RELEASE BLITZ – Dark Surrender by Rachel Van Dyken

Title: Dark Surrender
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: The Dark Ones Saga #3
Release Date: December 12, 2016

Synopsis

I grew up as a prince…
And lead the life of a King.
There isn’t anyone or anything that doesn’t want me, that isn’t attracted to me. They can’t help it. And I sure as hell don’t want them to. I live for their lust, I crave touch like an addiction, I make them beg on their knees for one, simple, caress.
As a male siren it’s my job to feed off emotion.
And I was happy to do it.
I am happy to do it.
What I’m not happy about? Being told I have to mate with some withering human and stay loyal to that one person for the next few centuries. There’s a war coming and being the idiot I am–I offered to take one for the team in order to help a friend.
Now my sexual appetite is taking a freaking kick in the nuts.
And I’m left wondering if it’s worth it.
If she’s worth it, with messy hair and dirty human hands.
But I have a world to save.
A job to do.
Now, if only, she would just let me do it rather than fighting me at every turn. I’ve lived lifetimes as the most irresistible being on the planet.
Only to meet my match.
With one.
Measly.
Human.
They say hells hot. They’re wrong.
Because Hope, my little human, is way hotter.
And before this is over–she may just singe me alive.

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Bs Review

Rachel Van Dyken delivers Alex’s highly anticipated story with Dark Surrender, the third novel in The Dark Ones Saga. Picking up right where the last book left off, Alex finds himself blindsided by Hope – his immortal game changer. From the moment they met, Hope and Alex had an amusing relationship. They infuriated each other with a push and pull that proved to be both utterly electric and undeniably addictive. I was captivated by the premise of their pairing and found myself rooting for Alex and Hope even before I fully understood the importance of their mating. Their obvious physical chemistry made me grin while I waited to see how their strange connection would evolve over the course of the story. Rachel Van Dyken also serves up more of Mason, Ethan, Cassius, Stephanie, and Genesis giving this story that comforting feeling of family that I’ve come to adore from this gaggle of immortal misfits.

“The burning beneath my skin increased as I clenched my teeth and waited for what would come next, either my death, or my purpose. I was ashamed to admit I was afraid of both.”

As much as I loved Alex’s cocky, flirtatious nature, I couldn’t wait to see what else this sometimes pompous, generally jaded Siren had to offer as Rachel Van Dyken unraveled him over the course of the story. I enjoyed delving into his past and exploring the events that left him so emotionally closed-off but I definitely needed more in terms of this character’s overall development. Aside from some brief moments of clarity regarding Alex’s history, the character remained fairly superficial. Admittedly, it was fun watching Alex come unglued around Hope. She shook up his world in a way that had me rooting for her. While we did get to see a jealous, possessive, and scorching hot side of Alex with Hope, it was the heroine who really stole the show for me. I adored getting to know the feisty female and uncovering the secret of who she really was. Her surprising connection to the rest of the immortals and the important role she would play in the war against the dark were probably the best thing about this story for me.

“You wanted her soul first, you just didn’t know it.”

I really wanted to love this book. Alex was one of my favorite characters in the previous two novels so I was thrilled to finally get a chance to know him better. Unfortunately, this installment of The Dark Ones Saga just never really hit its stride. Dark Surrender was rushed from the very first page and I found myself without any real footing in the story. There was no setting the scene or reminding readers of where we were at with the overarching storyline, it was just quick introductions and hurried emotions that honestly fell totally flat. Alex and Hope’s relationship suffered from a total lack of emotional depth and it wasn’t until the very end that they felt like more than a hook-up. While Rachel Van Dyken told us there was more to this couple than physical need, she never got around to really showing us, and that’s where my connection to the couple was lost. I needed to see Alex opening up to Hope about his fears and I needed to feel Hope’s reawakened feelings for him but instead the story relied on outside information to create those ties and in doing so kept me at arm’s length.

“My heart was in danger of beating for a man who would make me fall in love with him — only to hurt me in the end.”

Despite my issues with the character development, the emotional depth of Alex and Hope’s relationship, and general pacing, I am still really enjoying the overall series storyline. While each book is promoted as a standalone within the series, I didn’t think there was enough groundwork laid in Dark Surrender for it to stand on its own. That being said, the world Rachel Van Dyken has created is incredibly enchanting and the way its history is unfolding and future altering has me absolutely riveted. Plus, the set up for Mason’s book is undeniably intriguing! Rachel Van Dyken’s collection of paranormal characters is vibrant, each one with a unique and demanding personality and Alex and Hope were certainly no exception. Their individual voices and the effortless way in which they fit amongst the rest of the immortals made for an entertaining and easy read. Dark Surrender was fun, sexy, and enthralling – a veritable whirlwind of history, action, and lust that is sure to keep you reading.

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Cs Review

Rachel Van Dyken is the master at giving her fans what they want…and that’s more sizzle, more characters they love, and more scenarios that make them smile. I will admit that I’ve missed this crazy crew and their mating, especially after finishing. Dark Surrender is the third installment in the Dark Ones saga, but it will certainly leave you drooling for that elusive man who gets the next book.

“Sex with Alex had been out of this world. Making love with Alex —was going to alter my world.”

Even though Dark Surrender was supposed to be Alex’s tale, Hope stole the show for me. I was fascinated by her past and the circumstances that she found herself in in the present. There was this alluring quality that drew me into her and I needed more. Furthermore, I loved the twists that Van Dyken surprised us with in regards to her storyline. As for Alex, I’m still unsure how I feel about him. He was very hot and cold and that made it hard to connect to him. I wanted a little bit more from his circumstances, especially given what I know the author is capable of. I also had a difficult time with the chemistry between them. There was something that held me back from fully embracing their relationship and I still can’t pinpoint what it was.

“’There will always be a fight.” Cassius shrugged. “And more often than not —it will either be against your own darkness —or for the one you love.’”

Though Dark Surrender is marketed as a standalone novel, I would recommend reading the others first. I can honestly say that I was much more invested in the plot line because of the previous knowledge I had. It also helped to understand the bigger purpose of some of the happenings in this installment. Overall, I have no doubt that readers will smile at the antics from this group of friends and Van Dyken will leave them craving more. I can’t wait for the next book in the series, especially all the insight I got in Dark Surrender!

Rating
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Excerpt

To say I was pissed.

To say I was angry

To say I was intrigued.

I couldn’t decide which emotion was going to win out, which made her all the more exciting. Sirens, for the most part, kept their physical appearance at a five. On a scale of one to ten, a five meant that you were clearly above average but not to the point that a person would literally sell a kidney and spleen in order to sleep with you.

No, the selling of body parts came at six.

Seven meant they were willing to commit a crime and sell body parts.

Eight was when they neared the wailing stage. I typically called it bartering, where they asked what they could possibly do in order to gain just one taste, anything, anything at all!

Nine was a rarity. I was a nine when I was tired, when I wanted a piece of ass from someone hot, and I didn’t want to make a big fuss over it. But a nine was dangerous because showing myself at a nine made it easier to wipe the individuals’ memories. Meaning I was more than likely cursing them to a life where they would never settle down because they’d be stuck comparing me to some sad human male with a beer gut, and he’d always fall short.

Even the Toms fell short.

Tom Brady.

Tom Hardy.

You get the picture.

In my entire existence, I’ve pulled a nine maybe four times. And each time I felt regretful — after all the sex had never been worthy of ruining some pathetic human’s chance at love.

And tens?

Tens weren’t done. To become a ten in front of a human would be the equivalent of a human discovering the sweetest tasting sin, the most physical and emotional ecstasy known over and over again. Add that in with good looks that made women, men, plants, atoms — you get the picture — full-on weep, and it just wasn’t done.

Never.

In fact, some might say it was forbidden.

I’d never been tempted.

Until five minutes ago.

I was currently at an eight, flirting with a ten, and she’d finally succumbed enough to fall to her knees, but when she glanced up, she blinked a few times then stood. “Sorry, I don’t know what happened.”

The hell?

I did a double take, my eyes narrowing as she shuddered before me, but still, nothing. No weeping. No sudden burst of adoration.

Nine, here I come.

I exhaled as I allowed my hair to go pure gold and my eyes to turn a shade of amber that looked like a never-ending ring of fire around my blue iris. I released waves of energy that I could see pulsing from my body with each exhale, and I was aware that she was being assaulted with my scent, a mixture of rain, fresh air, and finally a deep sweet chocolate.

The most addicting scents known to mankind.

The most cleansing scents to a human.

Her eyes widened as she gulped and then squeezed them shut and covered her face with her hands, her knees knocked together as she swayed.

“Open your eyes, human!”

“I-I’d rather not,” she said in a weak voice.

“Now!” The walls of the room shook causing a shriek to explode between her lips, and suddenly she was moving towards me and launching her plump body into the air.

Directly onto mine.

Mine.

My body.

Without any other option, I braced myself for her impact. Not that she could physically harm me, it was more of a mental brace of, oh shit the woman might be plump, but she moved with the speed of a torpedo.

I caught her in my arms.

The shaking stopped.

Her hands clung to the front of my shirt, her breathing was unsteady, her body sweaty, hot, and curvy.

I appreciated all types of beauty.

Even hers.

I would have preferred a small mate, one that I could terrify into submission — one I had no risk of falling in love with.

Because a siren in love — was a dangerous thing.

And a part of me wondered if that was what Cassius had planned all along. In order for me to be at my strongest, I needed to be in love.

Something I’d never experienced in all of my years of living, screwing, and toying with males and females alike.

“What.” I gave her a menacing glare. “The hell, do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m scared of earthquakes,” she whispered, licking her lips repeatedly until I thought I was going to go mad with the motion of her tongue sliding across the pink of her mouth. “Terrified, actually.”

“This is Seattle.” I was still holding her, for reasons beyond my realm of understanding.

“They say the next earthquake is going to be really big and half of downtown is going to slide into the Puget Sound, so excuse me for being scared!”

“And you live downtown?”

“Well… no.” Her brown eyes focused in on mine.

“Then you must visit there often?”

“No.”

