five daresRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Andy Tyler has always been a daredevil and his best friend Jake Masterson is his wingman. As college draws to a close and the guys get ready to relocate to different coasts, Andy has one more stunt involving fireworks. Unfortunately, rather than delighting their friends, the guys end up severely injured, badly burning their palms. It’s going to take all summer to recover, and with no use of their hands, the guys decide to spend the summer recuperating in Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod.

Trying to manage without the use of their hands is incredibly challenging, even with a nursing aid stopping by daily. Andy and Jake are mostly managing to adapt, but the biggest problem they can’t solve is getting off. So Andy comes up with one more wild dare: the guys can resolve their horniness if they help each other out.

Jake knows that Andy sees this as no more than a convenient way to get sexual release and a bit of a lark. But Jake has been struggling with his feelings for Andy for years, and has just managed to put them aside so they can maintain their friendship. He isn’t sure he can bear intimacy with Andy when Andy doesn’t return his feelings. Andy doesn’t even know that Jake is bisexual and Jake worries if he knew, it would add an awkwardness to their relationship. But Jake finds he can’t resist Andy, and soon he gives us to the blow jobs and more.

The more time the guys spend together, the more both of them are enjoying the new level of intimacy they have added to their friendship. But Jake is getting ready to move to California, and he is struggling to keep his feelings for Andy hidden. For his part, Andy is finding he is enjoying their sexual connection much more than he ever expected. He craves it in fact, and it has only brought the guys closer. But Andy has his future mapped out (with the help of his controlling father), and it doesn’t include a male partner. He doesn’t see a future for himself with Jake as anything other than a friend. But as summer draws to a close, the guys may find that it is not so easy to leave their romance behind.

Five Dares is a fun and sexy friends to lovers story that I really enjoyed. While the book follows the structure of the five dares the guys undertake over the course of the story, the real focus of the book is on the relationship between Andy and Jake. They are the best of friends and have an easiness about them when they are together. For most of the book, they are alone in the house in Cape Cod, and there the friendship between them has a chance to grow into a romance. There is a lovely sense of isolation, a little bubble that the two of them are in alone, that adds a real intensity to the story. They are together 24 hours a day with little to do, especially at first when they can barely move their hands. Even as they heal, the guys spend long hours talking and bonding, and later sexing it up. So we can really feel that emotional intimacy between the guys, and watch it grow from friendship to more. The pair are super sexy together as they get to experimenting, but there is also just this incredible connection between them that their time alone together only enhances.

On the other hand, there is some stress here for both of them. Jake is hiding his sexuality, as well as his attraction to Andy. As much as he knows this can only lead to his broken heart, he has never been able to say no to Andy, and right now he doesn’t really want to. We can feel both his anxiety about the emotional risk, as well as the thrill as the intimacy between them grows. For Andy’s part, at first it all starts as kind of a lark. He is horny and sucking each other off is just another crazy stunt to try. But it doesn’t take long before Andy is really craving that sexual connection, and pushing the boundaries a little at a time. At the same time, he has his future planned and he can’t figure out how a relationship with Jake works in it all. Andy could have been a frustrating character, but Easton does a great job helping us to understand the pressure he feels to live up to his father’s goals for him, and how that sense of obligation has been guiding him. And when it comes down to it, Andy makes the right move and we get a really lovely ending for the pair.

So this is a great, sexy story that really has a lot of heart too. Easton manages to take a light and easy premise and add a real layer of depth, both in these characters as well as the growth of their relationship. I enjoyed this one quite a lot and would definitely recommend it.

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