If You Dare

If You Dare

by Jessica Lemmon

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Overview

If You Dare by Jessica Lemmon

Lily McIntire is in the creepiest mansion in town. Alone. At night. Because she's an idiot-and can't ignore a dare from her cocky and infuriatingly hot co-worker, Marcus Black. But she'll be damned if she's going to give him the satisfaction of winning.

Marcus has had a thing for Lily for ages, and he has no intention of losing this bet. His plan? Scare her out of the house, and into his arms. Once there, scaring her turns into protecting her and soon after, into seducing her. And his plan is working...

Lily is having trouble relegating Marcus to the role of "asshat" as easily as before. He came to her rescue, and he's actually funny. Charming. Sexy as sin on a stick. But Lily has a strict no-love-in-the-workplace rule, and even one night of the best sex ever won't make her change her mind. So she's calling everything off...

Surviving a night in the mansion might just be the easy part. Surviving Marcus's increasingly convincing advances is going to take everything she has. Losing is not an option...

NOTE: This title was previously published November 2013 on Flaunt as a novella but has been significantly revised and lots of yummy new scenes added to give readers a full-length category romance full of humor and sizzle.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633753730
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 07/21/2015
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 235
Sales rank: 104,078
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she's not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at:

JessicaLemmon.com
Twitter @lemmony

Read an Excerpt

If You Dare


By Jessica Lemmon, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2015 Jessica Lemmon
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-373-0


CHAPTER 1

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Lily McIntire pulled to a stop in the crumbling driveway of 102 Willow Street in Fantom, Ohio. Dust settled around her car, revealing the decaying building in front of her, its slats weather-beaten, front door padlocked, and porch stairs splintering. You know, the place where she'd be getting absolutely no sleep tonight.

She chewed on her lip and reconsidered leaving the sanctuary of her car. But she had to. A gauntlet had been thrown, and thrown by a man she refused to lose to. Again.

Dammit.

"Probably just full of spiders, anyway," she said aloud as she unbuckled her seat belt. Her voice came out paper-thin and not infused with the courage she so desperately needed, but she ignored that. She also ignored the fact that she hated spiders, and any number of creepy-crawly things, all of which were probably living in communal harmony inside the decrepit building. "Look at the bright side," she grumbled, climbing out of the car. "Spiders are better than what is allegedly lurking around here."

This might have been the one and only case where spiders were preferable.

It seemed dangerous to admit even to herself that she was scared half out of her wits just being there, let alone staying overnight. But she sure as hell wasn't going to give Marcus Black the satisfaction of winning the stupidest bet on earth.

One night in Willow Mansion would get her a four-day, five-night trip to Hawaii. All expenses included. And after two years of busting her hump as one of two lead designers at Cameron Designs, she had earned it. The dare Marcus threw at her feet? It was a no brainer. And if she lost, she'd owe him one date. One work date. She could do this. She would do this.

Straightening her shoulders, she tromped to the front of the house, kicking loose gravel and crunching a stray leaf here and there. The foliage had changed from green to burnished gold a few weeks ago. Some leaves still stubbornly clung to the trees, but the majority lay strewn in the overgrown grass and clogging the warped gutters overhead.

Lovely.

Other than a few obvious building code violations, the house didn't appear too oppressive in the streaming sunlight. And under the wide, bowing maples, dappled with late September sunshine, Willow Mansion was almost ... well ... charming. Not that she'd recommend refurbishing it into a summer home or anything, but one night wouldn't be that bad. A pleasant breeze kicked Lily's hair and stuck a few stray strawberry-blond tendrils to her lip gloss. She tugged them away and smiled at the relic before her with newfound appreciation. Maybe all the rumors about the mansion had been wildly exaggerated.

A creak sounded overhead, and she diverted her attention to the upstairs windows. An ancient shutter shifted on its hinges, let out a grating whine, and fell from its precarious perch. She leaped to the right, a pathetic squeak trembling in her throat as the shutter crashed to the ground and sent a spray of pebbles onto her shoes. Heart hammering against her ribs, she glanced upward again and reconsidered going inside. Spiders or ghosts were now the least of her worries. Having a ceiling collapse in on her, on the other hand ...

"Get me through this," she said to the Man Upstairs through clenched teeth. "And I'll never drink tequila again."

Yes. Tequila. All bad ideas started with tequila. And usually ended with them, too.

