Having absolutely adored the first book in the Dare Me series, Down for the Count, I couldn’t wait to get my hot, little hands on Lacey’s best friend and Galen’s sister, Cat’s story. Cat is quite a character, larger than life, a daredevil, one of those people who when you meet them they seem to fill the room with their presence. She’s fun and energetic and quite dedicated to her family and friends. Shane is her brother’s best friend and the man she has run from for years. He drove her crazy in high school with his protectiveness, but that didn’t stop them from having a close encounter that ended with him pushing her away. Now she keeps telling herself she doesn’t want him, has no desire for any commitment, and doesn’t need a bossy, boring person in her life anyway. Doesn’t she? If only she could get the thought of what he would be like in bed out of her head.
When Galen went off to college Shane promised him he would look after his sister and protect her. It wasn’t always easy. Sometimes he even had to protect her from himself, pushing her away and telling her no when he knew she wasn’t ready for that type of relationship. Now he’s back in town and has decided he’s tired of waiting for the girl he’s always wanted. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her see that they belong together.
Cat and Shane were a fun couple. She’s afraid of commitment, to the point where she’s never had a long-lasting relationship. She can find something wrong with every man she’s ever dated:
Lacey shook her head, exasperation plain on her face. “What about Ty? Or Griff? He was so nice.”
She bolted upright, nearly knocking over her beer.
“Whoa, wait a second. Who could date Griff long term? He used the phrase ‘That’s my motto like five times a day. ‘Go hard or go home, that’s my motto.’ ‘You only live once, that’s my motto.’ ‘Shoot for the stars and your bound to hit one, that’s my motto.’ Jesus, Griff, picking a fucking motto, am I right? It was ridiculous.”
Cat’s fear of commitment stems from the fact that her mother gave up a promising career for her husband and children and she has no desire to let that happen in her life. She enjoys her job as a designer and marking things off her bucket list, she’s okay with being alone. When Shane walks back into her life and she learns he is staying for a while she decides to take matters in her own hands and get sex with him out of both of their systems, then maybe their relationship won’t be so awkward. That and Lacey dares her to do it. How can she say no to a dare? So she sneaks into bed with him… and he ends up rocking her world. This is okay with Shane, he’s been wanting Cat for years. The only problem is now she’s running even harder in the other direction. Even going so far as to setting him up on a dating site and trying to get him to go out with other women.
Shane was the complete opposite of Cat. Patient, ready for a relationship, and willing to do what ever it took to make Cat see how good they could be together. If he had to go out with another woman to make her jealous, so be it. If he had to get her all hot and bothered thinking of how good the sex was between them, so be it. If he had to stand around shirtless so she would be struck dumb by his muscles, so be it. What ever it took. I enjoyed their push and pull, it was nice for once to see the role reversal. The man chasing after the commitment phobic woman. Fun stuff. Cat was quite amusing while trying to talk herself out of wanting Shane. So miserable, yet not willing to admit it to anyone. While I still don’t understand why Cat pushed Shane away so hard, I did enjoy her antics while doing it. In the end they have a sweet HEA and I’m hoping to continue to seeing them further on in the series.
I enjoyed seeing Lacey and Galen again, he is just as funny and they seem to be so happy together. I think Lacey and Galen are still my favorite, there’s just something about Lacey’s innocence and Galen’s dirty mouth I still love. Christine Bell writes wonderful romances with well-developed characters, witty dialogue and hot sexy scenes. I found Down and Dirty to be a fun, steamy afternoon read. Final Grade: B-
“I came back here for you, Cat. Because I’ve always known we’d make a great couple. Since we were teenagers. I was just waiting for you to grow up and realize it, too.”
She was already out the door when he called after her.
“My mistake was thinking you ever would.”