Title: Five Dares
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 245
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
The last two Eli Easton books I read were Snowblind and Second Harvest. I loved each book for the characters and their wealth of life experiences, the unexpected, and those small quiet moments that make a good book a really good book. I wasn’t sure how Easton’s style would translate to a New Adult book, but Five Dares is a fun fairly low-angst read with two memorable characters.
The Andy and Jake Show has been going strong since middle school with Andy thinking up crazy dares and Jake acting as his wingman / shill. As Jake says: “Andy loved to fuck with people’s heads, and he said I was the best wingman ever. I certainly did my best to help freak people out.” But after four years at NYU and their new adult lives right around the corner, Andy convinces Jake to do one more stunt … which spectacularly backfires and leaves them with second and third degree burns on their hands and one final summer together, sharing a Cape Cod cottage with a bunch of grabbers and tools to help them do just about everything … except jerk off. And … cue the crazy dares, as in:
“Okay. So. What if we sucked each other, like, at the same time, and pretended we were doing ourselves? Sort of self-suck by proxy.”
What follows is a steamy smutty sexy story with Jake trying to hide his bisexuality from Andy in the hopes it won’t completely destroy their friendship, and Andy slowly realizing that he, too, is bisexual:
I also loved how easy it was to be with Jake every minute of the day, how having sex only opened up even more time and more ways for us to be together. I couldn’t get enough of holding him, kissing him.
I love the dynamic between Jake and Andy, but really disliked Andy’s father and his plotting and planning of Andy’s life after Harvard Law (and his contention that coming out would ruin Andy’s career). Andy’s willingness to become a lawyer, if only because he didn’t want to struggle for money, seemed so … shallow. And when Andy returns to Harvard and Jake goes to California,
- Andy’s drunken call to Jake from the rooftop seemed completely over the top. Adrenaline junkie, yes. Almost totally breaking down and contemplating suicide? No.
Overall, I liked this story and thought Andy and Jake were great, but had some quibbles about some out-of-character actions (and the final dare in the epilogue was just a bit too much for me). 4 stars for Five Dares!