THE MATCHMAKERÔÇÖS REPLACEMENT
Wingman Inc. Book 2
By Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
“Wingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.”
Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isnÔÇÖt sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.
But Gabi has a secret, something sheÔÇÖs keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain sheÔÇÖs always painted him to beÔÇªand starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way sheÔÇÖs been just a little bit attracted to himÔÇöno computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glassesÔÇöbut ÔÇ£Lex LuthorÔÇØ is an evil womanizer. HeÔÇÖs dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.
Then again, sheÔÇÖs always wanted a little danger.
#SQUEE! ┬áI could not wait for this second book in the Wingmen Inc. series. ┬áLet me be super clear about this: THIS BOOK DELIVERED WAY ABOVE BAR!!! ┬áThis is the snarky story of how opposites attract, even during fights, drawing blood and having the police called (great stories behind all of these scenarios). ┬áWe scratched the surface of Lex in book one and it was nowhere nearly enough of this genius, hot hero masquerading as a villain (read the book to understand the reference).
Let me gush about Lex for a bit. ┬áHe BLEW my socks off. ┬áI loved his wit, his intelligence, his approach to all things Gabi, and, above all, his heart. ┬áI expected his manwhore ways based on his behavior in the first book. ┬áWhat I didn’t expect was to chuckle at things he said, have to pause my reading because I was smiling so hard at some of his antics, or experiencing the feels to such a level that I got teary-eyed. ┬áLike I said, I love him. ┬áHe’s one of my favorite RVD characters of all time, and she writes some damn fine men!
Gabi was the explosive spitfire who gave just as good as she got. ┬áTruly the perfect match for Lex; she’s the cheese to his mac. ┬áDifferent but perfectly suited to each other. ┬áShe’s another one with a heart of gold. ┬áHer relationship with Ian (what beautiful friends they are!!!!), her devotion to her parents, and even her emotions for Lex. ┬áIf I met her in real life, I’d want to be her friend. ┬áShe’s not one to back down from difficulty, though she certainly showed she’s a bit of a hard head. ┬áGotta love a girl with a spine 🙂
I can’t say enough about the flow of the writing. ┬áSometimes you’ll find a book which starts well but the development isn’t smooth and hiccups/inappropriately accelerates to wrap everything up. ┬áNot this novel (really, that’s not RVD’s style). ┬áFrom the first page to the last period, you’ll find a completeness to the story and dimension to the characters. ┬áI wasn’t left wanting or wondering why things were rushed. ┬áIt felt as though everything was written thoroughly and at the right time.
So, final thoughts? ┬áRVD did an amazing job. ┬áI’m going to have Lex on the brain for quite some time – the best possible blend of a reluctant hero with a dab of villain (the hot, sexy, sweet ┬ávariety). ┬áThanks, Rachel. ┬áI needed a good read and you delivered (as per usual).
I hated him.
Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass.
IÔÇÖd be doing society a favor if I set it on fire.
The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident heÔÇÖd infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic.
I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes.
The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of KleenexÔÇönever mind that he stole it from his teacherÔÇÖs desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper.
Box number two?
Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination.
On the outside? The perfect man.
With a brooding and sultry smile.
Biceps the size of my head.
Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair IÔÇÖd orgasm before he even touched me.
Whatever. I was over it. So over it.
A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right?
Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy whoÔÇÖd tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldnÔÇÖt even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots.
Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian alongÔÇöwhich of course meant Lex had to comeÔÇöI was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning IÔÇÖd be able to fit into a smaller size.
His dimples had deepened.
HeÔÇÖd even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back.
Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face.
My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil.
I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own.
Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal.
ÔÇ£Sunshine,ÔÇØ he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest.
ÔÇ£Dickhead.ÔÇØ I smiled sweetly. ÔÇ£New glasses? They look thicker than last time.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Better to see you with.ÔÇØ He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. ÔÇ£There they are.ÔÇØ He reached for one of my boobs.
I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung.
ÔÇ£Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.ÔÇØ He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him.
Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didnÔÇÖt heÔÇÖd give me hell.
He was a freak like that.
For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine.
Even his breath.
He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath.
It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfectÔÇöbut didnÔÇÖt match the inside atall, not even close!
Beauty like LexÔÇÖs was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites.
A pencil flew by my head.
ÔÇ£Yo.ÔÇØ LexÔÇÖs eyebrows shot up. ÔÇ£We have a lot of work to do if weÔÇÖre going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm not a lesbian.ÔÇØ
He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. ÔÇ£Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.ÔÇØ
I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. ÔÇ£You know,ÔÇØ I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, ÔÇ£itÔÇÖs offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.ÔÇØ So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness.
