Friday, June 29, 2012

It Started With a Dare (Southern Comfort #1) by S.L. Danielson & Julie Lynn Hayes

Boredom at the Junior Prom leads to a dare that leads to a kiss between two seventeen year old boys. Being gay in rural Georgia is no picnic. As circumstances force them together, Mark and Blake uncover truths about themselves, embarking on a daring relationship. But they’ve got one major strike against them already—Mark is unwilling to come out about his sexuality, and Blake doesn’t want to live in a closet.

Can they fan the flames of their relationship, or will it sputter and die?

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy

It Started With a Dare opens on the night of the junior prom for seniors at New Liberty High in its gymnasium. 
Mark Wittington and Dylan Zurkowski are seventeen and best friends.  Both boys have gone to the junior prom alone without dates. To have some  amusement at someone else’s expense, Dylan dares Mark to make a scene  with a boy, Blake, who is dancing with a girl named Violet. Blake Davis  is a geek and rather uncomfortable. Dylan double-dog dares Mark to kiss  Blake in front of everybody. At first Mark refuses Dylan’s dare. No way  would he do something like that, but he is compelled to go along with  the “double dare” or face recrimination from Dylan who would make him  pay by telling Blake’s grandfather he had spiked the punch with vodka.  

  I really disliked Dylan at that moment. What kind of a friend would act  like he did? Not a real one, in my book. From my point of view, the  kiss was rather innocent. But Blake couldn’t get this innocent kiss out  of his mind. 

Mark lives with his grandfather, George, who is a  mean, strict bastard. Making sure Mark isn’t allowed to be a spoiled  child in his grandfather’s opinion, Mark gets a job at Krystal Castle,  an eatery famous for its flavorful burgers. Mark doesn’t get along with  his grandfather, but being abandoned by his parents as a child, the old  George is all Mark has left. 

I felt sorry for Mark as a  character. I can’t imagine living in his shoes with a grandfather who  used to beat you up as a child, really harsh! But damn, if he isn’t a  strong person too. I’m proud of Mark, because he didn’t give up. As a  reader I could see how Mark emotionally developed with Blake’s help and  support.

Blake’s and Mark friendship is formed slowly through  working shifts at Krystal Castle. I enjoyed their slow paced friendship.  We could see how both of them changed emotionally and mentally. Their  attraction was well written and emotionally real too.
 “You’ll  find a way,” Blake answered quickly. “You always do. You’re the kind of  guy that always lands on his feet, no matter what.”  
This was really warm and positive compliment to Mark.
  I don’t want to say more an give away the end. I was 100% absorbed in  the storyline and loved it fully. I only hope the second book in the  series won't emotionally be too tragic for Blake; as at the end we could  see where authors S.L. Danielson and Julie Lynn Hayes were leading us.  I’m giving 4.5 stars and highly recommend it to all YA m/m lovers. 

Publisher: No Boundaries Press

Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders


Unknown said...

I so want to read this!!

S.Lira said...

TY for the review! :D

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