After work on Wednesday, she'd allowed herself to be talked into a celebratory shot-and-beer night by her (mostly) well-meaning coworkers. They'd just won the bid on Reginald London Superstores. The first would open in Ohio in June of next year, and their winning interior design drawing had been chosen over at least twelve other big-name firms. London was a huge coup for Cameron Designs, and the account would bring in more profit than Lily's best friend, Joanie Cameron, had seen since she and her husband, Clive, launched their firm a little over two years ago. Lily was beyond proud of her friends, who deserved every good thing that came their way. It had taken them nearly three months of late nights and working on weekends to complete the proposal, but their team prevailed as the little-foursome-that-could.

Then there was the matter of her co-designer, asshat Marcus Black ...

Though a consummate prankster, the man was an integral part — if not the superior cog — of knocking this one out of the park, but it didn't mean she had to swoon over him like the rest of the female population. Just thinking of him raised her hackles — his know-it-all attitude, his cocky, better-than-you half smile, the train of blondes he paraded at the annual Retail Space Design dinner every year. This year, he would be accepting the coveted Designer of the Year award. If the award were judged on personality, she was sure he'd have lost to someone far more pedigreed.

And now she was being mean. She couldn't help it. She'd been vying for that award since the start of her career four and a half years ago and was sure (sure!) that this year she'd nailed it. Add that to the fact she'd lost a recent tit for tat contest with the man, and she had more than a few wounds to lick.

So, Marcus wasn't quite the asshat she'd like to continue convincing herself he was, and honestly, there were times when his half smile stirred parts of her below the skirt better left unmentioned. And that know-it-all attitude and string of sharp-barbed jokes often came with a good-natured grin, punctuated by a deep dimple in one cheek.

Her heart fluttered as she thought of him now, and she immediately chastised herself. Attractive or not, dating her co-worker was strictly off-limits. Forever. If she ever expected to be respected — to win the RSD Designer of the Year award for herself — she couldn't think with her girl-parts. She was more brains than boobs, no matter what her ex thought of her.

Still, she'd let her imagination cross a line on occasion. Like on one particularly late night, when she and Marcus were hovering over several designs and a few containers of Kung Pao chicken. She'd watched in awe as he slid his pencil over a fresh sheet of paper, sketching the design that would be the one London preferred better than all of the others. Retail space layout wasn't the sexiest of interior architecture, but Marcus wore it well. His capability spoke for itself, and watching that undeniably masculine hand dusted in dark hair move across the paper was like watching a painter capture a sunset with amazing accuracy. She'd leaned over him, captivated, while his aftershave tingled her senses, and his deep voice penetrated her shell. The rare moment of amicable peace between them made her wonder if she'd misjudged him initially.

"Whatever."

She needed to believe that Marcus, with his serial dating history and captivating brand of charm, was no different than the other talented, good-looking jerks she'd dated in the past. Then she could avoid him. If she could only get her hormones on board with her very astute mind, then she'd have no problem preventing a situation like the last one she escaped.

At the thought of Emmett, her lip curled. No. She wasn't willing to repeat the mistakes she'd made with a certain degenerate man-whore in the past. Marcus may not be as classless as Emmett, but it didn't stop her mantra of "Never again" from dancing through her head.

At the thought, her heels dug in deeper, and she made a wide arc around the downed shutter and opened her trunk.

Crowbar in hand, she approached the door, testing the tool's weight. She'd never broken into a building before. The only lock-breaking experience she had was when she'd busted the little silver one on her older sister's diary. Admittedly ...not the same. She took one last glance around the grounds to ensure she was alone, shoved the crowbar into the rusted U of the padlock, and gave it a sharp pull. The lock popped open and thudded onto the warped wooden porch.

"Ha!" An unexpected sense of accomplishment surged through her. "See?" She bent to retrieve the lock, tossed it into the air, and caught it in her palm. "I'm not uptight."

Which was exactly what she'd been trying to prove to Marcus on Wednesday night when she went to the bar to celebrate the contract. He thought she had a stick up her ass, and she'd intended on proving him wrong. While she often went home to a frozen pizza, he was the one dating half the town. Maybe three-quarters. Hard to say. So, two days ago, Lily let his harmless jabs at her power suit roll off her back, had gracefully accepted his challenge to a game of pool, and even proved she could hang out in a dive bar by shedding her fitted blazer and tossing it over a torn leather stool.

