Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dare to Risk by Kara Nash & Caitlin Ricci


For successful businessman Bran Wilson, selling the large Montana dairy farm that has been in his family for generations is an easy decision. He hates the farm, the land, even the cows, and wants nothing to do with any of it. But there’s a glitch in his plan: a stubborn cowboy from New Zealand who is as sexy as he is aggravating.

Kaden Barker loves the Wilson farm, and respected Bran’s grandfather up until the day he died. With his two best friends, he’s taken over working the farm and caring for the cows, and he’d happily spend the rest of his days doing it.

When Bran charges into his life, telling him he’s selling the farm and there’s nothing Kaden, or his friends, can do about it, the animosity between them is instant. But so is the attraction, and only one extreme can win out.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Ruthie☆☆☆
This is one of those books which has a good premise and the starts of a good plot, but somehow jogs along, with the reader getting a little lost in the detail. Why is Bran so affected by the farm – the level of animosity towards the place is never truly explained. Kaden is a much more likeable character, but he struggles without a strong foil to bounce off.

Chris is an interesting but flawed addition, who seems to act both as Bran's friend, but also as his conscience – which is a disturbing role for a lawyer!! I was confused that he could see the will and the conditions but Kaden, Trent, and Sam had no idea of its contents.

I did like some of the scenes a lot, but some were difficult to place within the context of the whole. I am curious to see how things progress, as the whole may explain some of those things which are elusive here.


Erica☆☆☆
Kara Nash and Caitlin Ricci are both new-to-me authors. At the start of Dare to Risk, I was pulled in and found the story to be emotional and enjoyable, but the dialogue to be rather wooden and stilted. At the start, obviously the book sets the reader to pull for Kaden and not Bran, on who is right and who is wrong about the situation.

Bran was written as a wounded man who didn't want to set foot back onto the land his grandfather left him in the will – to the point he didn't even go to the funeral. To not go to a funeral, the grandfather must have abused Bran, right? Or the farm holds horrible memories for Bran, right? If the answer is no, that means Bran isn't a very good character, right? But he's our narrator, the one in the romance, the one we're pulling to fall in love with Kaden. That bad background/backstory will be like catnip to the angst lovers, like me... but–

There are various moments where the reader's emotions are tugged – "I want this place to burn to the ground," where we expect some major revelation of wrongdoings occurring by the grandfather on the farm. That never occurs, which makes Bran a neurotic character who is borderline evil with his thoughts – like burning down the farm and sending the animals to slaughter. To sell a place because you're set in your life, don't need the extra stress and hassle, that is an entirely different beast. To spew vitriol means there is bad blood there, right?

I apologize for going off topic. At the core of it, I believe Dare to Risk would have been a good read, going by the premise, but the execution was sorely lacking. The editor needed to rein the authors in. It just didn't come together. Ordinarily I could devour a book like this in a few hours. 5 days later... I'm just now finishing it, and I don't think it was my mood.

In the beginning of the book, it's set up for love/hate, a clash of personalities that I so much adore. Totally up my alley. But the storyline was so good in the beginning, where I wanted to know more of what was happening and less about romance, that the lusty thoughts felt out of nowhere and forced. It didn't flow organically, and the sexual thoughts popped out of nowhere in the context of what was currently happening.

Even though there are two narrators creating a romance, two other parings are playing out as well, which was a distraction from the main couple. The BFFs – all gay and into one another. Chris is stereotypically a mess, pushing himself onto Kaden's friend, when the man showed no interest whatsoever – 'we met, so now we're together, desperate attitude', 'won't take no for an answer, so when you reject me, I'm going to do something reactionary and stupid, then make you feel bad for me when I get hurt'. Sam sounded like a disapproving, disappointed parent, but I don't blame him one bit. Bran and Chris acted like spiteful tweens. Kaden was back and forth with himself. Trent was just there, except when Chris's brother was mentioned. Bran was all over the place. At the end of the book, as the reader, I still couldn't accurately predict their actions/reactions because their personalities and traits changed from scene to scene. All were mature adults, with career responsibilities, yet they acted like children.

Dare to Risk wasn't to my tastes, but I will read the next in the series. Perhaps if I'd read the story in one sitting, read it quickly without contemplating things or mulling over the story, I would have been reading another book before the 'wait a minute' popped into my thoughts. I took Bran hating the farm at face-value, expecting a horrific admission, and I would have already been reading another book before I realized there was absolutely no validity to Bran's attitude whatsoever. But since that revelation came on quickly at the beginning, and I kept reading it as if it was some big mystery to keep myself engaged with the story, but there was never anything to reveal, I'm frustrated and find Bran one of the most vapid characters since there was no rhyme or reason – other than divorce, which is an issue with more than half of the US population.

The rest of my issues are fully covered in other reviews, so I don't want to go into greater detail than I already have. If you're looking for a light book, one you don't dive too deeply below the surface, you'll probably enjoy this story.



Kara Nash

Kara Nash makes her home amongst the stunning islands in the South Pacific. Writing is a passion, but so is reading, a good cup of steaming coffee, and the love and company of friends and family. While life carries on around her in a bustle, her mind is filled with the voices and antics of the characters in her next creation. Kara is an absolute romantic at heart and happy endings are precious, which is why she chooses to tell stories of couples fortunate to find and hold on to love. And cats! Kara adores these furry creatures and the sense behind “too many” escapes her when it comes to them.

Connect with Kara

Dreamspinner Press  ~  Goodreads


Caitlin Ricci

Caitlin began writing when she was in middle school but it wasn't until 2012 that she first got up the guts to submit something to a publisher. That first short story was accepted and later that same year she quit her job and became a full time author. She is forever grateful to her readers for giving her first short story a chance and for their continued support as well. Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn't writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful fiance and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

Connect with Caitlin

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dare to Risk (Dare #1) by Kara Nash & Caitlin Ricci to read and review.

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