Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Dare to Kiss by S.B. Alexander

Besides her family, Lacey Robinson’s only other love is baseball. She’s on top of the world when Arizona State University approaches her to discuss a scholarship. To be the first girl ever to grace a college boys’ team is beyond what she has ever dreamed.

Her fastball is impeccable, her curveball equally as good, and her slider annihilates anyone who dares to step in the batter’s box. But fate has its own way of throwing curveballs. When she looses her mother and sister to a home invasion, baseball and her dreams die with them. Tragedy has a way of seeping deep into her psyche, causing nightmares, panic attacks and blackouts. Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, her psychiatrist recommends a change of scenery and picking up the things that she loved to do, and for Lacey that is baseball.

After a move clear across the country, only two things matter to Lacey—overcome her PTSD and make Kensington High’s baseball team. But trying out for the team comes with obstacles—the captain, Aaron Seever, doesn’t want a girl on the team.

Her life is further complicated when she meets Kade Maxwell, a tall, sexy and drool-worthy bad boy who has a magical touch that awakens her feminine side and a kiss that slowly erases her nightmares. But getting involved with him may be dangerous when Kade’s archenemy returns to town to settle a vendetta.

To complicate matters, her PTSD has taken a turn for the worse. She has to find a way to heal otherwise she may not have a chance at anything in life, especially love.

ebook, 309 pages
Expected publication: September 30, 2014 
Genre: New Adult

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I picked up this book. The synopsis sounded intriguing but with the baseball angle ( a sport that puts me to sleep) I feared that it might not hold my interest.

This book is more about Lacey's struggle with PTSD than it is about baseball. Don't get me is a very important part of the story, but her struggle to heal from a very traumatic event is the bigger focus. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. Alexander does a great job at describing her turmoil and I think she nailed the worries and concerns of a teenage girl. She was also spot on with the pressures and bullying that occur within the walls of a high school.

The day before Lacey is to start at her new school she has a run in with Kade. Let me just say WOW! What a way to meet a person. Although their first few interactions are less than ideal, the tension and chemistry between the two are oozing off the pages. I don't know how to explain it but to say that I had goosebumps on numerous occasions. Kade is every girls dream with his sexy good looks and mysterious personality. He is definitely book boyfriend worthy. Lacey is also a down to earth and a likeable character. I appreciated the fact that although she was troubled, she wasn't weak and helpless for the most part. The supporting characters from Becca to the Maxwell triplets (Kade's brothers) rounded out an enjoyable and well developed group of players in the story.

Along with Lacey's struggles to overcome her PTSD and her budding relationship with Kade she has to deal with peers that do not want her on their baseball team. This may sound typical of the teenage experience but with the unusual death of a girl from the team two years prior and some shady characters with a vendetta against the Maxwell brothers, it is anything but typical.

The story flowed well and I was invested the entire time. This book is the first in a series and although there is no cliff hanger exactly there are still many issues that will make you want to read more. The next book will continue Lacey and Kade's story but it is my hope that each of the Maxwell triplets will get a story of their own as well.

I really enjoyed this book. S.B. Alexander is a new author to me that I will be keeping a close eye on. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Check out the book trailer!


Q&A with S.B. Alexander

Where did you get the idea for the plot of Dare to Kiss?

Growing up I was an active little girl in just about every sport. Since girls couldn't play,I wanted to create a world where they did. I also wanted to show that no matter what you've been through, surrounding yourself with the things you love to do and the people you love can help to overcome the nightmares and grief in your life. It has for me.

Noting your love of baseball, is the character of Lacey modeled after you?

When I started writing Dare to Kiss, I had a feisty character in mind for Lacey Robinson.But as I continued to write, Lacey's personality turned out to be so much more. She's strong, determined and loveable. She has weaknesses that get in her way, but her determination is what shapes her. Part of her is modeled after me, but I was never feisty growing up. I was actually a shy kid.

After writing two Young Adult books, what inspired you to write New Adult fiction and how was writing this genre different?

I didn't think too much about the genre. I wanted to get the story down on paper. As it unfolded it just happened to fit into the New Adult genre, although as I was writing Dare to Kiss I found I had a little more freedom to detail the romance element.

How do you balance your time between working full time and writing on the side?

I travel quite frequently for my job, and in doing so, I find a snippet of time on an airplane or at night in a hotel room. I also dedicate at least one day on the weekends to writing.

Without any spoilers of course, what can we expect from the next book in the series?

Dare to Dream is the next book in the series, and I'm so excited to finish it.Readers will be able to get into Kade's head to see his thoughts and more of his life. The tension between Kade and his enemy will also play a part in Dare to Dream. Lacey will have more to worry about when the question about who killed her family takes centre stage, creating more suspense and intrigue.

About the Author
S. B. Alexander’s passion for writing began when she read her first Stephen King novel, The Shining. Over the years she kept telling family and friends she was going to write a book. Fifteen years later, on the advice of a friend, she sat down and wrote her first novel. One year later, she published two novels with three more slotted for release. Her books are targeted toward the young adult and new adult markets.

Her young adult series, Vampire SEALS, includes two books, On the Edge of Humanity, and On the Edge of Eternity, which have garnered high praise from readers. Dare to Kiss is the first book in her new adult series.

Alexander’s career has been colorful—a former navy veteran, high school math teacher and college professor, sales consultant, coach, and manager. She loves baseball, especially the Boston Red Sox. She enjoys playing golf, is moved by music and great stories, and will go out of her way to help people.

She currently works full time in Corporate America and writes any chance she gets.

She believes words are the key to opening the door to extraordinary places with amazing characters that tell a great story. (From Goodreads profile)

Connect with S.B. Alexander

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