Welcome to the blog tour for Five Dares by Eli Easton. Read on for an exclusive excerpt and rave review by Annie L. and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $20 Riptide gift card!
About Five Dares
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.
Now available from Riptide Publishing! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/five-dares
It was nice having undivided Jake time, but I’d reached the point where frustration had me close to tears.
Not tears of boredom either. Sexually frustrated tears.
“Turn page,” Jake responded. He was reading on his Kindle.
“I’m not sure how that would help me get off,” I joked.
Jake snorted, but he didn’t rise to the bait.
I shifted in my chair. I wasn’t kidding. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gone more than two days without an orgasm. Probably not since I’d figured out the magical wonderland that was my dick when I was eleven years old. I’d had a permanent semi for days now, and my loose, silky gym shorts—worn because I could get them up and down by myself if I scooched against a wall—were doing nothing to disguise it or help it go away.
I moved my bandaged hands onto the arms of the deck chair and looked down at myself. Even looking at my crotch made my dick grow under the silky blue fabric. It was like a hopeful puppy anticipating attention.
In my peripheral vision, I saw Jake glance at it too. He leaned forward in his chair, hunching toward the Kindle, which was propped on a little table in front of him. “Turn page.”
“You did not just read an entire page.” I smirked.
“Shut up, Mr. TMI.” Jake fake-read some more.
But I knew I had his attention. “Have you figured out a way to get off yet? Because I haven’t.”
“No,” he said in a distracted voice. Despite his blasé look, I knew there was no way he was absorbing a single word on that Kindle screen.
“Me neither. I tried humping the bed, but it didn’t work. Fucking mattress is so soft and lumpy.”
“Can you not give me the gory details?” Jake hunched further and stared at the Kindle.
“Rubbing against the tiles in the shower didn’t work. They’re too hard.”
He snorted. “What are you, the Goldilocks of self-love?”
I chuckled. “That’s me. I need something just right.” I used a filthy voice on the last bit.
Jake shifted uneasily but didn’t look at me. “Too bad Amber dumped you. Maybe you could call her and play the poor invalid card. She might be willing to drive down for a conjugal visit.”
“Nah. So not worth the bowing and scraping I’d have to do.”
I gave it a moment, trying to build up my nerve.
I hadn’t been kidding. I’d tried a half-dozen ways to get off, but nothing was working. So I’d put some serious brain power into figuring out a solution. I was good at working around obstacles, but the obvious answer—the thing I really wanted—involved Jake, and I wasn’t sure how he’d react.
Just thinking about it, I plumped up further, causing a definite tent in my shorts. I half expected Jake to tease me, something like, You could poke someone’s eye out with that thing.
But all he said was, “Turn page.”
“So . . . you haven’t gotten off since before the hospital?” I asked.
“No,” Jake said quickly. “And it’s not helping to talk about it, thank you very much. It’s like when you talk about having a tickle in your throat, it makes you want to cough.” His voice was tense. I saw his eyes flicker toward my shorts, though he didn’t turn his head and he continued to pretend to read.
My heart pounded. I felt exposed at the moment, my semi obscene, so I sat up and hunched forward too, elbows on my knees. I watched a ski boat go by. The roar of the motor was loud. I waited until it had passed. Then I swallowed and told myself it didn’t matter. It was no big deal to suggest it. And if he said no, it was no biggie. I could play it off as a joke. But it really didn’t feel that way.
“Speaking of a tickle in your throat . . . I have an idea about how we can get off.”
Friends-to-lovers is my absolute jam and all I needed to see was “best friend” and “Eli Easton” and I was on this book like white on rice.
The premise of Five Dares is sort of what I’d imagine a really cheesy frat-boy porno to be. Stick with me here, folks. Two guys graduating from college, on their last hoorah. One of them, the troublemaker (Andy), convinces the other to do “one last dare.” (These dares are a trademark of their friendship – Andy has been convincing Jake to assist with his daredevil antics for years.) The other, the constant companion, the sidekick friend (Jake), gives it the ol’ college try one last time before they end up living on different coasts. And then bam – the dare goes wrong and they wind up recuperating from their injuries, holed up alone in Andy’s family’s Cape Cod house with their hands bandaged and healing from burns. We all know where this is going. (Seriously, add some bow-chicka-wow-wow music and I almost feel like I’m scrolling through my Tumblr feed. Don’t tell my mom about that.)
OK, cheesiness aside, I did really, really enjoy this story. It wasn’t super groundbreaking. Jake’s been secretly in love with Andy for years. He’s moving to California after the summer to start a job in San Francisco (and super excited to finally “be starting fresh, and in a liberal environment,” because apparently NYU isn’t liberal? Who knew?). Andy has a lot of unexamined feelings about Jake’s moving away that he doesn’t know how to process (spoiler alert – it’s lurve). It’s basically the same premise to 90% of the friends-to-lovers stories out there. But I don’t care. Eli Easton brings lightness and heartwarmingness and sweetness and sexiness to the story and I am here for it. It also loosely follows the 5+1 storytelling method that I kind of absolutely love. We go in knowing to expect that five things are going to happen to get us to the end result and something about that makes reading more relaxed for me; it evenly spaces the plot out which I really liked.
This story is also super duper sexy (I repeat: Super. Duper. Sexy.). It’s chock full of sexual exploration and creative thinking which together are pretty, ahem, hot. It’s also absolutely hilarious. So many laugh-out-loud moments while reading (which I did read during a road trip with my mom – who was wondering why I kept laughing but not telling her what was so funny). My favorite:
“I tried humping the bed, but it didn’t work. Fucking mattress is so soft and lumpy.”
“Can you not give me the gory details?”
“Rubbing against the tiles in the shower didn’t work. They’re too hard.”
“What are you, the Goldilocks of self-love?”
“That’s me. I need something just right.”
OK, nitpick time. There were a couple of very small things that had me going, wait, what? One, the whole Boston and NYU aren’t liberal thing. Maybe it’s because I’m a tiny blue dot in an incredibly red state, but Boston and NYU/New York are pretty near the top of my “most liberal places in America” list. No, I don’t actually have that list, but if I did, they’d be there. Two, Walter, the nurse that helps Jake and Andy while they’re at the beach house, bathes the guys. With his bare hands. Daily. Maybe I’m crazy? But I am pretty sure that no professional nurse out there is putting body wash on their bare hands and washing their patients’ junk. I’m fairly confident a sponge or a loofah or, hell, at the very least a pair of gloves, are going to be involved. Three, the reunion/climax. It was, well, fairly sudden. I won’t spoil it for you. But I did finish it thinking that maybe that was a tad bit much, even for guys who had been best friends for most of their lives. Maybe just a tad too rushed. However, the super sweetness of the epilogue was amazing and I smiled like a goof throughout it. So adorable.
All in all, I completely adored this book and highly recommend it to any and all who enjoy a good friends-to-lovers story. And that should be everyone. Because friends-to-lovers is the best.
An advanced copy of this book was received through NetGalley for review on OMGReads.
About Eli Easton
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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To celebrate the release of Five Dares, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 7, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!