Saturday, July 30, 2016

Review & Excerpt Tour for The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken



THE MATCHMAKER’S REPLACEMENT
Wingman Inc. Book 2
By Rachel Van Dyken
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: July 26, 2016


Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.

But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.

Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.



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.

Review: 5 STARS!!

I have been anticipating this Lex & Gabi's book since The Matchmaker's Playbook came out!! Lex & Gabi were as fantastic and highly amusing as I thought that they would be. Gabi was innocent, sweet, caring, but she had some fire underneath her. She could give as good as she got when it came to words & pranks with Lex. She never gave up, even though she wasn't comfortable or she doubted herself, she was strong. I love how she took care of her family and how she knocked down the walls that Lex had built up around him. Lex, that man had me laughing almost throughout the whole book!! He was a genius, sexy, great dirty talker & when he loves someone, he puts you before himself. Lex pushed Gabi away and I loved seeing his willpower crumble because he couldn't push her away anymore. He would test her limits and push her to see when and if she would break, but when she didn't, I love that Lex just admired her that much more than he already did. I love the banter between Lex & Gabi; it was sometime crude, always hilarious, and it was refreshingly sexy and charming. Lex & Gabi are honestly the PERFECT couple!! Their passion for each other was off the charts and their fighting, I swear it was just foreplay for them!! I loved seeing how much Ian's friendship really meant to both Lex & Gabi and how respectful they were to him. Yet at the same time, I was happy that they were willing to put everything on the line for each other. Rachel Van Dyken did a really great job of bringing this story and these characters to life. I was so enthralled with this book from the beginning that I didn't stop once while I was reading!! I really want Ian's sister to have a book, but at the same time, the ending of this book was really perfect!! Amazing job Rachel Van Dyken!!

-Elizabeth from Crazii Bitches Book Blog


ABOUT RACHEL VAN DYKEN:
           
         
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 .

Links:

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Release Week Blitz & Review for Love Blooms On Main Street by Olivia Miles



ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Love Blooms on Main Street
Author: Olivia Miles
Series: The Briar Creek Series, #4
On Sale: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market & eBook
Price: $5.99 USD (MM) & $4.99 USD (eBook)

Love is always in season . . .

Florist Ivy Birch fantasizes about the day a man will surprise her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Especially if that man happens to be Brett Hastings. One stolen kiss at her best friend's wedding and Ivy can't get the sexy ER doctor out of her head.

In the small town of Briar Creek, you can't avoid anyone for very long. Not that Brett has been trying to avoid Ivy. He just can't afford to let anything distract him from his work-not again. So when a hospital fundraiser throws them together, love is the last thing on his mind. But with her quick wit and sweet laugh, soon the one woman he's tried to keep at arm's length is capturing his heart...


BUY THE BOOK HERE


EXCERPT

A small gasp escaped from her but was quickly silenced by the firm press of Brett’s mouth on hers. Unlike their last kiss, which had felt so tender, this time Brett was leaving no room for confusion about his intentions. She stiffened against his touch, trying to resist him, but pleasure pooled warm in her stomach and the space between her legs began to ache as he wrapped two arms around her waist and pulled her to his chest.
Oh, God. She wanted to fight this. The feeling he was stirring within her. The need for more. She opened her mouth to him, letting him in. He kissed her deeply, not giving her a chance to break away, and she wasn’t so sure she could, even if she wanted to. Her hands, which had been pushed off her hips by the strength of his arms, hung loosely at her sides, as if determined to stay out of this drama she was creating for herself, but, like her mouth, they lost the fight. She slid her hands up onto Brett’s arms, taking in every curve of his hard muscles, and up onto his shoulders as she leaned into him. His breath was heavy as he kissed her harder, and she parted her legs to let his slide between and press against the tightness that was building within her.
“What are we doing?” she asked when they finally came apart. She blinked up at him and resisted the urge to flatten his disheveled locks. I did that, she realized with a flutter.
“I don’t really know.” Brett’s voice was low and coarse. “But I like it.”
She firmed her mouth and smoothed her dress. Not good enough.
Turning to stare at the folding table, she felt her spirits begin to sag. She’d let him in again. Let him take her to places she’d wanted, to dream dreams that should have stayed in her unconscious. And nothing had changed. Men don’t change, Ivy. That’s what her mother had always said. When would she learn?
“Well, it can’t happen again,” she insisted.
“Oh no?”
She glanced back to see that slow, sexy smile. “No.” But even as she said it, her body was saying yes.

THE BRIAR CREEK SERIES
Mistletoe On Main Street, #1
A Match Made On Main Street, #2
Hope Springs On Main Street, #3
Love Blooms On Main Street, #4
Christmas Comes To Main Street, #5

Series Page on Goodreads


Review: 5 STARS!!

This is the first book that I have read by Olivia Miles and it definitely won't be my last!! This is the 4th book in the Briar Creek series and I can't wait to go back and read the first 3!! Brett & Ivy were great characters who kind of had an unconventional start and I loved every minute of it!!