I sighed impatiently. “So your fears are completely unfounded and illogical. Simply stop fearing it.”

“Easy for you to say.”

“I tire of holding you, human.” The lie fell easy; in fact, I had forgotten I was holding her until she fidgeted in my arms like she was the offended party, when I was the one who had just been assaulted. “The only thing you need to fear is me.”

“Because you…” She sighed. “You’re going to sacrifice me?”

I tried to hold the laugh in.

But it was all too ridiculous.

“Yes.” I nodded seriously, my lips twitching with the urge to smile. “The process will be painless. I’ll tie your hands and feet to the bedposts — strip you naked, and then plunge an immortal sword into your heart. You’ll need to repeat the words ut animam meam and then once you drink my blood — if it accepts you, you will live.”

Her face paled as she struggled to get out of my arms.

And then I lost it, dropping her back to her feet, laughing so hard I felt my body shook with it.

“I don’t even remember the phrase!” Her wild eyes darted between me and the bed, clearly not catching on. Joke. It was a joke.

“Well,” I lifted a shoulder and shrugged. “Then I guess you die.”

“But—”

“Better do it quickly, less pain that way.”

“What about the plants?”

My smile froze. “Either you’re extremely simple minded or mentally ill. What the hell are you talking about?”

“The—” She tugged at her low ponytail. “The plants, you know, around the grounds. I take care of them and Cassius—” Her eyes lit up. “Cassius said I was getting a promotion, so sorry, but you can’t kill me.”

I grinned. “Okay.”

She frowned.

I was still confused how she was shielding herself from my essence, but already I was mentally drained from the energy it took to get her to worship me — instead I returned to my normal everyday state and held out my hand.

She stared at it.

“Take my hand.”

“No.” She swallowed. “I think I’ll just wait for Cassius.”

“He’s already mated.”

Her eyes narrowed. “I’m not mating him.”

“No.” This, this was my favorite part, watching humans try to logically put together all of the pieces of the puzzle only to realize their brains were too small to comprehend the different parts they held, the angles, the colors, “You’re going to mate with me.”

I expected her to cry.

Maybe throw something.

Instead, she froze and then with a scream ran head first directly into my body sending me sailing backward against the marble floor.

I was caught unaware.

Meaning, I barely had time to stop myself before my head slammed back against the hard ground.

She tried to run toward the door.

“Cat and mouse.” I sighed from my position on the ground. “I always did like foreplay.”

She jerked against the doors with fervor, I’d give her that, but they wouldn’t budge.

Not until she was mine.

Not until the doors sensed my blood running through her veins.

“Why won’t it open?” Her voice was strangled as pieces of her hair fell out of its restraint and brushed against her shoulders. “You can’t keep me here forever.”

“I can.” I yawned. “I will.”

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Don’t miss the rest of The Dark Ones Saga:

The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)

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Untouchable Darkness (The Dark Ones Saga #2)

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Darkest Temptation (The Dark Ones Saga #4)

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Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

Author Links

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

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Title: The Bachelor Auction
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: The Bachelors of Arizona #1
Release Date: October 4, 2016

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Synopsis

Cinderella never had to deal with this crap.

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would neveragree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . . .

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Bs Review

The Bachelor Auction is a sweet, sexy and hilarious start to what promises to be another addictive RomCom series. This modern Cinderella story had my heart all over the map as I experienced Brock and Jane’s delightful fairytale. Rachel Van Dyken delivers all of the wit, charm, and slapstick comedy I’ve come to adore from her and then some, easily reeling me into the world of Wellington, Inc. and keeping me hooked on the vibrant personalities that color the pages of The Bachelor Auction. Brock and Jane were a fantastic pair and Rachel Van Dyken conjured up some serious chemistry between them. I absolutely adored the ridiculous banter, sizzling flirtations, and delectable sexual tension that Brock and Jane shared, finding myself fully invested in their happily ever after right from the start.

“Didn’t she say that was her specialty? Looking at something that others would pass by, picking it up, cleaning it, and making it shine?”

Both Brock and Jane came from similar family situations, instantly allowing them to find common ground despite their seemingly opposite lives. I loved seeing the character growth they both experienced as they encouraged one another to face their ghosts and live life on their own terms. As Rachel Van Dyken unraveled Brock, I couldn’t help but fall harder for this kind, selfless soul who had been hurt way too young. As he worked through his fears and faced the decisions he’d made since losing his parents, Brock transformed into someone tangible, relatable, and absolutely lovable. In turn, Jane won my heart with the feisty outbursts and nurturing personality that seemed to absolutely sparkle under Brock’s attentions. I loved watching her confidence make itself known and reveled in the strength and self-respect she uncovered as the story progressed. Jane proved herself to be a worthy partner for Brock and the kind of woman you can’t help but root for.

“You’ve never been plain a day in your life.”

I very much enjoyed the modern twist that Rachel Van Dyken put on the Cinderella story with this novel. From the blaringly obvious parallels to the subtle hints of the popular fairytale, I found myself remembering why that story has always held my heart. Admittedly, there were a few things that detracted from the overall story for me. For example, most of The Bachelor Auction felt very derivative. Having been a longtime fan of this author, I felt like this story drew a little too much from some of her other RomComs, to the point where the basic outline felt repetitive. Even as a spin-off of The Bet series, I felt like the plot of this novel walked the line too closely to both The Bet and Cinderella to come off as a totally unique and memorable entity. This took away from my overall enjoyment of the story, as I was hoping for something that felt undeniably original and fresh.

“My greatest fear eventually happened. I gave power to it, and it destroyed us all.”

The Bachelor Auction was an incredibly quick read. I found myself breezing through the pages, anxious for more of Brock and Jane’s awkward and sweet story. However, as hilarious as this story was, there was still quite a bit of depth in terms of the characters’ personal challenges and painful histories. Rachel Van Dyken did a great job balancing the lighthearted humor and delicious steam with the heartfelt emotion that grounded the couple for the readers. This allowed me to not only enjoy this book wholeheartedly, but to connect with it as well. Probably the best part of The Bachelor Auction for me was Brock’s twin brothers. They totally stole the show with their relentless flirtations and hysterical advances. They had me laughing out loud right up until the end when Rachel Van Dyken skillfully dropped a few truth bombs that left me anxious for the next book in the series. An enticing start to an intriguing new series, The Bachelor Auction is another fun, sexy RomCom from Rachel Van Dyken!

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Cs Review

When I saw that Rachel Van Dyken was writing a brand new series with a Cinderella twist, I was so giddy excited! She has a way of building these worlds where readers can’t help but be sucked in. The Bachelor Auction was no exception in that I became so invested in the idea of family obligation and how far we become ruled by duty. The set up and initial build-up drew me in and definitely left me wanting more.

“It wouldn’t hurt to stop trying to control the memories. Maybe in order to get through the grief, you need to face them.”

Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t rate this one a five star. Despite Rachel’s excellent writing and a fun storyline, The Bachelor Auction lacked originality to me. I fell in love with this author’s writing because of the antics in The Bet, but this book was so much of the same stuff. There were different characters (mostly), different names, and a new set-up, but the matchmaking and silliness were aspects that I had already seen from this author in previous novels.

“They didn’t say any more; words were pointless anyway. Words couldn’t and wouldn’t solve their problem, and honestly, he just wanted to touch her, feel her.”

However, I will say that the brothers seriously stole the show for me. They kept me laughing and intrigued. Van Dyken strategically gives us morsels of their back story at the end, and it definitely made it so that I’ll be reading the other books in the series. Overall, I wouldn’t say that there’s anything wrong with this story; it just wasn’t my favorite from this author. If you’re a fan of laugh out loud comedy with a hint of growth and crazy antics, you won’t want to miss this one. The fairytale aspect was woven seamlessly throughout and made this princess feel right at home.

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Don’t miss the rest of the series:

The Playboy Bachelor (Bachelors of Arizona #2)

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The Bachelor Contract (Bachelors of Arizona #3)

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**RELEASING NOVEMBER 28, 2017**

Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

Author Links

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Website

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – The Matchmaker’s Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken

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Title: The Matchmaker’s Replacement
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. #2
Release Date: August 9, 2016

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Synopsis

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.

Bs Review

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.

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Cs Review

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!

Rating
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Book Links

Add to Goodreads

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Don’t miss the first book in the series:

The Matchmaker’s Playbook (Wingmen Inc. #1)

The Matchmakers Playbook

Read our Review HERE
Add to Goodreads
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Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

Author Links

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Website

Giveaway

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Follow the rest of the Blog Tour HERE

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Empire by Rachel Van Dyken

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Title: Empire
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #7
Release Date: May 31, 2016

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Synopsis

I have lost everything.
My purpose
My love
My soul
Death knocks on my door, I want to answer, but every time I reach for the handle — the promise I made her brings me back.
So I breathe.
I live.
I hate.
And I allow the anger to boil beneath the surface of a perfectly indifferent facade. I am broken, I don’t want to be fixed.
But the Empire is crumbling and it’s my job to fix it.
My job to mend the pieces that were scattered over thirty years ago.
A trip to New York, only one chance to redeem a lost part of our mafia family.
The only issue is, the only way to fix it, is to do something I swore I’d never do again.
An arranged marriage.
Only this time,
I won’t fall.
Or so help me God, I will kill her myself.
My name is Sergio Abandonoto, you think you know my pain, my suffering, my anger, my hate?
You have no idea.
I am the mafia.
I am the darkness.
Blood in. No out.

Bs Review

If there is one thing Rachel Van Dyken consistently knocks out of the park, it is her maddeningly macho and devilishly delicious mafia men. Empire is the next chapter in Sergio’s story and it was more heart wrenching than I ever could have imagined. It didn’t seem possible to feel more deeply for this broken man than I had in Elude, but Rachel Van Dyken put my heart through the wringer and once again left me reeling from the emotional rollercoaster of this story. Rachel Van Dyken writes with a powerful sense of purpose, her storybuilding strong and character development sure. Her words are slicing and witty, expertly capturing the complex and dangerous world of the Eagle Elite series and the myriad of emotions that come along with it. Empire exemplifies everything I’ve grown to love about this series and then some, proving once again, that Rachel Van Dyken is her own mafia queen.

