Author: Rachel Van Dyken (Page 1 of 3)

BOOK REVIEW: The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van DykenThe Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Life's Too Short meets The Unhoneymooners in this sparkling, steamy, and swoon-worthy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken, in which two sworn enemies must share house, home—and maybe their hearts—when they become co-parents after a sudden loss.

Colby's living her best life: as a popular food blogger, she gets to fulfill her dreams of exploring the globe. But her world comes crashing down when a tragic accident leaves her co-guardian of her best friend's two adorable children. Not only does she need to put down roots—fast—but she'll be sharing custody with the one man she can't stand sharing a continent with, let alone a house.

Accountant-extraordinaire Rip values rules and plans. But when he loses his sister and his best friend and becomes an insta-guardian all in one night, Rip sees his organized life imploding. What he really doesn't need is his sister's irresponsible, flighty—albeit kind and gorgeous—best friend making it worse.

Rip doesn't trust Colby to take their new responsibilities seriously, while Colby can't believe Rip thinks children will thrive under his rigid control. Yet soon Rip and Colby discover they need each other more than they hate each other. Could it be possible that following their hearts is just what their new little family needs?

Review:

One thing I had already learned was that you had to hold on to the moments— even the ones that drove you crazy. Because you never knew how long you had to enjoy them.

The Godparent Trap was an emotional powerhouse that was impossible to put down.  I don’t think I have ever laughed or cried so much while reading a book.  This story easily reached into my heart and owned every part of me!  It was heartwarming, beautiful, memorable and going on my favorites list!

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” Colby whispered, reading my mind  as I tried to fight back the tears that were always threatening, along  with the tight feeling in my throat that refused to go away.

Colby was a food blogger, who traveled around the world enjoying life!  Rip was an accountant who liked knowing where his life was going.  Both of their worlds came crashing down when Rip’s sister and best friend, who were also Colby’s best friends, passed away.  Leaving Colby and Rip with custody of their two kids.  The story started out in present day, and then in that next chapter we jumped three weeks into the past.  I was instantly hooked.  Colby and Rip tried their best to hold it together.  But between their grief, becoming new parents and having a past between one another, they were in for a very bumpy road.

My ovaries did a little jump at how good he was with children. I mean,  he could be Satan to me any day, but the way he loved those kids, it  almost made me forget how horrible he was.
Almost.

I adored Colby right away!  She loved her best friend’s kids deeply and was passionate about her work.  But my heart hurt so bad for her.  Not only was she drowning in grief and learning how to function as a new parent, but she was definitely in over her head!  With live chicken nuggets, burned toy dragons and disaster after disaster, I found myself laughing and crying right along with Colby! And through it all, there was Rip.  To witness her hit all of the highs and lows.  During those lows, my gosh he could be so harsh to Colby.  Rip was way to rigid and Colby was exactly what he needed in his life!

“Hey, Rip,” I said.
“Yeah.” He was still staring down into the amber liquid.
“Do you hate me?”
He didn’t flinch. Didn’t smile. Just stared into his drink and whispered, “I wish I could.”

Oh Rip.  He could be so anal, meticulous and put together, but there was also another side to him.  One where his smile lit up the room and where he was intoxicating and seductive.  And even when he made mistakes, I still loved him.  Famous last words, never think it’s easier to stay home and take care of the kids haha!  Rip was also drowning in his pain, and the fact that we got this story in his POV too, it’ll make you fall even harder for him!  Especially when he learned how to extend olive branches and hear his thoughts about Colby, sigh.  Even though him and Colby were polar opposites, there was most definitely something there.

I tried not to let air get caught in my throat, just like I tried not to read into any of it, which was basically impossible. But before I could say anything, he was carrying Viera upstairs. And while I wrangled a cat, cleaned up poop, and helped Ben put away groceries, my heart held out a little bit more hope that maybe…
Maybe we were going to be OK.

