Monday, April 11, 2016

Review, Excerpt & More: THE MATCHMAKER'S PLAYBOOK by Rachel Van Dyken--Includes Giveaway!

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc. 1)
Publisher: Skyscape (April 5, 2016)
Publication Date: April 5, 2016


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…


“If you  hurt her, I’m going to break off your favorite appendage.”
“Silly Gabi.” I grinned. “Is that an invitation to touch?”
“Guarantee  if I ever do touch you, it will only end badly.”
“Tease.” I winked.
“Stop that.” She flicked me on the nose. “Your sexual prowess is dead to me. Dead!”
Rolling my eyes, I wrapped an arm around her and steered us both into the kitchen, where the smell of French bread and spaghetti filled the air. “Have I told you how much I miss our weekly dinners? Think we should do it daily? You know, so I don’t starve?”
Gabi shrugged out of my embrace. “Learn how to cook.”
I jutted out my lower lip. “It’s not for lack of knowledge.” I broke off a piece of warm bread, then poured myself a large glass of wine. “It’s because yours always tastes better.”
Gabi groaned loudly. “Damn, do the girls really fall for that? Still?”
“Eh.” I shrugged and made a so-so motion with my hand. “Nine out of ten.”
“You disgust me.”
“You say that every day.”
“Because it’s true every day.”
“When’s dinner ready?” Serena bounced into the room, literally, her head bobbing from left to right. Maybe that’s how girls like her built up more brain cells. They shook the air, and the pressure between their ears exploded, making tiny little brain-cell babies.
Gabi poked her head into the fridge. “When Lex gets here.”
“So it’s ready now?” she asked.
Never mind. No brain-cell babies. I fought the urge to point to the steaming spaghetti and bread sitting on the breakfast bar. Didn’t it look ready, kiddo?
“Technically,” I answered for Gabi. “But we aren’t eating”—I stressed the word “eating” even though I’d just taken some bread—“until my sidekick gets here.”
“Sidekick, huh?” Serena crossed her arms, forcing her boobs to kiss one another and nearly hit her in the chin.
“Oh, I thought you knew.” I gave her a sad face. “I’m the hero in this scenario . . . Even own my own cape. He’s basically the Robin to my Batman.”
“Batman’s hot.”
“So is Robin,” Gabi said defensively.
Whoa. Did she just defend Lex? I felt her forehead. She pushed my hand away and handed me some parmesan cheese.
The door flew open, and Lex stepped through, holding up two bottles of Cab. “Sorry, traffic was sh*t.”
“Language,” Gabi called.
Lex and I shared a look before Lex stomped over to the swear jar and tossed in a dollar bill.


Carra's Review

Right off the bat let me say that I am always a fan of a story told from the male POV.  When done right it gives the reader a unique perspective in a traditional M/F romance, and honestly for me it's a more enjoyable voice for the book.  It's done right here in The Matchmaker's Playbook, if with a huge dose of snark.

I really liked Blake's character, she was very easy to identify with and was quite likable.  I also liked that she held her own with Ian when they interacted.  Ian was a bit of a jaded smartass, and while I enjoyed getting the story from his point of view, sometimes he could be a bit much (the same goes for his best friend Lex).

The scenes between Blake and Ian were funny (there's one in the ladies dressing room that is a particular favorite of mine--not going to spoil it, you'll see when you read it), and when things start happening between them, their chemistry seems pretty darn hot.

For me, the two scenes toward the beginning which demonstrated Ian's manwhore ways were a bit of a turnoff.  I get that they're supposed to show what a player he is, but I'm more of a fan of hearing about those things as part of a character's past before the book starts that having them within the current story itself.

The Matchmaker's Playbook was a great overall story though, and for me was a 3.5 star read.  Recommended for contemporary romance fans, especially new adult fans, and this is for those 18+ due to adult language and sexual content.

The Matchmaker's Playbook Creed 

1. Head held high. 
2. Always smile. 
3. Never slouch. 
4. Wear clothes appropriate to the season. 
5. Let him open the door. 
6. No kissing on the first date. 
7. He comes to you. 
8. Lingering is frowned upon. 
9. NO facebook stalking. 
10. NO STALKING stalking. 
11. Don't be too available. 
12. LIsten to Lex and Ian. 
13. See Number 12. 
14. No seriously, go back, re-read #12. 
15. If after one week you aren't satisfied, we will dissolve the contract. 

About the Author

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. Her website is .


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