“But, time? Time can be an enemy too. Its face is never intimidating, but the sound of the clock? Probably the most gut-wrenching sound in existence.”

Oh, Sergio. What can I say about this tormented man? If I thought he’d shattered my heart in Elude, I was sorely mistaken. Sergio absolutely decimated me in Empire. Rachel Van Dyken expertly captured Sergio’s emotional turmoil over the loss of Andi and delivered it in an incredibly palpable way. I felt his heartache down to my soul and on more than one occasion, found myself in tears. There were times when I wanted to yell at him, shake him, force him to see all of the life still left around him, and yet he was always just out of reach. Val’s sweet disposition, unimaginable patience, and surprising skill with a paintball gun, chipped away at his icy exterior, forcing him to feel not only his overwhelming pain, but also the stirrings of life that still passed through him. I adored the moments when Sergio’s alpha personality took control, his unavoidable attraction to Val and the powerful sexual tension between them winning out and resulting in moments of both unrestrained desire and surprising intimacy.

“Sometimes we yell, not so others will listen, but because we hurt so deeply within —screaming is the only option.”

Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to love Val. After falling in love with Andi and Sergio, I was certain that no one else could ever fit with Sergio in my mind. However, Rachel Van Dyken proved me wrong, writing a character so vastly different and yet beautiful just the same, and endearing her to me in an instant. Val’s sheltered existence and obvious innocence proved to be just the thing to help Sergio heal and as the story progressed, she evolved into his perfect match. I loved the fire that he ignited within her and as she grew bolder and more sure of herself, she stole a piece of my heart with her strength, bravery, and intelligence. While I’m sure some won’t like Sergio’s treatment of Val, I adored the way Rachel Van Dyken utilized his pain to push Val, encouraging her to become fierce and independent. By the time this novel came to a close, Val was every bit the mafia wife, seamlessly falling into place within the Eagle Elite family.

“Even those who have accepted the state of being lost… dream of being found.”

In my opinion, there were a few things that were mentioned in this book and not sufficiently clarified. While I’m sure they’ll make more sense with the information obtained in the next book, I felt a few of the points had been left too open, making them feel out of place and completely disconnected from the story. These issues didn’t override the plot in any way. They simply gave me pause while I wondered what their purpose was. Empire was well paced, allowing readers the time to get to know new characters in one moment and pulling them deep into the action the next. As always, the Chicago crew colored this novel with their hilarious antics, ridiculous banter, awkward introductions, and trigger-happy tendencies. I laughed out loud and fell in love with this crazy, badass family all over again in Empire. Perhaps my favorite part of the novel was the way in which Sergio and Val’s romance was perfectly orchestrated from behind the scenes. It kept Andi alive in this book in a way that was necessary and altogether comforting. Rachel Van Dyken restores a sense of peace for Sergio with Empire, proving this new novel to be yet another mafia masterpiece.

Rating
4.5.png

Empire_1

Cs Review

I always get so excited when I learn that a new book in the Eagle Elite series is releasing. Rachel Van Dyken has created such a unique world with unforgettable characters to the point that a part of me always feels like I’m coming home. Empire was heartbreaking in so many ways, but healing in plenty of others. It’s definitely an impressionable story that will have you both laughing and tearing up, while still getting a dose of the crazy antics from the crew that readers have come to know and love.

“Sometimes we yell, not so others will listen, but because we hurt so deeply within – screaming is the only option.”

Whenever I think about Sergio’s story, I always feel a bit of pity. Of all the mafia men we have met, he seems to get the short end of the stick time and time again, forced to bend to the will of his destiny. He has strong family ties and an enormous sense of loyalty which leads to these situations he may not want to be in. However, after turning that last page of Empire, I can understand it all. Van Dyken put him on one heck of a journey and as a reader, I see the why, which I think speaks volumes to this author’s writing. He prides himself on being one of the toughest, strongest men with so many kills. He’s a hard-faced, no-nonsense mafia man, but that means he had the most to learn in terms of an emotional transformation. I was a little nervous at first, but I will be the first to say that I’m not sure why. I’m so pleased with the incredibly moving journey he went on.

“Life is full of two-twirl moments – don’t allow her to settle for only one.”

Of all that occurs in Empire, the presence of both heroines who would end up shaping Sergio and delivering the hardest hits he’d receive was probably my favorite piece. I don’t want to say much because those scenes are some of the most powerful and really should be experienced firsthand. However, I will say that the tact and method with which Van Dyken did this was pure brilliance. Two ladies, who couldn’t be more different from one another, would end up being the exact recipe needed to morph a beast into a prince. It was just so heartwarming and perfect to not just read about, but to experience.

“I didn’t want to be saved. No saving was needed. Because the truth of the matter was, I wasn’t really lost. I was just…empty.”

I’ve read every single book that has released in the Eagle Elite series. However, I would say that this one is the most removed from that traditional mafia world this author has created. Empire isn’t focused mainly on the family and dealing with the threats that may present themselves. It wasn’t Sergio’s search for redemption like the other heroes have faced, but I’d say it was his path to peace. In order to get the full experience and understanding, I highly suggest reading Elude first, but you’ll definitely want to have Empire on hand for right afterwards. This is another solid hit for Rachel Van Dyken, and solidified even further that this has got to be my favorite series that she writes!

Rating
4.5.png

Excerpt

Sergio looked ready to strangle me. “No. I don’t believe I asked for an annoying little sister, but if that’s what you’re offering, please don’t let me stop you. Just know, I won’t hesitate to put you over my knee if you get out of hand.”

The minute the words left his mouth. I froze.

He froze.

The taxi driver stared little laser like holes into the rearview mirror.

And Sergio leaned toward me.

I swallowed as tension swirled around us.

He gripped me by the chin and turned my head to the side, his lips brushing my ear. “It’s like you have a death wish.”

“You wouldn’t do it.”

He pulled back as both of his eyebrows shot up, and then he looked down, like he had spotted something.

I followed the direction of his gaze and let out a little gasp as a gun dug into my stomach.

“It’s been directed at you for the last four minutes,” Sergio said through a practiced smile. “I meant what I said. Listen well. I keep my word. Kiss me, and blood will be spilled.”

“Y-you’re a crazy person!” I hissed, shoving at his chest. “And I wasn’t going to kiss you!”

“Sure you weren’t.” He put the gun away. “Good talk though, right? Oh look, the movie theater.”

To say that I scrambled out of the car like a kid running away from her kidnapper would be a gross understatement, but the minute my feet hit the pavement, I paused.

My body told me to run.

The guy had pulled a gun.

On me.

I didn’t even watch violent movies.

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Don’t miss the beginning of Sergio’s story:

Elude (Eagle Elite #6)

Read our review HERE
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Check out the rest of the Eagle Elite series:

Enchant (Eagle Elite #0.5)

Enchant

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Elite (Eagle Elite #1)

Elite

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Enforce (Eagle Elite #1.5)

Enforce

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Elect (Eagle Elite #2)

Elect

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Entice (Eagle Elite #3)

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Elicit (Eagle Elite #4)

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Ember (Eagle Elite #5)

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Bang Bang (Eagle Elite Spin-Off)

Bang Bang

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Enrage (Eagle Elite #8)

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Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

Author Links

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmakers Playbook Banner

Title: The Matchmaker’s Playbook
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. #1
Release Date: April 5, 2016

The Matchmakers Playbook

Synopsis

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

The Matchmakers Playbook_1

Bs Review

Rachel Van Dyken returns to her RomCom roots with The Matchmaker’s Playbook and it is spellbinding! The Matchmaker’s Playbook is fresh, feisty, hilarious and witty – reminiscent of her earlier romantic comedies and just as addictive. An unforgettable cast of characters carries this story, lead by the swoon-worthy Ian and perfectly lovable Blake. I fell in love with this couple instantly, enchanted by their obvious chemistry, natural banter, and surprising emotional connection. Their push and pull was utterly fantastic, creating a palpable tension that practically sparked off the pages. Their shared stubbornness and unexpected feelings for one another led to an endless number of awkward and entertaining moments that had me laughing out loud. The Matchmaker’s Playbook delivered all of the highs and lows that made Ian and Blake’s journey so captivating, but it was the simplicity of the plot that made completely losing myself in this story so easy. This is Rachel Van Dyken’s writing at its best – intelligent, socially relevant, and down-to-earth.

“For the first time in my life, I wanted a girl that wasn’t mine to have. And it sucked.”

Ian is a classic Rachel Van Dyken RomCom hero – almost a mix of Max from The Consequence Series and Travis from The Bet. Ian is smart, cocky, sarcastic, and hilarious but maintains a cool, emotionally closed off façade after losing the life he had always planned for. I absolutely loved watching him unravel with Blake. There is just something about seeing a guy with so much swagger stumble in the presence of the right woman that makes me absolutely giddy. Rachel Van Dyken delivered Ian’s emotional epiphany with humor and plenty of heart, ensuring that he left me indelibly marked. I absolutely loved the dynamic between Ian and Lex. Their easy relationship laid a solid foundation for the rest of the story and revealed a lot about Ian’s true character. I enjoyed discovering the intricacies of their business partnership and the various roles they played within Wingmen Inc. but more importantly, they had a friendship that felt authentic all the way through. It was brutally honest, hilarious, and unwaveringly supportive – they made this story absolutely shine.

“Funny how words that are supposed to make people happy kind of make you want to punch a tree like Chuck Norris.”

Blake is a girl after my own heart and I absolutely adored her! She’s familiar and easy to relate to – someone we’ve all known or been at some point in life. Insecure, shy, and deep in unrequited love, Blake is an adorable and totally oblivious mess. Despite her intelligence, athletic prowess, and kind heart, Blake was vulnerable in a way that felt entirely genuine. It took no time at all for me to connect with her and it would have been impossible not to become invested in her happily ever after. I had so much fun rediscovering some of the forgotten gems of the 1990s through Blake’s outdated style. They were small details but their comfortable familiarity totally brought this character to life for me. Rachel Van Dyken orchestrated some great growth for this character through her relationship with Ian. He challenged her, argued with her, and pushed her out of her comfort zone, bringing out a strength and confidence that made my heart soar. By the end of the book Blake felt like a friend I had known forever and I was left in awe of the sassy, sure, vibrant woman she had grown into.

