Helllllo everyone! Thanks so much to Stacey for letting me come by, and please stick around to comment! There will be a book giveaway at the end.
Today, my Entangled Brazen book called Down for the Count came out and I’m soooo excited. It’s the first in my Dare Me series, and at the start of each story, a dare is made that somehow becomes the catalyst for a romance. I thought it would be fitting if, today, we talked a little about dares.
What is it about a dare that compels us to do things we would never normally do? I have a theory about that. I watched a movie the other day called Cabin in the Woods (which I loved! Whedon-ites unite!) As the title suggests, it’s a horror film, but it’s also a black comedy. In it, the characters go to (you guessed it) a creepy cabin in the woods. Once there, they proceed to drink too much, assert their sexuality and play a game of truth or dare (as young people in horror movies are wont to do). Traditionally, does not bode well, as we all know that naughty teens who partake in such lascivious behavior invariably get the axe. In the movie, it’s very tongue in cheek, but as the second dare of the night sends one of the characters into the world’s creepiest basement, we found ourselves doing that impotent shouting at the screen thing, ala, “GO BACK, you idiots. NO! Do not open the things!” etc.
But the thing is, dares are insidious. Human beings have an innate desire to be liked. Accepted. Part of a community. And in this quest, we are willing to do the strangest things, like GO into a basement full of creepy stuff, or eat a dog biscuit (did it), or ring Crazy Ol’ Mr. Young’s doorbell (did it, too), even though he’s a known (to us, at least) serial killer. The three words “I. Dare. You.” have resulted in more groundings in my neighborhood than anything else I can think of. Add the words “Double dog”? Forget about it. You’d have to be made of STONE to resist. Which my heroine, Lacey? Isn’t. Check out the blurb and a short excerpt of Down for the Count:
Truth or dare…
When Lacey Garrity finds her groom in flagrante delicto in the reception hall closet with her bridesmaid, she’s saved by her best friend’s older brother—childhood tormentor, crush, and boxing bad boy Galen Thomas. Galen’s solution is both exciting and dangerous. What better way to forget the mess of her life than go on her honeymoon with a hot guy who can’t promise anything beyond today?
Galen had been counting on Lacey’s wedding to put her out of reach—and out of his mind—once and for all, but their steamy Puerto Rican escape is testing all his boundaries. Now that Lacey’s embracing her inner bad girl, Galen is tempted to throw in the towel and claim her for himself. But with the biggest fight of his career on the line and an important business merger threatening to derail Lacey’s resolve, their romance might be down for the count before it even begins.
Sunlight streamed in through the window, like red knives piercing her closed lids. Lacey rolled to her side to escape it, wincing as her knee connected with something harder than itself.
“Oof. What the hell?” a low, male voice hissed.
She lurched into a sitting position, regretting it instantly as pain exploded in her temples and the whole room began to spin. Clutching at her aching head, she turned to see Galen stretched out on the bed next to her.
“Sorry,” he said through gritted teeth. “It’s just, when you gave me that nice little wakeup kick to the Johnson, you grazed my nuts. Makes it hard to be polite.”
He sat up, sucking long breaths in through his nose and blowing them out his mouth, moving the sheet in the process. His broad shoulders came into view, and she found herself needing to do the whole breathing thing, too. Man, he was fit. His traps were thick and strong. Hard-looking, like—
Oh my God. I kneed him in the wiener. And oh my frigging God, it was like stone.
The gauzy white curtains across the room fluttered in the balmy breeze, inviting and coy. So unlike the curtains in the Thomas family cabin. Memories from the previous night battered around in her mind until she settled on the only one that mattered right now.
They’d done it. They’d really done it.
“I dare you to go on your honeymoon without him,” Galen had said last night. “I’ll even go with you to keep you company. I could use the rest. I just came off a big fight, and my organs haven’t settled back into their proper places yet. You’d be doing me a favor.”
“You’re insane!” Even as tipsy as she’d been, it had taken her almost twenty minutes to talk herself into it. She’d tossed up every roadblock she could think of at first, ticking them off on her fingers as she went, ending with, “The flight’s probably sold out by now and you don’t have a ticket.”
“Well, if Marty doesn’t show up, then they’ll obviously have an open seat for standbys,” he’d said, a challenging gleam in his eye.
They’d gone to her apartment to pick up her bags and then went straight to the airport. By the time their flight was called a couple hours later, though, she’d been as sober as a nun and had almost backed out. Galen must have seen it coming, because he had leaned in close to whisper, “Bock. Bock.”
For a long moment, she’d just gaped at him. “Seriously? You’re seriously going to make chicken noises at me? What are we, ten?”
He’d just folded his arms over his chest and grinned.
“Last call for all passengers on flight seventeen fifty-six to San Juan, Puerto Rico,” the ticket agent had squawked through the loudspeaker.
“What’s it going to be, squirt?”
Maybe it had been the bock-ing. Maybe it was that stupid nickname that he wouldn’t let die. Or maybe it was that, when she had gone through her alternatives one last time, the thought of staying home and dealing with the aftermath of the wedding just yet was too much to bear. Whatever it was, she’d gotten on that plane.
And now she was on her honeymoon with Galen Thomas.
Panic threw a splash of nausea into the pitching cauldron of noxious brew that was her stomach, and she groaned.
“It’s okay. It’s going to be fine.” His words and the awkward pat on her shoulder barely registered as she rolled off the bed and stood, scrabbling for the headboard when the room tilted.
When she thought she could stand it, she opened her eyes, made her way over to the window, and pushed the curtain aside.
“I can’t believe we’re here,” she whispered. When they’d arrived in the wee hours that morning, it had still been dark, and after having more drinks on the plane to bolster her waning courage, neither of them had been able to muster up the energy to do more than fall into the only made-up bed in the villa. She stared out at paradise for a long moment and then turned to take in the room—the wash of paint the color of ripe peaches and the sparse, cream-colored wicker furniture—as what had started out as a dare suddenly became very real.
Her partner in crime scrubbed a hand over his wickedly handsome face before grinning at her. “Welcome to Puerto Rico.”
And there you have it, friends! The power of the dare. So tell me, readers! Have you ever done something just because someone else dared you to? One commenter will win a e-copy of Wife for Hire, my fake fiancé story released through Entangled’s Indulgence line, so leave a Twitter handle or email address to I can contact you!
Christine can be found on the web at www.christine-bell.com and on Twitter, under the handle @_ChristineBell