Ivy is a wonderful character. She is kind, sweet, shy & loves helping people. She has had a crush on Brett for years and when they finally connect she thinks that it is the start of something beautiful, but she is sadly mistaken. I loved the fact that Ivy didn't make it easy for Brett to be back in her life. She stood strong and guarded her heart. She is affected by her past and what this town used to think of her parents and them. She has worked hard for everything and she never wants anyone's sympathy or pity and to me that just shows how much strength is really in Ivy.

Brett is running away from pretty much everything. His dad leaving when he was younger has really affected him in ways that even he didn't know. He is scared to get close to anyone and his last job in the city really messed with him. He has always been attracted to Ivy, but then like everything else he ran from her and his feelings. I loved watching Brett go from cool and aloof to warm and caring. At first he was just worried about himself and what was going on in his world and slowly throughout the book and the more time he spent with his brother and Ivy, did he start to become aware of everything else happening around him.

I loved Kara!! I am so excited for her story and I loved that we got her POV in the background. This book was a great read and I am so happy that I took a chance on this book and this author, because it is now one of my favorites!! Olivia Miles has a writing style that will just pull you into the story and the characters and not let go until the end. Like I said, I am very excited for Kara's book next, but for now, I am going to go back and read the first 3 books of the Briar Creek series!!

-Elizabeth from Crazii Bitches Book Blog


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Miles is a Chicago-based romance writer. Having grown up in New England, Olivia attended McGill University in Montreal, Quebec before settling in Chicago where she lives with her husband, their daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.

When she is not chasing after her little ones, she is hard at work creating feisty heroines and alpha heroes with a heart. A city girl with a fondness for small-town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories.


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Release Blitz for Veiled by Karina Halle



From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lie and The Pact comes a new romance that will test your limits and leave you breathless. Death. It's something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night. But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal. Or so close. Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend. That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she's never felt more alone. Then there's Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn't for the fact that Ada has met him before. Every night. In every single dream. And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she's in danger of losing everything. Including her heart. And her very soul.              




Then, out of nowhere: “You looked beautiful tonight, by the way.” Oh jeez. Be still my fucking heart. I try and swallow, his words, the sincerity in his voice rocking my world off-balance. “Which part? When the power went out or when Jacob went upstairs to fight a demon?” I joke. But I joke because I’m feeling this a little too much. “All of it. You know why I call you Princess?” he asks, his tone graver than before, like he’s letting me in on a very deep secret. “Because I’m a spoiled brat?” “Because you’re beautiful.” Well that shut me up. The sentence hangs in the air, larger than life. He clears his throat and goes on and I have to fight against the urge to roll over and face him. “You have this way about you. You don’t see it. But I do. Like you’re born royalty. The way you hold yourself. Your walk. The face of an angel.” Butterflies take flight in my gut, spreading through my veins until my whole body feels like its floating. “Why are you being so nice to me? Am I going to die?” He laughs softly. “I don’t know why I’m saying these things. Just seemed like the things to say. You’re destined for something great, Ada, I know this. And it’s an honor to help see you through it.” His words cascade down on me like ashes from a fire. Where they land, I’m ignited. Jay thinks I’m beautiful. And more than that, he believes in me. Silence settles over us, stealing time. I hear him breathing in the dark, steady as a heartbeat. He might even be sleeping. But I can’t even begin to shut down. My entire body, from the top of my scalp, down to my toes, is buzzing with heat and electricity. It’s like everything I felt for him before, everything I try to ignore, is coming out in full force, responding to his words, to his body so close to mine. I can feel the warmth at my back, sinking into my spine, just from his presence only. I’m starting to have feelings for him. Not just in a he’s a giant hulking beast who’s here to protect me from the underworld way. But real feelings, slowly creeping into my heart, day by day. The thought is terrifying in the same way that demons are terrifying. They both might take possession of me. They both might ruin me. And I’m not sure how much of me I’ll have left.

          

QUESTIONS ABOUT VEILED

Q: Is this YA?

A: No. The main character is 18 and there is sex, crude language and violence in the book. It is recommended for mature teens or 18 and up.

Q: Is there a cliffhanger?

A: Nope! There's also no cheating and no love triangle (think I've covered the bases there!)

Q: Do I need to read the series (Experiment in Terror) that Veiled is a spinoff of first?

A: Absolutely not. Veiled stands alone. You do not need to have read the EIT series beforehand as this follows a different character (Ada Palomino) and a different storyline. However for those who have read EIT, all your favorites are in the book!

Q: Is it horror? Your other series was and I don't handle scary very well...

A: No, it's paranormal romance (though I promise you there are no vampires or werewolves), and while there are creepy elements to the story, it wouldn't be classified as horror. If you can read KMM's Fever Series or ANY urban fantasy, you'll be fine.

      Halle Headshot
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books. Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK. Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.