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Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken

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Title: Cheater
Series: Curious Liaisons
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Skyscape

cheater

Every cheater has a story. This is Lucas Thorn’s.

synopsis

Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry-blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love . . .

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excerpt

“They’re well aware of the arrangement.”

“And Sundays?” Not staring at him was too hard; therefore, I focused on the cleft in his chin so I wouldn’t look at his perfect lips . . . or the swell of his biceps. When he crossed his arms, I was almost afraid the shirt was going to rip, and it was a nice shirt, soft, white. Okay, Avery, stop staring at the fabric like you want to make babies with it. That’s weird—don’t be weird.

“Sundays are for my sister, Erin.”

He shifted uncomfortably. Was it my imagination, or did those biceps flex beneath the shirt like he was tensing?

As if the tensing wasn’t bad enough, he cleared his throat and blinked way too many times for a man who was being completely honest about his sister.

“Huh.” His shirt really was nice though—stain-free. How did he manage it with all the sex and lipstick? “So you were being honest about that?”

“Honesty,” he said, “is necessary when you casually date seven women, right?”

“Oh please!” I locked eyes with him. “You’re excusing horrible behavior by saying the girls are aware, but the whole sex without strings doesn’t exist. That’s a fantasy like Santa Claus or the Easter bunny.”

“Holy shit! Santa’s fake?” He winked. “And they’re all okay with it. Besides, it’s not like I’m sleeping with you.”

I hated him for saying it.

Because immediately I had a vision of his mouth on mine, clothes on the floor, and every forbidden fantasy I’d had throughout high school flared to life, fanned by the words that he’d just released into the universe, words that would be impossible to take back.

I sucked in a breath, and he licked his lips, his eyes focusing on my mouth.

It was wrong.

And a small part of me liked that feeling, the wrongness of being in my boss’s office, the history, but it was only 1 percent.

Ninety-nine percent of me still wanted to nail him to a wall and use his balls as target practice with a shiny, new aluminum bat.

Lucas took a step toward me. I took a step back.

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about-rvd

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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!

You can connect with her on Facebook or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. And make sure to check out her website.

Facebook | Website | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers

 

 

Dark Surrender by Rachel Van Dyken ~ Release Blitz

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Dark Surrender is LIVE and only $1.99! So snag this complete paranormal stand alone and read all about why having a male siren try to seduce you isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

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Blurb

Never met a male siren before?

You’re about to….

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 Hell’s 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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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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Untouchable Darkness (Book Two) $1.99

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About the Author:

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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!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

THANK YOU!
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The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken ~ Excerpt Reveal

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Excerpt

“Bentley!” Brock barked and shook his head.

“What?” Bentley shrugged then smoothly walked over to Jane and pulled out a box of black high-heeled pumps in a size eight and a half. “Your foot, milady?”

Brock rolled his eyes. “Give it a rest, Bentley. She can put on her own damn shoes.”

Bentley completely ignored him. “I love a woman’s foot.” He grabbed Jane’s broken shoe and tossed it to the side while his hands danced along the arch of her foot. His fingertips danced along her skin. Seduction by foot rub? That was new.

“It’s sexy, the arch.” He leaned over her, his lips parting just enough to give her the impression he was thinking about kissing her. “The curve of a woman’s foot reminds me of her body…see? Sexy.” He slid the shoe on a very terrified looking Jane and stood. “Perfect fit.”

Jane’s mouth opened then closed as a rosy flush crept over her face. “Th-thank you.”

“I bought you my favorite brand.”

Her eyebrows arched. How did he know about Manolo Blahnik? “Oh.” And then she nodded and said loudly, “Ohhhh! That makes sense!”

Bentley’s eyes narrowed. “Me buying women’s shoes?”

“You wearing them,” she explained. “That’s great. I mean, good for you. I’m sorry I’m so awkward at things like this, but it’s good you’re…you know…” She bobbed her head and sputtered. “Out and…comfortable with it.”

“Out?” Bentley repeated. “I’m confused.”

