Exclusive Excerpt: The Matchmaker’s Playbook (#1, Wingmen) by Rachel Van Dyken

MATCHMAKER

There’s been so much buzz about Rachel Van Dyken’s latest release—The Matchmaker’s Playbook! Packing lots of sizzle and wit, Blake and Ian’s chemistry is wholly irresistible! Better yet, The Matchmaker’s Playbook is out today and I’ve got a never-before-seen excerpt to get you started!

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Synopsis

Matchmakers PlaybookWingman 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…

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Excerpt

“Nope.” I stood. “You cooked. Lex and I will do cleanup.”

Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We will?”

I stared.

Slowly, he scooted out his chair, stood, and helped me take everything into the kitchen. Once the girls were out of earshot, he whistled and sad, “Dude, nice work. I didn’t even recognize her.”

I smiled proudly. “She looks cute, right?”

Lex burst out laughing. “Are you high? She looks more than cute.” He stepped backward and peered around the corner, then made his way back into the kitchen. “She looks hot.”

“Hot?” I let the word roll around in my head a bit, then abruptly snuffed it out. “I guess.”

“You guess?”

Dishes. I needed to wash dishes, because if I focused too much on Blake’s small transformation, I was going to be in a world of hurt, and not the emotional kind. Hell no, it would be all physical. Already my body was responding as if my hands weren’t in soapy water but sliding all over her body.

I inwardly groaned. I had no time to stop by some random girl’s house and alleviate the hurt.

“Have you kissed her yet?” Lex asked as I held out a plate for him to take. It dropped out of my hand, but luckily he caught it before it smashed into the floor. “I’ll take that as a no.”

“She’s never kissed a guy. It would be . . . wrong.” I held out another plate. Lex didn’t take it. Instead he stared open mouthed at me.

“Are you . . . falling for her?”

“What?” I burst out laughing. “Hell no. Have you seen her flip-flops?”

“Not like she’d be wearing them in bed, amigo.”

“What’s our number one rule?” I scrubbed the next plate vigorously as visions of her perky breasts invaded every logical corner of my brain.

“Don’t fall for the clients.”

“Don’t. Fall.” I scrubbed harder. “For.” My hand was starting to cramp. “The clients.”

“I think it’s clean, bro.” Lex jerked the plate out of my hands and gave me a pat on the back. “And you’re the one who made the rules. Not me.”

“We have a legitimate company, one that both of us are hoping will eventually take over as the number one dating app in the world. Why screw that up because you fall for a sad girl who wants the guy who’s never looked twice at her?”

Lex smirked, his toothy grin making me want to inflict violence on his person. Or another damn dish. “Why, indeed?”

“You’re seriously shitting up the wrong tree and you’re pissing me off. Go argue with Gabi or something.”

“So no kissing?”

I sighed and braced myself against the porcelain sink. “No. Not unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

“Hmm.”

The girls’ chatter got louder as they made their way into the kitchen.

“No dessert?” Blake piped up.

I froze.

Lex and I were both still facing the kitchen window, and I could see his smug expression in the reflection. Just like he could see me flipping him off right above the dishwater.

“Dessert? I didn’t get any,” Gabi said, “but—”

“Actually.” I turned around quickly. “About that . . . Blake, can I talk to you upstairs for a minute?”

“Sure.” But she hesitated.

“Great.” I grabbed her hand and tugged her toward the stairs, praying that Gabi and Lex would get into it so I’d have an excuse to call the police and get the hell out of that house before I embarked on more rule-breaking.

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Exclusive Cover Reveal + Excerpt: KEEP (#3, Seaside Pictures) by Rachel Van Dyken

KEEP seaside

I am so excited to exclusively share the crazy hot cover of KEEP by Rachel Van Dyken—the second installment in the irresistible upper YA series, Seaside Pictures! This is the second novel in the series, each which can be read as a standalone. Zane’s story promises the kind of sizzle and swoon that will keep you delightfully hooked, so you won’t want to miss it!

Aaaaaannnnnd, not only do you get the cover and the blurb today, you can also read the first ever excerpt from the novel! Check it out below and make sure to pre-order! KEEP is out September 6th!

Pre-order exclusively through iBooks ✦

Synopsis

My name’s shouted on rooftops.
It’s written on bras, bathroom stalls, hell my name is everywhere. To say my name is to experience an orgasm without ever leaving your house.
My name?
Zane “Saint” Andrews.
I’m sex.
I’m a rock god.
I’m also a virgin.
What they don’t know won’t kill them right? Give the people what they want. And what they want is the idea of me; the pleasure they gain at listening to my song and knowing without a doubt I’m talking about them and only them.

Excerpt

“You must be desperate.”

“I’m always desperate for inspiration of the female variety.”

“I’m not one of those girls.”

“The female kind?”

“The stupid kind.” I clarified. “The ones who would do anything for your attention. You’re hot, but I don’t even know you, for all I know you could be one of those crazy murderers! You know the ones that are really good looking, lure girls into their crazy mansion sand them kill them because their bored with their lives.”

He blinked then frowned. “Holy shit woman, what kind of tv do you watch?”

