Book Reviews

Read or Dare: #TheDare by Carol Wyer @carolewyer @bookouture @lydia_newhouse

Reviewing series is equally awfully difficult and totally exciting! Today, we’re reuniting with Natalie Ward!

Hugs to the Bookouture team for providing me with a copy of the novel and to Kim for organising such a great blog tour!

the dareTitle: The Dare
Author: Carol Wyer
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: 25/04/2019
Format: uncorrected proof
Source: Publisher
Number of pages: 348

Oh, Carol Wyer knows how to play with her readers’ feelings!


The Dare is the third book in the DI Natalie Ward series and the strongest novel in terms of characterization, in my opinion. Natalie is as busy as ever, mother to two, wife to a husband with issues, and super cop with a good team. I remember how detached I’d felt from our main character during my read of Last Lullaby (review here!). It wasn’t due to Natalie being a simplistic and uninteresting character. On the contrary, I love how Carol did not play the card to make Natalie perfect, or perfectly imperfect, to win people’s heart. Natalie makes mistakes, she can appear cold, and frankly, I had issues getting into her head before. This new installment in the series allowed me to get closer to her, and for this only, The Dare is a winner.

Could the fact teenage girls are involved be the reason why Natalie is growing on me? No. No maternal instinct was involved, although the case had my stomach churning and my head spinning with nightmarish images. No, I think I can finally connect to Natalie because I have enough bits and pieces of her to create a portray of her in my head. Don’t get me wrong, the previous books introduce you to Natalie the right way. But it is a different way that the one we’re used to in this kind of police procedurals. This time, I didn’t only come up with a physical image, but also a good idea of her personality, and a real sense of what she is dealing with. I think Carol Wyer did a wonderful job creating such a female character. It was a risk, of course, but revealing her the way she does, a few crumbs of doughnut at a time, putting Natalie on a pedestal the reader needs to climb to get an idea of who is hiding behind the glassy surface, is simply brilliant. Alternating between professional Nat and personal Nat, I got the full picture of her life for the first time, and the bonds between her and her family, as well as her team, felt genuine, more authentic, and echoed what I believe to be a very close call to real life.

The Dare… Have you ever played Truth or Dare? I know I did. A very very very long time ago. Before my first white hair. But I never was a daring kid. Let alone a daring teenager! However, a small part of me remembered the feeling of doing something others wouldn’t, or didn’t think I could do, and I recalled the thrill of the act. Teens are stupid, we know it. All those hormones, all those reactions to events they can’t control. It reminds me of adults, except we’re better at hiding how clueless we are about life, haha!

Where was I? Yes! Daring… Have you heard about the games kids these days play? Can you keep up with what’s happening in youngsters’ lives? I know I can’t. It frightens me! I think I wouldn’t survive the heavy load of motherhood! I find myself fascinated by parents/children relationships and the gap that growing up creates. One day, you are your kids’ hero, the next you are their worst enemy. Carol Wyer uses it, letting real-life teenagers spring off the page to play their part in a deadly investigation. I failed at not caring! I blame the author’s true understanding of all players, tugging at the heartstrings while never falling for the easy way of bad kids/bad parents. Good kids take bad decisions, it happens all the time. Good parents make mistakes. And some people take advantage of it.

If many crime fiction books play with a certain pace, The Dare is setting new records! One girl disappears, only to be found very quickly, and very dead. Before you know it, another one follows, and the hours pile up, stretching days with a dangerous mix of adrenaline and fatigue. With lives in danger and a team running in circles, I couldn’t help but bite my lips and let my eyes drive as fast as they could on the words’ road, only to witness things get personal for Natalie. I was past the ‘completely addicted’ level at this point!

An abrupt stop. A gasp. And I think this is the exact moment I thought ‘I like her’. I admired Natalie’s way of dealing with every wall of her life cracking down. My heart was racing, and I am absolutely sure I would never have been able to handle things the way she did. I can’t and won’t say much about the investigation because, with every series, I believe you need to discover those things yourself, but believe me, it is entirely worth it to meet Natalie, fight her, and finally fall for her! This time again, the author delights us with a fabulous book! I can’t wait to know what happens next! The Dare is a brilliant and deathly over-the-speed limit ride!

I dared reading, and I put you to the challenge! Will you?

Grab your copy now!

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about the author


Carol Wyer is an award-winning author and stand up comedian who writes feel-good comedies and gripping thrillers.
Her book, GRUMPY OLD MENOPAUSE won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
Carol moved to the ‘dark side’ in 2017 with as series of thrillers. LITTLE GIRL LOST became the #2 best-selling book on Amazon, #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible and a Top 150 USA Today best-seller.
The DI Robyn Carter and DI Natalie Ward series have sold over half a million copies, earning her acclaim as a crime writer.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Carol, go to or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer.
Carol also blogs at

20 thoughts on “Read or Dare: #TheDare by Carol Wyer @carolewyer @bookouture @lydia_newhouse”

  1. I have had to think a long time about what to write here because I can only seem to come up with a lot of noises and squeals and gasps. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed reading a review as much as I’ve enjoyed reading this one… it didn’t matter what the book was (could have been anybody’s) but I loved every word. You have such a knack for not only summarising and reviewing but making it incredibly entertaining. I genuinely feel honoured you chose to review The Dare and even more than delighted that Natalie has finally found a place in your heart.
    You are spot on… I didn’t take the easy route with her I want her to grow as a person and for the reader to understand her . As for the teenager/parent relationship, well, it is one that is incredibly close to my heart and I am so happy you feel I nailed that! I loved writing this book. It is without doubt my favourite in the series so far but there are more to come and that will change, especially as I lose myself now in Book 5 and delve into more complex issues and a terrifying case.
    Meggy, thank you for writing such an uplifting and positive review that I shall undoubtedly treasure long after the buzz of publication has passed. Thank you for sharing your book love and thank you for being part of the tour. You have made this writer very happy indeed.
    Carol x


    1. Dear Carol. This is the most beautiful comment I’ve received from an author. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love reviewing to support novels and the writers who have been sweating and fighting to get their stories out there, and I admire you for your skillful use of words and images. I am really happy you enjoyed my little post. I enjoy writing but often fear I’ll miss the little things that make a review interesting 🙂
      I can only applaud your choices and the way you implement them. I will be there for the next book, for sure! I can’t wait to immerse myself again in the world you have created. Thank you for taking the time to make a blogger very happy, and very thankful xx


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