Within those first few chapters, I already had tears falling down my face and laughter floating out of me, I loved every moment!  Know that while the tears didn’t stay away for long, through it all there were so many moments of lightness.  Such as their texts, but even more happiness could be found during their moments with the kids. I laughed so hard I was crying I don’t even know how many times.  I loved the bedtime stories!  But there were also these beautiful chaotic moments between Rip and Colby, and through it all the tension between them left you begging for them to become more!  The tension simmered between them.  And when we came back around to that first moment in the book, I literally was screaming out loud!  Because I just knew that when they got together it was going to be hot and seductive, and I was so right!

I swallowed the lump in my throat. “What do you guys talk about?”
He shrugged. “Dumb stuff like how Stu’s doing, Viera’s dolls, my spelling  tests, the time you got kicked out of my jujitsu match—”
I shot a glare at Colby when she snorted behind her hand.
“Oh, and how I pray every night for you and Aunt Colby to get married so we can be a family again.”
Colby froze.

If you love Life as We Know It, you’ll love this book!  Let it be known that I have been obsessed with Josh Duhamel since he got his start on AMC forever and a day ago haha.  And while that is one of my favorite movies, this book surpassed it!  I feel soooo guilty saying this and I’m sorry Josh, but this book owned me!  I had giddy laughter with Banks.  The jealousy with both Colby and Rip was everything!  Secrets came out that left me reading even faster.  And the times that Rip and Colby learned to work together and looked like a true family was breathtaking and heartwarming.  I didn’t even get to talk about the kids but they were my favorite kids in a book EVER! The Godparent Trap was filled with happiness, heartache, struggles, sacrifice, love and I loved every minute of it!  I can’t recommend this book enough!

“You’ll pay for that,” he said under his breath.
“Promise?” I called over my shoulder.
His eyes burned into mine.
It was our perfect moment, the one that defined the rest of our lives, I felt it in my soul.

PS I was curious how many times I cried, because I take notes while reading, and it was 15!  I laughed soooo many more times than that, but oh my gosh, see?!  This book definitely owned me!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Anti-Fan and the Idol by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: The Anti-Fan and the Idol by Rachel Van DykenThe Anti-Fan and the Idol by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Make it or break it...

Or maybe just break them?

Ah-Ri has been training under YK Management in Korea for two years without any results. She doesn’t fit the typical mold for a successful K-POP idol image, literally down to her blood type. She has six more months before college entrance exams which means she only has six months to make it as an idol before her dreams are crushed.

Things take a turn when two of the most famous male idols break away from their group and decide to form their own co-ed group, a rarity.

And wonder of all wonders, they need one more girl.

It would be the perfect opportunity, except she hates them.

They are arrogant, entitled, rich little snobs who want the world to worship the ground they walk on. To make matters worse, the only reason they came to her was because they are desperate, which means she needs to prove herself even more.

Tempers and personalities collide when she’s forced to either accept the position or give up on her dream.

But what happens when you suddenly go from anti-fan and enemy number one to stuck in a love triangle between two boys you were born to hate but are somehow falling in love with? And will the group survive the heartbreak that follows when she finally makes her choice?

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Review:

Why do bad ideas always feel so good?

The Anti-Fan and the Idol was so easy to devour in one sitting.  This novella had a lot packed into the story and I loved every minute of it!  Enemies to lovers, music, friendship and romance were laced throughout the pages. If you’re looking for a quick read that will be a lot of fun, definitely add this one to your tbr!

My fingers tremble as I stop on Fallen Angel Forever.
I send the text that will seal my destiny.
My fate.
My forever.
And type two simple words.
I’m. In.

Ah-Ri had been training to become a K-POP idol, yet she didn’t exactly fit the mold.  She had only six months left until her college entrance exam and walk away from her lifelong dream.  When two famous male idols broke away from their group and needed one more female to form a co-ed group, they asked Ah-Ri.  Yet Ah-Ri hated Hanuel and Ryan.  Grudges had been created from past hurtful words and their enemies relationship was born and continued to simmer.  Yet Ah-Ri would do anything to reach her goals.  Even if it meant joining up with her nemeses.

