Sara’s Review of The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken
I’d like to thank Forever Publishing for letting us host Rachel Van Dyken and her book, The Bachelor Auction, today on the site, as well as thank them for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, murr! =^.^=
If you are a fan of Van Dyken’s books, you’ll love this modern-day Cinderella story filled with humor, memorable characters, and a romance that proves opposites really do attract and there really are such things as happy endings in love.
I was a bit worried when I first started reading that I wasn’t going to enjoy this book because I was so aggravated with the characters, but the more time I gave to the book and continued reading, the more I ended up loving it. Both Jane and Brock had me begging for them at the start to take a stand and say “No” to their family, and it genuinely frustrated me that they didn’t. They both allowed their family to manipulate them into doing things that they didn’t want to do, and neither knew how to stop the behavior. In Brock’s case it becomes clear that his grandfather has a specific reason for forcing him to participate in the auction event, and I fell in love with the grandfather at the end because of it. But for poor Jane her sisters were just truly that awful, and I felt that it took her far too long to stand up for herself and that their comeuppance in the end wasn’t harsh enough.
Initially it felt that Van Dyken was a bit over-the-top with the portrayal of all of her characters. Jane and Brock were too easily manipulated and while not entirely helpless, came across as being just a bit weak for my liking. Brock’s grandfather was too much of a “woe is me” type of person and manipulator. Jane’s sisters were complete monsters and they never redeemed themselves in my eyes. And Brock’s brothers were sex-crazed maniacs who didn’t seem to care at all about personal responsibility. However, with the exception of Jane’s sisters, everyone in the story settled down and underwent some form of character development/transformation which went a long way to changing my perception of this book.
Jane’s got a playful personality that I enjoyed seeing crop up whenever she was around Brock and his brothers. She may be a pushover where her sisters are concerned, and a tad too sensitive to criticism, but she’s genuine in her emotions and isn’t afraid to work and fight for what she truly wants in the end. Brock can be a bit of an ass at times, okay, a lot of the time, but my heart went out to him because while he is a man grown, inside he’s a hurt and scared little boy who hasn’t allowed himself the time to truly grieve for what happened to him and his brothers. And while I didn’t approve of him taking out his pain on Jane, I could understand why he felt the need to lash out. And I have to give kudos to Jane for proving how strong of a woman she is by how she handled those moments. These two were perfect for each other and the more I got to watch their relationship develop, the more I was rooting for them to win in the end.
As for Brock’s family, I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what happens to them in future books. Brock’s grandfather earned my respect because he genuinely wants the best for Brock. I loved that he became Jane’s fairy godfather, though I was a bit worried at the end that he didn’t approve of her as a match for his grandson. He may be manipulative, but his heart is in the right place. When it comes to the twins, Brant and Bently, I loved them both, though Bently stole my heart in the end. Brant’s a bit of a mystery to me. There’s clearly something there that he’s not sharing, and I’m really curious to see what it is all about. He can be a sweetheart, but I feel that he’s also the more wild of the twins. I don’t want to say that he’s got a destructive streak in him, but he’s certainly not as stable as Bently. And speaking of Bently, he has a good head on his shoulders and while he may come across as not caring, he’s very intelligent and aware of what all is going on around him. He’s definitely the more mature of the two of them. I loved how he immediately knew that Brock was interested in Jane and was actively trying to help the two of them end up together. Yeah he’s a bit of a player and flirt, but I suspect most of it is just an act rather than his true personality.
I laughed way too much while reading this book. There are so many great scenes and humorous lines, it was difficult to put the book down once Brock and Jane reached the Ranch. Sheldon the donkey and the rooster both stole the show as far as I’m concerned. The idea of a homicidal rooster out to get Brock was just too amusing, and I loved that Sheldon was formerly part of a magician’s magic act and so knew how to escape his holding pen and get into trouble. I think if I were to come downstairs one morning and find a donkey at my dinning room table I’d probably turn right around and go back to bed thinking it was all a dream. Both of these creatures were responsible for a great many of the “ass” and “cock” jokes in this book, and while I will admit that some readers might end up feeling that the numerous jokes are a bit much, I appreciated the humor. It isn’t often that I laugh out loud while reading humorous scenes, so I consider it a win that Van Dyken managed to repeatedly hit my funny bone in this book.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a modern-day Cinderella story. Yes, the book was predictable at times, but it was fun to see how everything connected and the steps everyone took to reach the end. Jane’s transformation from “Plain Jane” to “Cinderella” was perfect, though like her I would probably question being driven to the middle of an empty parking lot to meet with the driver of an unmarked truck in the middle of the night. Likewise Brock as an imperfect “Prince Charming” was well done. And I greatly enjoyed Brock’s grandfather as one of two fairy godparents. Yes, there is both a fairy godfather and a fairy godmother, but you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out how she comes in to the story. The only thing I will tell you is her involvement is a catalyst for Brant and Bently’s books, and quite possibly two other books after theirs if Van Dyken is so inclined to make this a five book series rather than a three book series.
Overall, this was a wonderful surprise read that I greatly enjoyed. Yes it got off to a rocky start, but the ending was well worth it and the journey was quite memorable. I will most certainly be reading the other books in this series, and I anticipate picking up some of Van Dyken’s other novels after this as well. I don’t think I could have asked for a better introduction to a new to me author, murr!
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, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 eCopies of Rachel Van Dyken’s The Bachelor Auction, please click on the Rafflecopter link below: