Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Release Day & Review: Distant Thunder by Larissa Ione

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Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy…

Nestled among rolling hills and painted with vibrant wildflowers, the bucolic town of Storm, Texas, seems like nothing short of perfection.
But there are secrets beneath the facade. Dark secrets.  Powerful secrets. The kind that can destroy lives and tear families apart.  The kind that can cut through a town like a tempest, leaving jealousy and destruction in its wake, along with shattered hopes and broken dreams. All it takes is one little thing to shatter that polish.

Reading like an on-going drama in the tradition of classic day and night-time soap operas like Dallas, Dynasty, and All My Children, Rising Storm is full of scandal, deceit, romance, passion, and secrets.
With 1001 Dark Nights as the “producer,” Julie Kenner and Dee Davis use a television model with each week building on the last to create a storyline that fulfills the promise of a drama-filled soap opera. Joining Kenner and Davis in the “writer’s room” for the Midseason Episodes of this serial opera are bestselling authors Lexi Blake and Larissa Ione who have brought their vision of Storm to life.

So get ready.  The storm is coming.

 Rising Storm - Midseason 2 Distant Storm

 Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

 Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy…  Get ready.  The storm is coming.

As Sebastian and Marylee plot to cover up Sebastian’s sexual escapade, Ginny and Dakota continue to reel from the fallout of Dakota’s announcement. But it is the Rush family that’s left to pick up the pieces as Payton, Brittany and Jeffry each cope with Sebastian’s betrayal in their own way…

Distant Thunder - Teaser 1

Experience Rising Storm Here…

Rising Storm Midseason Episode 1 (March 29): Lexi Blake’s After the Storm

Rising Storm Midseason Episode 2 (April 5): Larissa Ione’s Distant Thunder

Highly charged and as dramatic as a soap opera can be, this second mid-season episode sees Sebastian Rush's family picking up the pieces after Dakota's revelations.

Unsurprisingly, another storm is brewing in Texas and Marylee Rush is the epicentre. Whilst she's always been a formidable woman, we haven't seen anything yet as she plots and schemes. After consulting her contact list for unscrupulous people, she enlists the expertise of Oliver Stayton, a crisis manager to assist clearing Sebastian's name. With an impressive record for cleaning up the reputations of other politicians, he's ruthless as he sets out a plan to win the election.

Logan Murphy who's still coming to terms with Ginny Moreno's deception becomes an unwilling pawn at a Senator Rush PR event. 

Ginny Moreno shows she's not a pushover whilst Dakota Alvarez caves into Marylee's demands in the hope she'll get back who she misses in return!

Payton Rush remains the stoic wife whilst seeking out words of support and comfort from her friend Francine.

Sebastian Rush's insincere tactics make Tate Johnson question his allegiance to the gubernatorial candidate or is he eyeing up ways to exploit the unprincipled senator for his own gain?

To sum up, Larissa Ione has done a fabulous job completing the scene setting for Rising Storm Season Two in the Autumn. I'm left craving more of this captivating and highly addictive series. One thing that's impressed me about the writing is that all the authors have brought their own style to each Rising Storm episode whilst managing to keep the flow consistent and seamless. If you've not discovered this series, there's time to catch-up before the new one kicks off later in the year...can't wait!

4 stars

***arc received courtesy of Evil Eye Concepts via Ink Slingers PR***

Check out this fantastic excerpt from DISTANT THUNDER!

It had only been three days since the Great Founders’ Day Disaster, but it felt like a month. For the first twenty-four hours after Dakota’s revelation, the town had been mostly shell-shocked. Then the story started spreading through social media, and last night after Marcus dropped Brittany off after dinner at Murphy’s, she discovered that someone posted the Founders’ Day Disaster on YouTube. The media had descended on Storm like locusts this morning, and her father, whom she’d only seen in passing since Founders’ Day, had adopted a shelter-in-place stance.

Brittany had given him suggestions on where he could shelter in places that were much, much hotter than Texas, and then she’d run out the front door toward her car, only to be swarmed by reporters.

“Ms. Rush, is it true that your best friend is pregnant with your father’s baby?”

“Ms. Rush, how do you think this scandal will affect your father’s reelection campaign?”

“Ms. Rush, did you know about the affairs your father was having with your friends?”

Ugh. She and her mother shouldn’t have left Francine’s cabin so soon, and Jeffry certainly should have remained with one of his buddies. But when Marylee snapped her fingers and went into crisis mode, everyone came running and fell in line like good little minions.

“This blows,” Jeffry said, looking up from where he was lounging on the couch with his iPad.

“What blows?” She sank onto the love seat across from her brother. “The game you’re playing? Or the fact that we’re trapped like animals? Or maybe the fact that our father is a lying, cheating bastard who slept with our friends? Or the fact that my best friend is going to give birth to our little brother or sister?”

Yep, she might be a little bitter. And it was ex-best friend.

He tucked his feet under him on the couch and sighed. “Yeah.”

“I can’t believe Mom thinks we need to be here for him—”

She broke off as their mother, Payton, came around the corner with a tray of finger sandwiches and a pitcher of lemonade. They hadn’t spoken much about any of this, and Brittany wasn’t sure how to go about it. As far as she could tell, her mother hadn’t so much as shed a tear over the fact that her husband had knocked up a girl young enough to be his daughter and had probably slept with a dozen more.

“I brought you something to eat,” Payton said, and if she’d heard Brittany talking, she was choosing to ignore it. “Your father and grandmother are finished with their meeting with Mr. Stayton, and they’re on their way up to talk to you.”

“This should be good.” Jeffry reached for a sandwich as their mother put them on the coffee table. “I was wondering how long it would be before we got the circle-the-wagons lecture. Five bucks says he tries to convince us that everything Dakota said was a lie.”

“I know you two are angry and confused and you have a lot of questions,” Payton said as she took a seat next to Brittany, looking all prim and proper in a subdued green dress and gray scarf. “But we’ll get through this. I promise.”

stunning sensual young couple in love posing in summer field, happy lifestyle concept

Author pic - Larissa Ione
Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

Website | Facebook |Twitter | 1001 Dark Nights | Rising Storm on Goodreads

Prairie landscapes

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New Release Spotlight: Reunited With The Rebel Billionaire by Catherine Mann

Reunited with the Rebel Billionaire
Bayou Billionaires #3
By: Catherine Mann
Releasing April 1st, 2016 (Ebook)
Releasing April 5, 2016 (Print)
Reunited with the Rebel Billionaire

Bayou Billionaires Series

Is it a real reunion, or one for the cameras? It's a second-chance romance from USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Mann! 

Football star Henri Reynaud won't let his career go down without a fight. If the only way to win is to reconcile with his estranged wife, he'll do what it takes. But spending time with Fiona Harper-Reynaud isn't just some ruse. The sultry beauty belongs in his bed.

Fiona doesn't know where her sexy husband's public act ends and his real feelings begin. Can she afford to fall a second time for the man every female wants? One thing is undeniable—their attraction has never flared hotter!

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Henri took risks in his job on a regular basis. Sure, his teammates worked their asses off to prevent a hard tackle from his blindside. But he understood and accepted that every time he stepped onto the field, he could suffer a career ending injury.
Fans called him brave.
Sports analysts labeled him sometimes reckless.
The press branded him as fearless.
They were all wrong.
He’d been scared as hell every day since the doctors declared Fiona had inherited her family’s cancer gene. It didn’t matter that their marriage had been on the rocks. He’d been rocked to his foundation. Still was.
Henri clenched her shoulders so his hands wouldn’t shake. Even the smallest touch between them was filled with tension. And not in the way that made him weak in the knees. “Your zipper?”
With a will of their own, his eyes took in the long line of her neck, exposed with her dark hair corralled by a thin braid so that long, loose curls cascaded in a narrow path down her back. He looked further, down her spine skimmed by those curls and to the small of her back that called to him to touch, to kiss. But he’d lost the right. She’d made that clear when he’d tried to reconcile after the doctor’s prognosis.
“Thank you, yes please,” she said, glancing over her shoulder nervously and pulling her hair aside. He hated seeing that sort of distance in her eyes. “I’m running late because of, uhm, a last minute snafu with the caterer.”
“Adelaide said you were having trouble with your car so I came home early. But I see it’s in the garage. What was wrong?”
Whipping her head away from his gaze, she muttered, “Doesn’t matter.”
It was becoming her trademark response. It didn’t matter.
That was a lie. He could tell it in the way her mouth thinned as she spoke.
Letting out a deep sigh, his eyes traced over their room. Or should he say—their former room. He’d taken to sleeping in the guest bedroom of the restored home. Away from her. They’d even lost the ability to lie next to each other at night. To show up for each other in that simple way.
In front of him was the first gift he’d ever bought Fiona. It was a handsome jewelry armoire that doubled as a full length mirror. It was a one-of-a-kind vintage piece. Whimsical and light. Just like Fiona in her beautiful, jewel colored dress. Looking at the gilded mirror with his exquisite wife framed in its reflection reminded him of how far they’d fallen. Damn.
This whole room was a mausoleum to what was.
He wanted her to lean on him. Even if it was just a little bit. This wasn’t what he wanted. “Anything else I can do to help?”
“I’ve got it under control.” Finality colored her words.
“You always do.” It came out harsher than he intended. But damn it, he was trying. Couldn’t she see that?
She spun around to face him, her petite frame filling with rigid rage with the silk of her gown whirled against his shins. Raising her chin and her brow, she pressed her lips tight, primly. “No need to be snarky.”
Sticking his hands in his suit pants, he shrugged, his silk tee under his jacket as soft as her touch. “I am completely serious.”
Fiona’s deep brown eyes softened. She took a deep breath and stared at him. A breeze stirred the stale air of the room, filtering through the window with the sounds of foot traffic and car horns. It was a grounding sound, reminding him of when they’d first bought this house and when they’d been a team. They’d spent hours restoring the old house. And they’d done it together. They’d built this house into a home.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to start a fight. Adelaide was a huge help during a really long day. Let’s just get through the evening. It’s harder and harder to pretend there’s nothing wrong between us.”
Something was off with her today, but he couldn’t tell what. Clear enough though, she was trying to pick a fight with him.
“I don’t want to fight with you.” He didn’t know what the hell he wanted anymore other than for to have things the way they were.
“You used to love a good argument with me. Only me. You get along with everyone else. I never understood that.”
“We had fire, you and I.” It had been a sizzling love. One that warmed him to his damn core. And he knew there was still a spark in the embers. He couldn’t believe it was all gone.
“Had, Henri. That’s my point. It’s over and you need to quit making excuses to delay the final step.” Ferocity returned to her fairy-like features. A warrior in blue silk and sequins.
“Not excuses. You needed to recover. Then we agreed we wouldn’t upset the season starting. Then with my brother’s wedding on the horizon--”
“Excuses. Divorce isn’t the end of the world.” She pinned up a curl that had escaped the confines of the delicate braid binding the others into place.
Everything about her these days was carefully put together so that no one saw a hint of the turmoil beneath. For months he’d respected that. Understood she was the one calling the shots with her health issues. But how could she deny herself any help? Ever? She’d made it clear he didn’t know how to be the least bit of assistance.
And now, divorce was the recurring refrain.
“Our family is in the spotlight. A split between us would eat up positive oxygen in the press.” He needed her to take a deep breath. They needed to figure out everything. He needed to stall.
She turned back around, using the mirror to smooth her dress. “No one is going to think poorly of you for leaving me. I will make it clear I’m the one who asked for the divorce.”
Anger boiled, flushing his cheeks. “I don’t give a damn what people think about me.”
“But you do care about your team. I understand.” He picked up on the implication of her words. That he didn’t care about her. And that couldn’t be farther off-base. She was still trying to pick a fight. To widen the gap between them.
We’re going to be late.” The tone of his voice was soft. Almost like a whisper. He wanted to calm her down, to stop this from turning into an unnecessary fight. Something was upsetting her. Something major.
As much as he wanted to understand her, he couldn’t. The party was about to start and he didn’t have the time to unwrap the subtle meaning of all of her words.
All he wanted was to have their old life back. For her to look at him like she used. To be a team again. For their relationship to be uncomplicated like it once was.
Tapping the back of her dress, he met her gaze in the mirror. Settling his hands back on her shoulder, he breathed against her ear and neck. “Unless you would like me to take the zipper back down again.”