“Don’t change the subject,” I shoved my finger into his chest. “I’m just…I’m a lady.”  Thanks grandma. Thank you very much for engraining that into my head so fervently every day that I just quoted you to one of the hottest superstars on the planet. Real nice. Good. Great. Fantastic. I’m a lady?

“Yes,” Zanes lips twitched with a smile before he grabbed my hand and kissed the top of it. “And thus, I shall treat you so.”

“Did you just British accent me?”

“Depends, did it work?”

“Stop it!”

“What?”

“No!” I grinned as a laugh escaped. “That’s unfair.”

We walked a few feet before he pulled out his keys and whispered. “You’re carriage fair maiden.”

He was driving a truck.

I loved trucks.

Truck meant safe.

A truck told me he was trying to fit in, at least a little bit.

“I’m going to need a list of weaknesses in alphabetical order starting with foods, Go.”

“What?” I couldn’t keep up. “What are we talking about?” Thank God at least the British accent was gone.

Zane pulled open the door. I was getting kidnapped, then again I was willing. Did this stuff really happen?

Apparently it did.

Because I found my stupid self getting into the truck.

And this, ladies and gentleman is how Ted Bundy did it. Charm, wit, and a killer smile.

And yet. I was STILL in the truck as he leaned against it and smirked. “I don’t like the word no, it’s short, clipped, and completely negative in it’s effect on the world. Therefore, I need to know what your weaknesses are so I can use them against you. Favorite foods, drinks, songs you sing in the shower, places to go, things to see, tv shows, do you prefer Friends or Big Bang Theory, if I was a super hero which one would I be?”

I shook my head. “Do you ever…pause? Stop? Take a time out? And why do you need to know these things?”

“Because,” he pulled back. “I think they’re right. I’m not finding inspiration in the house. Therefore. I’m bringing you to the house.”

“To kill me.”

“To ravish you, my lady.”

“Oh good, the accents back again.” I said just as much to myself as I did to him.

“It felt right again.”

I sighed. “You’re taking me back to your cave and expect the fact that another female body is in your presence is going to make you spew out words about love and devotion?”

He seemed to think about it and then nodded. “By jolly I think you’ve got it!”

“Are we Scotsman now?”

“Eh, harder accent.” He grinned. “I’ll take you to the house for two hours, and in return I’ll do you a favor.”

“A favor for a favor.” I tossed the idea around in my head. “What about a rain check for a favor?”

“That works too.”

“Do we shake on it?”

“No we kiss. We always kiss. That’s how these things work between boys and girls, four eyes. Just like you always circle yes.”

“Circle yes?”

“When I ask you if you want to skate with me then be more than friends.” He grinned. “Or when I ask to hold your hand then share your mountain dew, you always say yes.”

“Because no is a bad word?”

“The worst.” He agreed.

“You’re a dangerous man aren’t you?”

His eyes did that shutter thing, like a layer of his true self peeled back before he looked down at the ground. “We all have our secrets don’t we?”

“Yeah.” I stared at him blankly before putting on my seatbelt and fully committing to the insanity that was my day. “We do.”

He moved to the other side of the truck then started it. “But first, we mallow.”

“Mallow?”

“Don’t ask questions four eyes, questions get you killed.”

“Really quick, you aren’t on any drugs are you?”

“Marshmallows are my drug. That’s all you need to know. Everything else? All me.”

“Lucky me.”

“Right?” He winked and then peeled out.

Series

Each can be read as a standalone.

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Exclusive Excerpt: The Dark Ones by Rachel Van Dyken

THE DARK ONES BANNER

The intensity, wit, and action-packed plotting of Rachel Van Dyken in a paranormal?

Yes, please!

Her newest novel, The Dark Ones, indeed delivers intensity in spades… along with romance and nail-biting suspense. This isn’t your typical boy meets girl story… It’s life. Death. Love. Hate. Redemption. It’s mortals and immortals, and it all starts with Genesis.

I’m thrilled to be able to share an exclusive excerpt from the novel, which is out this week on the 20th! Plus an epic signed giveaway of three signed copies of The Dark Ones!

Synopsis

Sep-20To touch a Dark One is death.

To talk to an immortal is suicide.

Yet, I’ve been marked by both.

A Vampire.

And the King of the immortals.

My life is no longer my own.

And now I know the truth, my life was never mine to begin with.

It was theirs.

It’s always been theirs.

Excerpt

“Ethan, a word?” Alex stood.

“Sure.” Ethan kissed the top of my head and left the room while Mason started rummaging around the kitchen; pots and pans clanged together, and then he pulled out a giant piece of steak.

“I hope that’s not for me.” I pointed.

“Protein…” He threw the steak into the pan. “…feeds the blood, which feeds the mate, which, in turn, feeds you.”

“You gonna start singing Circle of Life?” I joked.

“Circle of life?” he repeated.

“Lion King?”

“Cassius is king.”

I looked helplessly to Stephanie, who was trying to hide her smile behind her hand.

“Have you seriously never watched Lion King?”

“Werewolves are scared of TV,” Stephanie said with a soft laugh.

“And sirens are afraid of the dark,” he fired back, while she shuddered. “I’m not afraid of the TV. I just don’t see the point in sitting in front of a flat box and watching people make fools of themselves.”