ÔÇ£Offensive.ÔÇØ He nodded. ÔÇ£Also true . . .ÔÇØ He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. ÔÇ£It wouldnÔÇÖt kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.ÔÇØ He sighed. ÔÇ£Say it with me: dresssssÔÇöÔÇØ
I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. ÔÇ£I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ÔÇÿshower time.ÔÇÖÔÇØ
He snorted. ÔÇ£You wish.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ÔÇÿDamn it, use the manual!ÔÇÖÔÇØ I said, using my best imitation of LexÔÇÖs voice. IÔÇÖd only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like IÔÇÖm satisfied? ThereÔÇÖs a diagram! Ugh.
Lex rolled his eyes. ÔÇ£Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? ItÔÇÖs like, get there faster, you know?ÔÇØ
My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. ÔÇ£So,ÔÇØ I changed the subject. ÔÇ£LetÔÇÖs train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.ÔÇØ
Lex sighed and held out his hand.
ÔÇ£No.ÔÇØ I crossed my arms. ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt need help.ÔÇØ
Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasnÔÇÖt just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language.
He cleared his throat.
I didnÔÇÖt move.
Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. ÔÇ£What chapter?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£If IÔÇÖm teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Listen very closely, Lex.ÔÇØ I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. ÔÇ£I didnÔÇÖt need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell donÔÇÖt need your help now. LetÔÇÖs just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Fine.ÔÇØ He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . ÔÇ£Up until now weÔÇÖve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl whoÔÇÖs been standing in front of them all along .ÔÇØ
Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders.
ÔÇ£Okay.ÔÇØ I swallowed. ÔÇ£And now that youÔÇÖre allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl whoÔÇÖs always seen them as the friendÔÇöor worse, who theyÔÇÖve been invisible to.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£WhatÔÇÖs that like, I wonder?ÔÇØ Lex still didnÔÇÖt release me. ÔÇ£Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.ÔÇØ
And another insult.
ÔÇ£Lex.ÔÇØ I huffed out a breath. ÔÇ£Just get on with it.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Right.ÔÇØ His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasnÔÇÖt. Really. That. Sexy. ÔÇ£So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. ThatÔÇÖs where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Sort of.ÔÇØ Lex leaned forward. ÔÇ£But you canÔÇÖt suck.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£At anything.ÔÇØ His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned.
ÔÇ£Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£If I was actually kissing youÔÇØÔÇöLex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouthÔÇöÔÇ£youÔÇÖd know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.ÔÇØ
His lips descended.
They pressed against mine, then pulled back. ÔÇ£Yeah.ÔÇØ He shookhis head. ÔÇ£Gabs, youÔÇÖre going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£WhatÔÇÖs happening?ÔÇØ I tried to push away from him.
Lex rolled his eyes. ÔÇ£Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£What!ÔÇØ I roared.
ÔÇ£So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.ÔÇØ He grinned menacingly. ÔÇ£Seriously, I donÔÇÖt mind.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Hey!ÔÇØ He chuckled. ÔÇ£I was just trying to help.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Weird, because it so often is.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£I hate today.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Is it the rain?ÔÇØ He frowned.
ÔÇ£Stop that!ÔÇØ I shoved him. ÔÇ£Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winkingÔÇöjust a few things you need to master.ÔÇØ He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words.
ÔÇ£Just hurry up,ÔÇØ I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took.
ÔÇ£Ah . . .ÔÇØ Lex held up his hand. ÔÇ£One never hurries a kiss.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£What about a passionate kiss?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£A passionate kiss isnÔÇÖt hurried, itÔÇÖs frenzied. Damn, donÔÇÖt you know anything?ÔÇØ
Heat swamped my cheeks.
ÔÇ£How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Plenty!ÔÇØ Five. IÔÇÖd kissed five.
ÔÇ£You blush down your neck when you lie.ÔÇØ Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. ÔÇ£Part.ÔÇØ
Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across.
He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. ÔÇ£A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.ÔÇØ
I kept my eyes open.
So did he.
I didnÔÇÖt want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him.
ÔÇ£Cold?ÔÇØ That stupid smirk was back.
ÔÇ£Frigid.ÔÇØ I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to.
ÔÇ£You read my mind.ÔÇØ He nodded seriously. ÔÇ£Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£I know how to kiss!ÔÇØ I donÔÇÖt know what came over meÔÇömaybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it.
With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back.
I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink.
And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip.
That move didnÔÇÖt work out the way IÔÇÖd planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. IÔÇÖd piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone.
It did nothing of the sort.
Nothing of the sort at] all.
With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.