“For hating someone so much, he really does spend a lot of time… annoying her.”

The concept behind The Matchmaker’s Playbook instantly intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to see where Rachel Van Dyken planned on taking this book. I am thrilled to say she definitely didn’t disappoint. The story flowed effortlessly and the pacing was spot-on, easily allowing me to devour this novel in one sitting. Stepping away from the slapstick comedy that often feels forced and overly ridiculous, The Matchmaker’s Playbook overflows with easy humor and witty dialogue that will have you grinning from start to finish. Carefully placed heartfelt moments exposed Ian and Blake’s true feelings, giving their journey the necessary emotional credibility to balance the comedy, while colorful secondary characters rounded out this fictional world. Lex and Gabi, were definite scene-stealers, proving to be just as enthralling as our main couple. I’m so excited to hear their story in the next book. Rachel Van Dyken serves up a must read novel with The Matchmaker’s Playbook, a refreshing and addictive romantic comedy gem!

Rating
5.png

The Matchmakers Playbook_2

Cs Review

Where, oh where, has this book been all my life!? Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken is the perfect fun afternoon read. I was so torn between wanting to savor the giggles and butterflies, and absolutely devouring each and every moment. It’s the first book in the new Wingmen, Inc. series and with characters that were feisty and bold, and a storyline that was unique and refreshing, it pretty much moved itself to the top of my favorite novels by this particular author.

“Do you ever think that what you thought you wanted isn’t actually what you want anymore?”

Van Dyken sent it flying out of the park with her characters in this novel. There was tremendous growth within them and witty banter between them that kept the story moving forward. Furthermore, they were just plain fun to read. When we were first introduced to Ian, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was feeling about him. He was conceited and cocky, and he knew it. Though it certainly aided him in what he chose to do with Wingmen, Inc., it left me wanting to slap him at times. However, as the story unfolded and that arrogance worked against him, it made me giddy. Blake challenged him emotionally and physically, and boy was that amusing to watch. She was supposed to be the one taking lessons from him, and without realizing it, she was teaching him a thing or two. Together, Blake and Ian embodied everything I’d want in a relationship; they had clear chemistry that sizzled, with a foundation of friendship, and a romance that blossomed from there. From the moment they met, until the very last page of the Epilogue, their dialogue kept me laughing, swooning, and falling in love.

“It wasn’t that it had been too long without a girl. It was that it’d been a lifetime without the right one.”

If you’re a fan of the movie Failure to Launch, this is the perfect read for you! With a similar type of theme, unforgettable characters, and dialogue to keep you laughing, you’ll never want to leave The Matchmaker’s Playbook behind. I do have to say that I appreciated the scaled back humor from some of the previous novels Van Dyken has produced. It was low on angst, low on drama, and high on the feel good romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and definitely am craving more. I can’t wait to see what I’m sure will be the explosive moments coming in book two of the series!

Rating
5.png

Trailer

Excerpt

Blake let out another pitiful groan. “I don’t think it fits.”

“They measured you. It fits. Just, tell me if it looks okay so we can go.” I checked my watch. “Gabi said dinner was at six, and it’s already a quarter till.”

“This is too much pressure.” Her voice was frantic. “I can’t do this. I mean, how do I know if it looks good? They’re boobs.”

I groaned. “Boobs always look good. Believe me.”

“Boobs are gross!”

Said no man ever. Even the gay ones.

One of the salesladies eyed me up and down. “Are you two okay?”

“Great,” I chirped. “Just having a very heated discussion about the beauty of breasts.” I dipped my chin to Blake’s chest. “What are you? A double D?”

Scowling, she marched off.

Thank God.

“Blake,” I hissed.

No answer.

I’d never had such a difficult client. If anything, they jumped when I told them to, asked how high, and then kept jumping until I was satisfied. Blake fought me at every turn.

“Open the door before I crawl underneath it. I’ll pick the bras, you can close your eyes if you want so you don’t have to watch me look at you, alright? My stomach literally just ate my liver. I need protein. Open. The. Door.”

The door slowly creaked open. Taking advantage of the small crack of air, I pushed it farther, then clicked it shut behind me and turned around.

Blake was facing me, hands on hips, face beet-red, body . . . freaking perfect. My tongue almost lolled out, like a dog.

Most girls starve themselves to have abs like that, which was disgusting. But her abs? They had muscle, actual muscle, but still appeared feminine.

She also had a nice tan, just enough to show that she spent time outside or maybe just had naturally darker skin.

My throat went completely dry as I continued to stare.

“Well?” Her voice was weak. “How awful do I look? On a scale of one to ten?”

I’d convinced her to buy some new workout clothes to replace her old ones. I knew I’d never get her to actually completely change her style. She liked workout clothes? Fine, at least buy the kind that fit and actually point to the correct gender. I tried to steer her away from the boyfriend sweats and sweatshirts, but she eventually wore me down, so I told her if she bought at least five new Pink outfits that had spandex in them, I’d let her get one pair of ugly slouchy sweats. You’d think I’d just given her a million dollars, from her reaction.

Currently, she was sporting a short pair of bright-blue yoga shorts.

And a black push-up sports bra that did wonders for her boobs.

And the world just in general.

Holy shit.

I gulped as I became more and more irritated with the fact that my body was reacting as if it had never seen a girl without her shirt on before. “Blake, it’s great.”

“You sound bored!”

I had to, damn it! What did she want me to do? Sound interested? Turned-on? Intrigued? Curious? I was all those things. I just tried to ignorethe insanity bouncing around in my head and blurted, “Your boobs look really good. Perky, happy, just . . . awesome.”

Did I just call her boobs “happy”?

“You think?” She stared down at her breasts, then grabbed them.

Holy shit, was she seriously feeling herself up? I braced my hand against the door and sucked in a breath.

“They still feel comfortable,” she said.

“Do they?” I managed to choke out while she continued bouncing them a bit in her hands. Dear Lord, did she know what she was doing? Waving a flag in front of a bull. My jeans suddenly tight in all the wrong areas, I tried to envision Lex naked, anything to get my dick to clue in to the word “client,” meaning I was in a no-play zone.

Another first.

It was because I was hungry.

And Marissa? Melissa? Hadn’t satisfied me. I’d gotten off, and made sure she did too, but the entire experience left me feeling empty, bored, and—if I was being completely honest? A bit depressed. Besides, her tits paled in comparison. I had to wonder what the hell I’d been doing all my life if this was the first time I was having such a strong reaction to boobs.

Something about Blake had me wondering if I’d been satisfied at all up until this point. And I had no idea what the hell was so confusing about her, and about the situation. I was unable to put my finger on it, and the more I thought about it the more my head hurt.

Hunger does weird things to guys.

“Yeah.” More bouncing, then turning and staring in the mirror. I wasn’t sure what was worse. Her staring at her own boobs or touching them. “I’m just no good at this stuff. I didn’t grow up with a mom, and I hit puberty really early. The girls made fun of me, and the boys pointed.” Her shoulders slumped inward again.

Could we please go back to the bouncing? I was a fan of that Blake. The one that rolled up like an awkward armadillo? Not so much.

The Matchmakers Playbook_4

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Don’t miss the next Wingmen Inc. novel:

The Matchmaker’s Replacement (Wingmen Inc. #2)

Matchmakers Replacement

Read our Review HERE
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Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

Author Links

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The Matchmakers Playbook_3

RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – The Consequence of Seduction by Rachel Van Dyken

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Title: The Consequence of Seduction
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Consequence #3
Release Date: February 9, 2015

The Consequence of Seduction

Synopsis

Reid Emory has never had reason to question his luck with the ladies. As the owner of a lethal set of aqua-blue eyes and a devastating grin, this Hollywood heartthrob always brings his A game…but lately his luck seems to have run out. The actor is in need of some help, and there’s only one person he can trust to take his love life—and his career—to an explosive new level.

Jordan Litwright’s newest client is trying her patience. As a publicist, she’s more than content to stay in the background and let others shine. But when a publicity stunt backfires, she suddenly finds herself thrust into the spotlight—as Reid’s new love interest. And while other men usually overlook her, Reid is focusing in with laserlike intensity. There’s no denying they have serious chemistry.

But once Reid breaks into the big time, can they turn their made-for-the-media romance into a forever love?

Bs Review

The consequence series returns with Reid’s highly anticipated story. Rachel Van Dyken delivers Reid’s match in the feisty and lovable Jordan. These two had a great push and pull creating a chemistry that was fun to watch simmer while they dealt with the drama of Hollywood and the ever present, always to be feared Max Effect. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t entertaining to watch Reid struggle with his feelings for Jordan after everything he’d put Max through in the last book. Jordan’s self-doubt and overall disbelief in Reid’s sincerity put his normally easy swagger and charming personality to the test. The resulting disaster was amusing, filled with absolutely insane antics, ridiculous conversations, and the kind of embarrassing moments that were simply horrifying. We also got a little more of Colton, Milo, and Jason, and plenty of Becca and Max to make life for Reid and Jordan much more interesting.

“Note to self: don’t look directly in his eyes for fear that clothes will spontaneously pull themselves off my body.”

Poor Reid never stood a chance, and Rachel Van Dyken certainly didn’t hesitate to put him through his paces. I liked getting a glimpse of his more emotional side, specifically near the end of the book where his sexy and romantic side comes to the surface. I absolutely loved how genuine Jordan was. Rachel Van Dyken portrayed her as flawed, someone entirely human who made mistakes, jumped to conclusions, and embarrassed herself… a lot. I always appreciate characters that don’t feel airbrushed in both looks and personality. From her frizzy hair to her tendency to spill things on herself, she was a character I could relate to and laugh with and that went a long way for me with this story. Reid and Jordan’s relationship doesn’t really develop beyond the superficial until the final third or so of the book. It was here that their connection became something meaningful with emotional depth making me swoon and allowing me to fall in love with them.