“Of the closet,” she said slowly then saw the scowl on Bentley’s face. “Or maybe you just like to dress like a woman?” She straightened her shoulders and tried again. “In either case, congratulations on your choice to wear women’s clothing!”

Brock about died laughing as Bentley’s horrified expression went from stunned to genuine confusion.

“You heard her.” Brock held his laughter in check. “Congratulations, brother. I’ll take care of the press release: Bachelor Playboy Bentley Wellington and his private women’s shoe collection.”

Bentley let out a strangled laugh. “Yes, and while we’re at it why don’t we remind the press that the clock is ticking on that auction of yours? Hmm?”

“Auction?” Jane asked.

“Don’t.” Brock shook his head. “You don’t want to know.”

“But she probably already does.” Bentley pointed out. “Unless she doesn’t read the news…?”

They both stared at her, waiting for an answer.

“I, uh…” She ducked her head, blushing again. “I read books.”

“How pure.” Bentley smiled and sat down next to her. “And just so we’re clear.” He leaned in as though he was going to kiss her. “My bat only swings one way…and I can assure you, every time I get thrown a pitch, I hit it out of the park.”

 

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Are you ready to Meet Brock Wellington?

THE BACHELOR AUCTION by Rachel Van Dyken

is coming October 4!

Pre-Order your copy today!

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Blurb

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 never agree 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 . .
Sexy young couple

About the Author:

RachelAuthorheadshot

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!

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

THANK YOU!

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The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken ~ Excerpt Reveal

We have your first look at THE BACHELOR AUCTION releasing on October 4 and we can guarantee, you do not want to miss the first book in this brand new series from Rachel Van Dyken!

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TheBachelorAuction11_RGB300 (1)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. That is, 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. A prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if that is 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 he and Jane may not get a fairy tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . . .

 

 

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Thick wavy auburn hair fell in disarray over his forehead. It was lush, shiny, perfect. Were guys born with hair like that? Or was his somehow chemically engineered? His full lips pressed together in a secret smile as the equally handsome man next to him said something, then erupted in laughter.

The first man stiffened, then shook his head. His broad shoulders seemed to grow tight as a drum. A slight tic in his jaw was the only clue that he was irritated or maybe outright angry.

And then his shoulders slumped as he was handed another drink and then another.

Nervous. He must be nervous. But what could a man like that possibly have to be nervous about?

He easily towered over most of the men in attendance. Suddenly his posture changed, then he smiled.

Jane felt her mouth drop open in shock.

Dazzling.

He was…like a duke or a lord or a prince from a storybook. Clearly, she read too many romance novels, but his entire presence demanded attention; screamed authority, importance, and sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Yes, his virility was a tangible thing, as if she could reach out and grasp it with her fingertips.

“What are you doing?” Esmeralda yelled in her right ear, interrupting her blatant sexual fantasy about a complete stranger. Great. That’s what her life had come to. And sadly? It was the most fun she’d had all night.

Jane turned to Esmeralda, prayed for patience, and answered. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“You’re so boring.” Esmeralda rolled her eyes. “No wonder you got dumped.”

Another fun fact? Esmeralda was mean when she was drunk.

The reminder of the breakup burned like acid.

It had been a year ago, not that it mattered. It still hurt that the last guy she’d dated had told her that although she was cute, she wasn’t really doing it for him anymore.

Right. Doing it.

Maybe that was because she hadn’t done anything for him or with him, and he found that lacking. But they’d only dated for a few weeks. Did normal girls do that? Put out after a few weeks? Apparently.

She wasn’t normal.

But if that was normal, maybe she was better off being strange.

“Jane, are you even listening to me?” Esmeralda whined. “Essence needs you to dance next to her for a bit. I’m tired and tipsy. I want to sit. Plus your dress blends in enough that it won’t take attention away from her.”

No way. What? What had she just said?

Jane wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m sorry, what?”

Without warning, Esmeralda grabbed Jane’s hand and jerked her toward the dance floor, causing Jane to lose her footing and crash directly into Esmeralda’s back. Then, like a domino, she slammed back into Essence.

Jane opened her mouth to shout out an apology, but Esmeralda was already too drunk to listen to reason. With determination in her eyes, she reached for the pearls at Jane’s neck but grabbed the fabric of the dress instead.

