by Leigh W. Stuart
Lauren Hall has one wish for Christmas this year—raise money to build a new, no-kill animal shelter for the town of Sycamore Cove. And she is prepared to do anything to make it happen. Even dare a man she just met to perform a strip tease for the local knitting society.
Gabe Nicholson has one wish too—obtain the job of a lifetime to launch his career. Only his wishes get snowballed when his best friend's little sister hands him a pair of stripper pants and a bottle of eggnog-flavored body oil.
It’s all sugar plums and mistletoe until a scandal caused by Lauren’s fundraiser threatens to ruin it all. With Gabe's work opportunities disappearing before his eyes and Lauren's fundraising efforts tanking, their game of dares stands to burn them both. Unless it ignites a spark of Christmas magic.
Yes, technically the Christmas season is over - but as long as my Christmas tree is up (usually until January 6), I'm counting it!
As any reader of the site should know by now, I am a sucker for a holiday romance. 12 Dares definitely had its moments where it was hot and steamy, and others when it was funny, but it still left a lot to be desired.
Lauren is a sweet heroine - working her butt off to help the local animal shelter (even though...well, I'll let you read that part). Gabe is lovely for helping her out, even though he wasn't sure what he was going to do in order to help her (bless him). And together they make a cute couple. Add in the problem that Gabe is Lauren's older brother's close friends - and you have your friction. But, even with all that, I still could not fully muster enough energy to care about these two characters. Not really. They left me feeling a bit bland about it.
To be honest, the insta-love is really getting to me. This may be why I'm taking a little break from the romance genre. Not for long, mind you, because I love it.
Back to the book - if you want a HEA (happily ever after) steamy romance surrounding Christmas, you'll like this.