ARC Review: The Dare

The Dare

Author: Susan Kearney
Publisher: BelleBooks
Date of Publication: July 15, 2013

All Dora wants is to be the woman he loves . . .All Zical wants is to complete his mission . . .All the enemy wants is total annihilation . . .

Blocked by the limitations of her computer hardware, Dora has used only her smarts, her humor, and her sinfully sexy voice to intrigue Rystani warrior-pilot Zical. In order to experience human sexuality—and consummate her love for him—she builds the perfect female body to inhabit. Being human is more difficult and more wonderful than Dora expected. She didn’t expect the sensation of touch to alter her emotions. Nor did she expect chocolate to taste so good. Or love to be so complicated.

But for a Rystani star pilot, accepting Dora as a crew woman, never mind a lover, is downright confusing. Even if Zical considered Dora fully human—which he doesn’t—his tragic past has made him swear off falling in love. But as Dora’s increasingly human allure becomes hard to resist, a threat to the solar system sends them on a dangerous mission to the very edge of the galaxy.

As Dora explores the full extent of what it means to love, can Zical’s sense of honor and his proud adherence to Rystani customs ever let him give his heart to a woman who created herself only for him? And as their enemies turn deadly, Dora and Zical must overcome their pasts . . . if  they hope to fight for all of their futures.

My Thoughts: 

Holy crap, batman! I loved loved LOVED this book. I wasn’t super psyched, though I enjoyed  the first book, the Challenge (a 3.4/4-star for me), but this one just blew me out of the water. I’d loved the character of Dora, the computer who helped the prior heroine adapt to life in a new time/space, so I was ecstatic to see she’d gotten her own book. I had no idea how she’d get around the whole fact that she existed as simply (okay, not simply, but you get my meaning) as a computer, rather than a flesh and blood person and have a romance.
Dora has always had emotions, and found herself more and more drawn to wanting to experience life, real life, as a human. She’s attracted to the Rystani man, Rical, and spends a lot of time with him as he goes exploring, ultimately stumbling onto an old, abandoned site built by the Perceptive Ones (the oldest known race, who was responsible for a lot of the technology in use in the universe). She’s so attracted to him that when she decides to download part of her mind to a flesh-and-blood body she’s grown (having tweaked everything so she had no weak genes, etc.), she finds out what he likes in physical appearance and has her body look pretty much like that. That’s just the kind of woman Dora is.
Rical is a typical, alpha, Rystani male. He’s adapted to the changes in his life since the first book, which saw his people move from their original planet to Mystique, which is where he found the abandoned Perceptive One base. He’s gunshy about Dora, or really any woman, becuase he was married before to a child bride and there was little attraction there. His wife and child died in an attack by the foe that ultimately drove his people from Rystan. He’s a starship captain and trying to decide what he wants to do with his life now that his people are, more or less, safely transplanted and settled on Mystique.
This book looks at so much more than simply the growing relationship between Dora and Zical, it’s impossible to sum it all up. But Dora, even as she’s terrified after finding herself flesh and blood (thus, gasp, capable of DYING!), finds the courage not only to continue her pursuit of Zical in the face of his reluctance, but to risk her life to go with him and a band of adventurers to try to undo the damage Zical inadvertently did when he found the Perceptive Ones’ base.
Terra and Kahn from the first book were here, along with the baby that was born at the end of that book, though he’s now 4 and super-scary smart (and pretty tech-sneaky). The secondary cast doesn’t overwhelm or get lost in the primary romance. 
I thorough enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to gulp it down. I’m hoping Ms. Kearney releases all of her Rystani books through BelleBooks in the weeks/months to come. I know I’m ready, willing and eager to read them.
Total 5-star rating from me!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s