Link to Follow Blast: Here

USA Today bestseller and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Tule. With over sixty books released in more than twenty countries, she has also celebrated six RITA finals, an RT Reviewer’s Award finalist, three Maggie Award of Excellence finals and a Bookseller’s Best win. Catherine and her flyboy husband live on the Florida coast where they brought up their 4 children – and still have 5 four-legged, furry “children” (aka pets). Catherine is an active volunteer with an animal rescue, serving on their Board of Directors and fostering over 200 puppies, ill dogs, and dogs with service/working potential.

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Grand Prize: Catherine Mann's RESCUE ME, PURSUED BY THE RICH RANCHER and Joanne Rock's HER MAN ADVANTAGE, animal rescue goodies (US
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Release Day Spotlight: The Wedding Date by Kelly Eadon

The Wedding Date
By: Kelly Eadon
Releasing April 5, 2016
Forever Yours


Kate Massie has big dreams-they just haven't worked out. Yet. In the meantime, she spends her days clerking for a judge and her nights fantasizing about her tall, dark, and sexy gym crush. So when she runs into him one night, she's shocked to realize he was her shy, nerdy junior-prom date. But that isn't where the surprises end . . .

James Abell needs a date to his sister's wedding. So when Kate agrees, he's relieved . . . until one little lie turns their wedding date into a full-blown fake relationship. Only it doesn't feel fake-not the toe-curling kisses and definitely not the electricity. Neither of them is looking for something real . . . but they just might fall for their own little white lie.

Link to Follow Tour: Here  

Kate stared at herself in the mirror.
This is just pretend.
What was wrong with her? She’d spent all week fortifying her internal defenses. When he’d offered to bring her dinner or keep her company, she’d assured him Beth was taking good care of her. Now, with only a few words from Margaret, she’d let herself slip back into fantasy.
A fantasy where she could kiss James whenever she wanted. Where his strong arms held her at night.
A tremor passed through her.
No! She was stronger than this. She needed to convince his family and the other guests they were dating, not herself. She tore her eyes from the bathroom mirror and unzipped the garment bag that hung from the shower curtain rod.
She shimmied into the blue lace dress.
She had to admit, Ainsley had been right about it.
The fabric skimmed over her body and showed precisely the right amount of leg. Or it would, once she got it zipped. She twisted and turned and wiggled, but couldn’t reach the zipper.
Crap. She had to ask James for help.
She took a deep breath and knocked on the door leading back to the hotel room.
I’m dressed.” His deep voice sent goose bumps over her skin.
She cracked the door and poked her head through. “I hate to ask you this, but I’m stuck. I need you to zip me up. Please.”
He kept his attention on the cufflink he was hooking through his button hole. “Sure.”
She only hesitated for a moment before she stepped from the bathroom and spun, to give him access to her back.
There was a zipping sound as his fingers skated over the fabric.
She exhaled sharply. There. It was over. She turned back to him. “Thank you. I’ll be ready in one minute. I have to find my necklace first.”
You look amazing.” James' voice caught as he stared at her, his eyes a vivid, brilliant gray.
Kate couldn’t tear herself away from him. His gaze pierced her, suspending her in time and space.
He stepped toward her, curled his palm around the back of her neck and lowered his mouth to hers. A delicious tingle surged through her blood and down to her toes as their lips met. He snaked his other arm around her waist and pulled her against him as his tongue swept into her mouth.
She tilted her head back and gave herself over to him, reveling in the feel of his lips against hers. His kiss turned rougher, more urgent. Her knees went weak and her head swam as she clutched him.
Her tongue tangled with his, matching him stroke for stroke. All rational thought fled her mind and she was engulfed in a cloud of James: his smell, his taste, his touch.
He pulled back for a second and his eyes glinted as he traced his thumb over her cheek. Then he tightened his grip around her waist and took the fullness of her lower lip in his mouth. A tiny moan escaped her as he sucked gently. With every stroke of his tongue, her body melted further into his. His fingers dug into her back and she could feel his heart pound through his dress shirt.
A knock sounded on the door and she stepped back abruptly, breaking the kiss.
His eyes burned with an intensity that sucked all the air from her lungs. She shifted her gaze to the floor.
No one had ever kissed her like that.