Her poorly sewn dress ripped instantly, causing the fabric to slink past her strapless bra. A diagonal slit split up her thigh almost all the way to her hip. In an effort to cover herself, she took a step and tripped, thanks to her clunky shoes.

And then she fell to the floor.

Hard.

Her sisters watched in horror—but neither of them offered a hand. They were probably kicking themselves for forcing her to come. Esmeralda leaned over but missed Jane’s shoulder by a mile, grabbing her hair and giving it a tug, which only made Jane wince harder.

Both sisters were completely tanked.

And she was less than two minutes away from being trampled by the other sweaty bodies around her.

She glanced up.

And into the eyes of the man she’d just been lusting after.

Oh God, the humiliation was complete.

That one glance told her he’d seen it all. She swallowed back the thickness building in her throat. Of course the only time he’d notice her would be when she’d ripped her dress and nearly took out a few guests on her way down to the dance floor.

The crowd gathered around her.

And the sexy man disappeared—probably off in search of a girl with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect clothes.

She really should have stayed home.

Tears filled her eyes as a heel pressed into her right hand. With a jerk she tugged her hand free, struggling to get up to stand on her wobbly feet, when suddenly she was pulled to a standing position and then swept up in strong arms.

Jane’s eyes were still so blurry from unshed tears she couldn’t make out the man’s face as he carried her out of the crowd.

He smelled like heaven.

She fought the insane urge to press her face against his chest and just…close her eyes.

Because he felt safe.

Pathetic, when a stranger’s arms provided more safety than her own family. And yet he felt…right.

In a world where things for the past ten years had felt so wrong.

He felt right.

Maybe she’d had too much champagne.

 

 

 

 

rachelborderRachel 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 .

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE / NEWSLETTER

 

 

 

The Matchmaker’s Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken ~ Review and Excerpt Tour & Giveaway

The Matchmaker's Replacement Banner - Aug 9

 

 

 

VanDyken-TheMatchmakersReplacement-CV-FL-vC6-RGBWingman 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.

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TAKE A LOOK AT THE EPIC COVER HERE

Yes! It is moving! Yes! This is the REAL cover! The epicness of this!!!!!

 

 

EXCERPT

I hated him.

HATED him.

Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass.

I’d be doing society a favor if I set it on fire.

Seriously.

The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident he’d infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic.

I shuddered.

I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes.

The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of Kleenex—never mind that he stole it from his teacher’s desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper.

Box number two?

Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination.

On the outside? The perfect man.

With a brooding and sultry smile.

Biceps the size of my head.

Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair I’d orgasm before he even touched me.

Whatever. I was over it. So over it.

A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right?

Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy who’d tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldn’t even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots.

Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian along—which of course meant Lex had to come—I was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning I’d be able to fit into a smaller size.

He’d smiled.

His dimples had deepened.

He’d even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back.

Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face.

My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil.

I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own.

Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal.

“Sunshine,” he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest.

“Dickhead.” I smiled sweetly. “New glasses? They look thicker than last time.”

“Better to see you with.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. “There they are.” He reached for one of my boobs.

I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung.

“Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.” He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him.

Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didn’t he’d give me hell.

He was a freak like that.

For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine.

Even his breath.

Damn him.

He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath.

It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfect—but didn’t match the inside at all, not even close!

Beauty like Lex’s was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites.

A pencil flew by my head.

“Yo.” Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.”

“I’m not a lesbian.”

He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. “Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.”

I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. “You know,” I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, “it’s offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.” So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness.

“Offensive.” He nodded. “Also true . . .” He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. “It wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.” He sighed. “Say it with me: dresssss—”

I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. “I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ‘shower time.’”

He snorted. “You wish.”

“Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ‘Damn it, use the manual!’” I said, using my best imitation of Lex’s voice. I’d only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like I’m satisfied? There’s a diagram! Ugh.

Lex rolled his eyes. “Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? It’s like, get there faster, you know?”

My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. “So,” I changed the subject. “Let’s train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.”

Lex sighed and held out his hand.

