Sharon’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
As a preface to this review, I have to say that I haven’t read any of the other Invitation to Eden novels. That said, I did enjoyed this novel without having to know who the other characters were. Gabe and Isabelle steamed up the pages together. It was a really enjoyable book, yet somewhat predictable.
Isabelle is on the run from her crappy fiance, Lance, and through a series of unfortunate (or fortunate in Gabe’s case) events lands in the lap of Gabriel Dare who has desired her for a while. She’s out of options and he gives her a way out. She takes it and the sparks fly between them. But, suddenly, Isabelle feels like she needs to make it on her own. She strikes back out into the world and without the help of Gabe, she finds her place. In the end, their reconciliation is oh so sweet. Gabe and Isabelle reunite and it is a wonder why they ever parted. I love happy endings in romance books and this one ends on a delightful note.
Although I’m happy to have read this book, there were several problems I had along the way.
Jumping from first person to third depending on the chapter: All the Isabelle chapters are in first person. All the rest are in third. It was jarring for me sometimes. I also don’t care for first person storytelling but that is just a personal opinion.
Too much telling and not showing: Gabe’s sister, Lucy, comes into their lives and all of a sudden she and Isabelle are BFFs. In my opinion, there just wasn’t enough interaction between the two of them to warrant this kind of friendship.
Time jumps: They happen in the story. Sometimes they’re explained. Sometimes it’s just BAM “later”. It made me feel lost a few times.
Isabelle’s lack of development: Ok, Izzy is in a tough spot and she has to turn to Gabriel for help. Sure, fine. But then she suddenly decides she needs to be independent of him and make her own way in the world? Okay, I’ll go with it. But she ends up in just another situation where she doesn’t really have any hardships to work through. She’s suddenly got a great apartment and job. Yay? Ultimately, Isabelle never developed very well as a character for me.
Having said that, there were still also plenty of good parts. The sex scenes between the hero and heroine were great. Hot. Gabe is a sweet alpha who wants Izzy to submit in the bedroom. He wants to possess her and I love that about him. He wants to provide and care for her in every way. They’re wonderful together.
DARE TO SURRENDER was a very satisfying short read for me. It hit all my happy buttons for a non-alphahole male and a compliant but spunky female. Was it groundbreaking? No. But it was a great, relaxing read nonetheless.