The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy - Book Review

Write on: Fri, 12 Jun 2020 by  in Kat's Reviews Read 10406

Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, College, Sports

Probably my favorite Briar U installment!

“I dare you to seduce Conor Edwards.”

A dare that results in a fake relationship? ✔

Briar U hockey team? ✔

Sorority drama? ✔

Briar U hockey team? ✔

A surfer-boy who looks like a sexy Viking conqueror but has a heart of gold? ✔

Briar U hockey team? ✔

Otherworldly chemistry? ✔

Briar U hockey team? ✔

Laugh-out-loud moments? ✔

Do I even have to say it?

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I’ll never get tired of Elle Kennedy’s hockey romances *insert heart-eyes*. While she stays true to her recipe for success (hotness overload, angst, humor) she always spices up her dish, making her relationships unique and so, so enjoyable. The Dare is the ideal combination of heart-warming, scorching and funny; one moment you’re cackling like a hen, then you proceed with the necessary damage control related to explosions that occur in the ovaries area and then boom! your insides are twisted in knots and you can’t handle the tension and the conflicts that crush your soul. But you’re also thankful because of those fuzzy things called feelings which are all over Conor and Taylor’s story.

There are many reasons to love The Dare, but the main one is that the world doesn’t deserve Conor Edwards. Conor’s easygoing and charming manner, his flirtatiousness but also the hurt and shame he tries to hide behind his carefree demeanor and the string of conquests add up to a fascinating, utterly endearing male lead who is dirty and at the same time considerate and kind. His relationship with Taylor, despite the occasional bumps (I’ll come back to this later) is genuine, infused with mirth, scorching times and butterfly dances

However, there is one thing that prevented me from rating it with 5 stars: there were two events falling under the llama drama category, and while the drama per se didn’t bother me, Conor and Taylor’s reactions did. I won’t elaborate further in order to avoid spoilers, but I’ll just say that they could be resolved without inflicting so much pain.

Now, let’s address one of the main themes of this novel: body issues. When I finished the book, I felt Taylor’s fixation on her body and what she considered her flaws were over the top, and I was mentally prepared to embark on a rant about how much space her insecurities took up. 

And then I went shopping for a swimsuit. 

All those insecurities that haunted Taylor almost drowned me. Having a tiny waist and disproportionate hips has always been the bane of my existence, but there came a point when I accepted, albeit reluctantly, that I was not willing to starve in order to be skinny because I’ll never get skinny. That’s my body. I was okay with that. But when you go shopping, when you find yourself struggling to get in those gorgeous pants or that cute bikini bottom, every speech about accepting and embracing your body, your cellulite etc. flies out of the window. And I am mad at the world for what it does to women. I am mad that people who are beautiful inside and outside constantly question themselves and judge their worth by the size of their clothes. Taylor was over the top, but I empathized with her. She was me. She was you. She was every girl throughout the centuries, the one who wore horrible corsets or the one who suffers from anorexia, who has felt inadequate and not comfortable in her own skin, who thinks she’s too thin, too fat, too ugly, too tall, too short, too real. And I am happy that Elle Kennedy decided to acknowledge and tackle this problem, that she voiced the body issues and insecurities that always plague us and make us undermine our value.

The Dare was the perfect conclusion to Briar U (unless Elle Kennedy plans to bestow more hockey hotness on us thirsty fangirls *wiggles eyebrows*), and the definition to one-sitting-read. So, as a wise man once said, read it people.

*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review*

The Dare purchase links:







There are two things Katerina can't live without; books and chocolate. And since she needs money to acquire them, she decided to become a lawyer (and she still wonders whether this was a good idea). When she's not reading, she keeps wishing she was reading, about wars, wizards, dark princes and great romances. Her favorite genres are Fantasy (both YA and Adult) and Contemporary Romance.