Double Dare (Neighbor From Hell #6) by R.L. MathewsonDouble Dare by R.L. Mathewson
Published April 2015
Series: Neighbor From Hell #6
Genres: Contemporary Romance
three-half-stars
Format: eBook
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Marybeth still couldn’t believe that she’d survived this long with a friend like Darrin, but somehow she’d managed to beat the odds and not give in to temptation and smother him with a pillow while he slept.

Of course some days were more difficult than others…

For twenty years he’s been biding his time, waiting for the right moment to make his move and now that it was here…
He couldn’t seem to stop screwing up.

Ever since the tender age of 10, Darrin Bradford knew he would one day make Marybeth his. He’s been biding his time for twenty years now, and even though he’s been in a friends-with-benefits type of relationship with her for over 6 years, Marybeth doesn’t seem to want to commit to anything more than that.

However, Marybeth has her reasons for not wanting to be “more than that” when it comes to Darrin, and in fact any type of relationship beyond the physical scares her. But Darrin is a Bradford, and Bradford men never propose. They take what’s theirs, whether it be food or women. Will the Bradford charm work out this time, too?

What I loved about this book:

  • The fun banter
  • The steamy scenes

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The annoying heroine
  • The far-fetched storyline

R.L. Mathewson is at the top of of my favorite author’s list (ok, she shares that spot with Colleen Hoover and Alessandra Torre), but I am always extra excited whenever a new release is announced. This time around, however, I wasn’t exactly convinced by The Game Plan, R.L. Mathewson’s latest book before Double Dare, so it took me some time to agree to reading the latter.

Unfortunately, while I was happy to read about the Bradford men again, Double Dare still didn’t come close to the 4 first books in the Neighbor From Hell Series, even though I found it a tad better than The Game Plan.

First of all, I was really put off by the number of characters that came up in this story – I am a huge fan of the Neighbor From Hell series and the Bradford family, but I really can’t keep up with the 20+ names that are continuously thrown into the story. Also, I believe that even though this story could work as a standalone, it wouldn’t have explained what’s so special about the Bradfords (when it comes to food and tricking women into marrying them).

While the storyline was slightly different from the other Neighbor from Hell books (which is a good thing, because it started getting redundant), I found it quite difficult to get into the story. Especially since I really didn’t like how Marybeth win the beginning, as she was always cranky when Darrin was nothing but nice to her (even though he’s also playfully teasing her).

Although the story was kind of boring up until the middle, it did thankfully pick up a lot around the last part of the book, when Marybeth’s secret (and the reason why she was always so cranky) was finally revealed to Darrin – because it turns out she was keeping a huge secret from her.

“She was in love with Darrin Bradford. For the longest time she’d fought it, tried to deny it, but at the end of the day she knew that there was no denying that she loved him. He was he love of her life and always would be, which made things worse because she wasn’t good enough for him.”

There was quite some angst involved, and I would lie if I said it didn’t affect me. I was affected because of course I felt terrible for Marybeth, but I was even more affected by how completely stupid she was to push a very committed and infatuated Darrin away. Sure, she’s doing that for him (allegedly), but can we please cut the martyr B.S. and face the fact that she has a sexy and caring guy literally pining for her ?

And really, I couldn’t believe this was kept a secret for 6 long years, nor could I understand Marybeth’s motives from keeping this secret from Darrin. He’s really a perfect book boyfriend (Bradford flaws and all), who is extremely sexy and well-endowed, and he wants nothing more than to have a future with her. Yep. Stupid heroine is where I draw the line.

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However, the writing was really great – as usual, I should say, when it comes to R.L. Mathewson: it’s the standard 3rd person style with alternating POVs, that just works extremely well in that context. The auhtor masters the 3rd person POV like no one else, marrying the words romantic & comedy like she invented the genre. And I just loved the steamy scenes in all their R.L. Mathewson signature glory! I unfortunately found some scenes were skipped, or were just plain missing from the book. For instance the actual relationship part between Marybeth and Darrin had, or even how they turned out to be friends with benefits. I would have loved to find out more about that. Also, there was an epilogue, but it was short lived and didn’t nearly give enough insight into Darrin and Marybeth’s HEA.

In summary, Double Dare is the second R.L. Mathewson book in a row that I find “good” as opposed to “awesome”, which makes it a bit disappointing. But it was still a nice, enjoyable read, so I wouldn’t completely discourage you to have a go at it.

Detailed Rating
Storyline
3 Stars
Characters
3.5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
3.5 Stars
Overall: three-half-stars