I crumple to the floor and cry.
I think I know why but, really, it’s because the bully in my nightmares is the same one I want to dream with.

I loved Ah-Ri!  She tried her best and put 150% into everything that she did!  I desperately wanted her to catch her break, so when she told us about her past with Hanuel and Ryan, I paused.  They both not only hurt her, but their words cut deep.  Especially since she was already insecure with herself, since she felt and looked different than the other trainees.  So I was angry at them right along with Ah-Ri.  Yet, we also got chapters in Ryan’s voice and oh how my outlook completely changed.  I’m such a traitor lol!

I can’t date. It’s always been her.

Ryan had been secretly lusting after Ah-Ri.  Hard.  Yet he could be such an asshole to her.  If he acted like a douche towards her, then he could push his feelings away.  But the moment that they started training together, and dancing, none of that could be avoided.  They both wanted their new group to make it big, so they trained hours upon hours together.  Getting their vocals and dancing moves perfect.  And with dancing, there was so much touching.  Their moments together were intense and their lust and feelings could not be ignored.  By either of them.  It felt like they were going to explode at any moment!

His right hand splays across my stomach as our hips move in sync. He leans in. I see his reflection in the mirror. I’m in great shape, yet I’m out of breath.
He whispers in my ear. “Is this hard enough for you?”
Why do his words sound dirty and so exciting?
“I’ve felt harder,” I say, pulling away from him, but not before he spins me around and kisses me. He tastes like sweat and sin.

The Anti-Fan and the Idol was a mesmerizing enemies to lovers story! While this book was heavy on the emotions, dealing with suicide and struggling with eating, it also shined brightly with lighter moments of laughter, friendship and love.  Plus watching them work together to reach the stars was addictive!  And if you’ve read My Summer in Seoul, you’ll be so happy to see someone!  My lips are zipped who, but I squealed!  While you definitely don’t have to read that book first, I highly recommend it too because that story swept me away!  With the Anti-Fan and the Idol, there was an epilogue that left me smiling long after I put my kindle away.  I loved all of the heartache, smiles, laughter, love, jealousy and friendship in this story!  It was such a quick read and exactly what I needed!

When she starts to dance, I think, I will always look back on this  moment. This is where I lost myself.
To her.
To the music.
To us.
I hold my head high.
This is it.
My last chance.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Office Date by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: Office Date by Rachel Van DykenOffice Date by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I’ve known Jack my entire life.
We went from being high school enemies to making out one fateful night at college to him being a giant D and making me cry.
Now we’re both interns at the same company.
Mortal enemy interns.

So when the chance pops up to finally beat him at something, to land my dream job plus a bonus? I don’t even blink.

I’m in. All in.
I mean, how hard can it be?
The managers say it’s like the Olympics for interns. All we have to do is play a few silly games, and if we win—our futures are unicorns and free wine for all.
The only problem? Jack’s my partner, and in order to win, we will have to get along.

As the stakes get higher, so does the heat, and damn is he hot when he’s… never mind. I can focus. I can totally focus and not make out with him or end up in his bed—again.
I can do it.
For the sake of my career, I can do it.
I just need a blindfold, sage, and a lot of prayers.

My job is the only thing I have right now. My focus is strong.
But when that stupid guy smiles, all I can think about is that one kiss, followed by the second, and I wonder if my priorities are in order or if I’m falling for the enemy once again.

Review:

Are there hidden cameras?
What do I even do right now? I lean forward.
“This can’t be legal.” 

Office Date was binge worthy and a ton of fun!  Rachel Van Dyken has done it again!  She wrote another fabulous enemies to lovers and forced proximity that I loved!  So if you adore sexy, new adult romance that will keep you laughing from start to finish then you definitely need Office Date in your life!

I sucker punch him in the stomach.
It was instinct!
He starts coughing and falls to the floor, yelling, “Whyyyyyyy?” like I just committed murder.
Whatever.
I kick him lightly. “You’re fine; stop being dramatic!”