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Kelly Eadon 
is a romance writer living in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and a house full of rescue animals, aka "the kraken". She swears like a sailor and says whatever pops into her head. In order to counteract her big mouth, she wears high heels whenever possible. In her spare time she spins, kick boxes and attempts to renovate her farmhouse. She hates sanding drywall, loves to cook, drinks lots of wine, gets scary competitive at trivia, and enjoys time spent exploring with her rescued beagle mixes.

Release Day Spotlight: My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind

My Perfect Mistake
Over the Top #1
By: Kelly Siskind
Releasing April 5, 2016
Forever Yours
My Perfect Mistake

Over The Top Series

What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .
A girls' trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She's got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.

Kolton doesn't know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool---although she does have an unholy gift for that---but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they're both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don't kill each other first.

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He tosses me my anti-sexy helmet. “We should take another run before we head down.”
I catch it and shake my head, unsure I heard him right. “Sorry, we? Shouldn’t you be skiing with your buddies? It’s bad enough you hijacked my lunch and I have to sit at a table with you again tonight. Now you want to ski together? Thanks but no thanks.”
He lifts his arms over his head and stretches from side to side. A sliver of skin peeks out below his jacket. “The guys called it quits early. Worried you can’t keep up?”
As fucking if. The dude’s obviously egging me on, but he snaps my self-control. Everything between us is action, reaction. Spark and flame. What’s his deal, anyway? Why sit with me and ski with me when we’re worse than cats and dogs? If he thinks firing me up means he’s getting a replay of last night, he’s mistaken. Still, I need to beat his ass on the slopes. “Fine. I’ll take that run. It’s about time I put you in your place. But let’s be clear. We can have lunch and ski together, but there will be no sex.” A teen walking by stops midstride and doubles over in a fit of giggles.
I didn’t catch that.” Kolton leans forward and cups a hand around his helmeted ear. “Do you mind speaking up?”
What a total douche.
Everyone is wise until he speaks,” I mumble, recalling my granddad’s words.
Kolton straightens, a question passing across his face. “Are you Irish? My granddad used to say that all the time. Along with, ‘Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.’”
I laugh, abrupt and maniacal, the sharp sound catching me off guard. The energy shifts between us, like the first time I understood my Spanish teacher—the foreign becoming familiar. I frown, unsure I want Kolton to feel familiar. “Yeah, I am. The first curse I learned was feckin’ arse, and I’d kind of like to use it now.”
He smiles to himself, as though we’re friends who would sit and talk and laugh about our shared upbringing. Ruffled, I cram my helmet on, get geared up, and try to stomp out of the lodge all look out, buddy, but with the boots and Martian head, it’s a fail.
Skis on and goggles down, we race to the lift. He arrives first, making like he’s been waiting forever with a dramatic yawn. I roll my eyes and push past him. The lift line is empty, so it’s just him and me on the four-person chair.
Mind not doing that?” he says partway up as I swing my skis.
The chair sways in response, and I rock my legs harder. “This?”
His olive skin grays. “Yeah. That.” He leans his elbows on the safety bar and closes his eyes.
If he pukes, I’ll likely toss my cookies, too. When my brother got food poisoning from China House’s all-you-can-eat buffet, it wasn’t pretty. I hadn’t eaten a thing there, but the second he threw up, I proceeded to reenact that pie eating scene from Stand by Me: projectile vomit, solid stream, fire hydrant force.
I still my skis and stop bouncing.
We pass one supporting tower, then another, before he opens his eyes.
You regretting that lunch?” I ask, smirking.
He flexes his hands, and the poles dangling from his wrists knock around. “No. I’m regretting getting on this chair with you.”
Such a charmer.

