Release Blitz, Reviews, and Giveaway: The Bachelor Contract: Rachel Van Dyken

by - Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Bachelor Contract  
(The Bachelors of Arizona #1)
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Release Date November 28, 2017

A second-chance romance from the #1 NYT bestseller of The Bet, Matchmaker and Elite series!

She's everywhere.


Love of his life.

The last person in the world he wanted to see...ever.

And now that he's working beside her every day, he can't escape her. Her scent, glimpses of her smile, even the tension in the air that makes his body hum with the kind of need he'd only experienced with one person-all of it is driving him over the edge.

Brant Wellington was certain of three things: 

Alcohol wasn't going to solve this. 

He really was losing his F-ing mind. 

And his gorgeous ex-wife was going to be the death of him.
Holy crap, Rachel Van Dyken, what the hell did you just do to me?! Talk about take no prisoners. *eyes red and puffy*

I knew Brant and Nikki, especially Brant, were going to be an intense, hot mess (borrowing my blog partner's word), but based on the previous two books (both 3-3.5 stars) I wasn't expecting all that angst and affliction. Saying they took me by surprise is an understatement.

Some things never change, Brant's a downright jackass. Worse than his brothers'. But in my opinion, he had a true reason to be. Life definitely didn't hand him sugar with him lemons. 

Prepare yourselves, The Bachelor Contract tackles delicate, touchy, and heavy themes, while packing a punch. An emotional landslide. A poignant, page turner with all the damn feels. I'm still trying to wrap my head around Brock and Bentley's books being more about the asshole turned sweet, with not a whole heck of a lot of deep substance, to Brant who is filled to the brim with trepidation, guilt, loss, love, lust, and self-loathing. You name it this duo felt it, and so did the reader. Ms. Van Dyken's words flowed effortless, each one striking exactly where she was aiming. 

The author blurred the lines absolutely between their playful, witty moments and their trials/tribulation. And I would say the journey leaned more toward the later. The entire time I had knots in my stomach, wondering if there was even a possibility for salvation. Could Nikki and Brant actually come back from the ever hitting tragedies?

I was gifted a copy by the publisher.
This is the third Bachelors of Arizona book and is Brant's story. Now Brant is a hot mess. He is numbing his pain and loss in unhealthy ways and is angry, lost, guilt-ridden, and broken. His self worth took a major hit and he is just not happy in life. 

His ex-wife Nikki's life also changed in the course rapidly and her life was never the same either. Four years later, she is still hurt, angry, and trying to deal with the fall-out from the past. She has made a new life with new friends, but she is not truly fulfilled. 

When Grandma Nadine and his Grandfather and family get involved it can only mean trouble. He should have guessed that his new job was going to have a catch. But he never dreamed it would be seeing the woman he lost years ago everyday at work. And neither of them are really ready for that. 

There is antagonism, avoidance, fear, longing, sexual tension, and a ton of unresolved feelings going on. There is a thin line between love and hate and they are riding it. They really had no closure and made mistakes in a time that they were both suffering and did not know how to deal with it. Decisions were made in haste without all of the information and they both have suffered the consequences and could not forget.

But as they begin to spend more time together, some engineered by the nosy family surrounding them, they start to look at their lives both past and present. There is good, bad, and really bad, but they are also opening up to more of a promise of hope that things could change for the better. 

But Brant is skilled at fight or flight and sometimes says the wrong things. And when he is confused, it seems to be worse. But as he starts to really look at what he left behind, the picture gets clearer. And he could also actually be sweet, thoughtful, and swoony if he put his mind to it. 

Nikki is strong and independent minded, but she has to be. Her life has not been easy and required her to make changes. And now that Brant is back, she has to figure out if she can open herself up to him and risk being hurt again. Life in her own little place is safe and predictable, but Brant is definitely not either of those things. 

They still have the same physical and emotional connection from before that was never really extinguished. But they have built up guards around their hearts for self protection. And in order to move on, they will have to face their demons and decide whether they will let the pain sweep them away alone again or if they can hold hands and get through it together. Although they had a foundation built when they were younger, they will have to learn the new people that they have become. 

This was fun, emotional, heartbreaking, sexy, and sweet. This has Rachel Van Dyken's trademark humor and comedy, but there are also some heavy and emotional topics. Sometimes it is a bit all over the place with the fast pace and swinging emotions, but it kind of fit with Brant's personality. He was a bit hard to warm up to when he was in his angry a-hole stage. Nikki was easy to like, but I also felt bad for her since she had been through so much.

The meddling side characters really bring the humor, teasing, and support when needed. His brothers, Brock and Bentley are back along with their new loves. Grandma Nadine and Grandfather Charles are still scene stealers with their overbearing need to control their family's lives. Nikki's best friend Cole was awesome. He was charming, witty, and sharp and really kept Brant on his toes. But I loved how he treated Nikki. I wonder if he might pop up sometime in a future story as Nadine has her eye on him and when Nadine gets a wild hair to be a matchmaker....

I was gifted a copy by the publisher. 
Brant Wellington is heading, on the order of Grandma Nadine, to work at one of her hotels. But what he finds when he arrives is more than he expected: his ex-wife. Though he hasn’t seen her in years, he still feels grief, guilt, and anger about the events that led to their divorce and working with her brings everything back to the surface. 

Nikki’s life changed drastically during and after her marriage to Brent collapsed. Her independence as a massage therapist is huge for her, and the routine she has developed is a life line. But Brant’s arrival at her hotel shifts her equilibrium and she finds that she isn’t as far beyond her past as she thought.

These two probably would have continued to avoid even the mention of the other if not for the meddling of Grandma Nadine and Brant’s grandfather. They have so much heavy baggage between them that at times it seems too much to sort through in order for them to have a second chance. 

As this series has established, there is plenty of humor throughout. But there were times that the humor felt like too much for the heavy topics Brant and Nikki needed to deal with. There were times it felt like the humor made too much light of the situation, and the humor and pain didn’t go hand in hand. 

I enjoyed the bones of the story, but it was really the juxtaposition of the humor and pain that made it difficult to love. This is one of those books where I can identify that it didn’t work for me, but that added lightness may be exactly what other readers need. 

As usual, this is filled with meddling side characters. I liked the addition of Nikki’s friend, Cole, and the competition he makes Brant feel added spark to the early stages of the book. I love Grandma Nadine’s influence in the story, and as she always does, chaos falls in her wake. 

This was a mixed bag of emotions and feelings. It has everything from slapstick to subtle humor and fun, to deep hurt and guilt for past events. Reading it kept me on my toes and kept my own emotions rolling.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Bachelor Auction (The Bachelors of Arizona #1)
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Cinderella never had to deal with this crap.

Jane isn't entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn't she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes---or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire---maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn't anyone's dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk---even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it's karmic retribution that he's tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can't have. But while they can't have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . . .

The Playboy Bachelor  (The Bachelors of Arizona #2)
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She's no Sleeping Beauty. And he's definitely no prince . . . 

Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again-her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot's whiskey-augmented grandmother "buys" Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he's at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.

Bentley's just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love-nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that "just friends" will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . .


Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult, 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, son, and their snoring boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

Enter to win 1 of 10 free copies of The Bachelor Contract

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