Blog Tour and Giveaway: Cheater: Rachel Van Dyken

Cheater (Curious Liaisons #1)
Rachel Van Dyken
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Release Date February 27, 2017

Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…
Lucas Thorn has a checkered past. He might have been caught compromizing position on his pre-wedding night with his bride-to-be's older sister. He also just might have had feelings for their younger sister. He imploded all of their lives and family relationships, and received the title of cheater. But he has his own way of running his sex life now that involves women assigned to each day of the week except Sunday. So there are no secrets, lies, expectations, or commitments...and in Lucas' mind since they all know about the others there is no cheating going on. And this worked just great for him until...

The youngest Black sister, Avery, returns to his life as his new work intern. Yeah, the one that he was lusting after in the past. The one that was his best friend. The one who he hurt right along with her sisters. The one that now seems to loathe him. Avery is angry, feisty, and snarky, but underneath she is still insecure and hurt. She always felt she that did not measure up to her sisters and never felt good enough for Lucas to see her as more than a kid sister. But she was guilty of having a big crush on her sister's fiance too.

In the present, their relationship is full on antagonistic, challenging, and thrives on teasing, taunting, and even threats. But there is also attraction that never went away and serious sexual tension. Not only do they have to work together and try to at least pretend to be professional when others are around, but they find themselves in an even worse predicament...a little white lie goes out of control and it leads their families to believe that they are together. But the more time they spend together, the more they remember why they liked each other in the first place. 

But what happens when old feelings emerge mixed with the guilt and pain from the past?  Avery doesn't trust Lucas, and Lucas does not even trust himself. They have a ton of baggage, fears, and insecurities. Avery doesn't even know the full truth of what happened in the past. And his new "girl-a-day" lifestyle does not make him seem like a good bet. They both think they know what they want , but at the same time are terrified of taking a chance on getting it. They are quite a mess of mixed emotions and volatile chemistry.

This was a humorous, sarcastic, adversarial friends-to-enemies-to-lovers story. It was fun, sexy, silly, sometimes frustrating, and fast-paced. It was told in dual points of view and both characters had strong, dynamic personalities. Some of the humor was laugh out loud funny, but sometimes it was a bit over the top. But it definitely kept things moving along and entertaining. I will admit that I got frustrated at times with some of the situations and the whole cheating vs. not cheating premise. But I liked both of the characters and their banter. And they grew on me more and more as the story went on, and I saw more of their vulnerability and true feelings under all of the humor, anger, and deflection.

The characters for book two, Cheater's Regret were introduced and their drama was set in motion. It sounds like it will fun and feisty too.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Lucas Thorne was labeled a cheater the night before his wedding. Rather than fighting the reputation, he embraced it, seeking to fill his weekly social calendar with a lady friend for each night, with no commitments and no expectations. He hasn’t faced the events that labeled him a cheater since the night they happened, but he is forced to face his past when Avery Black, the youngest sister of his ex-fiance, is assigned as his new administrative assistant.

Avery Black hasn’t forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister, and would have turned down the job if she had known she would be working for him, or if she wasn’t in jeopardy of losing her apartment and having to move back home with her parents again.

These two could banter like no other. Though they did not meet again in the workplace on purpose, their history means Avery has a chip on her shoulder about the last time they saw each other. The barbs they throw at each other made it hard to find the attraction underneath the banter, until they started admitting to the feelings themselves. It was also hard to find the companionship they used to feel for each other because of the hurt from the past. He is described as once being her best friend, so I had a hard time believing she wouldn’t have given him the time to explain himself at the time.

There is no actual cheating, at least not in the typical sense. In fact, Lucas spends a lot of time justifying why what he does is NOT cheating. He is given grief for his practice of having a woman scheduled for each night of the week. I didn’t have as hard a time accepting this aspect of his life as I thought I would. I didn’t necessarily *like* it, but based on his history, it made sense that he would keep his relationships at arm's length as much as possible.