Link to Follow Tour: Here

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly Siskind moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.
She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

Release Day & Review: The Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc. 1)
Publisher: Skyscape (April 5, 2016)
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

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…

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU

Meet Lex!
Lex "suck my balls" Luther
Every hero needs a villain right? I mean thats how some of the best stories are written, so why not have one in real life? You'd think that being a certified genius would be enough, but for Lex, it isn't, Poly Sci just isn't what it used to be you know? So he seduces women by day and hacks computers by night. 
If Ian is the beauty behind Wingman Inc. then Lex is the brains. 
Only, he's hella hot too. 
Seriously, just ask the two girls currently vying for his attention in bed while he tries to take down the Pentagon. 
Its a tough job, but hey, someones gotta do it! 

“What are you doing in my room?” Her voice was accusatory low, and kind of sexy—if I closed my eyes and thought of it belonging to a different body.
“You mean Gabi’s room?”
“No.” Her nostrils flared. “My room.”
“And you are?” I held out my hand, because I was a gentleman first, a certifiable man-whore second, and because my grandma used to swat my ass every time I introduced myself without a firm handshake.
Her eyes widened as she stared at my naked body.
“Fine,” I said with a half shrug and then stood. “But I literally only have three minutes before Gabi hands me my ass. You want the bed or the floor, since you’re already there?”
And Gabi said I wasn’t charitable enough? Damn, look at me, just ready to hand out orgasms for free.
“What?” New girl’s wide roaming eyes finally lifted to meet mine. Damn, some people charge for that kind of staring. “What are you talking about?”
“Okay, now we’re down to about two and a half minutes. I’m not gonna say it won’t be difficult, but I could probably do something that would at least conjure up a little panting. Maybe a scream or two.”
“Scream?” she said, her eyebrows drawing together. “What are you talking about? And why are you naked?”
“I was looking for clothes before you barged in on me.”
“In my room.”
“Look.” I glanced at my watch. “Now we’re really getting into dangerous territory. I’ve been nicknamed Superman in bed, but I’m not actually sure I can do a repeat of 2014, though I’d love to add another instance to the record books. So if we’re going to do this, you need to hurry up and take at least your shirt off.”
“Are you”—her cheeks reddened—“a stripper for the party?”
Hmm. The idea had merit. I could do a free show, which would make me a saint, considering what I typically charge each client.
“No.” I held out my hand. When she didn’t take it, I took it upon myself to lift her from the floor and onto her feet.
She kicked. She even tried to bite me.
“There we go. A little enthusiasm!”
“Put me down!” She jerked away from me.
I set her away from me and crossed my arms. “Sorry, time’s up. You have ten seconds left, and even I can’t perform a miracle of this”—I pointed at her baggy shirt, baggy shirts, and, holy shit, was she wearing tube socks?—“caliber.” I swallowed. “Just a guess, but were you homeschooled?”
Her face reddened with either embarrassment or anger. “No! And I live here. This is my room!”
“But it’s Gabi’s room.”
“We switched this morning!” She stomped her foot. The girl  was wearing old-school Adidas flip-flops.
They still made those? Huh. It was like seeing a real live T. rex.
“Why are you staring at my feet?”
“They have to be worth a mint by now.” I tapped my chin and continued staring at the ugly rubber flip-flops. “Impressive. Really impressive.”
“Are you even listening to me?” she shrieked. “Put some clothes on and get out of my room. Or don’t put clothes on and just get out of my room. Whichever.”
“Exactly.” I nodded seriously. “I was just about to do that when you tumbled in. Now,” I said slowly, “you say you switched rooms?”
She nodded.
“Which makes Gabi’s room . . . ?”
She pointed down the hall. I had a brief moment of recollection in which Gabi had mentioned something about switching to the smaller room because the two new roommates were going to share.
“Ah, you must be Serena.”
“Blake,” she growled. “Serena’s blonde.”
I’d have bet she was hot too. Serena was a hot-girl name. Blake? It was what you named a girl that you thought was going to be a boy and therefore projected all your boyhood dreams onto her. Ten bucks that her dad had made her play every sport in the book and she was either the product of divorce or single parenting.
“Why are you still standing here . . . naked?” This time she looked away, covering her face with her hands.
 “What’s wrong with being naked? You do know you were born that way, right?”
“Just”—she didn’t look again, but pointed at the door—“go.”
“Your loss.” I laughed. “Could have rocked your world.”
“My world doesn’t need rocking.”
I paused midway through the door and turned back, moving in close, making sure my breath would blow across her neck as I whispered, “Now that’s where you’re wrong, Blake. Every girl needs to allow her world to be rocked, at least once. Or if said rocking is coming from 
me? Twice.”

