I enjoyed this book on my Kindle, over Christmas.
After a gentle start, the plot gets exciting when a young waitress disappears under mysterious circumstances. Dare to Lose is essentially a ‘whodunnit’ incorporating a twist of romance, with a skilful measure of violence, danger and suspense. The story is well constructed with great tension at times, and the characters, some of them extremely undesirable, are well drawn. Nicola is a middle-aged woman who risks all she has built up over the years to start up a café, serving homemade meals and delicious cakes. She’s a kind person, who suffers from a range of mild neuroses, especially when it comes to men. She is in need of someone to love. I especially like the protagonist’s mother, who is a frank, fun-loving, well-balanced person not afraid to break the stereotypical descriptors associated with ‘being old’. Although Jack, the American love interest, is rather one-dimensional, I was interested in what would happen as his relationship with Nicola deepened.
Apart from a couple of spelling slips, the writing is almost flawless (which is important to me) with an easy style that flows and hardly ever jars.
I’d recommend this book if you like an exciting story with good pace and realistic characters.