Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!
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Hannah, Scarlet, and Thomas are best friends who love to play the Daring Game where they up the risks with each dare. With each dare though, they grow closer and closer until boundaries are starting to become crossed but the stakes continue to grow. The game finally ends with the last dare gets Thomas expelled from school, to never be heard of again. Until 16 years later. Thomas is back in town and the game starts back up between him and Hannah. Until someone they don’t know enters the game with their own dare, for Thomas and Hannah to “tell the truth.”
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I really enjoyed this book and it kept my attention throughout the entire book! While this book did make you dislike some of the characters throughout it, it was still enjoyable to read about them getting themselves into the situations and trying to figure out how they are going to get out of them. I also wasn’t expecting the ending and loved the twists. I also loved how the author wrote this book from Hannah’s POV in the current time and when she was in college. I felt like the college years definitely helped the readers understand why she makes the decisions she makes in the current years. Not sure if it helps me like her character a bit better, but the storyline was so unique and the writing was so good that it helped me get past her character LOL.
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This review will be posted to my Instagram blog (read_betweenthecovers) in the near future!

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"Just like that, the three of us slid from the friend zone into one of blurred lines and potential disaster."

Hannah and Scarlett were best friends in college until they met Thomas and he joined their inner circle. Three people who made their own rules and pushed boundaries, they shared everything as they created the Daring Game, a spin on truth or dare with increasingly more risky dares. The premise sounded captivating and I expected to find a story about the toxicity of friendships with hidden secrets but instead I got a juvenile domestic drama full of liars and cheaters along with a cast of completely unlikable characters with absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Hannah played the part of a bored, lonely housewife trapped in a marriage to a man who was cold and condescending and emotionally abusive but she was so whiny and insufferable and truly pathetic. Her excessive drinking kept her removed from reality as she longed for her youth with regrets and desperation. Sixteen years later, she was still obsessed with her desire for Thomas and filled with jealousy and deep insecurities. She had zero self confidence so I found it difficult to empathize with her struggles. And nothing she did made any sense. I also didn't trust Thomas and his intentions. He was really shady and it felt like he had his own hidden motives for his actions. And Scarlett was probably the worst, the ringmaster of everyone else, manipulative and without a conscience.

I initially thought the idea of a thriller combined with steamy scenes was the best of two of my favorite genres but the salacious relationships proved to be anything but. There was no illicit romance, no undeniable attraction, simply obsession and adultery. As for the Daring Game itself, some of the dares were ridiculously immature like stealing candy bars and egging houses on Halloween. They were filled with stupid childish games, making Hannah and Thomas seem so much younger than characters approaching forty. The story seemed very YA to me.

I struggled to continue reading this book and was so frustrated with these exasperating characters as well as bored with the endlessly stagnant plot. I thought the story might get better and start to engage my interest but that seemed futile at this point so I decided to end my misery and stop at 37%.

** Special thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Available May 16, 2023. **

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Hannah and Scarlett met Thomas in college, and the chemistry was instantaneous. They start to play the Daring Game, where each dare is riskier riskier than the last... Until something goes horribly wrong. Now, 16 years later, Hannah is unhappy with her husband, Evan, and Thomas shows back up in her life. And now that Scarlett is out of the picture, the sparks are flying between them. But soon the Daring Game starts again.
This is a mystery thriller but it never really grabbed me. I thought it would be a bit darker and a bit more thrilling than it really was. It was more focused on the love story than it was on the actual thrilling part. It is told in dual timeline, where every chapter alternates with what happened then and what's going on now, so the story slowly unfurls until we figure out what really happened back then and how it truly relates to what is really happening now. I just couldn't relate to any of the characters. There were a lot of convenient things happening and it was sometimes too easy. But if you are ready to suspend disbelief, this one may just be for you. The last 10% of the book was really fun and interesting, and I would have liked to see that applied to the rest of the book.
I received an advance review copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure where this book was going when I first started it. The dual timeline was easy to follow along with and the flashbacks to the past did a great job tying everything together. The twist wasn’t one that I saw coming and I love when that happens! This is a good book if you’re looking for a quick read with an unexpected twist.

I haven’t read many thrillers with spice in them and now I want to read more of them. However, I do think the spice did take up more of the story than the actual plot. The plot is centered around the relationship between Hannah and Thomas. Yet, it seemed to focus mostly on their physical relationship and made their relationship seem immature. This made me question whether or not I really wanted to like their characters. That being said, I really didn’t find many of the characters enjoyable. The characters honestly frustrated me in the sense that I really didn’t want to root for any of them. Which is the reason I rated this book 3.5 stars instead of 4 stars.


