Double Dare (A Neighbor From Hell Series Book 6) Kindle Edition
|Length: 305 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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**Fair warning, I'll probably let a couple spoilers out in this review**
So...I found this addition to the series to be disappointing. At first, I thought Darrin and Marybeth were alright but by the end, I really didn't like Marybeth at all. The story was disjointed and confusing and I just wasn't very happy with what was done with the plot.
Marybeth works as a construction foreman (or should I say foreperson) at the Bradford construction company. When Marybeth was 15 she found out that she had medical issues that kept her from having kids. This caused her to lose her focus and she ended up dropping out of high school and dropping out, getting her GED later. Marybeth has known the Bradfords since she met Darrin the day her family moved next door to his.
Darrin is a Bradford and works for his uncle's construction company. Darrin and Marybeth met when they were only 7 years old. Darrin told her the first day they met that he was going to keep her and they were best friends ever since. Darrin always meant for them to become more than friends when they got older but the timing never seemed right and when it should have been, Darrin just couldn't get up the nerve to tell Marybeth how he felt about her.
The story starts out when Darrin and Marybeth meet as kids and skips forward a few times to show them together as friends until current time. TBH, this caused me some confusion because there are things that get mentioned and then we never hear about again (and it seems like we should have). When we get to current time, we find out that Darrin and Marybeth have been sleeping together for the last 6 years. There's also an indication that Marybeth has just broken up with a boyfriend and Darrin sees this as a good time to make his feelings known. Whether Darrin and Marybeth were sleeping together while she was dating this other guy is never really explained...I'm hoping not... Darrin and Marybeth seem to care about each other as friends but I never really got the "deep love" feeling between them....most of their interactions (through pretty much the whole book) seemed to be more along the lines of how badly they can torment each other.
Darrin and Marybeth have a thing between them were they always accept each other's double dares so Darrin tries to use this as a way to get Marybeth to marry him but it doesn't work out very well so he has to find other ways. The thing is, Marybeth never told Darrin about her not being able to have kids and keeps pushing him away because of it. He doesn't understand why she's pushing him away and lying to him. They even get married part way through the story (another disjointed part of the story that caused more confusion than clarification) and Marybeth is still lying to Darrin and treating him like crap! Even after they're married, Marybeth doesn't care about what Darrin wants and almost risks her life over her medical issues, telling him he has no input and it doesn't concern him. Now I don't care how much she's supposedly doing this for Darrin's good, she was being a horrible bitch. I lost all respect for Marybeth by the time the story ended...I'm glad Darrin got his HEA but I kind of wish it hadn't been with Marybeth.
Overall, this was a disappointing story. Obviously, I didn't like Marybeth...her inability to care about anyone but herself and her own feelings made me lose all respect for her. Uhg! Darrin was a bit of an idiot at times but he was the typical Bradford and was a good guy. He definitely made mistakes but he made them with the best of intentions...the Bradford men just tend to mess things up with their lady loves and have to work to make things right. The story...well most of it was confusing and disjointed and while I enjoyed a few parts, the majority of it left me feeling frustrated more than anything else.
* note - I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrator did a very good job.
**** small spoiler***
So she strings him along for 6 years, knowing that he's crazy about her, but refuses to marry him b/c of a medical issue - but of course, she can't just TELL him that. So she just leaves him in relational limbo, without explanation & without any evidence that she views him as anything other than a very prolonged one-night stand. Heck, they were best friends, supposedly - although she was a pretty bad friend as far as I can tell. Who refuses to confide in their "best friend"?? Not a super friendship, apparently. And then to treat the man who you know is crazy about you like this?? Has this woman spent even 1 minute thinking about someone other than herself? She's apparently so crippled by this diagnosis that it justifies treating other people - including the man she claims to love - like dirt. I sympathize with the diagnosis - received it myself. But everyone knows there are other options for her to obtain what she feels like she's not able to give the H - life is not over, lady! And a difficult medical condition isn't an excuse for refusing to think about how you treat other people. But she bases all her decisions on her diagnosis instead of on the people around her and her goals for her life. It didn't take much for her to just give up on her whole life and the people in it. Even at the end, as the HEA is unfolding, she's all about herself - unable to really participate b/c she's too busy collapsing under all the emotion, I guess, while the woman giving them this gift does it without anesthesia, without help from her & without any thanks from her. It's pretty clear that this woman gives no thought to how her actions impact others and by the end, I was hoping the H would get as fed up as I was and walk away while he still could.
The strong female characters are 1 reason I've enjoyed this series so much. The previous heroines were well-developed characters and I especially appreciated how they didn't vacillate from 1 emotional extreme to the other every time you turn the page. They stuck up for themselves, treated others with care, recognized mistakes & were able to constructively move forward & build healthy, honest relationships. Too bad that some of that didn't rub off on this h.
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Marybeth was given information at the age of 15 that no woman wants to hear...and she kept it to herself.Read more