“He’d rather be the fool.” Stephanie nodded and winked in my direction.

“Mason…” I walked over to him and put my head on his shoulder. “How about I eat the steak and we watch Lion King?”

“No.”

“Dances with Wolves?”

Stephanie snickered loudly behind her hand.

“Wolves do not dance,” Mason growled.

“Oh, we know.” Stephanie nodded. “I’ve seen it once. Don’t care to see it again.”

“Too much whiskey.” Mason kissed the top of my head. “Eat the whole steak, and then we’ll talk about King Lion.”

“Lion King.”

“Same thing.”

I sighed helplessly and went to sit at the table while Mason cooked.

Stephanie gave me a side hug. “Eight tomorrow morning, alright?”

“Great.”

“Bed.” She shrugged. “It’s been a long night.” Her eyes misted again.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah.” Her voice cracked. “Like Alex said, we get emotional. Can’t help it.”

It felt like she was lying, but I was human, how would I know? I nodded and turned my attention back to Mason, who’d started searing the steak.

“So you cook meat but refuse to eat it?”

“I’m a vegetarian.” He smiled. I’d never realized how pointy his teeth were on the sides. Maybe that’s how he’d been able to bite into me before Ethan had mated with me.

“Your teeth say otherwise.” I pointed. “Flat means vegetarian. Pointy means carnivore.”

Mason rolled his eyes. “I didn’t say it was natural for me to be a vegetarian.”

“Okay… so why?”

He let out a heavy sigh. “Meat made my mate sick… for one reason or another. It gave her headaches. She only ate fruits, vegetables, nuts.” He flipped the steak. “So I learned to like other foods.”

“And now?”

He went very quiet, his eyes focusing in on the steak. “Now…” His voice was hoarse. “I honor her with my every meal.”

My throat clogged with emotion.

The fact that he honored her at all — but with every single meal — killed me. How did he survive that? How did he live every day having known true love? And know he may never experience it again — living forever?

“Don’t pity me.” Mason let out a gruff growl. “It makes it harder.”

“Sorry,” I whispered. “So pinecones, huh?”

He laughed. “Yes, well, it’s an acquired taste.”

“I bet.”

My heart picked up speed, and then I smelled him. Ethan entered the room, briskly walking by me, kissing my head. “Steak almost done?”

“I’m a perfectionist.” Mason held up his hands. “Let the juices seal.”

Ethan scrunched up his nose. “Her blood tastes better than that steak.”

“Yes, well, her blood tastes good because she’s living. She’s living because I feed her.”

“Werewolf has a point,” I teased. “Besides, if I eat my whole steak, we’re going to watch Lion King!”

“Whose king?” Ethan tilted his head. “What lion? Mason’s a wolf.”

And that’s how I ended up spending my evening between a vampire and a werewolf, eating steak and watching a Disney movie while they argued over the animal kingdom, not to mention the lion’s choice in song.

It felt right.

Like I’d finally found my place.

My home.

I had no idea that the security I felt was about to get ripped from me, from the very people I’d put my trust in.

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About Rachel

Rachel Van DykenRachel 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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Exclusive Excerpt + Signed Giveaway: Capture by Rachel Van Dyken

Capture 2

A romance with a Hollywood heartthrob falling in love with a girl, helping her heal from a tragic past? Yes, please! Rachel Van Dyken is always an exciting writer and her latest, Capture, packs the sexy, the sweet and the feels. Plus, if you’re a fan of the Seaside series, you’re in for a treat with some much loved characters making an appearance! Capture is a new spin-off series related to the Seaside novels, and it can be read as a standalone. The book is out tomorrow, but today, I have an exclusive excerpt and your chance to win a signed copy of the novel (with that amazing cover)!

Capture: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble ✦

Synopsis

Losing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.
But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.

Dani lives anything but a normal life.
Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Her best friends are rockstar duo AD2.
And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.
But that doesn’t change the fact their parents are dead.

Or that it’s her fault.
It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.

That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.
He’s gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.
But that doesn’t stop her from wondering…if things were different…would he want her?

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

Excerpt

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

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

It’s just a movie. It’s just a movie.

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

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

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

“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled.

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

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

I licked the lipstick from my lips and nodded quickly.

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

Lincoln gritted his teeth and let out a little groan.

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

My stomach sank.

Maybe it was me.

I was the problem.

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

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

I nodded.

“You ever been to a party?”

I rolled my eyes.

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

I thought about it then slowly shook my head.

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

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

Sell it. I repeated the words in my mind.

I could do that.

Because I wanted him to kiss me.

It made my heart beat faster.

My blood pump harder.

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

“Okay,” I mouthed.

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

My breath hitched.

“Quiet on set! And action!”

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

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

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

“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled.

I kept kissing.

So did Lincoln.

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

“Cut!” Jaymeson yelled again.

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

“Good enough,” said Jaymeson.

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

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

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

“Take two, and action!”

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

Not that I was complaining.

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

I would kiss him anywhere.

All he needed to do was ask.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Rachel

Rachel Van DykenRachel 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 and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill.

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