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.
I didn’t catch this one when it was first released because some fairly mediocre reviews from friends discouraged me from snagging it. When it was re-released and I had some free book time I figured I’d give it a chance. Boy am I glad I did. I thought it was delightful read. The blurb sums things up well…two best friends who get off on doing stupid stunts take things to a whole new level and catch some feels along the way. Andy and Jake have been attached at the hip for years. Both are adrenaline junkies and are famous for their crazy stunts. At first glance, you might think Andy holds all the power and Jake merely follows along. I didn’t see it that way. I think Jake actually held all the power and could snuff a dare if he honestly thought it was too dangerous. Andy secretly gave him the lead role knowing he would back down if Jake didn’t agree. But of course, he never did. Sure, they do some stupid shit but it’s more about the performance and building the act that appeals to the guys. When I think about it, what they actually did was…hustle the crowd. And they’ve perfected it over the years. They are at the end of their road together, preparing to embark on separate paths when one final dare goes wrong. This is where the story starts even though it’s not the beginning of their story. Badly burned they become beach bums for the summer and accidentally (on purpose) ignite a bromance that forever changes things. *sigh* Easton does friends to lovers SO well.
It was easy to fall for Jake but Andy could deceive you with his façades like a champion. Don’t be fooled. Andy was larger than life and appeared to have everything his heart desired. As we all soon realize, he was missing a pivotal piece of his happiness and it’s been camouflaged as strictly platonic until..it wasn’t. Leave it to Eli to peel away the layers in the sexiest and most amusing manner ever. When the boys are shut in, together, during their recovery they quickly recognize they have more to bring to the table then they have admitted in the past. Adding a sexual component to their strong bond only fuels the fire and before long…they can’t contain the burn. It overwhelms them and they can’t ignore all of the ‘what if’s’. And it was awesome! Which takes me to….
These young men are extremely close…they know almost everything about the other. And yet, they were both clueless with the other’s deepest desires. Jake has been harboring deeper feelings for Andy for years and has been hiding a piece of himself from Andy. Little did he know, he wasn’t actually hiding anything and Andy knew. And then we have Andy and his need to pull Jake closer whenever he felt a slip between them. He didn’t even recognize it himself but after his eyes are thrown wide open, he accepts the reason for pulling Jake closer whenever he felt…threatened. I loved the dual POV. I loved the flashbacks that helped us understand the depth of their bond. I loved their fun, free relationship. I loved how much joy they brought to each other. I loved that…they found their HEA. Easton doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fulfilling epilogues and this one was everything I hoped for and more.
I would strongly classify this as New Age or smexy YA. The boys are still…young men and behave as so. There is also a quick fired ending that left me smiling from ear to ear! And…a lot of experimental and sexual discovery that scorches the pages. Andy’s father is a bit overbearing but I found it was all with good intentions.
Friends to lovers fans, Eli Easton fans, and coming of age fans…you should all take note of this fun and adventurous journey. Silly, sexy and spunky…yeah, it’s that good. Come on, join in….I dare ya!
TITLE: Five Dares
AUTHOR: Eli Easton
PUBLISHER: Pinkerton Roads
LENGTH: 232 pages
RE-RELEASE DATE: April 2, 2018
BUY LINKS: Amazon