“No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t need help.”

Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasn’t just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language.

He cleared his throat.

I didn’t move.

Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. “What chapter?”

“Lex—”

“If I’m teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.”

“Listen very closely, Lex.” I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. “I didn’t need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell don’t need your help now. Let’s just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?”

“Fine.” He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . “Up until now we’ve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl who’s been standing in front of them all along .”

Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders.

“Okay.” I swallowed. “And now that you’re allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl who’s always seen them as the friend—or worse, who they’ve been invisible to.”

“What’s that like, I wonder?” Lex still didn’t release me. “Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.”

And another insult.

“Lex.” I huffed out a breath. “Just get on with it.”

“Right.” His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasn’t. Really. That. Sexy. “So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. That’s where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.”

“That easy?”

“Sort of.” Lex leaned forward. “But you can’t suck.”

“Suck?”

“At anything.” His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned.

“Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.”

“If I was actually kissing you”—Lex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouth—“you’d know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.”

His lips descended.

They pressed against mine, then pulled back. “Yeah.” He shook his head. “Gabs, you’re going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.”

“What’s happening?” I tried to push away from him.

Lex rolled his eyes. “Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.”

“What!” I roared.

“So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.” He grinned menacingly. “Seriously, I don’t mind.”

“I do!”

“Hey!” He chuckled. “I was just trying to help.”

“Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!”

“Weird, because it so often is.”

“I hate today.”

“Is it the rain?” He frowned.

“It’s not—”

“It is.”

“Stop that!” I shoved him. “Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.”

“Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winking—just a few things you need to master.” He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words.

“Just hurry up,” I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took.

“Ah . . .” Lex held up his hand. “One never hurries a kiss.”

“What about a passionate kiss?”

“A passionate kiss isn’t hurried, it’s frenzied. Damn, don’t you know anything?”

Heat swamped my cheeks.

“How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?”

“Plenty!” Five. I’d kissed five.

“You blush down your neck when you lie.” Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. “Part.”

Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across.

He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. “A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.”

I kept my eyes open.

So did he.

I didn’t want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him.

I shivered.

“Cold?” That stupid smirk was back.

“Frigid.” I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to.

“You read my mind.” He nodded seriously. “Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.”

“I know how to kiss!” I don’t know what came over me—maybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it.

With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back.

I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink.

And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip.

That move didn’t work out the way I’d planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. I’d piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone.

It did nothing of the sort.

Nothing of the sort at all.

With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.

Passionate couple kissing

REVIEW

What can I say about Rachel Van Dyken’s The Matchmaker’s Replacement? Well I guess to start I would say that when I read The Matchmaker’s Playbook I was sure that was the best! There would be n way to top it. Silly me! I really should have known better… Rachel continuously manages to push her own boundaries and top herself book after book. And boy did she do that here. I am in LOVE with Lex. I adore Gabi. No, really I want to jump in the book and stay with them and be friends for ever and ever!

This is a friends to enemies to lovers story. And Rachel nailed this genre in a way only she could. This romantic comedy has heart, snark, sexual tension, secrets, tenderness and fan yourself moments!

Lex “Luthor” is NOT your typical romance hero. Well, don’t get me wrong he is gorgeous, has an amazing body and a way with women… so in that case he is 😉 But he is a computer geek! Like beyond beyond. He could take over the world if he wanted. But it seems as though what he really has his sights set on, or rather who, is Gabi Sava.These two are like oil and water. They both have strong personalities and don’t back down easily (and isn’t that so fun? Having both characters so damn strong!) So needless to say whenever they come together it is explosive! From their verbal sparring to their sexual chemistry there are sparks flying all over the place.

I can not stress enough that this is a #MustRead book! Not only will you be reading one of the best RomComs ever… I hear there is a surprise of epic proportions coming with the release of this book. And seriously after meeting Lex my mind is racing with the possibilities of what this secret is. How is he going to surprise us? Will reading ever be the same again?

I received a complimentary copy of The Matchmaker’s Replacement in exchange for an honest review.

 

Passionate couple kissing

MEET LEX AND GABI IN

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rachelborderRachel 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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