“I don’t understand whatever language you’re speaking. You’re cute as hell when you get that I want to take over the world look on your face. But I’m completely lost.”

My one issue with this novel is that I felt like there was less balance between storyline/character development and humor than in the first two books. There were pieces where the story building paled beneath the ridiculous and it took away from my connection to the characters and the authenticity of the story. The Consequence of Seduction differs from the previous books in the series in that the humor is geared more towards slapstick comedy. There were still some moments of biting wit and well-timed sarcasm that had me grinning, but the lifeblood of this story is physical comedy. Fueled by over-the-top accidents, a ridiculous amount of bad luck, plenty of uncomfortable situations, and a sibling rivalry gone terribly awry, The Consequence of Seduction made me gasp, cringe, and pray to all available deities that grandma would just keep her clothes on. With the fun familiarity of the characters and the crazy events that unravel, The Consequence of Seduction is an amusing addition to the series.

Rating
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Cs Review

Let me be honest, this review is one of the more difficult that I’ve had to write in a long time.  I’ve made it no secret that I really adore Rachel as a person, as well as what she produces in her novels. However, The Consequence of Seduction just didn’t do it for me. It very much followed the style of the previous two books in the series, but there were a couple areas that felt lacking, which really divested my attention and interest.

“I’d spent my life fixing other people’s problems, living in the background, blending in. And for the first time, I didn’t want to blend. I wanted color.”

My biggest qualm is that the slap stick comedy just went a little overboard for my taste. While in the first two books, there was balance with the storyline and character development, the humor seemed to overtake everything else for the first three quarters of Consequence of Seduction. There was one particular scene, the big dinner I’ll call it, where I spent more time rolling my eyes and questioning the ridiculousness, that I wasn’t able to focus on anything else. It felt like a moment for introductions and connections, but that part was completely missing. Overall, some of the humor of the scenes felt forced, rather than to help aid the characters’ personalities. Furthermore, I wasn’t really able to feel a connection and chemistry between Jordan and Reid the way I was able to with the previous couples. I knew it was there, but it wasn’t conveyed through the words and actions. The journey didn’t feel like their own, but rather one of the circumstance. I think the problem is that I know the potential Rachel has, so I had set the bar pretty high for this novel, and it just fell short from those expectations.

“He was the type of guy you compared every other guy to. There was no going up. There was no getting better. Only worse.”

I think that had this book been a novella of the last twenty percent, it would have been a five star rated book for me. During the final portion, it was like Van Dyken became inspired and her characters finally started speaking to her. There was dialogue and humor, but the balance that seemed lacking was more than present; it was perfection. I loved those serious moments of Reid and Jordan finding their footing and seeing Max’s trouble be used for good. I didn’t dislike The Consequence of Seduction, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I yearned for more out of the writing and the characters, but have no doubt that some readers will absolutely fall in love with all the antics. I’m certainly looking forward to Jason’s story and just how he’ll get his happily ever after!

Rating
3.5.png

Consequence 1

Excerpt

Max jumped onto the couch and held up his hands. “Before you do this, remember, our mother has a Jesus sticker on her car. What would she say?”

“Must you bring her into everything?” Reid roared, stopping in front of the couch, chest heaving.

Max shrugged. “It’s not my fault I’m her favorite son.”

“Says who?”

“Mom. This morning.”

“Was this before or after you added vodka to her coffee and slipped her a pill?”

Max gasped.

Becca made her way around the brothers and motioned for me to walk with her toward the kitchen. No words were spoken. She simply popped the cork from the wine bottle and poured what looked like three servings into a glass and slid it toward me. “Believe me, it helps.”

I took the glass and sipped while she drank straight from the bottle. “Does he ever . . . stop being . . . Max?” I asked. “Curious minds want to know.”

Max jumped off the couch, and naturally he made his own swish sound effect before landing on his feet, thrusting his hands into the air, and turning toward Reid. “I’ve been her favorite ever since I won at gymnastics.”

“You don’t win at gymnastics,” Reid said through clenched teeth. “You get scored.”

“Perfect ten.” Max winked back at us, then covered his mouth and said, “Zero,” while pointing to Reid.

“We were six!” Reid argued.

“Dude!” Max held up his hands. “I’m just saying, it’s not your fault you’re not the favorite. Let it go, man, just like Rose let go of Jack.”

“Who’s Jack?” I whispered.

Becca choked on her wine. “Oh, well, uh, last year Reid had a momentary breakdown because of Max peer pressuring me to shoot Reid in the ass with a tranq gun . . . he spent an hour singing ‘My Heart Will Go On.’” I winced. “Off-key.”

“Damn you!” Reid turned on his heel and thrust his finger in our direction. “What did I ever do to you!” I think he was talking to Becca. “I hit on you once, one time—”

“—thrice.” Max coughed.

“And the only reason was so that I could get back at this one.” He jerked his hand back to Max, nearly hitting him in the face. “Because he told Grandma the lock on my door was broken. I was taken advantage of!”

“Well, it was!” Max rolled his eyes.

“Because you took a sledgehammer to it, you bastard!”

Max grinned. “Guilty.”

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. So I did what any sane girl would do. I drank.

And when my glass was nearly empty, Becca very kindly refilled it while Reid and Max continued pacing around the living room.

“You think if we chant fight, they’ll take their shirts off?” Becca asked.

I eyed Reid’s near perfect physique. “One can only hope.”

“Dirty girls,” Max shouted. “Both of you! Jezebel! I won’t have you poisoning her mind!”

“Oh, please.” I rolled my eyes. “And stop calling me a whore!”

“Term of endearment when Max says it.” Becca patted my hand. “Next time just say thank you. It’s easier that way.”

I glanced back at the guys just in time to see Reid launch himself at Max, hands wrapped tightly around his neck, holding him against the couch while Max screamed. “Help, help!”

“We should probably intervene.” Becca took a long sip of wine and set her glass down on the table, then yawned.

“Yeah.” Max started turning purple. “We probably should. What do you normally do? Take off your top? Blow a whistle? Call the cops?”

“Cops refuse to come when Emorys call—believe me, it’s like the whole McDonald’s thing. Public service refuses to help them now.”

“Makes sense.”

Max made a choking noise while he tried to kick Reid in the shin.

“Oh, well.” Becca walked slowly toward the guys. I followed. I expected her to gently ask them to stop fighting and separate them.

Instead, she punched Reid in the face and then separated them.

He stumbled back.

I caught him and fell backward against the other couch while he rubbed his face and whispered, “My hero.”

“My lungs broke your fall,” I wheezed.

Max gasped for air. “You know my biggest fear is not breathing!”

“Not breathing?” I had to ask, I just had to.

Reid chuckled. “For six years Max was convinced every food was going to cause him to go into anaphylactic shock because Oprah did a segment where some chick nearly died after eating a kiwi!”

“A kiwi!” Max repeated hoarsely. “Who dies from kiwi? That chick.” He shook his head vigorously. “I refuse to go down eating.”

Reid moved off me and sat back on the couch. “He took Benadryl every time he ate fruit.”

Max narrowed his eyes. “Make fun now, but we both know that watermelon gave me hives! My throat closed, you bastard!”

“Maybe if you took smaller bites . . .” Reid said helpfully.

Max lunged again.

Becca grabbed him by the shirt and tugged him back onto his own couch. “No more fighting, we have engagement pictures tomorrow.”

Consequence 2

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The Consequence of Loving Colton (Consequence #1)

The Consequence of Loving Colton

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The Consequence of Revenge (Consequence #2)

Consequence of Revenge

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The Consequence of Rejection (Consequence #4)

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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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

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Consequence of Seduction_3

RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Untouchable Darkness by Rachel Van Dyken

Title: Untouchable Darkness
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: The Dark Ones Saga #2
Release Date: December 29, 2015

Synopsis

To love a Dark One is to invite death…

It is wrong to love her.
It is worse to want her.
It is sin to consume her.
I desire all three.

I’ve been given thirty days to prove my love to another immortal–as a human. Cursed to use nothing but the side of myself I’ve always despised to win her affection. I am Cassius, the King of the immortals, A Dark One.
And today I tasted fear for the first time.
How can I win her when my human emotions over take every ounce of logic I possess?
A darkness is brewing.
One I cannot stop as a human.
One that Stephanie, my loves visions, have shown, will be my end.
Thirty days ago I was King of the immortals.
Today I know fear.
Today I know how I will die.
By her hand.

The woman I love.

Untouchable Darkness 2

Bs Review

Rachel Van Dyken continues to hold me captive with this enthralling series. Untouchable Darkness was everything I’d hoped for and then some. Fascinating, unexpected, and powerful, Cassius and Stephanie’s journey did not disappoint. As Cassius and Stephanie both struggled with their new realities, the immortals were dealt the knowledge of an impending war with darkness. One that would challenge everything they thought they knew. As tension mounts in the outside world, things between Cassius and Stephanie intensify in their own right. Rachel Van Dyken has written an undeniable friction between these two that is absolutely electric. Gifted both an explosive chemistry and an unshakeable connection, Cassius and Stephanie’s story packs quite a punch. Fantastically written and carefully crafted, Rachel Van Dyken casts a spell with Untouchable Darkness that is simply mesmerizing, pulling readers into her paranormal world of poignant prose, enigmatic characters, penetrating emotion, and humorous dialogue and leaving them absolutely enchanted.

“We’ll put him in the dungeon. Been years since we’ve had a plaything in chains. Think of the Instagram posts we could have!”

I knew I was going to enjoy Stephanie from the start. Her voice was so fresh, honest, vulnerable and full of emotion that I connected with her instantly. She was fierce and intelligent with a kind heart desperate to fix what was broken. Cassius, on the other hand, was initially cold and hard to read, but the humanity that is revealed in him over the course of this novel is beautiful, flawed, and hypnotic in a way. I was thrilled with how Rachel Van Dyken deconstructed this character, somehow making him downright lovable. At the beginning of the book, both characters find themselves facing entirely new roles amongst the immortals and the result is a firestorm of emotions neither is prepared to face. However, as they learn to re-define themselves and accept their fate, Stephanie discovers she is incapable of controlling, let alone hiding, her emotions while Cassius is forced to face and actually experience his. The resultant volatile shift in power is all consuming, giving way to passion, fear, mistrust, need, and so much more. Both characters grow significantly as they undergo such a transformative exchange of power and as a reader, I found their personal evolutions to be simply stunning.