When she'd first come to Cameron Designs after leaving her former job, Marcus had caught her eye. No denying the way his stubble perfectly rimmed his lips, or the tumble of dark hair begging her fingers touch me. On another plane, she could have easily fallen for his charm. He'd asked her out, after all. She'd been there a few short weeks and he sidled into her office and leaned on her desk and asked her out for dinner. Not drinks. Not coffee. "This new Italian place," he'd said. The part of her that would have said yes before Emmett was gone, and had apparently absconded with her manners but not her sanity. She'd replied with a curt, "No." Marcus took the rejection with surprising grace, but then the jabs started. Like a kid in school pulling her pigtails, he hadn't let up since.

She would have been flattered if she wasn't so determined to never date anyone ever again in the history of time and space. But then afterward, they'd settled into a comfortable rivalry. Marcus teased her at work, and joked profusely, and she ignored the fact he dated like it was a sport. Honestly, she figured he had asked her out because he asked everyone out. He was a dating machine. She ...wasn't. Her bandaged reputation couldn't afford to be.

So in comparison, she was definitely the more rigid of the two of them. Somehow on Wednesday night, after two tequila shots followed by two or three bottles of beer — she couldn't remember — his jabs turned into charm and she had not only been baited into this lamebrain bet, she'd insisted on it.

"I'm not as girlie as you think, you know," she'd said, one hand wrapped around her pool stick, the other propped primly on her hip.

Marcus, who had been racking the pool balls at the other end of the table, paused to grunt at her statement before moving the eight ball to the center position and rolling the triangle into place.

That smug sound never failed to raise her ire. Chapping her ass seemed to be a talent Marcus Black had mastered. And she didn't want him to think less of her. She wasn't really sure what she wanted from him, but she did want to impress him. He impressed her all the time without even trying. Like right then, when he lifted the triangle off the balls and not one of them wiggled out of its spot.

She searched for the memory of one thing she'd done in her life that might make her seem less of a fuddy-duddy. The moment she thought of one, she flashed him a smile. "When I was in the eighth grade, my friend Valerie and I hiked up to Willow Mansion."

Long believed to be a local haunt, the mansion was a hotbed of paranormal rumors and teenaged debauchery. Everyone in Fantom knew of the story behind the mansion, the likely overblown tale of the woman who fell to her death from a second story window. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn't. But everyone thought it was, so she figured she'd use that as her badge of bravery. Proof she could hang with the tough kids.

Instead, Marcus spared her a dry glance, his hooded eyes wholly unimpressed.

Figured.

"On Halloween," she lied, amping up her street cred. "Night." The more she added, the lamer she sounded. She shut up while she was ahead.

Removing the triangle from the carefully arranged balls, he flipped it end over end in a smooth, annoyingly graceful motion. She bet he never fumbled anything. Meanwhile, she was sporting a coffee stain on her skirt from a mishap at Tim Horton's that morning. Like she had in the past, she took a moment to admire his strong hands — capable of precision and artistry, but manly and rough enough to make her wonder what they'd feel like on the soft skin at the back of her neck. A fantasy that could have been reality if she'd said yes to Italian that day long ago. But it was too late to go back now. If he ever meant it at all.

She blinked out of her little alcohol-induced fantasy, a daydream that was not entirely her fault. The man really was too attractive for his own good — that natural bad boy swagger, the defined sinew of his forearms, and his voice, low and gravelly with a hint of humor, as showcased when he spoke next.

"Yeah, right. You wouldn't last an hour in that place." He raised one dark eyebrow and added, "What did you do, run up, touch the front door, then run giggling down the driveway?"

She gave him an exaggerated eye roll and hoped it was convincing. The scene he'd described was exactly what her friend Val had done. Lily hadn't been as brave. A good fifty feet away from the house, her fair skin baking under the bright noonday sun, she'd shouted at Valerie to hurry up before they got caught.

Okay, so maybe she was the rigid good girl. But she'd tried to break the rules once — dating her ex had been against workplace policy — and she'd paid dearly. Following rules was smart. She was one of the best designers of retail spaces large and small. She had guts. She had moxie. She had ... freckles. And she felt each one of those scattered dots vanish under her blush of embarrassment at Marcus's insight.

Of course he noticed. He came closer, his pool cue in one hand. "I knew it." He tapped her nose with his forefinger, his voice low and sensual. Parts of her leaned closer to him. The parts that shouldn't.

