by Elda Minger

October 2003
ISBN: 0-425-19276-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Alyssa Preston, outgoing, but insecure rich girl. Good friend and Santaís little helper. Dancer and lover of all animals. Devoted, naÔve and a little old-fashioned. A heroine destined to find Mr. Right.

Cooper Sinclair, successful businessman. Cynic, but believer in The One. Stuck up, but ready to take on a small zoo. Charming, generous, handsome, a great lover and good listener. Mr. Perfect! Mr. Right!

The Dare is the story of an Ivory Tower Princess and her Knight in Shinning Armor. Itís of Alyssa going a little wild at her friendís groom-to-beís bachelor party. Wild enough to lose her virginity to Cooper, best man, stranger and the host of the party. Itís the story of a night to remember and how Cooper recognizes Alyssa in the demure maid of honor and pursues her all the way to San Francisco.

Elda Mingerís Berkley release tries to be the perfect read for the holiday season. Iím sure it will be exactly that for many readers. If you donít mind a sugary sweet, charming and loving fairytale youíll love this story. If you donít mind characters so perfect that they make your teeth hurt you should be fine. I, for myself, prefer a little more suspense, emotional depth, edges and surprises. I prefer a heroine strong enough to grab her dreams and a hero a little less polished and shinning.

The Dare does offer some wonderful scenes and I enjoyed the secondary characters, may they be human or animal. But even the funny moments that had me laugh out loud couldnít distract from the nagging feeling of a story forced to be perfect, of a story stretched too thin. Of a story in which the characters donít ring true and left me wanting for something more substantial and less sentimental.

Reviewed in October 2003 by Kris Alice.

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