“In order for light to exist, we must also have dark, there will always be a need for balance.”

Untouchable Darkness kept me on my toes, each twist and turn of the story a pleasant surprise that kept me riveted. Cassius’ past and present run in parallel, giving us a better understanding of the events unfolding and their potential impact on both humanity and the immortals. Well paced and carefully plotted, Rachel Van Dyken has constructed this series in a manner that ensures each puzzle piece falls into place only when it’s meant to and not a moment sooner, allowing for a build-up of emotions that promises an exceptional reading experience. I continue to be enamored with all of the vibrant characters in this series, each playing a crucial roll and providing a certain emotional aspect to the story. Ethan and Genesis still had me swooning while Alex’s absolutely outrageous antics and Mason’s constant misfortune kept me laughing. While entirely consumed by the current story, Untouchable Darkness made sure I was also falling hard for Alex and Mason, making me anxious to hear their stories and keeping me wholly invested in the future of the series. Having once again expertly crafted a tale of longing, loss, and love that will make your heart break, race, and mend, Rachel Van Dyken will charm you with Untouchable Darkness.

Rating
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Cs Review

For anyone who follows my reviews or knows me, it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Rachel Van Dyken’s writing. However, there is something about this series that I can’t quite pinpoint, but it just has me itching for more. Untouchable Darkness was mysterious and intriguing, especially with all the background and history that readers received. I wanted more of Cassius as soon as he was introduced in The Dark Ones, so I was glad I didn’t have to wait long to hear his story.

“I teach you how to fight the darkness – so you can recognize the light.”

While I loved the first book in the series, I found this one to be even more gripping. The back story and the connections made in certain chapters really pulled me into the relationship between Cassius and Stephanie that much more. I certainly didn’t feel like anything was lacking with Ethan and Genesis, but there was definitely an elevation in the writing with these two. Their relationship had to maintain such a fine balance that I was enamored by the way they had to approach everything. It’s hard to describe without giving away details. What I also loved was the level of chemistry between them. They may have been born of cold, but everything between them was sizzling and hot. It showed a bit of growth in this author’s writing, as I have not previously experienced that side of her. The way Van Dyken creates the build-up into that climax of emotions was absolute perfection.

“The minute our lips touched, those brief seconds you saved me, touched me, joined with me. For those measly seconds – seconds of living a lifetime of a million lonely seconds – I was complete.”

As I’ve said before, the storyline is really what enraptured me with Untouchable Darkness. I never knew quite what to expect and that mystery was kind of thrilling. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that there would be a reveal or a hint of foreshadowing, but oh man was I wrong. The author brings everything together in such a beautifully tragic way. I definitely can’t wait to see what happens with her other characters, and of course the greater storyline arc, in future novels. I’m always left completely satisfied, yet salivating for a drop more when it comes to a Rachel Van Dyken novel!

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Untouchable Darkness 1

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The Dark Ones (The Dark Ones Saga #1)

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Dark Surrender (The Dark Ones Saga #3)

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Untouchable Darkness_2

Author Bio

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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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

Author Links

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Untouchable Darkness

BLOG TOUR – Rip by Rachel Van Dyken

ripbanner

Title – Rip
Author – Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date – October 20, 2015
Standalone Novel

rip

Synopsis

Pretty things aren’t meant to be broken.

But I broke her, and now we both have to pay the price.

I’m her nightmare.

I’m her savior.

And now that I have her signature on an ironclad contract, I own her body and soul.

She doesn’t remember me.

She will.

It’s inevitable.

Because as much as I know I need to stay away, for fear of unlocking the memories I helped her father bury–I can’t.

She was the apple in the Garden, dangled in front of me, her core so tempting and sweet. A voice whispered. Just. One. Bite.

I bit.

I tasted.

I fell.

Welcome to the world of the Russian mafia, where death, is your only future.

Rip_2

Bs Review

Rachel Van Dyken has added to her arsenal of swoon-worthy mafia men with Rip. Nikolai’s story was exciting and action-packed, everything I’ve come to expect from Rachel’s mafia books. Rip can be read as a standalone, but I definitely enjoyed it so much more because of the cameos by familiar characters from the Eagle Elite series. While this story very much followed the “hot, wealthy mafia man falls for off-limits, beautifully broken mafia girl” storyline, Nikolai and Maya’s journey had an interesting medical twist and an added mystery component surrounding Nikolai’s family history and his past connection to Maya. True to form, Rachel Van Dyken stirs up some unexpected emotions and keeps readers guessing with surprise twists and turns in this well-written, entertaining novel.

“And sometimes, those are the worst kinds of pain, don’t you think? The scars you can’t prove are usually the ones that hurt the most.”

From the beginning, both Maya and Nikolai were intriguing characters that I wanted to get to know. Each a piece of the larger puzzle, their secret pasts and strange circumstances had me itching to discover where they’d fall in the grand scheme of things. Maya’s curiosity and intelligence made her a woman after my own heart. I adored her dislike for complacency and her refusal to mindlessly follow orders. Her character growth was gradual, with each piece of her past falling into place, Maya’s true self became more and more clear, resulting in a character transformation that was undeniably satisfying. Nikolai drove me crazy with his secrecy and his apparent disregard for Maya’s comfort or feelings, but as they spent more time together and his relationship with Andi and the Italians really came to light, I grew to love him. Rachel Van Dyken revealed Nikolai’s character layer by layer as the story progressed until we were left with another fantastic mafia book boyfriend.

“I don’t think either of us will ever be free of our pasts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a future, right?”

Rip was well paced and carefully plotted, making it an effortless read. The various aspects of the storyline flowed together well, incorporating the necessary backstory and the appearance of our favorite Italians in a way that was seamless. I will admit that my connection to the story was interrupted by the medical inaccuracies. Had there not been multiple instances and had the main character not been a renowned physician, it probably could have passed under my radar, but his medical proficiency was too large a part of the storyline to allow the inaccuracies to fade entirely into the background. My favorite part of the book was probably the Italian mafia tie-in, which was definitely well executed. I loved the small role they played in Rip and the lighthearted teasing and easy familiarity they brought to the story. While the majority of this book was serious, suspenseful, and steamy, the Italians brought a sense of humor I’ve grown to love. Rip was another hot mafia romance from Rachel Van Dyken and an intriguing spin-off of the Eagle Elite series!

Rating
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Rip_1

Cs Review

I pretty much think that Rachel Van Dyken is superwoman! The way she consistently pumps out her novels is so insane. Rip is definitely a little darker than her previous stories, but it very much has the signature Van Dyken trademark. There was something about the storyline that kept me intrigued and yearning to get to the bottom of all the suspense and darkness. Furthermore, the characters were familiar yet refreshing which made for an engaging read for this die-hard Rachel Van Dyken fan.

“Maya Petrov had been my game changer, but I still wasn’t sure if I was going to make her pay, atone for my sins, or destroy us both.”

In most novels that I read, I am drawn to the heroine for obvious reasons. However, I was somehow so intrigued by the hero, Nikolai, that he stole so much of my attention. Van Dyken writes him in a way that he’s like the black widow that spins his web to trap you in the center. Whether you want to like him or not, you find yourself being attracted to him and what he does. You need more information about his motivations and his past, which keeps readers turning the pages. Maya was definitely a case of light in a sea of dark. Throughout the entire novel, she felt like a puzzle that needed to be put back together. What added to the difficulty of her journey though, was that it never felt like she had all the pieces. She was searching for a fragment she didn’t even know was missing. There was something so creative and almost beautiful in the way Van Dyken did this.

“I wasn’t safe. Not in his arms. But I was where I belonged. I was complete.”

The juxtaposition of these characters and how well they complemented each other was so profound. Where one was dark, the other was light; where one was stoic and accepted what came, the other was inquisitive and wanted more; where one was fighting to forget, the other was fighting to remember. It’s hard to describe their relationship and their personalities without giving away too much of the story, but I did appreciate and enjoy the way that both their individual storylines, and their relationship together, unfolded. However, there were some things in the plotline that threw me for a loop and made me step back a little. For example, some of the medicines used – I had to stop and look up what the heck they were. For me, as a reader, it removes me from the story and proper mindset and makes me appreciate it a little less. Furthermore, some of the metaphors used made me kind of roll my eyes. I love imagery in books, but I think that sometimes it can be a bit excessive.

“But I was in too deep, the dark waters washing over me, washing over us…the only way out was to inhale – together.”

While this is a complete and utter standalone, I felt myself appreciating it more because of the fact that I had read the Eagle Elite series. There were cameo appearances from characters I’ve previously fallen in love with, which just made me more pumped for the story altogether. The crossover allows readers to feel a sense of comfort and familiarity in a novel that is filled with an unexpected darker overtone. The twist was one I anticipated, but didn’t fully see coming – though I did love the anticipation of it. Rachel Van Dyken has one heck of a mind and I’ll be anxiously awaiting what she comes up with next!

Rating

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Rip 2

Excerpt

“You,” I said simply. “It all leads to you. Everything. And I think, for now…” I leaned up, brushing my lips across his. “That’s all that matters.”

“And if I’m the key to both your survival and your destruction, what then?”

“You mean what if your water is poison?” I asked.

He didn’t answer.

“Then I want to drink.”

There were two seconds.

Two brief moments in time.

When I felt my heart race and wondered if it matched his as Nikolai took a steadying breath… then swallowed hard.

One beat against my chest, and his lips were touching mine.

Two beats as my heart picked up speed, and I could feel the heat of his mouth as he slid his tongue across my lower lip.

I moaned in response, reaching around his neck, grasping fistfuls of his hair and tugging as his body moved against mine. Without breaking the kiss, Nikolai found the hem of my cotton T-shirt, lifted it and pulled it over my head, our mouths parting for seconds before, with a sizzle of heat, they met again, and again. Each time our lips grazed it felt new, and yet familiar, like we’d shared hundreds of kisses, thousands of embraces.

