Truth or Dare
Grade : A-

Looking for a spicy friends-to-lovers erotic romance that really earns its “burning” rating? Look no further than Brianna Ocampo’s Truth or Dare.

Cassie has yearned for her best friend Tino since they were teens, but after her one overture was rebuffed nine years earlier, she’s done her best to keep a lid on her feelings. Tino provokes her by daring her to “kiss the one she wants most” during a party game, and, refusing to let him win, she kisses her date, Christian. And kisses him. And kisses him. Tino is floored by his own reaction. Because Cassie drank at the party, he insists on driving Cassie back to her place. But Christian’s in the back seat, too. Not only is he not keeping his hands (or mouth) to himself; he’s making sure Cassie tells Tino all about it.

When they reach Cassie’s apartment, Christian and Cassie go up - and she invites Tino in as well. Lo and behold, there will be action between the two men as well as between each man and Cassie. But what happens in the morning when the sun comes up?

The hardest balance in erotic romance (character and sex) meets the hardest balance in short stories (plot and word count) in erotic short romances, and I respect the hell out of what the author has achieved here in just fifty-six pages. Look at this moment, where she captures the awkwardness of erotic logistics, describes the shyness that creeps in when the fog of lust ebbs, and establishes the singularity of the evening, all in prose that is both natural and wryly hilarious:

“We should move to the bed,” she said, trying to overcome her self-consciousness. Look at me, friends, I host orgies all the time… Her bed was literally seven steps away, where her floral sheets waited, the sunflowers looking particularly judgy about her life choices. She made a mental note to no longer accept linen donations from her titas.”

I did want more from the author on Christian and Cassie. I understood Cassie’s long-restrained lust for Tino, but I was never as clear as to why Cassie wanted Christian in the bed, too.

From what I can tell, this is Ocampo’s debut. I hope she has many more stories just like this in store!

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Grade : A-
Book Type: Erotic Romance

Sensuality: Burning

Review Date : October 20, 2021

Publication Date: 10/2021

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Caroline Russomanno

I'm a history geek and educator, and I've lived in five different countries in North America, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the usual subgenres, I'm partial to YA, Sci-fi/Fantasy, and graphic novels. I love to cook.

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