THE MATCHMAKER’S PLAYBOOK
RACHEL VAN DYKEN
– SYNOPSIS –
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…
The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken from Becca the Bibliophile on Vimeo.
– EXCERPT –
Blake let out another pitiful groan. “I don’t think it fits.”
“They measured you. It fits. Just, tell me if it looks okay so we can go.” I checked my watch. “Gabi said dinner was at six, and it’s already a quarter till.”
“This is too much pressure.” Her voice was frantic. “I can’t do this. I mean, how do I know if it looks good? They’re boobs.”
I groaned. “Boobs always look good. Believe me.”
“Boobs are gross!”
Said no man ever. Even the gay ones.
One of the salesladies eyed me up and down. “Are you two okay?”
“Great,” I chirped. “Just having a very heated discussion about the beauty of breasts.” I dipped my chin to Blake’s chest. “What are you? A double D?”
Scowling, she marched off.
“Blake,” I hissed.
I’d never had such a difficult client. If anything, they jumped when I told them to, asked how high, and then kept jumping until I was satisfied. Blake fought me at every turn.
“Open the door before I crawl underneath it. I’ll pick the bras, you can close your eyes if you want so you don’t have to watch me look at you, alright? My stomach literally just ate my liver. I need protein. Open. The. Door.”
The door slowly creaked open. Taking advantage of the small crack of air, I pushed it farther, then clicked it shut behind me and turned around.
Blake was facing me, hands on hips, face beet-red, body . . . freaking perfect. My tongue almost lolled out, like a dog.
Most girls starve themselves to have abs like that, which was disgusting. But her abs? They had muscle, actual muscle, but still appeared feminine.
She also had a nice tan, just enough to show that she spent time outside or maybe just had naturally darker skin.
My throat went completely dry as I continued to stare.
“Well?” Her voice was weak. “How awful do I look? On a scale of one to ten?”
I’d convinced her to buy some new workout clothes to replace her old ones. I knew I’d never get her to actually completely change her style. She liked workout clothes? Fine, at least buy the kind that fit and actually point to the correct gender. I tried to steer her away from the boyfriend sweats and sweatshirts, but she eventually wore me down, so I told her if she bought at least five new Pink outfits that had spandex in them, I’d let her get one pair of ugly slouchy sweats. You’d think I’d just given her a million dollars, from her reaction.
Currently, she was sporting a short pair of bright-blue yoga shorts.
And a black push-up sports bra that did wonders for her boobs.
And the world just in general.
I gulped as I became more and more irritated with the fact that my body was reacting as if it had never seen a girl without her shirt on before. “Blake, it’s great.”
“You sound bored!”
I had to, damn it! What did she want me to do? Sound interested? Turned-on? Intrigued? Curious? I was all those things. I just tried to ignorethe insanity bouncing around in my head and blurted, “Your boobs look really good. Perky, happy, just . . . awesome.”
Did I just call her boobs “happy”?
“You think?” She stared down at her breasts, then grabbed them.
Holy shit, was she seriously feeling herself up? I braced my hand against the door and sucked in a breath.
“They still feel comfortable,” she said.
“Do they?” I managed to choke out while she continued bouncing them a bit in her hands. Dear Lord, did she know what she was doing? Waving a flag in front of a bull. My jeans suddenly tight in all the wrong areas, I tried to envision Lex naked, anything to get my dick to clue in to the word “client,” meaning I was in a no-play zone.
It was because I was hungry.
And Marissa? Melissa? Hadn’t satisfied me. I’d gotten off, and made sure she did too, but the entire experience left me feeling empty, bored, and—if I was being completely honest? A bit depressed. Besides, her tits paled in comparison. I had to wonder what the hell I’d been doing all my life if this was the first time I was having such a strong reaction to boobs.
Something about Blake had me wondering if I’d been satisfied at all up until this point. And I had no idea what the hell was so confusing about her, and about the situation. I was unable to put my finger on it, and the more I thought about it the more my head hurt.
Hunger does weird things to guys.
“Yeah.” More bouncing, then turning and staring in the mirror. I wasn’t sure what was worse. Her staring at her own boobs or touching them. “I’m just no good at this stuff. I didn’t grow up with a mom, and I hit puberty really early. The girls made fun of me, and the boys pointed.” Her shoulders slumped inward again.
Could we please go back to the bouncing? I was a fan of that Blake. The one that rolled up like an awkward armadillo? Not so much.
– REVIEW –
“You get the point. In our world? Every woman is beautiful. Every woman has a purpose. Every woman has one guy she’s been after, one unobtainable piece of man art.
Just think of the two of us as the brokers.
You’re welcome, world.” Kindle Loc. 510 of 4903
Okay. You’d think with a cocky attitude like that Ian Hunter, ex-NFL star (and part owner of Wingmen, Inc.) might need a big slap upside his head to clear out the conceit. But actually, Rachel Van Dyken’s newest hero is the real deal.
After being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in his sophomore year, Ian sustains a career ending injury. Rather than head off to the broadcast booth, Ian returns to college to finish his degree (an act almost unheard of in this day and age).
Ian, along with his best bud, Lex (a playa in every sense of the word) recognize that some women need help in getting the man of their dreams to notice them. With a nod towards altruism and a greater nod towards their bank accounts and egos, Ian and Lex form Wingmen, Inc.
Wingmen, Inc. is a dating service that provides their female clientele everything a girl might need to get her guy — whether it be a tutorial on kissing technique, lingerie selection or just the plain old “let’s get him jealous” by faking a romantic scenario. Sheer genius —these two guys have a good thing going and they know it.
So what happens when the player gets played? Enter Blake Olsen. Blake is the new roommate to Ian’s childhood pal, Gabi. When Ian and Blake meet, the pull is instantaneous. Too bad Ian never mixes business with pleasure. Equally uncomfortable, Blake, clueless as to Ian’s role, has hired Wingmen to help her land her grade school sweetheart. What ensues when Ian takes on Blake as a client is hilarious, sweet and sexy.
The Matchmaker’s Playbook is a riotous romp, filled with terrific dialogue and clever characters. Ian quickly wins over the heart of the reader. Blake is a sweet mess who deserves to have her heart’s desire. Secondary characters Lex and Gabi better have their story told — and soon —talk about sparks flying. Whew!
Author Rachel Van Dyken shines in her latest offering. The characters are absolutely likeable, the plot beyond clever and the back-and-forth between the characters is as snappy and witty as it gets.
Since this reader doesn’t have a vote in the Heisman trophy, Ms. Van Dyken and The Matchmaker’s Playbook will have to settle for five stars.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.*
– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
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.
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