’s nothing wrong with that and of course the original storyline was short enough where the paranormal aspect had to dominate. Had it been front in center here, it just wouldn’t have worked and we needed that romance to blossom outside the haunted mansion for it to work.

If you’re looking for a great romance with a slight paranormal element, I highly recommend Jessica Lemmon’s If You Dare.

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