He leaned back and helped me to a sitting position, his muscles flexing from holding his own weight. Moonlight shone across the planes of his firm chest. Something about Nikolai’s masculine beauty was lethal, so dangerous that my heart raced even harder. He frowned, pressing his palm to my chest as if trying to calm me down.

I wasn’t safe.

Not in his arms.

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Rip 1

Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken  or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

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Rip_3

RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – The Dark Ones by Rachel Van Dyken

Title: The Dark Ones
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: The Dark Ones Saga #1
Release Date: September 20, 2015

Synopsis

To touch a Dark One is death.
To talk to an immortal is suicide.
Yet, I’ve been marked by both.
A Vampire.
And the King of the immortals.
My life is no longer my own.
And now I know the truth, my life was never mine to begin with.
It was theirs.
It’s always been theirs.

Dark Ones_2

Bs Review

GAH! I don’t even know where to begin with this book! It takes something really special to get me to read a paranormal romance, but with Rachel Van Dyken I took the leap without question. I was shocked that The Dark Ones turned out to be one of my absolute favorite Rachel Van Dyken novels. This story is just so well written, drowning in vibrant imagery and overflowing with palpable emotion. Everything about this book is addictive. I lost myself in the intricate storyline, inimitable relationships, subtle humor, and powerful feelings that Rachel Van Dyken has so exquisitely crafted into this novel. The Dark Ones is one-of-a-kind, straying from many of the perceived stereotypes of the vampire/supernatural genre and delivering something that was original and memorable. Rachel’s unique twist on vampires and the paranormal world in general made this book utterly captivating. Genesis and Ethan’s story was impossible not to love, their journey explosive and raw.

“No fear. You are nothing. You are everything. You are simply… you.”

I absolutely adored the characters in this story. Each one is so incredibly unique and they all felt vital, in their own way, to the story. I loved the dynamic amongst the group, enjoying their teasing banter and the family-like connection they seemed to share. The character growth that Rachel Van Dyken orchestrated was absolutely beautiful. I loved watching Genesis transform from a naïvely optimistic girl into someone with the ferocity and strength to do whatever was necessary for the good of others. I fell hard and fast for Ethan. Something about his obviously broken heart and the walls he’d built to protect himself making me connect with him on an emotional level. Seeing him struggle to allow himself to be vulnerable to Genesis was heart wrenching in a deeply satisfying way. Cassius surprised me the most, his transformation entirely unexpected. He embodied the true ambiguity of nature, struggling to balance his darkness with his light, the evil in him with his inherent goodness. I can’t wait to hear his story!

“Three words. I don’t mind. Three words. They weren’t romantic. They held no lust, no desire, nothing – but to me it was trust. It was her trying.”

Rachel Van Dyken crafted a storyline that was cleverly layered; drawing you in as each piece of the puzzle fell into place while simultaneously conjuring up several more questions. The Dark Ones was unexpected, continually surprising me and offering unforeseen twists that made this book one I just couldn’t put down. Rachel’s writing felt effortless, the story easily coming to life from the pages and evoking intense emotions in me as I experienced Genesis and Ethan’s journey. I enjoyed the easy humor that Mason and Alex brought to the story. The relatability of their sarcastic commentary and quick wit grounded this book, circumventing any feelings of being “too paranormal” and allowing me to stay completely immersed in this fantastic world. The Dark Ones held me hostage with its fascinating storyline, complex characters, and powerful emotions. This is a phenomenal read, even for people wary of the paranormal romance genre. From beginning to end I was mesmerized by The Dark Ones, staying up all night to finish Genesis and Ethan’s epic story and left wanting more!

Rating
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Dark Ones_1

Cs Review

I will start by saying that I am not normally a huge paranormal fan. However, it’s a Rachel Van Dyken novel and I’d read her grocery list, so I decided to give The Dark Ones a try. Needless to say, I was not disappointed and utterly blown away. The characters were mysterious yet deep, the plot was intricate and fascinating, and the writing was some of Rachel’s best work to date.

“Love, in all my experience, was just that – selfishness wrapped up in a pretty little bow.”

The heroine, Genesis, dug her way under my skin – I fell in love with her personality. She symbolized so many different things and played such a giant role, even as the human of the bunch. She didn’t go into anything blindly, yet always saw the good in others despite the way she was brought up. I also was addicted the brewing feud between Cassius and Ethan. They were very much opposites, yet at their cores, were very similar. They each burrow their way into readers’ hearts –despite one being cast as a villain. And for those who may read this review and think I’m referring to a love triangle, it’s definitely not like that…so don’t let that deter you.

“When the heat scorches you from the inside out, when tears no longer come, when the need is all you can contemplate…you survive.”

Van Dyken pulled me in to the story pretty much instantaneously. With the talk of numbers being drawn and the characters’ bitterness toward each other, I was hooked. I had to see where all the tension was coming from and how it would all culminate. The way that this author made pieces of the storyline connect and piece together was absolutely brilliant. She would drop a morsel, let you wrap your head around it, and then leave you shouting “DUUUUUUDE” in your head. The mapping and planning that had to go into The Dark Ones just blows my mind. Her writing was fantastic and certainly left me drooling for more. It is, by far, one of Rachel Van Dyken’s best novels to date.

“I could own her body. I had to earn her heart.”

As I said before, I’m usually very hesitant to jump into the paranormal genre because I’m quite picky on what I like to see. However, Rachel Van Dyken knocked this one out of the park. It’s easily one of my favorite reads of the year, and definitely one of my favorites of hers. I loved where she took us in The Dark Ones and I can’t wait to see where she brings us next!

Rating

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The Dark Ones 2

Excerpt

I didn’t open my eyes. “No staying in bed all day?”

“About that…” Ethan sighed. “The good news is it will feel like we’ve been in bed for days when really it could have been mere hours.”

“Hmm?” I perked up. “Well, that’s a nice trick.”

“I’m full of them.” His eyes sparkled. “Care to know more?”

“Yes,” I whispered, my mouth finding his.

With a groan, he pushed me back against the mattress and loomed over me, his naked body glorious-looking against the sunlight streaming through the window. “Perhaps we’ll stay a bit longer.”

“Yes.” I nodded my head eagerly. “I’m your mate, after all. Don’t you want me to be pleased?”

“You were pleased at least four times last night, possibly five, if we count the time I—”

“Shh.” I put my hands over his mouth.

He smirked. “Afraid the dust will hear?”

I rolled my eyes.

“Ethan!” Alex’s voice boomed on the other side of the door. “Feed her!”

“Ignore him,” Ethan hissed.

The knock got louder. “For the love of God, she’s human. Give her food.”

“He’s a siren. He knows nothing.” Ethan continued kissing me.

“Mason will break down the door if he has to.” Fighting broke out in the hall. “Ethan, I can smell the sex from here. One immortal to another, feed her before you can’t feed from her anymore.”

Ethan growled and pulled back from me. “They have no manners.”

I was half-tempted to cover my face with my hands. Had they heard us? Of course they’d heard us, and they knew, and they could… Yeah, I wanted to crawl under the bed and hide for a few days. Instead, Ethan pounced from the bed, put on a pair of jeans, and jerked open the door while I tried to hide beneath the covers.

Alex peered over Ethan’s shoulder and waved.

I had no choice but to wave back and hope that I wasn’t as red as I felt.

“She’s alive.” Alex held up his hand for a high five. “No? Not funny? Too soon?”

“Horrible joke,” Mason said next to him. “I made eggs. She’s going to need food. Make her eat everything on the plate and—”

He was still talking when Ethan slammed the door in his face and brought a giant plate of food over to me.

“Forgive them.” Ethan scowled. “There aren’t typically secrets between us, and they’re just concerned for you.”

I pointed at the eggs, ten slices of bacon, and toast. “Clearly, they don’t want me to starve.”

“Wolves.” Ethan looked heavenward. “He should be more concerned with his own diet, the ass.”

“It does smell good.” I moved up the bed so I could lean against the headboard. “Do you eat?”

Ethan’s lips curved into a predatory smile. “I ate several times last night. Care for me to refresh your memory?”

My cheeks burned.

“So tempting.” He reached for a piece of bacon and held it to his lips, taking a small bite that had my entire body clenching to keep from reaching out and attacking him. “And yes, I can eat. I typically do eat but haven’t been because when we drink, we don’t need normal food.”

“But before me…” I grabbed a piece of toast. “You were eating normal food.”

“I like you better.” He winked. “But yes, I was.”

“Good to know I’m better than bacon.”

“Your taste…” His eyes brightened. “…is unlike anything I’ve ever had.”

“Hmm…” I licked my lips.

“Stop it,” he hissed and looked away. “Damn, I can’t watch you eat. I’m going to shower while you eat your entire plate as per Mason’s orders, and then I’ll contemplate letting you leave this room so you can go to the bookstore.”

“Ah!” I almost knocked over the food. “My job! Am I late? Will I get fired?”

Ethan burst out laughing. “It’s eight in the morning. He’s expecting you when I drop you off. No sooner, no later. You won’t get fired. He wouldn’t dream of it, and you really are adorable.”

“And hot.” I sighed.

“That too.”

“No, I mean hot, as in, it’s scorching in here.”

Ethan winced. “You may be that way for a few days.”

“Hot?”

He nodded.

“Why?”

“Too much vampire blood makes you overheat a bit.” He shrugged. “It won’t turn you— You’re very much human, like I’ve said before, but sometimes the vampire blood causes a type of burn to take over in your bloodstream, not painful, just not exactly pleasant if it’s a hundred degrees outside.”

“Good thing it’s Seattle.” I bit into the toast.

“Yes, well, I imagine at this point, raindrops would simply turn to vapor if they landed on your skin.”

I smiled.

“Shower.” He nodded. “I’m going to turn around now and walk away.”

“Narrating?”

“Apparently, that’s what I do when I can think of nothing more than ripping that sheet from your body, slamming you into the nearest wall, and possessing you all over again.”