*This is more of a note to publishers and had no standing on my review. This is a book I wish would’ve had some content or trigger warnings going in. TW/CW infertility and pregnancy loss are mention several times thought out the book. I almost DNF’d this book, because I wasn’t expecting it and at the time of reading this book, I was not in the headspace to read about it. While this might not be a problem for all readers, it was an issue for me and think it’s worth mentioning for anyone else that might need the heads up.

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This one was addictive! It kept me on my toes & kept me needing to know what was going to happen. The twists were wild - it was just a total wild ride!

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ebook was provided by Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books

what a disappointing read...

Synopsis
Hannah, Scarlett, and Thomas were inseparable during college, including in their Daring Game. When one game went too far, they were separated until 20 years later. Hannah was a mom of two daughters in an unhappy marriage, Thomas came out of nowhere trying his best to steal Hannah back, and Scarlett was far away travelling around the world. When someone blackmailing Hannah and Thomas, both were panicked to find who might want them to confess for a mistake that happened years ago.

What I like
Honestly, I couldn't find any? It had a decent writing tho.

What I don't like
Let's list them!

• unlikable characters: from Hannah the drunk, Evan the 'good' husband, Scarlett the possessive best friend, Libby the busybody, to Thomas the love interest, NONE of them was likable to defend to. I rooted for none because I didn't care about them enough. Especially Hannah, man, she was annoying, claiming she loved her children but made no effort to get better, blaming everyone but herself and Thomas. I hate her. I hate her infidelity most.

• the plot: I came by to read a mystery thriller and playing the guessing whodunit game. But what I got was a messy family drama with cheating and alluded cheating and weird threesomes. Good bye.

• nothing was enough to warrant the plot. No backstory was convincing enough for anyone to commit anything.

Final thought
eh, don't waste your time on this

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An innocent game of dares is all fun, until it gets taken too far…

Don’t You Dare follows Hannah, whose favourite pastime used to be the dare game, that she played with her two friends Scarlett and Thomas. After one dare too many, the trio disbands. Now they’ve all grown up and have gone their separate ways, leaving the game in their past. Until one day, Hannah receives a mysterious text, bringing the game back to life.

Overall it is a fast paced read, that was enjoyable. I liked the storyline, however I did feel that it felt a bit juvenile at points, and would have been better marketed as a young adult thriller. I was hoping for more of a darker theme, instead of cheating partners. Despite this, I found that the last 30% of the book was very gripping and well written. It is a perfect popcorn thriller.

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Hannah, Scarlett and Thomas were a trio- a trio which did dares and had a, umm, relationship. But then Scarlett went to Australia, Hannah got married, and Thomas disappeared. Hannah's unhappy now- 16 years later- and then a note arrives and pow we're off. This is all about how we struggle to free ourselves from the past and that no secret is secret once it's shared. No spoilers for this twisty one, Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A page turner.

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Thank you to the author. Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The premise of this story about three college friends whose past comes back to haunt them sounded interesting, but the reality was more of an adolescent drama centering on dares that escalate as time goes by. Warming this up 10 (?) years later when all have moved on did not really work for me. Apart from the fact that the trope of the bored, sad, housewife who drinks too much, with a controlling, derisive husband is done to death, there were way too many moments where all credible belief had to be suspended to keep the story moving forward.

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I loved the premise of Don't You Dare, who doesn't know that dares always lead to big trouble. As much as I liked the plot I really didn't like any of characters but that had me invested in what they would do next. It made it fun that you didn't know who you could trust. The way the way things built up and the tension moved you flipping to the end to see how it would all end up was really enjoyable.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for my copy for review

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This one was ok, but it wasn’t the book I was hoping for. I absolutely loved her first book which was a supernatural-mystery-suspense novel and this one is more of a domestic thriller with a lot of romance (very different vibe).

It reminded me a bit of The It Girl by Ruth Ware with the toxic relationship between the two girls. The story focuses around the friendship of Thomas, Scarlett and Hannah and this daring game that the three of them started in college that gets very out of hand. It’s told through a past and present timeline from Hannah’s perspective.

It was a decent read and if you like a thriller with romance and a messy main character then this one might be for you.

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This one was a solid thriller. The chemistry between Hannah and Thomas hooked me, and then the mysterious plot kept me around. I really liked the whole thing. The second half got a little wonky, but otherwise, a good solid read.

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This is one of those books where you hate every character, they're all doing horrible things to get themselves in these situations and the deserve what they're getting. I was hooked from the beginning! I read this in two sittings (dumb work getting in the way of my reading time).
As for the twists, I was able to figure most of them out, so no big surprises there. There are multtimes the characters could have stopped when they were doing and got help, but kept doing what they were doing.
Trust no one in the book.
A new to me thriller author, and one I'll definitely need to read more of.

