He’ll fulfill her wildest fantasies… but only if she believes.
The Gray Court, Book 1
Leo Dunne has been searching his entire life for the one person born just for him. He finds her working in his own company, but the shy little Ruby Halloway constantly hides from him. He hatches a devilish plot with her best friend to bring her out of her shell, and the result proves her desire is more than a match for his own.
Ruby has had the hots for her boss for some time now, but she knows business and pleasure shouldn’t mix. While that can’t stop a girl from dreaming, she sticks by her guns and does her best never to be alone with the handsome CEO. Until the company masquerade party, where she discovers a passion with him that leaves a mark on her soul.
A family emergency calls Leo away, and rather than spend one night out of Ruby’s arms, he convinces her to go with him. With his brother’s life on the line, it’s vital she learn how to deal with who, and what, her new lover really is…before it’s too late.
While this is not the first time I’ve read Dare to Believe, it has been a LONG time since I last read it and as I reread it, I was actually annoyed with myself for not having returned to The Gray Court sooner as the Dunnes and the world they live in is quite magical – and not just because they’re fae. As the first book in the series, the author does a wonderful job of introducing the various parts of the fae world the Dunnes are a part of and weaving it into Leo and Ruby’s story in such a way that the reader learns about Leo’s life at the same time Ruby does. For me, this helped me to connect with Ruby – that and the fact that she has a killer sense of humor.
Unbeknownst to her, our dear sweet frumpy Ruby captured Leo’s attention almost immediately. Because she considers herself unattractive, she has avoided being in Leo’s presence for fear of her attraction to him becoming public knowledge and the subsequent humiliation she knows will follow – after all, no one as attractive and accomplished as Leo Dunne could possibly be attracted to the short, fat girl. But Leo is determined to prove what he already knows – that Ruby is the one woman the universe made for him. The five years of (not so) unrequited love and the fated mates aspect made the way in which their relationship progressed feel right. Ruby’s feeling that she was rushing headlong into heartbreak had more to do with personal insecurities than Leo himself. The built-in history allowed the author to move the story forward – from a hot night of sex and seduction straight into the kidnapping of Leo’s brother Shane. Although not ideal circumstances for meeting her future in-laws (even if Ruby didn’t know that at the time), Leo’s parents were very welcoming of Ruby and approving of her as Leo’s mate. Yet the story is just getting started and soon all hell breaks loose as those responsible for Shane’s kidnapping demand their ransom – Leo’s hand in marriage – and their attempt to remove Ruby as an obstacle leads to quite the explosive bonding as Leo claims his mate in no uncertain terms. Not willing to let something as trivial as a truebond waylay their plans, the kidnappers step up their plans and Leo finds himself tapping into his Leprechaun bloodline to save the day.
One of the things that still impresses me about this book is the way that Bell utilizes the ongoing storyline to teach the reader about the Fae Courts, introduce the cast of characters, and set the stage for future books in the series. There is a lot of information introduced as the author builds the world in which the series is set, yet it is done in such a way that the reader is not overwhelmed with the info – at least I wasn’t. As I have read the first three books more than once, I found humor in statements made that foreshadowed future plot lines that weren’t humorous during the first read because I wasn’t privy to the direction the author was taking the series. Bell combines intriguing characters, fast-paced action, steamy sex scenes, and a sweet romance in Dare to Believe and managed to hook me so thoroughly that I bought and read books two and three immediately and I’m looking forward to rereading them next.