Taking the Dare

Lee Brazil
Taking the Dare
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Breathless Press
Release Date
February 2012
Book 4 of Truth or Dare
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

Morgan Hawke is happy with the status of his relationship with Dan Blake. After three years, though, Dan's ready to move their relationship to the next level.

Having seen his brothers find love and settle into family life, Dan Blake has realized he's ready for change. The only problem with that is that his lover prefers to maintain the status quo. Dan's up for the challenge of changing Morgan's mind. He's got plans, and he's used to working behind the scenes to get his way.

Morgan can't understand the changes he sees in Dan. They've come a long way from the office of the bar where they met, but he's not sure he's ready to move their relationship from the shadows to the front pages. Publicity is okay for Dan—he's got the weight of the Blakes behind him—but the Morgan isn't sure he's ready to let go of the past he's been clinging to.

Can Dan manipulate a happy ending for this script?

Book Review by DH Starr (author)
May 01, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
288 people found the following review helpful
Taking the Dare is the 4th installment of Lee Brazil's Truth or Dare series. Each book follows one of the four Blake brothers—a group of dazzlingly handsome men with blond hair and piercing green eyes. In the first three books, we watched as Mischa, Terry, and Brandon each struggled with finding love while dealing with the influences of their family and their own inner demons.

Book 4: TAKING THE DARE is perhaps my favorite since Dan Blake's journey is so powerful and heart-wrenching. Out of all the brothers, Dan is the most insecure, guarded and, strangely enough, sensitive. He sees himself as second to everyone and everything in his life: Brandon is the oldest and favorite son. Terry is the youngest son of his father's first marriage. Mischa is the son of his father's second wife who never took a shining to the other three Blake brothers. In his love life, he always wonders whether the men (actors) he takes to bed are with him for him, or for what he can offer them as the head of the family production company in Los Angeles.

When Dan meets Morgan, a stunningly handsome man's-man actor, old insecurities surface, but Dan manages to push them aside, controlling the relationship like everything else in his life: by manipulating the scene. Always the scriptwriter, Dan feels the safest when he is in control. At least that way he can't get hurt. But Morgan slips past Dan's guard and somehow touches Dan's heart. What follows is a deeply moving story of self-discovery, acceptance, and the rewards which come from taking a leap of faith.

Right from the beginning, I was gripped by Mr. Brazil's infallible use of language. There is not a moment in the story where he tells us how a character is feeling. Instead, the action is painted with such perfect language that the emotions are clear. What's more, the transition of Dan's character from the beginning to the end of the story was visceral. Each emotion, fear, high and low, was concrete and believable. The same held true for Morgan, the main love interest in the story. To Mr. Brazil's credit, each character, even ones as minor as Ms. Green, Dan's secretary, are rich and contribute to the reader's understanding of who both Dan and Morgan are.

The love scenes were well written and hot and there were no plot holes to detract from the story. The only complain I had was that the story seemed to wrap up a bit too quickly at the end, but part of that may be my disappointment at completing the 4th installment. Unfortunately, I can't imagine how the series would continue unless the Blakes find a 5th long lost brother.

After reading all four books, I can tell you with confidence, the series is a must read and a wonderful journey of finding love and stability in a world pushing us towards imbalance.
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Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
May 07, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
300 people found the following review helpful
Dan, why are you such a manipulative bastard? You are a miserable piece of work. Dan Blake is the last Blake brother without a mate. He's the second son of three. Since Misha is the youngest but with a different mother, Dan is the child without a dedicated loving parent. After I learned more about Dan's hang ups, I shed a tear for him. It must hurt to be the odd man out. His mother loved his oldest brother best. His father loved his younger brother best. His stepmother loved her son, Misha, the youngest brother, best. Who loved Dan the best? Which parent favoured Dan the most? From Dan's perspective, no one - he was always second best.

I can't imagine what it is like to feel second best. To do your best and be almost good enough yet not quite is rather ego shattering. No one remembers the honourable mention. We are a society focused on winners and the number one spot. This is where Dan's lover Morgan Hawke comes in. Dan is Morgan's quiet dirty little secret. They have been lovers for over three years while Morgan's been married to a woman.

Why Dan is involved with a married man is beyond me. He already feels like a second place child, now in his love life, he wants to be relegated to mistress status? I don't care that Morgan's wife is openly having affairs with other men. It still doesn't seem right. This is making a total mockery of marriage and I don't like it. When we learn the reason for Morgan's continued marital state, I'm further disgusted. I'm sure people do this in real life and I am going to be judgmental here. I find these reasons appalling and shallow. When the reasons come to light for Dan, he feels cheated. I would feel the same.

I do like Morgan. He's a man who's mixed up and stuck in a rut. He tries to do the right thing yet does it all wrong. I guess that's the problem with actors. Like Morgan says, he can only say things well when it's memorized lines. He's incapable of communicating effectively with his own words. How sad is this? I feel bad for Morgan because from his perspective, Dan is bipolar in the worst ways. We never knew what would flip Dan's switch. I felt like I was walking on eggshells with Morgan because I didn't know when Dan would suddenly be angry Dan instead of loving Dan.

I spent most of the book frustrated and angry. Both men did a great job of sabotaging their relationship. Their immaturity and inability to communicate drove me crazy. I wanted to slap both of them upside the head. Better yet, I could take them and clunk their heads together in hopes of their stupidity shaking loose from their brains. I still enjoyed this book because neither man was intentionally malicious. They were both casually insensitive. I'm not sure which is worse.

My heart hurt for them. I yearned to see them resolve in a happily ever after. I wanted to see them figure out how much they damage they were causing each other. Fortunately, Mr. Brazil satisfied my request. Both acknowledged the errors of their way. Their growth in this story brought a weary sigh and smile to my face. I recommend this story to m/m lovers who enjoy their flawed characters to grow into better people.
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