I Dare You by Shantel Tessier
Publication: April 27th, 2018
Genre: Dark Romance
What do you do when the devil has you in his sights?
You show him that you can play his game.
Austin Lowes is new to town. She’s running from a mom who hates her to her dad who cares nothing about her. Only a few months and she will be free, or at least, that’s what she hopes … until she meets him.
Cole Reynolds is the devil disguised as a man. He wants her fear, he wants her blood, and he wants her soul.
Just a little game, he says, I dare you.
Will Austin survive him, or will she lose herself and the game?
Secrets are revealed and justice will be served, but at what cost?
Who survives and who doesn’t?
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This book is terrible. It is nasty and the characters do some very questionable things. AND YET! I literally could NOT put it down. It consumed me from the first page. If dark romance is not your thing DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. It is DARK. And, no. I don’t mean dark in the fantasy way where it’s gritty and raw. I mean dark as in these people are horrible and do horrible things and this is NOT the type of romance you want. Unless you are Bonnie and Clyde and get aroused at the thought of destroying your loved one and bathing them in blood. If that is not your cup of tea just stay away. I almost didn’t want to continue but I just had to know what the hell would happen next in this strange evil little book. I actually enjoyed the plot and characters. This is not a book for teen readers at all or anyone who is easily impressionable. I am not saying teens are dumb or anything bad but when we are young things like this can be seen as peak romance to some if they are not careful. Austin is a senior who was shipped to her dad until graduation because her mom and her mom’s bf didn’t want her anymore. The problem is her dad isn’t a very welcoming man and the only one who seems to want her is her dad gf who is quite young. On her first night in this new town, Austin witnesses a murder from a group of ruthless boys. She is spotted by the leader Cole and from that point on her life is intertwined with his and this town with so many secrets. Cole is truly terrible as are his friends but Austin does some questionable things as well. There is triggering content like death, violence, murder, assault, abuse (sexual and physical), and home invasion. Though it didn’t feel like anything was done for shock value so while horrible things happen it didn’t feel like the author was misusing those situations.
The writing was so intense. I felt very on edge at times and I finished the book quite literally speechless. I am not sure how I felt but I know I loved and hated the book. The author accomplished her goal though. This book is raw and twisted. I wanted to hit Cole but something he did at the same time intrigued me about him. The character arcs were interesting and the book had some twists I did not see coming.
Horrible people. Don’t seek these people out as friends. If you witness a murder or what looks like one please run and call the cops. DO NOT act like Austin and go exploring like this an episode of Dora the Explora. I enjoyed this book for the plot and the terrible character flaws. I wanted to see how different people handled these situations because the truth of the matter is there are situations like this. And even more, sometimes people are like the characters in this book. I liked that because they were raw, gruesome, and gritty. It felt very evil vs more evil. Cole and his crew hurt some men who honestly deserved it but they were by no means angels. Austin has had a terrible life but she did some reckless things that mad you say GIRL LET’S HAVE A CHAT PLEASE. The author clearly wanted to write a book about terrible people going against powerful even worse people and she did a good job of it. A lot of lines were crossed and the characters pushed beyond my comfort zone but I could not step away.
How do I feel? I was engrossed but I also wanted Cole and Austin to never be next to each other. He didn’t abuse her but he wasn’t a perfect gentleman. I don’t know how to explain them except twisted. It was this weird Bonnie and Clyde sick obsession that kept me glued to the book. I wanted to know how it would end and I must say I was surprised. Every moment of them was intense and sometimes sexy. It was a savage thing that I can’t believe I hated but also strangely enjoyed.
Have you ever been to a funeral where the preacher stands before the friends and loved ones of the deceased and talks about how s***** the person was? How he f***** around on his wife? Or spent his family’s life savings to feed his gambling addiction? How about during his bachelor party when he snorted coke off a hooker’s ass? Me neither. Why is it that we’re f****** saints the moment we die?
Live or die. Heaven or hell. Angel or devil. It’s black and white. There are no gray areas.
You kill a mouse and leave it in the open, then other rodents come out to feed on it. It’s called bait
“We are all the same, Austin. Some of us just choose not to pretend.”
“These waters are infested with sharks. And you are bleeding.” She looks over my shoulder at Cole, then back at me. “But there are worse ways to die.”
She has all my attention. And this is what I wanted, right? For everyone to know that she belongs to me. A message so no other guy even attempts to take her from me.
She smells like heaven and sex all wrapped in one small package that I just wanna rip open.
I’m gonna bring this bastard to his knees even if it means I have to stay on mine.
Otherwise, she will catch me at a weak moment, and lust makes a man weak. It can make the strongest man falter.
“Sweetheart, I am hell.”
And I can’t help but smile. Austin Lowes is more of a shark than I thought.
“I’ll fight you, Cole. I’ll play this game even though I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. But I dare you to smile for me. I dare you to show me something that nobody else sees.”
“Even the devil catches feelings, or he wouldn’t go into rages. Even he knows how to love.”
“And you’ve always been the kind of guy who would burn this town down if given a reason.” She sits back in her seat, crossing her arms over her chest. She smiles at me. “And Austin is your reason.”
Well, Austin Lowes, I’m about to make you something. Completely f****** mine! And the world is gonna know it.
We’re like the devil is to sin. Without one, we wouldn’t have the other.
This woman is as twisted as I am. She is as broken as me. Together, we are two f*****-up people living in a world where you’re supposed to be perfect. She’s not up to pretending, and I’m not up for faking.
“I’m gonna mark you from head to toe, sweetheart.” And she’s gonna be the only one screaming my name in this house from now on.
“I want you just the way you are.” He pulls away. I cup his cheek. This man is the devil himself, but I’ve never been afraid of hell. “And I’m not going anywhere.”