BOOK REVIEW: DARE TO LIVE, DARE TO LOVE BY NICOLE C. MOON

Elle Jones is constantly immersed in her job and doesn’t have time for much else. Her work life is on point, but the rest? Not so much. She never takes time to take care of herself, and she’s terrified of not being good enough to be loved.

Dylan Andrews recently moved in with his brother after leaving London. He doesn’t have a job, but he’s determined to figure out what he wants to do with his life.When the two of them run into each other, they’re overwhelmed by old feelings that never really went away. After a long talk on a quiet beach under a glimmering night sky, Dylan comes up with an idea that could change everything. He writes a list of things to show Elle that love is real, it can be true, it can last, and it can find her when the time is right.

As they move through all the items written on a crumpled piece of paper, Elle slowly starts learning that there is more to life than she thought, and Dylan realizes that he would do anything to fight for love. Can the two of them face the feelings they keep trying to avoid before the list ends? Can they take a leap towards a future that could be filled with unconditional love, both for each other and themselves, or will it be too late?

I mean, can we just take a moment for this book cover for starters? Elle and Dylan are just absolutely gorgeous, I can’t deal with them! Best friends to lovers isn’t typically a trope I find myself reading very often, however, after reading this delightful book, I think I need to look in to this trope some more.

Elle and Dylan, two bisexual best friends, reunite six years later, after losing touch when Dylan left for College in London. What I loved about this book was that the first few chapters were fast-paced, in which Elle and Dylan reunite immediately, with very little slow-burn. When the pair find themselves reunited, it doesn’t shy away from the fact that these two had very clear feelings towards one another in the past, and still in the present. However, things have changed since they last saw one another, especially for Elle, who is now struggling to realise her worth in love and accept that she is worthy of such love. I couldn’t believe how much I resonated with Elle so much throughout this story – I, myself, strongly struggle with knowing my worth when it comes to relationships and always manage to sabotage them, as I’m waiting for the worst to happen and want to protect my heart for when that time comes. It takes so much time and patience to find your self-worth and learn to love yourself – for Elle, that’s when Dylan becomes the best person who could have ever returned to her life. 

Dylan, being the absolute cutest cinnamon roll to ever exist, decides to dedicate his new-found time to showing Elle that love does exist and all you need is to have a little faith and belief. Dylan creates the idea of collating a list of activities the pair can do together, in order for Elle to realise that although she may have been treated poorly in the past, there will be a time when someone shows up and treats her in all the right ways. I absolutely adored the friendship between Elle and Dylan, they were so clumsy around each other, with their angst and mutual pining, it was just lovely in every way. I also loved how their friendship started to rekindle in to so much more, as they grew closer and the romance began to blossom. When the two had finally accepted their feelings for one another, oh my goodness, there were just the softest and fluffiest moments ever. They were just so innocent and wholesome with everything they did and said, it was just the sweetest, I honestly don’t think I could ever have enough of these two. One of my favourite scenes definitely has to be when Dylan made Elle write love letters to herself, I think that is definitely something I need to start doing!

Every single character written in to this book were just absolutely precious, you immediately just form an attachment with them all and want to pretty much protect them with your life! Elle’s best friend, Dana, was just an absolute delight – from her fashion sense, her personality, right down to the relationship with her girlfriend, Nina. Dylan and his twin brother, Nathan, were just an iconic and comedic duo to have had the pleasure in reading about – Nathan is a very laid-back, doesn’t take life too seriously type of guy, who has a new girl every night. He offers Dylan a lot of douchey, but useful advice and is pretty much one of Dylan and Elle’s biggest shippers, which is super cute! Although his story-line is quite minimal, we discover that he has some unresolved feelings towards his high school sweetheart, Samantha, and with the way the book ends, I have a feeling that book two will be on these lovebirds, at least I hope I’m right! 

Dare to Live, Dare to Love, will bring you nothing but joy and happiness. I completely fell in love with each individual character and really loved delving deep in to the POV’s of Elle and Dylan. It is the perfect read that will have you speeding through the pages, until you have finished it in one sitting. Nicole does a great job in subtly mentioning that both of our leading characters are bisexual and highlights a really special moment between the two, in which Elle was exceptionally supportive and understanding when Dylan was still figuring out his identity as teenagers. Nicole also touches on mental health and how it can often throw off a person’s life and how they think and react to certain situations. I really saw myself within these characters and this was definitely a book I needed in my life. Everything about these best friends was just so beautiful, so loveable and I would love to just give them both a massive hug! Congratulations, Nicola, on your debut – roll on book number two! 

Shelby x

Available to read on Kindle Unlimited here

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