Monday, June 30, 2014

The Wager (The Bet #2) by Rachel Van Dyken: Paperback Pre-Release Launch w/ Excerpt, Review & Giveaway


Lose a bet, lose your heart...

What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after-of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable . . . until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it . .

Releases in Paperback on July 1st

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Click to Buy The Bet Series in E-book on Amazon:


JAKE PACED IN front of the door. Char had texted and said she’d stop by around noon. It was officially five minutes past. Where was she? He needed to find a way to get back his job and his manhood, preferably in reverse order.

The morning had started off normally enough, with Grandma doing her damn yoga and then demanding he drop her off at her bridge group. But even when Grandma asked for one thing, it was never just one thing. No, she’d demand you do something else, fail to give an explanation, and then look at you like you were an idiot if you asked why.

He felt like a kid again, like he had the time Grandma caught him stealing M&M’s from the convenience store and then bought him a five-pound bag and demanded he sit and eat the entire bag in front of her.

Her reasoning was that it would keep him from stealing again. Because if she ever caught him with sticky fingers, he’d either have to consume said object or wear it around the house.

In high school it had happened again with beer. She’d given him a six-pack and told him to chug until he got sick. It took him three before he was puking. Naturally, Grandma had finished the rest of the pack.

Suffice it to say, it was always wiser to agree with the woman than to tempt fate. So he drove her around town, played the nice grandson, and then prayed to God she would finally hire him back so he could stop playing chauffeur and wedding planner.

Good God, he was going to turn into a woman waiting for that damn irritating girl.

The doorbell rang.

He ran to it. Then stopped and took a few deep breaths. Yup, definitely turning into a woman. He was acting like this was a first date or something! It was Char! Char! He had to repeat her name several times out loud before he was able to finally pull the door open.

Her smile lit up his dark mood, and suddenly he remembered all over again why he stayed away from girls like her.

They were trouble.

They promised you pleasure and in the end wanted commitment, something any guy would run from—especially a guy like him. He didn’t deserve anything like it—he wasn’t that much of an ass to not know that a girl like Char, well, she deserved one of the good ones.

Not him. Definitely not him.

Her eyes lit up when he smiled.

Shit. He was going to have to stop flirting with her. She was going to get the wrong idea, and he was going to lose his mind if he had to partner up with her for the entire wedding week, wondering if she was just waiting for the right time to pull a knife on him.

“Come in.” He opened the door wider and fought hard not to stare at her backside as she walked past him and her heels clicked against the marble floors. Clearly she’d been at work. She was wearing a tight pencil skirt, white blouse, and red heels.

Poor choice.

Because now he was thinking about Grandma and her stupid airport story and…

“Jake?” Char’s soft voice brought him back to the present. “Did you hear anything I just said?”

“No.” He laughed awkwardly. “I was, um, just admiring your shoes.”

“My shoes?” Her eyebrows arched in amusement. “You have a thing for heels?”

“On you?” He nodded. “I think I just might.”

Shit, there he went again. What was wrong with him? It was like second nature with Char, as if he couldn’t help but be drawn to her. His body involuntarily moved toward her. Was it her eyes? Her hair? A little voice, one he hadn’t listened to in a long time, told him no. It wasn’t physical; it was something completely different, something foreign. Something he really didn’t want to think about or dwell on too much, because then he’d have to admit to actually having a heart, which meant only one thing… Eventually it would break, only this time he wouldn’t have anything to fall back on, just air and nothingness.

About the Author:

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 and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

Social Media Links:

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Review by Yvette:

Rachel Van Dyken’s The Bet will always have a special place in my heart, not just because it was the first book I reviewed for my blog, but because the complicated love triangle between the Titus brothers and their childhood friend, Kacey, is one of the funniest, sweetest, and most heartwarming stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. In The Wager, Jake Titus gets to redeem himself from his previous womanizing ways when he comes in close contact with childhood friend and former fling, Char Lynn. Sparks fly between Jake and Char, and there is never a dull moment throughout the story as they get swept up in the never-ending chaos courtesy of good ole Grandma Nadine.

Rachel Van Dyken uses a multi-narrator format in The Wager, which I loved because it allows readers to connect with four different protagonists and to follow their separate storylines to completion. While The Wager is in large part the story of Jake and Char, former protagonists, Travis and Kacey, also contribute to the narrative. The stories of the two couples seamlessly interweave with each other, bringing a double dose of romance, joy and laughter to the book.

Much like with Travis and Kacey, the chemistry between Jake and Char is so potent that it erupts in spontaneous bouts of passion, which take form in either heated arguments or steamy kisses... and sometimes both. The atmosphere surrounding the couple is equal parts playful and hostile, with their shared history offering ammunition for their incessant verbal clashes. Aside from wanting to kick Jake in the nuts every so often, I genuinely enjoyed his and Char’s witty banter.

While all the characters are immensely entertaining in their own right, Grandma Nadine is the heart of The Wager, providing numerous opportunities for hilarity and shock value. Much like in The Bet, she is back to her scheming ways, stealing each scene she’s in with her eccentric and elaborate attempt at matchmaking. I’m not sure how many different types of laughter there are (giggling, chuckling, guffawing, etc.), but I’m fairly certain I experienced them all by the end of the book.

Rachel Van Dyken consistently creates incredibly likable characters with underdog characteristics, which makes it easy to sympathize with them and to root for them to have a happy ending. The Wager is a light, yet emotional read which I easily finished in one sitting. The story and its characters captured my interest with the book world’s most adorable prologue (or maybe tied for the honor with The Bet), and didn’t release my attention until the last page of the epilogue, which is largely devoted to setting up the third book in the series.

Rating: 5 Stars

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  1. LOVE Rachel's books, thank you!!! :)

  2. Thanks for this awesome giveaway!