Ivy and Jack had hated each other forever.  Not only did they have a disaster of a kiss in high school, but remained steadfast in their hatred through college. Now they were at an internship together.  And even though Jack knew how to push Ivy’s buttons like a pro and Ivy got irritated with Jack so easily, they both were attracted to each another.  When they found themselves in an office style non-death hunger game situation lol, they both needed to work together to win the top two spots for their dream jobs!

“You’ll be living across the hall from each other, we couldn’t swing the whole roommate thing again, but you will be spending the next two weeks  together as if you’re…”
Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Don’t say it. 
“Dating.”
“Fuck!” I say, then realize I said it out loud.
When a heel drives into the top of my foot seconds later.

Jack was my favorite!  He was the king of screwing with Ivy, and he could be such an ass.  But I was obsessed with him since we got half of the book in his point of view. And his thoughts?! They cracked me up or made me sigh out loud. I loved hearing Ivy’s voice too and how she assessed a situation. But listening to the both of them, you got to see that they each had so many layers. Their pasts, dreams and goals shaped who they were now. And they truly didn’t know the other person. So I was beyond ecstatic that they not only had to live right by each other but that they had to work together to win!

“How are you so cruel?” I cling to her. “Who hurt you?”
She shoves me off her. “Oh, some big giant idiot in college, but I’m over it.”
“I’m not,” I say under my breath, making her own catch.

The games Ivy and Jack found themselves in were over the top! Again! This is the second annual Emory Games, and you can read about the first in Office Hate. You don’t have to read that book first before this one, but oh my gosh I love that story so much and can’t recommend it enough! During these new games, childhood fears reappeared and it didn’t matter how irrational they were. There were moments I knew I shouldn’t be laughing at them, but I couldn’t stop. And the motivation they gave each other to win *dying laughing*, it was sooooooo inappropriate but so perfect too! I knew it was just a matter of time before Jack and Ivy would cross the line, and when they did *fans face* it was so hot!

His eyes flicker to my lips.
“Question.”
“What now?”
“If I kiss you, will you slap me?”
I grin. “This sounds like a fun game.”
“Be serious.”
“I am.”  I lean in. “Care to test it out?”
“How hard do you slap?”
“How good do you kiss?”
He smirks. “Ah, a challenge?”
“I like to win.”
“Maybe we both win…”

Office Date was a fun, lighthearted, laugh out loud hilarious book. If you’re looking for a story to pick up at the beach, this is it!  I can easily see myself reading it again! Plus the ending was so cute and left a smile on my face! Now I’m wondering if there will be the third annual Emory Games someday *fingers crossed*…….

She’s my perfect partner in crime, and I don’t want to let her go.

PS Max is as eccentric as ever and poor Dustin lol.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: My Summer in Seoul by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: My Summer in Seoul by Rachel Van DykenMy Summer in Seoul by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

It’s not all K-dramas and happily ever afters.

Intern with Korea’s number one record label? Yes, please.
Find out there’s a huge scandal I need to help “manage”… not so much.
Add in the fact that I don’t recognize the “superstars” of the label and think they’re interns…
And my dream job quickly becomes more of a nightmare.

But I’m in Seoul, the one place that is beginning to feel more and more like home...
Except it isn’t home, and the drama surrounding the biggest K-pop group in the world, SWT, is consuming my every moment.
Spoiler alert. They hate me.
Everything I do is wrong: wrong clothes, wrong honorifics, wrong manners.
Till the leader of SWT takes pity on me.
But pity is dangerous when it comes from someone as beautiful as him.

Every SWT member is gorgeous, perfect, and cultivated to be an idol… lethal to a girl’s heart.
And sanity.
But fame plus a perfect face and voice don’t equal an easy life. As their comeback nears, the stakes rise higher.
Suicide watch…
Angry fans…
Threats…

All I want to do is survive.
But the price for survival might mean losing my heart.
And like a character in a K-drama, I’m not sure if there will be an actual happily ever after…
Or simply a lesson learned.