She straightened purposefully. "I'll bet you I could." Her voice was smaller than she would've liked, but she forced herself to meet his eyes. Sort of. He grinned and her gaze trickled down to the dimple indenting his left cheek. She stared at it a beat too long, wondering idly how a man with whitened teeth and supple lips could still look rugged and manly.

"All night?" That close to her, his innuendo-loaded, two-word question sent her blood pumping extra fast through her veins and made her briefly entertain a mini-fantasy about what he would be like in bed. It'd been a while since she'd been in bed with anyone other than her vibrator, so what did she know? So, she imagined. Just for fun. Just for a second. She wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find he took his time exploring her body. Or if he laid his tongue on her skin and drew long, slow lines down her limbs just like he did when he set pencil to paper. She'd noticed that when he'd sketched the design for London's retail store. The way Marcus almost ... savored each and every line. The careful way he cradled the lead, the smooth motion of his hand sliding over the paper. The scraping sound as each line formed before her eyes ... The way she imagined his stubble would scrape on her neck.

On her bare breasts ...

"Your break," he said.

She snapped her shoulders back.

"You didn't answer me."

It was a full five seconds before she recalled what they'd been talking about. Her imagination was snagged between the brambles of the fantasy of his mouth, and the idea that she could use that as fodder for her date with her vibrator. Dragging her eyes from his face, she chalked the end of her cue stick with way, way too much concentration. "Yes. All night."

"You're on." He slid around behind her, his body heat enveloping her, his warm breath fanning her hair and causing her nape to tingle.

Turned on, maybe.

"Hundred bucks."

She moved away from him, palming her throat to catch her breath. The scratch of his voice, his very presence, threw her majorly off-kilter. She had to regain her focus, get her feet under her again. With a new sense of purpose, she leaned over the racked balls.

Infusing her own voice with confidence, she said, "Come on, Marcus. We just made thousands of bucks from our bonuses on the London account. I think a bet like this one calls for higher stakes." She cracked the cue ball into the center of the arranged balls. Lame. Her shot did little more than roll the colorful orbs a few inches from their original resting places.

