Sara’s Review of The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

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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! =^.^=

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Rating: paw4

Publisher: Forever

Date Published: October 4, 2016

Series: The Bachelors of Arizona #1

Goodreads Description:

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 . . .

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Review:

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!

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Excerpt:

“Jane.” It was a whisper, it was a question, and then his mouth was on hers—harsh, forceful, but so inviting she whimpered at the contact and leaned into him, begging him with her body to take what she couldn’t voice aloud.
It was a bad idea.
He was a bad idea.
Taken.
Ready to be married off.
But here, in this moment, he was hers.
So she kissed him back with as much passion as she possessed, her hands digging into the front of his shirt while his teeth nipped at her bottom lip.
His hands slid beneath her shirt, unhooking her bra with ease as he nudged her thighs apart.
“You feel so soft,” he murmured against her mouth. “Perfect.” Another plundering kiss, his tongue flicking hers before his lips slid down her neck. “So damn good.”
With a moan, she pressed as close as she could against him, nearly riding his leg in an effort to get more of him.
“That’s it,” he encouraged while she clawed at him.
“Brock!” Bentley’s voice pierced the air. “Did you need help?”
Brock froze above her, his face filled with irritation. “Open that door, Bentley, and I’m selling every car you own and replacing it with a Honda!”
Silence.
“You don’t mean it.” The knob turned.
Jane’s eyes widened in alarm as Brock quickly moved away from her and tossed the blanket…over her head. Right, like that was going to look normal. She pulled the blanket off her face and tried in vain to fix her bra while frantically pulling her hair back into a ponytail.
Bentley entered, took one look at both of them and smiled. “Clearly this room was dirtier than we thought?” He tilted his head at Jane. “Or maybe not dirty enough?”
“Out!” Brock barked.
“But—”
“Go!”
“Fine,” Bentley grumbled. “I’m leaving. I just thought you should know that Grandfather called and wanted to know how the maid was working out. I told him that you’ve been helping her since she sprained her ankle. He was concerned about her finishing the job.”
“What did you say?” Brock grabbed Bentley by the shirt and gave a little shake.
Bentley held up his hands. “Chill. I told him that she would make a full recovery, that she refused to sue, and that you were taking care of the situation. Because that’s all you’re doing, right Brock? Taking care of the situation…” He peered around Brock at Jane.
Feeling suddenly more naked than she actually was, she covered herself up with the blanket.
What had she been thinking?
It was beyond unprofessional.
Tears burned the backs of her eyes.
“Thanks, Bent.” Brock sighed, running his hands through his already mussed hair.
Bentley saluted him then added quietly. “For the record, any girl that can get Boring Brock to bend the rules is a keeper.”
Brock bit back a curse as Bentley shut the door.
“Boring Brock?” Jane asked.
“It’s about as bad as it sounds.”
“Well, I’m Plain Jane, so…I understand.”
He turned. “You’ve never been plain a day in your life.”
“I think you’ve already learned that you don’t need to give me pretty compliments to get me to kiss you.”
“You have seven freckles. You press your lips together to keep yourself from saying things you shouldn’t. You hum when you clean, and though I’m not sure what the tune is, it’s familiar. When you eat, you watch people rather than your own food, and I’m just going to come out and say it: you eat like an animal, the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen.”
Jane covered her face with her hands. “It was flattering until you said that last part.”
Brock laughed. “Seeing a woman dig into her food like she hasn’t eaten in weeks? It’s one of the most erotic visions I’ve ever had.”
Emotion flashed across his face as he made his way over to her and kissed her again, pulling away with her name on his lips. “Jane, I want you.”
“Thought I was just the help.” The walls around her heart started to slip; she felt it in the way her body rose against him. He’d noticed things about her nobody ever had, he was helping her, and he was beautiful. Was it so wrong to want this? For herself? Once in her life?
“You’re more than that, and you know it.” His eyes locked on to hers as his deep voice washed over her.
“You’re getting auctioned off in two weeks and you know it.”
He paused, his expression going completely ice cold before he looked away and then back at her. “And if I wasn’t? What then?”
“Then…” She bit down on her bottom lip. “I’d ask you to kiss me again.”
Excerpted from THE BACHELOR AUCTION by Rachel Van Dyken. Copyright © 2016 by Rachel Van Dyken. Used with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

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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!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

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:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2369/

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Posted on October 4, 2016, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Sara’s Review of The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken.

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