If You Dare
Grade : A

Adrianne Byrd’s latest, If You Dare, has all the elements of a great romantic suspense: a hero to die for, a heroine with secrets, and a fast moving plot that pulls the reader in. This is one great ride.

Damien Black is a retired art thief with too much time on his hands. His life as a thief has given him everything money can buy: an elaborate home, fast cars, nice clothes, and beautiful women. None of this is enough. After being in retirement for one year he is contemplating returning to work as the infamous "La Fantome" when he meets the women of his dreams. Angel Lafonte is a museum director, precisely the one he is considering robbing. Their chance encounter leads to a hot romance that burns in and out of bed.

After meeting Angel, Damien is finally content with life. He has met a woman who consumes his thoughts and takes his mind off of the boredom of being retired. She is smart, funny, beautiful, loves art and is great in bed. Absolutely perfect - except for a few small problems. One, her brother hired him to rob her museum. Two, he is being followed by a detective who knows his true identity and is bent on exposing him. And three, her overprotective brother would kill him if he found out about their relationship. As if this is not enough, Angel has a few secrets of her own.

All the above elements lead to an intriguing romantic suspense novel. The book moves at such a fast pace I found myself not wanting to put it down. The action/romance in the book keeps the plot going. The more the reader finds out about each character, the more tangled the web of deceit becomes. There are no obvious villains here. Near the end, everyone was a suspect in my eyes and not quite who they seemed to be. Byrd does a great job of keeping things a mystery until just the right moment. I felt like I was always two steps behind and was desperately wanting to catch up!

The best part of the book is the mystery and how well Byrd unfolds the story. The next best element is the romance. Damien is every woman’s fantasy: rich, classy, educated, and considerate, but also a tad bad. The scenes between Damien and Angel range from sweet to steaming hot. I could not get enough of them as a couple.

I have read all of Adrianne Byrd’s books and this is the best one yet. Her writing style improves each time and I cannot wait to see what she puts out next. She is quickly becoming one my favorites in contemporary romance.

Buy it on Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Reviewed by TaKiesha Smith
Grade : A

Sensuality: Hot

Review Date : August 4, 2004

Publication Date: 2004

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