Behind her again, he grasped her hips with wide, warm hands — she assumed to move her to the side. But before he did, he squeezed his fingers into her skirt, just enough to dance along the line of "inappropriate". Only it didn't feel inappropriate. She felt like backing her ass into his crotch. Pressing her head into his chest. Maybe rubbing against him a little ... Right when she might have done just that, he moved to her left, robbing her of his heat and attention, and positioned himself over the cue ball.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from If You Dare by Jessica Lemmon, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2015 Jessica Lemmon. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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If You Dare 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marcus and Lily are both very competive and are about to find out there are things that go bump in the night. This book had me laughing and brought out my own fears of being haunted. But in a good way. I loved how Marcus would not let Lily run away from what was happening between them and kept challenging her. I loved how Lily took the once bitten twice shy to heart and had to find out for certain that Marcus was nothing like her ex in order to move forward. All in all it was a great story and it was woth the wait for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
niterayvyn More than 1 year ago
this was a very cute coworker romance. Lily and Marcus have a love hate relationship. throw in a dare and a haunted house with a trip on the line and youve got a fun story. the banter back and forth between them is great.
lunashimmer More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved loved this story! Lily and Marcus are smartmouthed rivals that you just know belong together. I laughed out loud at parts of this and was genuinely freaked out at other parts! The way Jessica Lemmon writes made it seem like I was there with Lily in the old creaky house, trying to be brave with her. Great story by a new-to-me author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED this stand alone by Jessica!! I could sit and read anything she writes all day! The whole story idea was just refreshing! I see BIGthings for jessicas future!!! Excellent!! Traci south FL
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Lily McIntire has been dared by her co-worker, Marcus Black, to stay in a mansion which is supposedly haunted for a night. Her prize for doing so will be the holiday he won to Hawaii. With that as an incentive, she’s determined to win! He’s actually had a thing for Lily for two years but she turned him down when he asked her out. If she doesn’t stay all night then she owes him a date….. With such great rewards, she’s determined to succeed and he’s going to do his best to ensure he’ll win the bet and not lose his dream holiday - though he would also love to have the date with her, too, so total win win situation for him if he can get her to leave early! Lily is having to revise her assessment of Marcus, but who will win - or can love find a way to help them both be the winners? This is a humorous romance with plenty of spirit, surprises and sizzling attraction. The characters are well developed with plenty of angst, turmoil and confusion to make it an enthralling, entertaining read, great to get lost in! Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Sweet and Fiesty-great combo for a book ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review**** Lily and her coworker Marcus have made a bet that she couldn’t stay all night, alone, in a deserted house which is considered to be a haunted mansion. Lily couldn’t believe she let herself be talked into this dare but she wasn’t going to let Marcus win. Can we say competitive?? Lily is someone who is a go-getter, someone who has to win no matter what and she will sign up for everything and pushes herself to the edge. Some would call her extremely competitive at all costs –which I’m sure Lily would love the title. So, she knows if she stays all night long, she will win an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii that Marcus won at work-if she can’t make it thru the night, then she loses then Marcus wins and Lily will have to accompany him to the awards dinner as his date AND go without panties. Marcus has forever wanted Lily since the day he started working with Lily and when he asked her out once, she turned him down. Now here is his chance to win the bet and get the girl, if he can win the bet. This book had several twists and turns. The MC had a competitive streak but at the same time, they used humor to deflect how they were feeling. This was a good office romance and the MC had a good chemistry. There was spark between them which Lily tried to fight but couldn’t. The humor was fantastic and several times had me laughing so hard, I was in tears. Co-Workers who are crushing on each other? No way?! LOL Do they end up together, will Lily realize that she has the right man in her life? Will Marcus continue on letting Lily “risk” the haunted house/mansion in order to get her where he needs her, in his life? All I can say is I really enjoyed my reading of this story-If I had any gripes, if was this was a tad too short. Other than that, I really enjoyed the co-workers to lovers story. My rating: 4.3 stars ****
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