Thanks NetGalley for the arc.

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I didn't like anyone in this book. Hannah, the main character, is despicable and pretends she cares about being a good mother, but she gets herself in so much trouble that it really doesn't seem like she can be all that concerned about her family. Her husband Evan is basically abusive with the way he treats her and speaks to her. Hannah's college friends, Thomas and Scarlett have no morals and make terrible choices throughout the book. Add in an obnoxious busybody neighbor and you basically have the majority of the characters.

I agree with another reviewer who said the plot was a bit juvenile as far as the dares went. The whole book was pretty slow yet the end seemed rushed with a bunch of action just thrown together. And I don't want to spoil anything but I thought it was really bizarre to say she wanted to leave her childhood home due to the memories, considering where she ended up.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you Crooked Line for this alc. It was an interesting listening. I loved and felt all good and bad with the main character. I was nor expecting the end at all. I love dual timlines and this was really done so good. Love makes the world goes around and here was really a vivid demonstration about it. How young people do all instinctivelly and point the finger to everyone else. It was a nightmaire so a perfrct thriller.

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3.5🌟
Sure, it’s all fun and games….until it turns deadly!

Hannah and Scarlett were best of friends when Thomas attached himself to the duo. Quickly the three became inseparable. Their favorite pastime was playing their daring game. After one dare too many, Thomas is expelled from school, breaking up the trio.

Now years later Hannah and Scarlett have moved on in their lives. When out of nowhere, Hannah receives a message from none other than Thomas….it’s game time! But this time someone is playing them!

This was just an ok read for me. I found the game itself to be a bit juvenile, giving the book a rather YA feel. Not my cuppa!

I was hoping for something a bit darker and more sinister rather than childish games and (view spoiler)🤷🏻‍♀️

There are many positive reviews for this book so perhaps it’s just a case of “it’s just me”.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books.

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Don't You Dare is a fast-paced psychological thriller set around a game of dare between three university friends with challenges that are taken to extremes and eventually the game goes horribly wrong. Sixteen years later, two of the trio reunite but the reverberations from the fateful night that broke them apart continue to impact the friends.

This is an intense and unputdownable read that felt like I was rubbernecking at a horrific accident. You know the feeling. You don't want to look. You know it's going to be disturbing, but you just can't help but be curious. This story, told in two timelines - the university years when Thomas, Scarlett and Hannah first meet and sixteen years later when forces bring them back together, with dire consequences.

The story is filled with unreliable and unlikeable characters and is a compelling and intense page-turner. Unhealthy and questionable relationships abound within an intense story that includes a surprising amount of spicy sex scenes. Filled with nosy neighbours, a creepy lurker and many secrets, readers will question the motives and intentions of this cast of morally questionable characters. And while I guessed the identity of the culprit midway, Hamilton keeps the tension high and kept me madly turning the pages.

This thriller has a Desperate Housewives vibe with its setting, secrets and dysfunctional relationships that will cause readers to question who is telling the truth and have them reading well past their bedtimes.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Crooked Lane Books for my advanced copy which was provided in exchange for my honest review.

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I was pulled into this book by the synopsis but entirely hooked by the first few chapters. Jessica's storytelling is impeccable, making for an addictive and risqué read.

Hannah and Scarlett meet Thomas in college. Their chemistry is palpable from the beginning and they grow closer and closer as they play the Daring Game. Sixteen years later, Hannah is unhappy in her life and marriage when Thomas reappears in her life, seeking to play the Daring Game. Sparks fly between them, until one day they're welcomed back to where it all began by a single dare to tell the truth.

DON'T YOU DARE is a fast-paced, compelling read with characters that are gritty, flawed and hiding many secrets making each of them hard to trust. I really enjoyed getting this story in solely Hannah's POV, both past and present.

The thriller aspect of the novel is dark, twisted and ultimately very well done, keeping me in question of what may truly be at hand and who may be responsible. I had some ideas but was still surprised by the big reveal!

I will say that I was surprised at the erotic romance aspect of this novel as I was truly not expecting it. Very well executed (and super sexy!).

As my first experience with Jessica's writing, I am thoroughly impressed and confident that it won't be my last!

<i>I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, of this advanced digital copy for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review! All opinions shared are my own.</i>

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Hannah, Scarlett, and Thomas are college friends. They play the Daring Game. The Daring Game is a game of dares . Thomas ends up expelled from college because of dare. This book is told in 2 timelines, now and in college. 16 years have passed and Thomas reaches out to Hannah. This book was ok, but I didn't like any of the characters. I received an advanced readers copy and all opinions are my own.

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She’s fast becoming one of my favorite authors! This is by far my new favorite of hers! This book will love with you long after you finish reading!

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