4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Just One Taste by Carly Phillips

One grumpy billionaire.

One sassy-sweet supermodel.

Add in a tropical private island paradise.

What could go wrong?

As owner and CEO of Dirty Dare Spirits, thirty-three year old, Asher Dare has it all. Money. Power. Women whenever he wants. A private island retreat when he doesn’t. People he trusts? He can count those on one hand. When one of his best friends asks a favor—hide his twenty-one year old, supermodel sister, on the island until a scandal blows over—Asher can’t say no. But he doesn’t have to like it.

The daughter of a Senator and a Presidential candidate, Nicolette Bettencourt always acts with decorum. Yet through no fault of her own, scandal seems to follow her every move. When nude photos surface, the uproar puts her father’s campaign at risk. And forces her into hiding with Asher, the hottest—and grumpiest—billionaire she’s ever met.

Under soothing tropical breezes, Asher discovers that Nicolette is nothing like the spoiled brat portrayed in the tabloids. She’s warm, sexy, and a temptation Asher must resist at all costs—or he risks betraying his closest friend, bringing a powerful political dynasty to its knees… and losing the woman he loves.

Title:Just One Taste
Author:Carly Phillips
Series:The Kingston Family (Book 7)
Dirty Dares
Trope(s):Age Gap (Older Man / Younger Woman)
Brother’s Best Friend / Best Friend’s Little Sister
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoints (H&h)
Location:Bahamas & New York, US
Release Date:29th November, 2022
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An enjoyable Dirty Dare romance

4 stars

I’m always up for whatever Carly Phillips is serving – especially if it’s in the shape of one of her Dare clan. Even though this is book 7 of the Kingston Family series, it’s about those Dirty Dares, namely oldest brother Asher. If you’re a fan of Ms Phillips, you’ll know this family and how they connect to previous books. For newer readers, this book still stands alone and you get explanations of connections so you won’t be confused.

It doesn’t take long for Asher and Nikki to get to the tropical island and for our age-gap, brother’s best friend / best friend’s little sister shenanigans to begin.

We first meet Nikki and get to know who she is and what she’s about. She’s 21 but didn’t come across as immature, if maybe, understandably, a little bit lost due to her circumstances and family history. She was a joyous soul who found pleasure in the small things. Unfortunately, this made her appear a little younger – or maybe it only did because the age difference between Asher and Nikki was one of the major sources of conflict between our pair.

Asher is the poster boy for a grumpy alpha billionaire. One that is confronted by someone that intrigues, infuriates and ultimately changes him. He’s definitely a grump but I loved the way that Nikki managed to get her way with Asher – and that he knew exactly what she was doing but just couldn’t help himself. He was a good man and an honest man and I liked the way he conducted himself.

“…the heat between Asher and Nikki is knee-weakeningly hot.”

Unsurprisingly – this is a Carly Phillips book after all – the heat between Asher and Nikki is knee-weakeningly hot. Their first encounter still makes me tingly days after reading. Nope – chemistry was definitely not a problem with our pair.

I feel I have to talk about the age gap element of the story and how it left me a little conflicted. Well, it wasn’t the age-gap as such, but more the fact that Nikki was only 21. I wondered, like Asher himself did, whether she needed to see more of the world before she got herself into a long-term relationship. Yes, she was described as being older than her age – and she didn’t come across as immature – so I’m not really sure why I thought about it so much. And I easily accept similar ages and age gap in insta-love stories so I do feel a bit hypocritical. As the story moved back to the US, and our couple became more entwined, I did feel it moved into the background and the story itself took over. But I still thought about it!

The storytelling was delightful and Ms Phillips always tells a story that’s engaging, interesting and engrossing. I love the way she tells a story of this beloved family and all its twists and turns, and makes us fall in love with them as they themselves fall in love. This wasn’t my favourite story of the series but it was still an enjoyable story that I would recommend. 4 stars.

4 stars

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at

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The Kingston Family Series:

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Just One Wish Carly Phillips
Book 4.5
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7
Book 7.5
Book 8
Just One Tease Carly Phillips Cover The Dirty Dares Kingston Family
Book 9
Book 10

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