This fun and sexy workplace romance is the story of Marcus and Lily. Since Lily started at the design firm, Marcus has been wanting a date with her, but at their first meeting she brushed him off (unbeknownst to him having already been through a work affair disaster) and since then they've stayed frenemies, always with a cool comeback or witty retort but never getting too close. When Marcus dares Lily to stay overnight in a supposedly haunted house with a trip to Hawaii that he's won on the line, she can't resist. But when that dare leads to a passionate encounter between them, one night won't be enough. Will Lily put the past behind her and chance a future with Marcus? I really loved this story! Lily comes across as a feisty, fun and intelligent woman. She's smart and talented and pulls her weight equally at her company. Though she went through a bitter experience with her last firm, she is older and wiser now and careful to keep the workplace free from emotional entanglements. But that doesn't stop her from lusting after Marcus from afar, though she'll never admit it to him. Marcus is a fun, friendly, and smart guy too. He respects Lily's work capabilities and enjoys their sparring, so much so that he can't resist daring her to do things, just to get her ire up. Putting up the trip to Hawaii for her to win ( and a date with him if he wins) is just another trick in his plan to get her to go out with him, even if he's not above cheating to win. The night in the haunted house is what starts off their affair and it's a steamy and seductive one. Marcus is a competent lover and makes sure that Lily understands what he can offer her. They were a really fun couple together, lots of laughs and sexy times between them. It's clear that Marcus really cares for Lily though and that it's not just about sex for him, and soon Lily feels the same. There is little angst in the story, an appearance by Lily's ex making up part of the conflict that is easily resolved. A super fun, sexy read and one of my favourites of this year! 5 stars!
JackiesBookWorld More than 1 year ago
If You Dare was such a quick entertaining read that had me laughing and rooting for the characters as I read the book. Their relationship started with a bet, and they were both ready to prove each other wrong. Lily McIntire has had her fair share of ups and downs, after ending a bad relationship and her job, she moves on to work for one of her friend's company in order to start again. Yet that doesn't end up going well after meeting one of her co-workers, Marcus Black. After winning a trip to Hawaii, Marcus and Lily go out to celebrate with their co-workers, but after having too many drink, Marcus bets Lily to stay the night at a well-known haunted mansion and he'll give her the tickets in return. What Lily didn't know was the Marcus had an ulterior plan behind the bet, and he was going to do whatever it takes to scare Lily right into his arms. Ever since Marcus has been working at the same company as Lily, he has a connection that he can't deny. He knows that Lily has something against dating a co-worker ever since he asked her out, but he is determined to win her over by offering his trip to Hawaii to her. But it only too them one night in the haunted house to realize that their connection is bigger than they thought, and maybe giving each other a chance might work, only by keeping this a secret. As the two of them start to reveal things about their lives, Lily starts to see Marcus in a different way and that is starting to scare her, especially when she might be falling in love with him. I really enjoyed reading If You Dare, it was fun and the characters are so competitive that they are willing to do whatever they can prove the other wrong. Marcus is charming and goofy, he was my favorite character in the story. Lily is all about work, and her past has gotten in the way for her to move on. Now that Marcus is willing to do anything to win her over, she has to decide if seconds chances are possible. The setting of the story was what attracted me to reading the book in the first place, not every story has a unique setting as this one and that made it that much more exciting and enjoyable to read. I have read other work by the author before and they do not disappoint. Her characters have fun personalities and it is easy to get into the story from the very start. The ending ties everything very well, I especially loved the epilogue. Overall, if you're looking for a fun and entertaining romantic story then I would highly recommend reading If You Dare. :) ***ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. :)***
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great when it was released as a shorter novella, now in it's expanded form, it is fantastic!! Clear concise writing makes this a fast paced read with characters that grab you from the start. The banter between Marcus and Lily is hilarious and makes their attraction for each other very believable, and the chemistry, oh my!! This is one you don't want to miss! I highly recommend it.
alkire6 More than 1 year ago
HILARIOUS!!! exciting! fun! thrilling! I laughed and laughed even though there was the "scary" factor to it but LOVED IT! Marcus made my heart ache for him, wanting the girl of his dreams and never seeming to get there, but it all works out, in a great display! such a sweet, funny, trusting, protective man!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Short but oh so sweet. Apprx 90 pages. The hero and heroine have fantastic chemistry. It was nice that the hero lusted after the heroine for a change. I'm so tired of the plain Jane heroine who's been in love with the hot playboy hero forever. It gets old. And I adored how playful they were towards the end. It just made me smile and I love that. Will read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Oh, I loved this novella--couldn't put it down! Even though it was of a shorter length, it was nearly perfect: an enemies to lovers troupe with a perfect blend of creepy storytelling and fun romance. Honestly, I couldn't find a single thing to criticize here--the one question I had at the end was answered in the epilogue ;) I am eagerly awaiting more from this author--novella or full-length novel! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
shirley_frances More than 1 year ago
2.75 stars Lily is not thrilled to be fulfilling the dare her co-worker, Marcus, threw at her. But she is a determined woman and she will make the most of the situation. That is until some unusual, spooky things start happening inside the house. With her nerves prickling and her heart beating out of her chest, she will wait out the night inside the haunted mansion. Marcus has had a thing for Lily since they started working together. He admires her intelligence and her ambition. He knows that his behavior has not been the most welcoming for her to let down her guard around him, but he can't help himself - Lily arises feeling in him he can't control. He decides to spy on Lily while she's spending the night in that dreaded house. Yes, he dared her to do it, but his protective instinct won't let him be anywhere else while she's all alone in that house. I liked the concept behind the story, but there was something that felt off in its execution. I don't know if it