Title: The Matchmaker’s Replacement
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. #2
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.
But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.
Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.
The Matchmaker’s Replacement is a fun, sexy addition to the Wingmen Inc. series. Rachel Van Dyken delivers Lex and Gabi’s story with a fresh, youthful voice that kept me laughing from start to finish. While these two can best be described as frenemies, Lex and Gabi have a connection that just can’t be denied. As heated words turned to an uncontrollable tension, I found myself absolutely addicted to the dynamic between this pair. Gabi’s innocence and inexperience was the perfect contrast to Lex’s playboy persona and Rachel Van Dyken captured their hostility, jealously, unexpected feelings, and sizzling chemistry perfectly, taking readers on a hilarious and heated rollercoaster ride. Throw in the shenanigans that come along with running Wingmen Inc. and this story was spitting out sparks. Laden with innuendos and full of flirtatious banter, Lex and Gabi’s journey is smart, sarcastic, and scorching.
“The hottest kisses aren’t the passionate ones but the slow ones that allow a burn to take place, heating you from the inside out.”
I absolutely adored Gabi. She was easy to love and full of surprises. Despite her perceived sweetness Gabi had spunk, easily holding her own with Lex and surprising me with her moments of brazenness. As Rachel Van Dyken unraveled this character, she also exposed insecurities that made Gabi feel incredibly genuine. Her vulnerability allowed me to connect with her and root for her while her generous heart and relationship with her parents gave the character some depth. Lex, on the other hand, was all easy swagger and cocky attitude. He made me grin and blush and swoon, but I definitely needed more from him. We don’t really get to know Lex on a personal level at all and that took away from the overall growth of the character. His upbringing, lifelong friendship with Ian, and childhood memories of Gabi are barely touched upon, making it difficult to understand what made Lex tick, let alone fully invest in him, despite his obvious charms.
“And the damsel fell for the villain. Write that, Disney.”
While The Matchmaker’s Replacement was undoubtedly hilarious, I didn’t feel the emotional connection to the story that I did with the first book. Lex and Gabi obviously had something deeper, but as a reader I never quite got there myself. It felt as if the true depth of their relationship came from a shared history and an innate understanding of one another, but we experience too little of it for ourselves. Overall the development of the storyline and characters felt rushed, keeping things very surface level. Why didn’t we get to explore Lex and Gabi’s individual relationships with Ian? I was hoping for a more significant glimpse into their dynamic as a trio since it was so central to the overall storyline. Don’t get me wrong, The Matchmaker’s Replacement is an incredibly entertaining read. Rachel Van Dyken’s writing sparkles with socially relevant humor, amusing banter, and deliciously steamy encounters. If you’re looking for a quick, lighthearted read to put a smile on your face then The Matchmaker’s Replacement will certainly hit the spot.
Oh boy, what can I say about Rachel Van Dyken’s newest release that hasn’t already been said?! The Matchmaker’s Replacement is chock-full of witty banter, swoonworthy moments, and all things that I am desperate to see in a love/hate relationship trope. Lex and Gabi’s story hit the spot and certainly made for a fun, quick afternoon read!
“Friends. Enemies. We were both. No need to add any more labels to what was already turning out to be the most confusing relationship of my life.”
These two characters were ruled by a love/hate relationship that all centered around their best friend, Ian. While at times I just wanted to slap them both, there were other moments that their dialogue cracked me up and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. There is a push and pull – not to be confused with a give and take – to their relationship that had me utterly addicted. I couldn’t wait to see how one would attempt to outdo the other whether with their one liners or their next prank. Through the silliness, however, Van Dyken also forces you to fall in love with them as individuals. She’s created these personal circumstances for Gabi where my heart couldn’t help but feel sympathy for the plights she was trenching through. Furthermore, there were so many conflicting feelings I went through with Lex; he was confused and protective in an adorable way. However, the teasing and harshness he exuded at times rubbed me the wrong way. His character was, and still remains, a mystery to me.
“I’m saying that because everyone has something to offer the world, and if she doesn’t notice what you have, she isn’t worthy of keeping it in the first place.”
The ending also felt a bit abrupt and I personally would have liked to see more of the time in between the last chapter and the Epilogue. However, with the return to laugh out loud romantic comedy, Rachel Van Dyken is in her element. The writing is youthful and exuberant, characteristic of everything that attracted me to her novels in the first place. The Matchmaker’s Replacement is bound to leave readers giggling and falling for two characters who, on initial thought, should never work together. If you’re a fan of witty banter and protective men to make you smile, you’ll absolutely love this one!
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Don’t miss the first book in the series:
The Matchmaker’s Playbook (Wingmen Inc. #1)
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
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