Book Tour Review: THE MATCHMAKER’S PLAYBOOK by Rachel van Dyken

VanDyken-TheMatchmakersPlaybook-21818-CV-FT-v5The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc., #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Other books in the series: The Matchmaker’s Replacement
Hosted by InkSlinger PR

Purchase: Amazon US
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SUMMARY

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…

REVIEW

Cute young guy

5 THE MATCHMAKER’S PLAYBOOK STARS (★★★★★)

*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this doesn’t affect my opinion of this book and the words in this review. ***

A girl should never change herself for a guy. Ever. And if she did? Then they weren’t meant to be.

The premise of The Matchmaker’s Playbook sounded very promising. A modern day Cinderella tale with a twist. You can probably imagine how psyched I was to start this novel, even when the cover didn’t make me all hot and bothered. That just shows you should never judge a book solely by its cover. The Matchmaker’s Playbook certainly delivered! Rachel van Dyken has become one of my favorite writers. She sure knows how to give you everything you hoped for and more.

With Blake it was more than that — it felt like more — because when we were together, I didn’t want the time to end. I wasn’t pretending to listen to her, and I didn’t check the time and give all the nonverbal cues of needing to wrap things up.

Ian Hunter used to be an American Football player until he got injured. That’s when he decided to use his superpowers for good. Ian is a mastermind in reading people’s behavior and he knows just what to say to elicit the reactions he wants. Together with his best friend Lex they started their own company, Ian playing a professional wingmen. Ian is a player, he’s smug, cocky and has a big ego. He lost his parents due to a plain crash when he was 7 years old, but even before then he never knew how it felt to feel loved. That led him to believe he isn’t worthy of anyone’s love.

When tomboy Blake moves into Ian’s best friend’s (Gabi’s) house, hilarious circumstances lead them to meet for the first time with Ian in a comprising position: completely naked. Which is more awkward for Blake than Ian, because he is’t self-conscious at all. Blake, on the other hand, is and can be a little bit awkward. You can say that this encounter isn’t the most friendly one you could imagine. Blake may be shy at times, but she sure knows how to talk back and resist Ian’s flirting and pestering.

Ian keeps running into Blake; at Gabi’s, at school, and last but nog least during a meeting with a new client: her. Blake wants Ian’s help to transform into someone who could get the attention of her longtime friend David. She wants David to notice her. Fixing awkward, sad girls to get the love of their lives is what Ian does for a living, but something about Blake is different. Instead of keeping his normal distance from his client, he can’t seem to stay away from her and finds himself wanting to know more. Soon, something develops between the two, but can it become something serious? Or are they better of with Ian being Blake’s test run before she pursues the real thing with David?

“Please.” She bit down on my lip. “It’s you, I want you.”

The story just starts in the middle of something happening. No explanations or long descriptions. Just Ian meeting a client at a coffee shop doing his thing. Such beginnings of novels are my favorite. They let you explore the story and its characters on your own gradually, while the book progresses. I loved how it seemed that Ian was talking to me personally. It weren’t just his thoughts I was privy to, but he was actually telling me stuff. I loved everything about Ian: the story behind his business, his big ego. I also loved Blake and Ian’s first meeting in her room. It was just really funny, I couldn’t stop laughing. I liked how Blake stood up for herself, resulting in very cute and funny banter.

With The Matchmaker’s Playbook I came to know Rachel van Dyken as a very talented author, who knows how to write a unique, romantic story between very real characters. It seemed like she had a direct line to the mind of a cocky male who wants to change into a deserving man when he meets THE girl. This novel portrays Ian’s very believable thoughts and behavior. As the story developed, Ian seemed to came alive, together with Blake, Gabi and Lex. I thought it was a very smart choice to write the whole story from Ian’s perspective.

Whoever said “if you love something, you let it go” clearly had never been in love before.

The Matchmaker’s Playbook is a modern day Cinderella tale with a twist. It’s about taking a leap and giving love a shot, even when you’re afraid to get hurt. It’s about changing your ways to become a better man. The epilogue had me dying to read its sequel, that I hope is coming very soon, to find out about Lex and Gabi. The Matchmaker’s Playbook is funny, addictive and sweet. I highly recommend it to you.

“Because in a complicated world, where an ex-NFL player decided to change the map of the dating scene, he somehow lost his way and fell ass-over-heels in love with one of his clients.”

Close young business man

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MEET LEX!

serious male models posing against gray wall

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!

EXCERPT

“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.”

Handsome guy

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ABOUT RACHEL VAN DYKEN

rachelborderRachel 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!

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Love,
Michelle

-zInkSlinger Blogger

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