Review:

I went to Seoul searching for my heart— and found my destiny instead.

 My Summer in Seoul was brimming with emotion and swept me away.  I had absolutely no clue what I was getting into, since I don’t know anything about K-pop.  But that didn’t even matter.  At the heart of this story was friendship, love, trials and trust.  And each aspect was so emotional and powerful.  So if you’re a fan of enemies to lovers or romance stories with someone famous, then you definitely need this book in your life!

It was always the pretty ones that were the most complicated.
And mean.

Rachel Van Dyken always has the amazing talent of putting me directly into someone else’s shoes and feeling every single thing they do.  So of course I loved Grace!  She wanted to get into the music industry and her Uncle offered her a job to intern at his number one record label.  In Korea.  Grace jumped at the chance, but it definitely wasn’t what she thought it would be.  Yes it involved coffee runs and other similar tasks.  But she had to help oversee the largest K-pop group in the world.  And she started her first moment with them, thinking they were interns.  Whoops.

Well, if he wanted war.
He’d get it.
Because I wasn’t quitting.
I wasn’t leaving.
And I would stay even if it killed me.

Lucas, Rae, Sookie, Jay and Kai were a formable team in SWT.  But they hated Grace.  She was loud, bubbly, wouldn’t stop talking, and had no clue what she was doing.  Especially when it came to customs.  Thankfully Rae, the leader, took pity on her.  But it still wasn’t easy, especially with Lucas hating her the most.  And while Grace tried her hardest again and again, it still was never enough.

I didn’t look over my shoulder, even though I wanted to.
And I didn’t check on her again.
It wasn’t my place.
And she wasn’t mine to begin with.
Plus, she was the last girl in the world I would go for.
Dead. Last.

Grace was motivated, persevered when others wouldn’t and had the hugest heart ever.  And while she started figuring out how to handle the guys in SWT, Lucas still gave her all the hatred.  It didn’t matter what she would do or how kind she was to him.  He still hated her with a passion.  And as someone who loves enemies to lovers, Grace and Lucas’ story was fabulous!  It was a roller-coaster of emotions with the most fabulous angst!  And while my heart broke for Grace countless times, it also started to break for Lucas too.  Once we started to have chapters in his head too.

It was wrong, sneaking around, making her lie to everyone, bringing her down with me, but I couldn’t stop it any more than I could stop breathing.

Lucas was struggling.  The music industry of K-pop was beyond intense and brutal.  Fans controlled how high they climbed and how low they crashed with a scandal.  So as we started to learn more about Lucas, he earned my empathy.  Even if he could be a total asshole lol.  That’s because I loved how Lucas felt deeply.  I loved how passionate he was about music.  And I even loved how he messed with Grace at times.  But most of all, I loved when Lucas did something that allowed Grace to see more of him.  Lucas was drowning at times, and I kept hoping Grace could help him.  Somehow.

I still tasted her mouth; I still felt her skin on mine.
I still wanted her so much it hurt.

The way Grace and Lucas developed eeps, I loved it!  They made my heart pound faster!  And I’m not saying any more about them besides read this book!  On top of Grace and Lucas was an industry that was all consuming.  Intense isn’t even a strong enough word for it.  And we also got to know Rae, Sookie, Jay and Kai.  Oh you guys.  They slowly found a way into my heart and I didn’t ever want to say goodbye to them.  I’d be sooo happy if each of them got their own story!  Please ♥.

She had saved me. It was my turn. To save her.

My Summer in Seoul was an enemy to lovers tale that romances lovers will passionately fall in love with!  This story played out like I was watching a tv show unfold on Netflix, it was impossible to put down!  And while there was a lot of drama and emotion throughout this story, I laughed a ton too.  The bears?!  Oh I can’t even!  So yes, I loved this book and can’t recommend it enough!

Son of a bitch! I was killing them all! ALL OF THEM!