This was a fun, entertaining hate to love story as Avery and Lucas face each other, their pasts, and their mistakes together. There is plenty of sarcasm and humor as they navigate their present work relationship and Lucas works to repair their previous friendship. In the background of this book, Lucas and Avery’s best friends have some kind of hook-up that leads to a blow up. Their follow-up story, Cheater’s Regret, promises a similar vein of spark and drama.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The office building loomed ahead of me. I squinted up at it, covering my face with part of my hand as the sun cast its glare against the glass.
“What are we looking at?” Lucas whispered in my ear.
I let out a little yelp and jumped away from him, and I would have run into a passing biker if Lucas hadn’t pulled me out of the way with his coffee-free hand.
“Must you be such a pain in the ass?”
“Must you try to kill me?” I fired back.
He rolled his eyes. “Let’s go.” He started walking, hauling me with him.
We weren’t walking in the direction of the office.
“Um, Thorn—”
“I will seriously shove this Starbucks up that skinny ass if you don’t stop talking and just listen for once in your life.”
I shut up and followed, but only because he’d said “Starbucks” and was very purposefully moving in the nearest outpost’s general direction. If I looked pathetic enough, would he buy me coffee?
That was what my life was coming to.
Pity coffee.
My shoulders slumped at the thought when we walked into the building. The smell of fresh baked goods hit me with full force, and my stomach growled loudly, saying to everyone, I’m a hungry bear and may eat my young. Out of the way, please!
I followed Lucas to the line, still tempted to speak, but I figured if he wanted noise from me, he’d say something like, “You may grace me with your voice now, Avery.”
Even though I wasn’t talking, every time I heard someone order pumpkin bread I sighed, loudly, so loudly that the barista eyed me cautiously. Chill, Starbucks, I’m not going to steal a piece of pumpkin bread.
My mouth watered.
I mean, I wasn’t that desperate.
But if I took two, maybe three, steps toward her, yelled “Fire!” and then screamed nonsense about a bee attacking me, the pumpkin bread she had in hand would probably fall to the ground, and it would be wasteful if I didn’t rescue it from the ants.
All creatures deserve food—but pumpkin bread was too good for ants, too rich, and they’d explode all over the floor from the richness and it would be my fault—for saving the barista’s life, right? From the bee?
I think I just confused myself.
“Why are you breathing so heavy?” Lucas asked from my right.
I snapped out of my pumpkin-bread daydream and shrugged. “Sorry, low on sleep.”
He gave a noncommittal nod and then it was his turn, greedy little bastard already had one coffee now he was getting two! “A venti macchiato and a large coffee with room for cream, two slices—”
I elbowed him hard in the ribs.
“Sorry, um, three slices of pumpkin bread, thanks.”
He handed the barista his card, while my greedy eyes locked on the pumpkin bread as the barista placed it into a bag and gave it to him.
With an exasperated sigh, he shoved the bag into my hands. “Just leave me one bite.”
“No promises.” I was already digging into the bag, my mouth watering as I followed him around the counter with a little pep in my step.
Lucas grabbed our drinks and motioned toward one of the tables. I sat, stuffed more pumpkin goodness into my mouth, and managed to chug some coffee almost all at once.
Lucas shook his head. “I always forget how seriously you take your pumpkin bread.”
I moaned and took another huge bite. “My theory is this.”
He leaned forward, a smile curving around his gorgeous mouth. “Alright, out with it.”
More pumpkin bread found its way into my mouth as I talked—I didn’t even care if I looked like a starved animal. “Pumpkin bread has the same addictive properties as cocaine.”
“That’s your theory? That it’s a drug?”
“Right.” I sighed and leaned back. “Except it doesn’t make you skinny, unfortunately.”
His smile widened, and he grabbed a small hunk of bread. “Want to know my theory?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking—I hope Lucas tells me his theory so I can eat his portion of bread.”
Lucas scooted the bag toward me and whispered, “Merry Christmas.”
“Oh, pumpkin gods.” I moaned again.
His eyes darted to my mouth.
“What?” I wiped my lips. “Is something on my face?”
“No.” He looked away. “So my theory is this . . . pumpkin flavoring is a conspiracy by the government to see how many ways we can market a flavor and make money off it.”
“Boo.” I gave him a thumbs-down. “Thanks, grinch. Oh, and stop ruining holidays.”
He smirked. “You’ve known forever that Santa isn’t real. Still doesn’t stop you from leaving him cookies every Christmas Eve, then sneaking downstairs and eating them all by yourself.”
“One”—I held up a finger—“it’s genius because nobody will touch them for fear that I’ll get mad. Two”—I held up a second finger—“when everyone else is sad about the Christmas cookies being gone, I know I’ll have them all to myself. It’s like . . .” I sighed, “. . . a Christmas present. To myself.”
“Except for that one time.” He smirked.
“Cruel man.” I glared at him. “How dare you eat my cookies?”
He shrugged. “They were sweet.”
Was it hot? In this little Starbucks? By the window where the sun was searing me alive like I was under a magnifying glass?
I tugged at my sleeveless blouse.
“About Saturday . . .”
Uncomfortable conversation, here we come! I strapped in and waited for the inevitable. And then realized, to my dismay, that he’d just bought me coffee and food without letting me go to the office.
My eyes filling with tears, I shook my head a few times. “Lucas, I may give you crap, but I really need this job.”
He frowned, like he was confused.
“Don’t say another word.” I held out my hands. “I’ll do anything, Lucas—and I mean anything—to keep this job. I wasn’t kidding when I said my parents were chomping at the bit to get me to move home, and I don’t want to. It’s not just about me being defiant; they want me to take over the family business.”
Lucas burst out laughing and then sobered. “Oh, you’re serious.”
“I can’t sell chicken, Thorn.”
“I mean, to be fair, Avery, your parents own a very lucrative organic meats company. I’m sure they could offer you at least five figures.” His smile was way too smug, but I still had to be nice to him rather than throw him off a cliff, because he could fire me.
Cheater's Regret (Curious Liaisons #2)
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Release date May 23, 2017

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex—until he turns your world upside down again.

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.

Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.

He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.

Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever.
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!
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