was because I couldn't connect with Lily or if it was the insta-love aspect of the story. I liked Lily, but I didn't love her. There was something that kept me from relating to her and I just can't put my finger on it. On the other hand, I loved Marcus. With his sexiness and sense of humor, it was easy for me to connect with him. I enjoyed his voice and his alpha-male tendencies when it came to protecting Lily. It showed the side of him that cared deeply for her and I could not resist falling for him myself. Lily and Marcus chemistry was great, if a little lacking. I didn't jumped off the page for me as I expected it would. I did find their banter entertaining and their interactions interesting though. I think that their connection could have been explored more so that their pairing could have been more believable to me. All in all, an interesting read with some paranormal aspects thrown into the mix to round it all up. *I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wintry8 More than 1 year ago
I love a story that manages to give me goosebumps and “aww” moments all at the same time, and If You Dare managed to do just that. I loved that the tables were turned in this one. Instead of girl-likes-boy-but-doesn’t-have-the-guts-to-tell-him, it was more like girl-thinks-boy’s-a-douche-and-shouldn’t-be-alive. With a male character that has been crushing on the female character for two years, this story had some interesting twists. When Marcus Black dares Lily McIntyre to stay in a haunted house for a whole night on Friday the 13th, she accepts, because if she wins, she gets a trip to Hawaii and if she loses, she has to go to an awards dinner with Marcus. But Marcus has other plans. For one he really cares about her, and having her lose the bet is a sure-fire way for him to get a date. When Marcus’s plans go awry, we find the characters stuck together in the haunted house. Throw in some weird sounds, a strange blackout, and a man who can make you feel safe, well, you can all guess where that leads. Then you put in a ghost or two and you are well-spooked, yet pleasantly romanced. This is a definite must-read.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Such a fun, sweet romantic mystery.  I loved Marcus in this book.  He comes across as kinda cocky in the beginning but has a heart of gold filled with love for Lily.  I enjoyed Lily as a character too.  She was strong and stood up for herself even when she was afraid.  Their bantering back and forth was pretty funny.  I had quite a few smiles.  I am not sure I would have stayed in that spooky mansion (still have creepy thoughts in my head), but it brought them together.  Their story was quick and spicy, with a mixture of love and mystery.  Very enjoyable.  They are a very cute couple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It had everything that I am looking for in a book, including a little scare! I liked the heroine immediately and could totally see why she would set herself up. The heroine is Lily McInture, who is tired of losing every office wager to her overly cocky—coworker, Marcus Black. Now initially, I wash't a big fan of Marcus because he kind of seemed like a jerk, but after reading more into the book, I get him and like him. This was a well written book that was sexy, spicy and scary! * Received ARC for an honest and unbiased review. *
BabelT More than 1 year ago
A daring title for a story that is all about courage. The courage you muster to face fear. The courage you need to open your heart. The kind of courage that stems from trust, challenge, and love. This novella sparked my interest from the premise of two co-workers who make a very unusual but provocative bet. Lily and Marcus have been taunting each other for a couple of years now. They are both designers in a company, but seem to be unable to get along. She is too uptight and unrelenting. He is too cocky and never tires of parading Bimbos on his arm. They just don't fit together. One night, though, everyone in the company is celebrating and, after too many drinks, the bet is on. If Lily can withstand the scariest nights of all, Friday 13th, alone in a haunted mansion, she will win a trip to Hawaii. If not, she will have to become one of those Bimbos she can't stand the sight of. Of course, that night will bring more surprises for this couple-in-the-making that they could have ever dreamt of.  Straight to the point, the story delivers effortlessly the very essence of paranormal romance. Well-defined characters who bring along their emotional baggage cross the boundaries of what they expect from each other and start a chain of events that will change how they feel and their future too. I think the story is well written, entertaining, and funny. It's fast enough to keep you on edge and slow enough to accept the developing feelings of Lily and Marcus as plausible. They find themselves in a daunting situation inside the haunted mansion but still find the opportunity to get closer. Perhaps that was a little bit unbelievable, but fear does get adrenaline pumping and when the body is in high alert, all functions scream for attention. I like the way the characters taunt each other, how they interact when they don't want their feeling to be too obvious. There is room for paranormal activities throughout the plot, and they add a pinch of action and tension that is welcome. Then comes the sexy part. Oh, yes, sizzling enough to make you forget where you are. There is love too. And let's face it, heat and fear are great, but romance is the cream in the cake.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely a fun and spooky read. I don't usually like short stories because they feel like something has been left out, but not with this one. This is a boy likes girl but thinks she doesn't like him so he is a jerk to her and vice versa story. As the story progresses we see that Marcus is actually a caring man and he would rather make love not war with Lily. It starts out with a dare from Marcus that is accepted by Lily and it ends with a ghost. The setting of a haunted house provides a different place for the romance to take place. I loved that Lily goes there and Marcus tries to scare her (just like in high school). When she catches him at it he talks his way in and ends up staying with her. They finally get together, but Lily still suspects that Marcus is playing games with her. She hurts his feelings with her lack of trust, but even through the hurt Marcus cares about her and doesn't want to see her hurt. The characters were likeable and I cared what happened with them. I would definitely recommend this story. (This review was written after reading an ARC from the publisher.) DonnaMarsh
