Friday, October 26, 2018

Dangerous Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel van Dyken’s scorching series, revenge is a justified pleasure…

Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.

Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um… this is love!

Actually… could it be?

Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.

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Book 2
Releases October 30th

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Dangerous Exes is the second installment of the Liars, Inc. series, and I recommend against reading it as a standalone. While it's possible to read it as such, all the threads throughout the novel began in its predecessor. The reader would miss out on the character building, how the threat started, and the connection the narrators share.

From word-one, I connected to Isla. She was insecure after how her ex treated her, but had an inner strength to take the world by storm. The company she and Blaire started, where their clients used their PI service to catch cheating significant others, was a taste of justice Isla could obtain, because all she feels is injustice in the way she was treated by her ex.

Jessie was the wrongfully accused in the last novel. Instead of self-reflecting and putting the fault where it lies – with his ex and himself – he blames Isla more than Blaire. Jessie blames Isla for his life falling apart, when it was the wrong woman he married who set it all into motion and treated them all as pawns. This became frustrating for me, page after page, as Jessie was the most irrational man who didn't take responsibility for his own actions, acting like a small child. Wanting justice of his own, as injustice after injustice befalls him, he vows to take down the women and their growing business, instead of manning-up and fixing his own problems.

This is the first contemporary romance novel that I've read where the enemy is also the love interest. I'm a sucker for love-hate, slow-burn fueled sexual tension. But the plot revolves around Jessie taking Isla down, where they come together to overcome the accusations made in the last installment.

I admired Isla's strength, her tenacity, her ability to open herself up and feel as she's feeling, but I couldn't admire Jessie for his whining childishness. I could see it from both their points-of-view, but I couldn't swallow how Jessie just allowed Vanessa off the hook, then blamed the women who were attempting to help him right his life.

When I didn't think too deeply on the novel, I could enjoy their banter, the lustiness, the quirky humor, and the over-the-top situations. But at its core, it was hard to see a long-term relationship when I don't believe Jessie ever grew out of his entitled little boy mentality.

While I enjoyed this lighthearted, humorous read, it did feel forced. I'm sensitive to this sort of thing, but didn't find it too distracting or off-putting as I read. I loved Isla's elderly aunt, but she was so over-the-top that it was hard to stay 'in' the story.

The banter and tension were off the charts, but I do feel as if the premise couldn't support the amount of pages, where scenes and inner monologue became redundant, by both narrators.

I enjoyed both books in the Liars, Inc. series, little pet-peeves and flaws and all. I found them both endearingly entertaining, and won't hesitate to recommend them to fans of the author and contemporary romance. I'm unsure if there will be more installments, as no other characters were introduced who could support a novel. There was a finite feel at the ending.

I’ve been anxiously and not so patiently waiting for this book since finishing book one and it certainly does not disappoint. As always with Rachel Van Dyken books, once I began I couldn’t put it down, it’s fantastic and I loved every single page!

Isla and Jessie met in book one when Isla was on a job to expose Jessie as a cheater. Jessie blames Isla for ruining his life and image and is out to destroy her PI company and life if he can. The two are at each other’s throats from page one and it’s absolutely hilarious, especially when Isla’s aunt, Goo-Pah is introduced. In order to save their images, Isla and Jessie wind up having to pretend to be engaged, which leads to them deciding they’re going to actually have to get married – much to Goo-Pah’s absolute glee.

This whole story is laugh-out-loud funny, I found myself cracking up on more than one occasion. Goo-Pah is probably one of my favorite characters ever and I really hope we get glimpses of her again in future books. We got tons of Blaire and Colin, the couple from the previous book, and I was super excited about that. This is a fantastic read and I highly recommend checking it out, though I think it would be fine as a standalone, book one is phenomenal also and I’d start there!

Also Available in the Liars, Inc. Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Dirty Exes post.

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!

Connect with Rachel

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram
Rachel’s New Rockin’ Readers Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc. #2) by Rachel Van Dyken to read and review.

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