I confess I've not read any Rachel Van Dyken books. Ever! The title of this one intrigued me, so dived in blind.

Motivated because he thinks his sister settled for someone "safe" due to her shyness and low self-esteem whilst dating, Ian Hunter and his friend Lex established Wingmen Inc. to assist any female find their dream partner.

"Basically, the modern-day Superman saving women from themselves…"

Blake Olson needs assistance to attract David's attention, the friend she's known and had a crush on for a long time. She contacts Wingmen Inc. to assist but horrified when her new room-mate’s gorgeous, cocky friend turns up as the company contact. Wearing casual sports gear and flip-flops, Ian is equally shocked that his new client is is the young woman hiding under the large, baggy clothes. He has his work cut out but didn't expect to be physically attracted to Blake too!

I liked the chemistry between Blake and Ian as they worked towards getting her the date of her dreams. With electrical sparks flying between them, it's impossible to ignore the raw attraction despite their strictly professional relationship...then they become friends until neither can deny how they feel for each other, making Blake rethink her seduction plan and Ian to contemplate the company "don't date a client" rule.

My first impression is, Ian isn't so perfect. He has issues too. Jealousy. His reaction to coming to the wrong conclusion when he spied on Blake and David was uncharacteristically immature...like when a toddler throws a toy whilst having a tantrum. I expected him to have a more balanced view, but I loved that he wasn't as "put together" as he made you believe. Underneath his cocky confident persona is someone who has hang-ups like everyone else, only he's more effective at pulling himself together most of the time.

I liked The Matchmaker's Playbook but didn't love it. It was a fun read yet I didn't find it hilariously funny. It didn't appeal to my particular sense of humour. RVD's writing kept me turning the pages but the plot dragged towards the end, but I'm sure many will disagree with me.

Will I read more of the series? Yes. Any story with two protagonists hating each sufficiently to want to kill should be dramatic and highly entertaining? Lex and Gabi – I can't wait!

3.5 stars

***arc generously received courtesy of Skyscape via NetGalley***

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
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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 .