Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
They’re serving up some red-hot revenge. A sizzling series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel van Dyken.
Blaire has never quite gotten over Jessie Beckett, the ex–NFL star whose kisses were hot enough to ignite the entire Eastern Seaboard. When he chose work over her, Blaire was left brokenhearted. Why else would she have married a skeezy two-timer, just to divorce him less than a year later?
Now Blaire is getting even by becoming one half of Dirty Exes, a PI firm fully committed to humiliating cheating jerks. If only the new jerk she’s been hired to uncover wasn’t Jessie Beckett himself.
Exposing Jessie isn’t going to be easy, especially when she still daydreams about his sexy smile. Further complicating matters is Colin, Jessie’s best friend. He’s gorgeous, a little bit cunning, and willing to help Blaire get the inside scoop on Jessie—for a price.
Now caught between two men—one totally right and the other totally wrong—Blaire will need to decide just how much she’s willing to risk…and whom she’s willing to risk it for.
DIRTY EXES had some big shoes to fill. I’m talking massive Stay Puft Marshmallow Man shoes. You see, I’ve never been a fan of love triangles but Rachel did the (almost) impossible and made me not also enjoy but LOVE a love triangle story with her book Fraternize. So naturally, because it is impossible to go back to expecting anything less that amazing after reading Fraternize, I expected for this book to be as fun, romantic and refreshing as Fraternize and it unfortunately wasn’t. It was still the classic Rachel Van Dyken book; full of hilarious moments yet carrying a lot of depth at the same time, with original yet relatable and real characters, lots of swoony moments and some hotter-than-the-sun scenes here and there. However, there were some aspects of the love triangle story that bothered me a lot and overall I just couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
The first half of DIRTY EXES was hard to get through. I found myself frustrated most of the time because I didn’t agree with some of the decisions/actions Blaire, our heroine, took regarding the two men in her life. She had this perfect image of one of them, like he could do no wrong and he was almost put on this sky-high pedestal while the other man was a seen as a risk, a man with a lot of money and a lot of women after him. That didn’t bother me, what bothered me was how Blaire hang onto the idea of that dream man for what felt like too long (for me) while she had this other not-so-perfect man who was actually perfect for her right in front of her nose. That I-want-you-but-I-also-kind-of-want-this-other-guy push and pull characteristic of love triangles was the thing that made me almost want to give up on this book.
BUT I’m happy I didn’t because the second half of the book was great. It was fun and unexpected in the most amazing way possible. I loved were Rachel took the story in the second half and I loved they way everything fell into perfect place in the end. It was almost good enough to make me forget about my dislike towards the first half… almost.
All in all, this is not my favorite book by Rachel and I do think the plot had a lot more potential but it is not a bad love triangle story. If Rachel were to come up with yet another love triangle story I’d definitely pick it up without a second thought because I know she is a kickass writer and I cannot recommend her recent books enough.
Massive thanks to Skyscape/Amazon Publishing for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
3.5 / 5 flowers
FREE in Kindle Unlimited
It ended there.
Right. Forget about his mouth.
Or the way I sighed when he touched my shoulder.
The way my body quivered when his skin pressed against mine in the car.
“Stop!” I gritted my teeth and searched the kitchen. Cheaters often hid things in places that their spouse wouldn’t expect, like pantries and junk drawers, places that seemed obvious but weren’t. I’d once found a second cell phone in a cereal box.
Cheaters were like drug addicts.
They knew the perfect place to hide the drugs.
Not the best day I’d ever had, but marginally better than the sewer.
I spent the next thirty minutes with plastic gloves searching every crevice of that kitchen, patting down the inside of drawers, digging through trash. Nothing.
The guy was either a saint . .
Or we had a serious Dexter situation going on, and he knew exactly how to dispose of incriminating evidence.
Sexy male laughter jolted me from my search. I freaked, ran into the pantry, and shut the door just as Jessie’s face came into view.
Sweat trickled down my back.
Shit, shit, shit!
Oh, this was bad, so bad.
What man didn’twant to eat after coming home from the gym?
“Nice, man, she keeps the book on the bar?” Colin’s mocking voice at least made me feel like I wasn’t the only one who thought it was strange. “Fams always so classy.”
“Yeah,” Jessie agreed. “I think maybe it’s her way of reminding me how happy we were that one year.” He hesitated. “You know, the one where we actually did normal things like stay home and make dinner, and watch movies instead of going out all the time. That went to hell fast.”
“She writes a book about our best year, and then turns into this greedy person I don’t recognize and dream about murdering in her sleep.”
“Hey,” Colin warned. “I get it, I do, but she’s still my—”
“It’s fine, like I said, I get it.”
I plastered my ear to the door to listen harder. What did Colin mean? Why was he defending her? Why was Jessie saying sorry? I made a mental note to purchase the book and torture myself by reading it cover to cover.
