Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Once Upon A Dare by Jennifer Bonds

Title: Once Upon A Dare
Author: Jennifer Bonds
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Published: April 7th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 181
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Source: Publisher
★★★ (3/5) Stars!

Jennifer Bonds | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Advertising guru Olivia Masterson is all work and no play. But on the eve of earning her dream promotion, her best friend dares her to drop her ice queen façade for one night and seduce a sexy stranger. Olivia’s worked her ass off to get where she is—why the hell not? 

Cole Bennett never thought he’d run into his feisty one-night stand at the office, furious that he stole her promotion. No matter how hard she tries to ice him out, they can’t seem to keep their hands to themselves…or their clothes on. 

Olivia's talented—maybe even more than Cole—so when his dropped hints to the boss net her a promotion of her own, he’s ready to celebrate...until she accuses him of fueling office rumors that she slept her way to the top. She wants to earn her own way? Fine. So what the hell does a guy have to do to permanently melt an ice queen?

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating!

I have quite a bit of mixed feelings upon finishing Once Upon A Dare. I enjoyed the storyline and mostly had fun reading it. I'm always drawn to books where there's the possibility that the main characters are going to be at odds and bickering. I really enjoy those love/hate fueled relationships. I just took issue with a few things that didn't feel very natural or real and maybe a bit confusing or contradictory at times.

But lets start with the things I liked. As I said before, the storyline was a lot of fun. How can it not be though when you go from a steamy, dirty one night stand to going to work the next day expecting to be given a promotion only to find it was given to that incredibly sexy one night stand. The plot was full of possibilities for some very tension filled scenes that it delivered on. There was no lacking in the sexual tension department, especially since no matter how much they argued or disagreed on most things, when they were alone they had a lot of trouble keeping their hands off each other. Whether it was in the boardroom, their offices, or...even a  pantry, they couldn't quite deny that chemistry.

I loved how independent and driven Olivia's character is. She worked her behind off to get where she was and I had to respect her determination to make it on her own merits and performance. She almost worked too hard though. She didn't date, didn't go out and have fun and had a bit of an ice queen reputation at the office, which is where she spent most of her time. Still I really liked her empowered female vibe.

While there was sexual tension, that's all I really felt from Olivia and Cole. I couldn't see them in any sort of substantial relationship, they just didn't click like that for me. Olivia had a lot of ideals and drive that was very important to her and Cole was the type of guy who dismissed those things or just flat out wasn't listening and had a bit of a hero complex. He's the kind of guy who thinks he can go around and fix things, well at least he views it as fixing, and someone like Olivia would be grateful and falling at his feet with thanks. For someone who was cocky and thought he knew everything about women...he sure was wrong more often than not in his decisions and actions.

Cole's character was the confusing and sort of contradictory part of the story. You know how in most romances one or sometimes both of the main characters have some sort of reason to be anti-relationship? While Olivia was very clear cut with being career driven and just not having time in her life for men, Cole on the other hand wasn't. It started out hinting around about some issue in London, like a past relationship type of issue, that drove him back to New York. But then about midway through when Cole is with his sister, he starts thinking about their mom and how as a single mom she had worked herself nearly to death to take care of them and that he would never let something like that happen to someone he cared about. Which didn't really make much sense to me because I just had to think okay then don't knock someone up and leave her and it wouldn't happen you know? Plus he thought about how his sister struggled with her marriage at the same time. But then later it switched again to the whole London thing towards the end. I was never 100% sure what his issue was and the whole London thing was kind of glossed over towards the end.

I don't know, I feel like regardless of the things I mentioned and a few other spoilery type things I left out, I did have fun reading this book. There was never a point where I felt like I didn't want to go on and I was pretty invested in getting to the end and finding out what was to come of these characters. I wasn't completely blown away but it was good all the same. I think I'd definitely give another book by Jennifer Bonds a try.

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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