I dropped the toast.

He growled, taking two steps toward me, then swore and turned back around.

“Have a good shower!” I called.

Another growl was his answer, and then his jeans went flying. I wasn’t laughing anymore.

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The Dark Ones 1

Don’t miss the rest of The Dark Ones Saga:

Untouchable Darkness (The Dark Ones Saga #2)

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Dark Surrender (The Dark Ones Saga #3)

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Darkest Temptation (The Dark Ones Saga #4)

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Author Bio

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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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

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Dark Ones_3.5

BLOG TOUR – Capture by Rachel Van Dyken

Title: Capture
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Seaside Pictures #1
Release Date: August 20, 2015

Synopsis

Losing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.

But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.

Dani lives anything but a normal life.

Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Her best friends are rockstar duo AD2.

And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.

But that doesn’t change the fact their parents are dead.

Or that it’s her fault.

It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.

That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.

He’s gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.

But that doesn’t stop her from wondering…if things were different…would he want her?

If she was whole, would he be the other half?

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Review

Capture is the first book in Rachel Van Dyken’s new Seaside Pictures Series, a spin-off of her Seaside Series. You definitely do not need to read any of the Seaside Series to enjoy Capture. Rachel was careful to provide enough information about every reappearing character to make their presence in the story seamless. For those who have read some of Rachel’s other books, you will see some familiar faces that definitely put a big smile on my face with their presence. Capture is the perfect weekend read, filled with humor, excitement, and genuine emotion. Dani and Lincoln‘s story was utterly captivating, making this a one sitting read for me. Losing myself in Seaside was effortless as I found myself engrossed by the storyline and invested in the characters from the very first chapter. Dani and Lincoln have a unique dynamic that is unlike any of Rachel Van Dyken’s previous couples. These two possess a chemistry that snuck up on me. What originally felt superficial, a young woman’s Hollywood crush, became so much more as Dani and Lincoln’s story unraveled. An underlying tension was building and as it became harder to contain, the bubbling frustration and undeniable spark made Capture an absolutely enchanting read.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s this. You savor life. You don’t jump into it and wish for it to be over, because you never know how much time you’re going to be given. You should never get anything over with – no matter how scary it may be.”

Lincoln is definitely someone I’d let Capture me! Obviously being a hot Hollywood heartthrob makes him positively yummy, but it was his quick wit, kind heart, and quirky charms that had me falling hard. As Rachel Van Dyken laid this character bare for us, we got to see significant growth in Lincoln. His initial acceptance of Dani, just as she was, was sweet but the understanding of her pain that he developed over time was breathtaking. As he learned of her personal demons, he not only helped her see her own strength, but found his own. His own secret history was a surprise, but in its revelation came a clarity as to the true nature of this character and how perfectly his scars matched with Dani’s. Dani was the type of character you’d want to be best friends with. Still reeling from the tragedy of her past, she never let’s her inability to speak keep her from being honest. However, these limitations prevent her from freely being herself, devoid of the verbal excess necessary to joke and tease and flirt. Rachel did an absolutely beautiful job at giving this character what she needed to rediscover the voice inside her, while remaining true to the setbacks, uncertainty, and fear that comes with emotional scars.

“I had no words. And, for once, I didn’t want them. I wasn’t trying to speak, embarrassed because I couldn’t. Because, sometimes, words were the last thing you needed, especially when they couldn’t do your feelings justice.”

I had so much fun reading Capture. The quirky characters, witty banter, sarcastic inner musings, and hilariously awkward moments kept me grinning from start to finish. There were several bits of dialogue where I completely surprised myself with a loud burst of laughter and it was these moments that had me absolutely devouring this book. Rachel Van Dyken captured the essence of falling, well… more like stumbling… in love perfectly. I swear I had butterflies in my stomach and could feel my heart bursting with giddiness as I experienced Dani and Lincoln’s journey. I was smitten with these two and I loved every minute of it. The raw emotion weaved throughout the story was the icing on the cake, solidifying this book’s hold on me with its heartache and doubt. The sadness and pain lacing the story gave Capture an authenticity that allowed me to connect with the characters and their story on a deeper level as I hoped for their happily ever after. Rachel Van Dyken has certainly written another fantastic story with Capture and I am positive that the Seaside Pictures Series will prove to be yet another totally addictive series from this amazingly talented author.

Rating
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Excerpt

“Finally!” Jaymeson pointed at both of us. “Lincoln, show her to her mark. Dani, for this scene you’re simply staring at him like you want to eat him. Think you can do that?”

I nodded.

Any woman could do that.

Most men too.

“Cue music!” Jaymeson called out. “Action.”

A techno mix of AD2’s latest song filled the air as the extras started dancing around us. I stayed glued to the wall while Lincoln delivered his lines to Pris, and then he lifted his head, meeting my gaze.

It’s just a movie. It’s just a movie.

The breath left my chest on one slow exhale as he moved toward me, his body making fluid purposeful movements through the crowd.

My lips parted; my entire body felt heavy as he approached.

He stopped in front of me, his forehead grazing mine as he leaned in a few inches. Our breath mingled as the music and scene faded around me.

“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled.

Holy crap on a cracker. I almost experienced my first stroke — at seventeen.

“You okay?” Lincoln’s eyebrows knit together in concern.

I licked the lipstick from my lips and nodded quickly.

Jaymeson approached. “Time for the kiss, remember kissing, not hockey. Clearly, you were confused earlier.”

Lincoln gritted his teeth and let out a little groan.

I patted his arm and grinned, my way of encouraging him. He seemed to pale more.

My stomach sank.

Maybe it was me.

I was the problem.

Not the kiss, but me. If he’d had trouble kissing my gorgeous sister, how was he going to be able to kiss me?

“Hey…” Lincoln cupped my cheek. “… focus on me, nothing else, alright? It’s only us.”

I nodded.

“You ever been to a party?”

I rolled my eyes.

“Ever made out with a guy at a party that wasn’t your boyfriend?”

I thought about it then slowly shook my head.

“So that’s what this scene is about. It’s about a guy seeing a girl from across the room and wanting her so badly that he’s willing to cheat on his own girlfriend for just one taste. Granted, he’s supposedly drunk and high, but that just takes the romance out of it, doesn’t it?”

He released my cheek and stepped back. “Imagine you’re trying to attract me, make your body as inviting as possible. Hell, just stand there and look at me, and you’ll sell it.”

Sell it. I repeated the words in my mind.

I could do that.

Because I wanted him to kiss me.

It made my heart beat faster.

My blood pump harder.

And for the first time since my parents’ death, I was actually excited about something. Nervous, but excited.

“Okay,” I mouthed.

I must have surprised him again because his eyes darkened, and then he grinned. “One day, Dani. One day I’m going to hear my name coming from that gorgeous mouth of yours, and I’m not going to be held responsible for my actions… damn the consequences.”

My breath hitched.

“Quiet on set! And action!”

There was no warning. Suddenly, Lincoln’s mouth was fused against mine, no teeth, just his soft lips pushing, prodding, moving slowly back and forth until his tongue slid through and made contact with mine.

Heart racing, I opened my mouth enough to deepen the kiss as heat washed over me.

He groaned and dug his fingers into my shoulders then slid his hands down my back and gripped my butt. I let out a squeak of surprise as I flicked his tongue with mine.

“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled.

I kept kissing.

So did Lincoln.

His chest brushed roughly against mine; my breasts ached at the sharp contact. I let out a little hiss at the exact time Linc let out a groan and nudged his knee between my legs.

“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled again.

Slowly, Lincoln pried himself away from me, chest heaving.

“Good enough,” said Jaymeson.

“No,” Lincoln argued without taking his wild grey eyes off me, “I went off script. We need to do it again.”

“The hell you do,” someone mumbled. I wasn’t surprised to see Demetri glaring daggers at Lincoln’s back. Alec was next to Jaymeson, giving him an earful. I noted the strong tick in his jaw.

“Fine.” Jaymeson waved them both off. “We’ll do it again.”

“Take two, and action!”

This time the kiss was slow, languid in its movements. Hot waves of pleasure coursed through my body as his tongue slid seductively pass my lips. His taste, the feel of his mouth was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Greedily, I moaned, desperate for more of him as I reached for his shirt then fisting it with my hands and tugging him tighter against my body, wanting more contact with him. I felt every plane of muscle as he slowly turned us so his back was semi facing the camera. His knee nudged my legs apart as pressure increased down the middle of my body. I hadn’t really looked long at the script, but I was pretty sure that this wasn’t part of it.

Not that I was complaining.

He rocked into me, my back connected with the wall. With a possessive growl, he nipped my lower lip then started kissing down my neck. Kissing in public had never been my thing — but maybe that was because I’d never kissed Lincoln.

I would kiss him anywhere.

All he needed to do was ask.

Body humming with pleasure, I let out a little gasp as his warm lips met the pulse on my neck. Then his tongue licked where his lips had just been.

His knee rose higher and higher as my body sank onto his; the first contact of his leg had my body screaming with pleasure — just a little higher, just a little more.

“Cut!” someone shouted, though it didn’t sound like Jaymeson.

Suddenly, Demetri was pulling Lincoln away from me and glaring daggers at both of us. “I think you guys got the scene.”

Embarrassed, I looked down, tucking my silky hair behind my ear. Did I really almost just dry hump Lincoln Greene’s leg? In front of about twenty people, including my sister?

“You sure?” Lincoln asked, voice hoarse. I glanced up at him, his chest was heaving with exertion, his lips swollen. “Because I could have sworn I messed up my lines.”

“There are no lines, you bastard,” Demetri muttered under his breath.

“Damn it!” Jaymeson shouted. “Hey, guys, I’m going to need you to shoot it one more time. Remember, Lincoln, you’re supposed to proposition her.”

Lincoln grinned smugly at Demetri.

Demetri didn’t move.

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Capture_5

Don’t miss the rest of the Seaside Pictures series:

Keep (Seaside Pictures #2)

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Steal (Seaside Pictures #3)

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Author Bio

RVD New

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!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

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Author Links

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Website

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