ARC Reviews

ARC REVIEW: Five Dares by Eli Easton


35457416Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Received From: NetGalley

Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.

But hey, nothing gets the “terrible two-o” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod . As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.


GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: bisexual


TROPES: friends to lovers, financial disparity, bi for you, out for you
TAGS: new adult, contemporary, romance, queer romance, queer characters, coming out, coming of age, Jewish character
WARNINGS: physical injury, ableism, mention of cheating, bimisia, suicide mention, mental illness (depression), anti-Semitism


I saw this book when Riptide first listed it on their site and was intrigued by the “friends to lovers” plot, as well as the fact that both main characters are bisexual! My favorite trope plus bi rep is almost guaranteed to peak my interest, so I had pretty high hopes going into the novel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before these hopes were dashed viciously against the rocks. There was no false advertising: it is friends to lovers, and both characters are bisexual. But the book was horribly executed and was far more bimisic than I ever expected.

To start, I was disappointed mostly from the fact that the story was not only boring but unrelatable on a personal level. The main characters are constantly doing “stunts” and “dares” that are outrageously dangerous. In the first chapter, they hold LIVE FIREWORKS in their hands and blow them off, and their poorly timed execution results in them getting second and third degree burns on their hands. Yes, I know this is named outright in the blurb, but it was somehow even stupider reading about it. I couldn’t get past it; all I could do was sit there thinking, “Wow, y’all are fucking imbeciles.”

The idiotic stunts were pushed to the back of my mind, though, once the bimisic content started worming it’s way in. That didn’t start until shortly before the halfway mark of the novel, and it started once Andy and Jake started hooking up with each other. Up to that point, the word bisexual was used and I had no issues with the rep, However, once they started blowing each other, it was all “gay this” and “gay that” (gay sex, gay relationship, gay kissing, etc), and one particularly hurtful instance where Jake, the one who’s known he’s bi since they were children, calls Andy “mostly straight” because Jake is the only guy Andy has expressed interest in. As a bi person, he should know how fucking harmful that is and I resent the fact that the author felt it was acceptable to include it at all.

And on top of all that, near the end, Andy’s father walks in on the two of them kissing, and it’s PAGES AND PAGES of bimisic vitriol. I almost stopped right then. The only reason I continued was because I was already so near the end. It was an incredibly painful scene to read as a bisexual person.

Also, there was a throwaway line at one point where Jake compares answering a call from an ex (Andy, in this case) to falling off the wagon of sobriety. It’s a really flippant way to treat addiction and the recovery process, and I didn’t like the way it was used.

Really the only saving grace were the last 3-4ish chapters. However, they were not enough to save this book in my opinion.





Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, an author of paranormal thrillers, a fan-fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli Easton is happy these days writing love stories.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, a cat, and a potbellied pig. She enjoys reading in all genres and, when she can be pried away from her iPad, hiking and biking.

Eli Easton has published 24 books in m/m romance since 2013. She won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Romance in 2014 (The Mating of Michael) and in 2016 (A Second Harvest). Her Howl at the Moon series of humorous dog shifter romances have become fan favorites and placed in the Rainbow Awards and the Goodreads M/M Group Reader’s Choice awards. She is best known for romances with humor and a lot of heart.

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2 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Five Dares by Eli Easton

  1. Great review Leah! Sorry to hear this book didn’t work for you:/ I’m honestly so happy I came across your review though! The ebook version of this book has disappeared from Amazon and I was on two minds about paying €15 for the paperback. I went through some reviews on GR to see if it was as good as people were saying. I cannot believe how bimisic this sounds! I’ll defiantly be staying away. Thank you for your honest review 🙂


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