PS What I gasped over?  I was just as mad, right along with Grace!  Even though I guessed it.  Still.  Poor Grace ♥.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Office Hate by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: Office Hate by Rachel Van DykenOffice Hate by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Have you ever hated someone so much that you actually wondered if prison would be worth it?
I have.
And I had to bear witness to Mark's cocky smile for four miserable years watching girl after girl tumble in and out of his bed while he had nothing but scorn for me.
After we graduated college and, thank God, finally parted ways, I thought that I was done having to deal with the enemy. And then I got fired, sending me careening right into a local bar—and Mark's bed.

My nightmare came true as we both soon realized that we would be fighting for the same job at Emory Enterprises.
We had to live together under the same roof, and as the challenges got weirder and weirder, we got closer and closer—united by the trauma that is CEO Max Emory.
When I signed up for this internship, I envisioned coffee runs, not gecko sitting—long story.
Soon one thing led to another, and somehow my enemy quickly turned into my best friend.

But what happens when the games are over? Furthermore, how do I tell the guy I used to hate that he owns my heart when I wasn't even aware I'd given it away?

Prison time or Mark?
A few days ago, I would have chosen prison.
Now? He's all I see.

Review:

But how do you stop hating someone from afar when the only thing you want is to love her up close?

Office Hate was a ton of fun, had the most irresistible banter and was beyond addicting!  Plus, it was one of the funniest books I have ever read!  RVD is the queen of writing stories that are heartwarming, sexy and hilarious.  So if you’re a fan of that, then you definitely need this book in your life!

“Bad boys always taste better, Olivia, thought every girl knew that,” I teased as I laid her in my bed and pulled up the covers.

A year after college graduation, Olivia and Mark worked across the street from one another.  In college, they were each other’s nemesis.  But now they found themselves jobless and pitted against one another for an internship they both desperately wanted at Emory Enterprise.  What they didn’t realize was that the owner of Emory Enterprise, Max, was eccentric to say the least.  What unfolded felt like an office style hunger games that had me laughing hysterically!

He was the devil.
And damn, did I want to sin.
Heaven was overrated, right?

Olivia cracked me up and painted the perfect picture of her past with Mark Huxley.  He came across as a total douche and jerk.  And while Olivia was a little intense and could also be cold, I loved the fire in her and how hard she worked.  But we also got to spend chapters with Mark, and I was obsessed.  Mark was beyond sexy and could be thoughtful and caring.  When he wanted to lol.  Anytime Olive and Mark were together, they were like fire and gasoline fire!

Hating him more than I had ever thought possible.
For being the man I’d always compare every other man to.
For being cruel when I needed him to be the bigger person.
And for agreeing to draw that line back in the sand when all I wanted was for him to say no, and keep me in his arms just a bit longer.

Oliva and Mark played a dangerous game.  They both hurt each other.  They both weren’t innocent.  And they both messed with one another in the most epic of ways!  But underneath it all was a ridiculous amount of sexual attraction and lust.  It was addictive how much they toyed with the other….while also wanting to rip each other’s clothes off.

I leaned down and pressed a heated kiss to her neck, then sucked her skin near her ear. “Still needs practice…though I weirdly only want to do it with my enemy.”
“Good…because…” She lifted her hips. “…I would hate to see how you treat your friends.”

With this internship, they had to learn to work together as a team.  So they wouldn’t fail.  So they could get their dream job.  But they were both nervous, how can you truly trust someone that you’re scared is going to screw you over?!  Their internship “tests” involved an iguana, race, food, the rooms LOL and the whole time their traitorous bodies wanted the other.  And when they did give in time and again *fans face*, it was HOT!  But hold on because there was a lot that unfolded, and I was obsessed with every way the events played out!  Office Hate was laugh out loud hilarious, over the top fun and such a huge win!

“I’m very proud of you guys. You finished the race even though you had no reason to.”
“Proud?” I repeated. “But Max, we lost?”
“Some of the best things in life are gained…by losing.”

PS The “confessionals”?! OMG I didn’t realize how much I needed those chapters!  All I can say is good luck not having an open mouth or laughing at the craziness of it all ha!

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