“You contemplate murdering her while she sleeps,” Colin said in a weird tone, “and yet she’s still living here in this house with you? Tell me how that makes sense? You say she’s not the same person, but she never really was the person you thought she was. When are you going to get that?”
“She was different then, man. She was.” Jessie came to her defense so quickly I almost fell backward. He sounded like—he still had feelings for her. I turned my attention back to the door as footsteps neared the pantry. Oh hell. Not good.
I needed to get out. Fast.
I grabbed my cell and texted Colin.
And seconds later heard a ping.
“Another one of your sex buddies?” Jessie teased.
Colin paused and then, “Oh yeah, but this one’s been really hard to tame. You know the type, a bit schizo but so hot you don’t care that she asks to twist your nipples while she licks your nose.”
“Seriously?” Jessie choked.
“She likes noses. And snake tattoos, loves them.”
“Lucky for you.”
“I think it reminds her of the size of my dick, you know?”
I made a gagging noise, shifted on my feet, then texted again.
Me: Seriously! Trapped! And your dick can’t be the size of that python on your arm because that would mean you actually impale women on a daily basis.
Colin: Just call me Dracula.
Colin: Get it? The impaler.
Me: Look at that, basement dweller can joke! He’s got jokes! Meanwhile I’m going to starve to death in this pantry.
Colin: You mean around all that food?
“Wow, this girl must have skills if you’re that focused on your texts . . .” Jessie trailed off.
“She’s . . . unique,” Colin finally said.
My eyes narrowed. Was that a compliment? Did it matter? Why did I care? And why the hell did Jessie have ten different kinds of cereal—and all the boxes were full.
And alphabetized? Starting with Apple Jacks? Really?
Not that I’d resorted to more snooping.
Okay, so I’d resorted to more snooping.
But the fact that they were full was emotionally distressing. A full cereal box at my house lasts about one hot minute before I get a craving for Cheerios that even wine can’t cure.
“Hey”—Colin cleared his throat—“I need a favor.”
“Anything,” Jessie said quickly.
“I need a nice shirt for a date tonight, something . . . classy.”
Jessie laughed. “What? You can’t wear your own clothes?”
“You know I like your style better.” I rolled my eyes, has he seen that man’s closet? His white shirts are all ironed to within an inch of their lives. “Plus I want to impress this girl and I don’t have time to go grab a new shirt, we’re going on a late lunch date and I’m sweaty as hell, so please? Let me borrow a shirt, I’ll go home and shower, pair it with some nice jeans, and be inside her in no time.”
I glared at the door. Like I could actually see Colin’s smug expression. Why was my heart thumping? Why was I breathing like I was having trouble sucking in air?
He could date whomever he wanted.
I shifted on my feet as my face heated.
He was an attractive, successful man.
I crossed my arms.
Then uncrossed them nervously.
“Yeah, yeah,” Jessie finally said. “I’ll be right back, try not to burn down the kitchen or set the book on fire.”
“Shit, you read my mind,” Colin joked.
The sound of footsteps faded as Jessie walked toward the bedroom.
And then pantry door was jerked open.
I blinked up at him. “Thank you.”
“People . . . they pay you,” he said, leaning his large frame against the door while his muscles bulged beneath his sweat-soaked shirt, “for this?”
My eyes narrowed. “Yes! And I’m good at it.”
His smirk was wicked as he glanced behind me and then locked eyes. “Obviously.”
I shoved his chest. “I miscalculated the time, that’s all.” I tried squeezing past him, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the pantry and closed the door.
“What the hell are you doing?” I hissed as he pressed me against the wall. “He’s going to find me!”
“A favor for a favor, spy girl.” Colin’s grin turned menacing. “I got Jessie out of the house, gave you my car, and saved your sorry ass. I get a favor.”
“I’m not sucking your nose and licking your tattoo, you psycho,” I said, repeating what he’d said earlier.
“Don’t knock it, you may love it.” He winked, and then stood his ground. “One favor.”
I sighed and gritted my teeth. “Fine.”
“A date,” he said triumphantly. “I want a date.”
“A date,” I repeated in a slightly panicked voice. “Like to dinner?”
“No, I was thinking the drive-in, we could make out, eat popcorn, I’d feel you up a bit—yeah, dinner.”
I smirked. “If I go to dinner with you . . . you’ll get me out of this godforsaken pantry with the full boxes of cereal?”
“Noticed that, did you?’
“He’s clearly not human.”
“I steal his Cocoa Puffs every chance I get.”
I nodded seriously. “I think my respect for you grew just now.”
“Ah, she likes cereal.”
“She’d also like to not get caught!”
“Go.” He shoved me toward the pantry door. “Run out the back and try not to trip and ruin your escape.”
“I don’t trip.” Of course, at that moment, I tripped over my own feet and almost face-planted into his lips.
He sighed, his expression worried and a bit stunned as Jessie’s voice carried to the kitchen. “Black okay?”
“Go.” Colin shoved me again. “Oh, and you’re picking me up. It seems I’m down a car.” He winked. “I’ll text you.”
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!