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.
Five Dares was a sexy and light-hearted romp through the friends-to-lovers trope, with a side of self-discovery and a double helping of out-for-you. With exception to one part, it didn't knock my socks off (the one part that did was brilliant), but it was a fun book with MC's I liked and smexy-times to die for.
Andy comes from a wealthy family. His parents are pragmatic and his father insists on always having a plan and has raised Andy to plan his life down to the smallest detail -- and stick with it. It's a pretty rigid way of living, but Andy managed to keep some lightness when he was growing up. Overall, I found his father to be too calculating for me and I never warmed to him. But Andy is not his father and I had no trouble, at all, liking him.
Jake is a worrier. He worries that he won't be good enough. He worries that he'll fail and not be able to support himself. He worries that after college, he and Andy will drift apart. He's looking forward to starting the new phase of his life, though, and being out maybe even finding someone to spend his life with -- once he gets over his straight best friend, that is.
Andy wasn't the most self-aware guy in the world. When he suggested Plan Get Each Other Off, he didn't even know why he wanted Jake to say yes, so badly. And Jake has always had feelings for his best friend, so he's not so sure this plan is a good idea. But he wants it. Bad.
There's not a whole lot new, here, but Andy and Jake did get quite inventive in their quest to get off. I was thoroughly entertained while reading the various and sundry methods they tried, before finally giving in and helping each other out.
Where things got really good for me, though, was during their inevitable separation period. Everything clicked and I loved Andy figuring his shit out. It was brilliantly done and it made the book, for me. But the ending, while definitely a hearts & flowers HEA, seemed to come out of nowhere. I'm pretty sure it left me with a touch of whiplash.
Overall, I'd say Five Dares is a solid 4 star read and I would recommend it.
Review copy of Five Dares was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.