PsiqueBezerra More than 1 year ago
I liked this plot, a dare is always such a fun story, but this novella bring the sweet and hot together, because Marcus is such a nice guy, but at the same time he has a crush in Lily for a long time, the only problem is his fame of a womanizer and she wants more from a guy, especially since he works with her. I agree is dangerous for these two to start a relationship, but that night in the creepy house made them realise things could be different between them. I really liked this story and the fun part for me was the epilogue. A chance to see the future is always nice.
My_Peace More than 1 year ago
If You Dare by Jessica Lemmon will have your heart pounding and hoping all at the same time!   I admit I didn't fully read the blurb before reading If You Dare, because I love all of Jessica's books, so how could I not love this one too?  Well, Jessica did not disappoint even though she takes us to a bit of a different place than her previous books!  If You Dare will have your heart pounding and hoping all at the same time!   Lily and Marcus have always been competetive at work.  Lily sees Marcus as a womanizer, someone to steer clear of.  Marcus has secretly lusted after Lily since he first laid eyes on her...not that he would ever admit that to her!  He figures any attention from her is better than none, even if it means they antagonize each other half the time.   When Lily loses a bet to Marcus, she has to stay all night in a house rumored to be haunted.  The prize if she makes it through the night?  The trip to Hawaii that Marcus won at work.  Marcus really wants that trip, but he also really wants Lily.  His plan to scare her out of the house backfires on him, and they end up in the house together.  Soon despite eerie happenings, the heater dying, and their lights dying, they create their own heat!  But someone or something doesn't want them there...and despite Lily's accusations that he's used her, that the events are Marcus's doing and the hurt that causes him, Marcus is determined to protect Lily and keep her safe.  But can they outsmart something that is determined and has nothing to lose?  And if they do will Lily finally take the chance on Marcus?   Fun, hot and sometimes down right scary, If You Dare will have you on the edge of your seat and hearing things in the night!  Jessica gives us a fast paced, humorous at times novella in If You Dare.  I really liked Lily and Marcus...Marcus on the inside is completely different than Marcus on the inside, if only Lily can see this.  Lily has a lot more spunk than Marcus gives her credit for...she is full of surprises!  The mix of romance, suspense and paranormal that Jessica gives us in If You Dare will give you chills and thrills!   I loved this novella and would recommend it to any romance reader who likes things hot and haunted!  
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
SHE'LL MAKE HIM A BET… Lily McIntire is sick of losing every office wager to her overly cocky—and yeah, devilishly handsome—coworker, Marcus Black. After a few too many tequila shots, and a taunt from Marcus that she's a wuss, Lily lays down a bet he can't refuse: One night in the abandoned and spooky Willow Mansion alone for his recent office win, a trip to Hawaii. HE CAN'T REFUSE… There's only one thing Marcus wants more than his upcoming vacation to Hawaii; it's to take his sexy coworker on a real date. Every time he's tried to get close to Lily, she's shut him down cold. Too bad the sexual tension has hit the boiling point. Now, he'll have to scare her out of the mansion if he has a prayer of taking her out any time soon. UNTIL ALL BETS ARE OFF… But in between trying to scare Lily out of her pants and get his hands into them, Marcus realizes there’s more to the mansion than either of them counted on. Suddenly, it’s not just he and Lily that are going "bump in the night". If they manage to survive the night and escape the mansion unscathed, can they survive each other in the light of day? Or will what happens at Willow Mansion stay at Willow Mansion? Review: What a great book, it was a little scary, a little fun and a little sexy. Marcus and Lily have been working together and secretly crushing on each other, though they hid it by picking on, competing with and just annoying each other. The competing and one-up-manship come to a head when they bet that Lily cannot spend the night in a known haunted house and if she wins she gets to take the trip Marcus won to Hawaii. I really enjoyed the dialog between the two main characters and their chemistry. I did not expect there to actually be ghosts in the house, I expected it to be the friends pushing them together. So I was pleasantly surprised with the climatic scenes in the house. A very enjoyable story and cannot wait to read more by Ms. Lemmon! 3.5 stars
jenababy13 More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, If You Dare started out a bit slow for me but then when it completely flipped its tune and not only got sexy but scared the living day lights out of me... I was SO completely sold! The book is super adorable and yet super thrilling… total win! I absolutely loved getting to know Marcus and Lily and watching them slowly but surely come together. It was a nice change of pace to see the man pinning after the girl for so long, versus the girl pinning after the guy. It was a welcoming role reversal. Then throwing in the fun but sweet banter and a thrilling bet, and you get major sparks flying. This book surprised me in the best way because I was not expecting it to be as much as a  thriller as it was. When I think of Entangled's contemporary line, I usually think sexy fairy tales, with some kind of personal problems thrown in, but with If You Dare, you get a romantically thriller and it was brilliantly done. When the bells jingled from the top of the stairs... I literally got chills. So well done, I actually wanted to pee my pants at one point. If you're looking for a quick, sexy, and thrilling read… this is it! Definitely give it a shot!