ARC Review: Don’t You Dare by Jessica Hamilton

When Hannah and Scarlett meet Thomas in college—the chemistry is instantaneous. They grow closer while playing the Daring Game, where each dare is riskier than the last. As the trio grows closer and jealousy develops, Scarlett dares Thomas one final time—a dare that ends in tragedy. When Thomas gets expelled from school and leaves without a trace, it seems like the Daring Game has finally ended.

Sixteen years later, Hannah is unhappy in marriage and in life. That is, of course, until she gets a mysterious email about the Daring Game from none other than Thomas himself. With Scarlett out of the picture, the sparks begin fly between them once more. When Hannah and Thomas are called back to the place where they first played the game, they are welcomed by a single dare—“to tell the truth.”

Someone else is playing the game and knows about their affair, going as far as leaving a cryptic message in Hannah’s house: Don’t You Dare. Hannah’s list of suspects is long: Could it be her noisy neighbor, Libby, who has a few secrets of her own? Or did her husband plan this as revenge for the torrid affair? Is Scarlett back and ready to play again?

The truth may set Hannah free—but only if she dares to risk everything she knows and loves.

Name: Don’t You Dare
Author: Jessica Hamilton
Type: Stand-alone
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Publish Date: 16th May, 2023

Don’t You Dare follows Hannah, a stay-at-home unhappy mother with an unconventional past. Her friends Scarlett and Thomas used to play the Daring Game, a game where each dare is riskier than the last.

A game that ended up in a tragedy and the trio moved on in their lives. But sixteen years later, Thomas is back with the Daring Game. With Scarlett out of the picture, the sparks begin to fly between them once more. But someone else knows about their affair.

Using their game against them, they are taking away Hannah’s newfound happiness. Who could it be? The list of suspects is long. Will Hannah dare to find out the truth and risk everything she loves?

This book started on a very intense and mysterious note. The first half had me hooked on the chemistry between Hannah and Thomas, and the mysterious plot😍

I loved the way there was confusion as to who else knows about the game.. the mystery of it all. Moreover, I was very interested in where the plot would go and the chaos all around was captivating.

The hot romance, the uninterested husband, the jealous best friend, the nosy neighbours and the creepiness of someone lurking around, who knows all your secrets. This book was everything a mystery calls for and I was enjoying it more than I anticipated.

But as the second half came, the plot lost that mysterious vibes and it became very predictable. The twists didn’t seem that shocking as I knew what was happening long before they came.

Plus, everybody needed help in this book because there was not a single sane character in my opinion. And the ending was a letdown, it could’ve been different..🧐

Overall, I would say that enjoyed this book. If the second half was not that predictable, this would have been an incredible read coz the first half had me hooked and I just couldn’t put it down.

Thanks to Jessica Hamilton, NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

Jessica Hamilton was born in Australia but grew up in Canada. She has lived and worked in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, India and Japan. She studied writing at the Humber School for Writers as well as George Brown College. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, son, and daughter. Her debut novel is titled What You Never Knew, her second novel titled, Don’t You Dare, are both thrillers and published by Crooked Lane Books.

Thanks for reading, Ruminative Fam!

© Ruminative Philomath (2023) by Deeksha Bhardwaj. All rights reserved.



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