Readers who want audacious romances about bold heroines and hot heroes should read DARE category romances from Harlequin.
Harlequin DARE is escapist reading. The men might be bikers or billionaires, but they are always powerful and the ultimate alpha. The women run the spectrum from virginal to sexually experienced, but they all share a fearless spirit. While sexual fantasies influence the romantic relationship, these stories are not erotica. The story structure follows the parameters of a romance. The focus is on the hero and heroine overcoming obstacles so they can have a future together.
One theme frequently found in the DARE romance is the heroine’s sexual awakening. The woman discovers what she wants and how to get it. There’s no forced seduction or dubious consent in these stories. The heroine beds the hero on her terms.
For example, in Unleashed by Caitlin Crews, Margot is a university professor researching how Iceland’s hookup culture intersects with the country’s feminist principles. Thor is the owner of a scandalous hotel in Reykjavik that caters to his clientele’s pursuit of pleasure. She thinks he’s too sexual. He considers her too academic. When he dares her to a hands-on experiment, she doesn’t expect the one-night stand to change her irrevocably. Every belief she has about sex and herself is turned inside out.
Incredibly sexy and provocative, this love story shows two fascinating people challenging each other and finding a deep and unshakeable level of intimacy.
Intimacy is a key factor in many of these stories. It’s an unexpected side effect for the hero and heroine who think they’re being reckless for just one night. The sexual encounters can be wild, but it’s the intense connection between the main characters that shatter their boundaries.
And sometimes it’s the intimacy that makes the relationship dangerous. It can destroy their way of life or the world as they know it.
In Dirty Devil by Jackie Ashenden, Thea is an anonymous thief who’s been hired to steal a necklace that infamous playboy Damian recently acquired. She’s good at her job because she goes through life unseen. But suddenly the gaze of Damian, the world’s most beautiful man, is on her. The connection between Thea and Damian is hot and instantaneous. She can’t afford to gain his attention and yet she wants him to remember her.
In this opposites-attract story, he is the sun and she’s an unnoticed shadow. She’s stillness and he’s always in motion to forget the past. Both are good at keeping the world at a safe distance but they struggle at finding the courage to get close to one another. Readers will love the vibrant storytelling in the sizzling and fast-paced romance.
The heroines are not expecting to fall in love when they fall into bed with the heroes. Getting the guy is never the goal. In fact, a romantic entanglement will get in the way of their dreams.
In His Innocent Seduction by Clare Connelly, Millie propositions Michael for a one-night stand. It’s supposed to be a simple transaction: her virginity for his experience. She doesn’t want anything more because she won’t be distracted from her dream to travel the world.
Michael warns her that sex isn’t just sex, but even he doesn’t expect anything so primal or consuming. He has to regain control over himself and let Millie walk away because she needs to go after her dream—even if it doesn’t include him.
This billionaire romance is filled with glamour and luxury, but nothing can pierce through the couple’s intimate cocoon. Expect explicit love scenes as the headstrong heroine brings the sophisticated playboy to his knees!
The focus on the hero and heroine is so strong in these stories that it’s rare to see a secondary character. The timeframe is also very short in many of these romances, lending to the fast pace plot.
Readers who want romances with a high heat level, sexy premise and memorable storylines should read a Harlequin DARE. The series launched February 2018 and the last book will release June 2021.
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