Cheater’s Regret, an all-new sexy standalone from #1 New York Times Bestseller Rachel Van Dyken is available now on Amazon & Free in Kindle Unlimited!!
Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken Release Date: May 23rd
Genre: Contemporary Romance
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex—until he turns your world upside down again.
Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.
Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.
He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.
Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…
Thatch cheated on Austin. She saw it, he admits it. And, as a reader you know really fast that it happened. The book is about dealing with it, and from both sides. From the side of the person who was wronged and the side of the person who did the cheating. It's tough to go into this without spoilers, but I feel safe saying it was a "minor" cheat (if there really is such a thing) and that Thatch has his reasons. And, they are good ones...or so he thinks. But what they also are, they are good enough reasons for the reader to be ok with Austin going back to him.
The scenes in his office, while a little predictable that it was going to go that way, were fun. And, sometimes predictable is the author taking the easy way out. But in this case, the scenes were predictable as they were set up well in the beginning of the story, so the decision to involve him in her project made sense.
I enjoyed the writing in this story and I liked the pacing. The author definitely created a challenge, as making someone who has a bit of a checkered past with the heroine into the hero of the story isn't the easiest of things to do, especially while remaining true to the idea that they are meant to be. It mostly worked.
I did feel that the resolution was a little fast and that there was a little bit of an imbalance in the time spent with Austin hating Thatch and the time spent with her forgiving him, but not enough to really ruin the story for me.
I recommend this title.
I felt for Austin right away. She had my sympathy from the first page, and had my laughs in the next chapter. I loved how the author portrayed Austin post breakup-because let's admit it, we've all been there. Her friend snaps her out of it and they formulate a fun revenge plot-and it definitely made me chuckle.
Thatch ticked me off from the start-I'm not going to lie. But I knew there HAD to be a reason for his actions so I was determined to give him the benefit of the doubt...and boy was I glad. Thatch has issues yes, but he has reasons and you can't help but sympathize with him once you discover them.
I loved these two together. Even when Austin is plotting revenge initially you can feel the sparks between them and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The sexy times between them were hot and fun and I definitely appreciated that!
Now I will say I didn't always love some of the other character's in the book-but that's ok. I needed to not like some of them (and I won't mention who) for shaping our hero and heroine into the people that they were. I definitely cheered at the end though-and when you read it you'll know why.
This book was so much more than I expected and it's one I definitely recommend.
“You want to do this right now?” He was still whispering as he slowly extended his large perfect surgeon’s hands out to the spider, and suddenly, I realized how this would end. The spider would bite him. Thatch’s bite would get infected. And he wouldn’t be able to do his job. Or pay off his student loans. Leaving him in debt. On the street. Naked. Dead. Thatch was going to die. “Wait!” I slowly lowered my body to the floor. Fear pounded in my ears as I held out my hands and Charlie lumbered onto my palms. It tickled. It would be nice if I weren’t so terrified of spiders. Shaking, I walked over to the bucket and gently set him inside, this time, right side up so Thatch could transport him later. Just as I pulled my hands away, something sharp dug into my skin. “Mother fu—” Thatch grabbed me just before I collapsed against the floor, hands shaking and pain searing through my right thumb. Before I knew what was happening, Thatch was carrying me over to the couch. Soft pillows met my back as he grabbed my thumb and held it close to his face. “Am I going to die?” I whimpered. “Because the Discovery Channel [PS1] said tarantula bites feel like bee stings—they’re liars from the pit of hell!” Thatch narrowed his eyes at the puffy red mark and then slowly dropped my hand to my side. “You’ll live.” “Well, that’s encouraging. Don’t I at least get a sticker? A sucker? For saving your life?” “You?” He chuckled and joined me on the couch. “Saved my life by getting bit by a tarantula?” “Keep up!” Talking was at least distracting me from the throbbing pain. At least it had dulled a bit, though the fact that I had spider venom in my hand made me cringe. “If it bit you, you wouldn’t be able to do your job.” He seemed thoughtful. “You mean I’d finally get a vacation where I’m allowed to sleep for longer than three hours?” “Well, when you put it that way,” I grumbled, and tried to cross my arm, then hissed as pain exploded down my hand. He grabbed it again. “At least the venom is weak, it’s really just the puncture wound from the spider’s fangs that causes the swelling.” “Well, that’s disappointing on so many levels. I save your life and I don’t even get to turn into Spider-Man.” “Tough luck, maybe next time.” He winked. It was nice. Sitting with him on the couch. My legs on his lap. My eyes focused on his mouth. Abort! Abort! I quickly looked away but not fast enough—he caught me staring where I shouldn’t have been staring, and I felt like a complete loser for still lusting after him the way I was. What was it about Thatch? Other than everything? He was brilliant. Hardworking. Gorgeous. And he fought spiders on behalf of a girl he’d dumped. Damn it. “This leads nowhere,” he said in a hollow voice. “You understand that, right?” It was like he’d just handed me the world’s happiest balloon and then popped it with a giant needle. I was utterly defeated and deflated. Even though I knew going into this there was no hope of us getting back together, I’d officially turned into that sad, pathetic clinger. I’d always made fun of “those girls.” And now “that girl” stared back at me in my own stupid mirror. I let out a long sigh and nodded slowly. “This is strictly business, Thatch. You know how important this class is to me, how important getting my MBA is to me.” He looked away, his jaw clenched. “Parents still MIA for the most part?” I nodded. “And the reelection, I imagine your dad wants you to join his mayoral campaign again?” A sick feeling grew in the pit of my stomach. To my parents, I was a trophy. Something shiny and pretty they could trot out to gain votes from families who appreciated their having taken time out of their busy lives to sire a child. Granted, I knew my parents loved me. They just loved me in their own way—the only way they knew how. “I have to graduate,” I stressed again. “The job market’s fierce out there, and an MBA will help with that. The sooner I graduate, the sooner I can start my own life away from all of this.” I lifted my hands into the air. This just happened to be a mansion. A huge mansion. With three interconnected swimming pools. A tennis court. Two movie rooms. And a bowling alley. I think I’d prefer anything but this. If I could choose to live in a dump with my parents and we’d be a family or I could have a mansion and scarcely see them. I’d choose the dump every time. “I’ll do my best to help you.” He lifted my legs off his lap. “But first, we ride.” I blushed. I couldn’t help it. “You can’t do that anymore,” he whispered, his blue eyes piercing. “You can’t blush when I say things like that.” “Sorry.” He muttered a curse and walked away. I could have sworn he adjusted himself near the door, but I was too busy hiding behind the couch to fully commit to ogling him. “Where’s your bike?” he called over his shoulder before turning around. “In the garage. It’s kind of dark now, though, let’s ride tomorrow after work.” I totally said it without stuttering or blushing. “Fine.” He looked exhausted. “Don’t forget the spider.” I pointed at the bucket. “And don’t let it loose in nature. We can’t have that bastard procreating with another, smaller spider and creating zombie spider babies that take over the world.” He just stared at me like I’d lost my mind. And then shook his head as a smile played across his face. “You’re entertaining, I’ll give you that.” “I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.” “It was meant to be one.” We froze, both of us smiling at each other. “Sleep,” I whispered. “You’ve got a busy day tomorrow.” “Yup.” He gripped the bucket in one hand; the muscles in his forearm flexed. “Take some ibuprofen and ice the spider bite. If you feel any muscle weakness or tightness in your chest, let me know and I’ll prescribe you something.” “Ah, the power of the pen.” He rolled his eyes and waved with his free hand. “See you tomorrow morning at eight, Austin.” He hesitated in the doorway. “Be sure to wear something work-appropriate.” “Oh, so you want me to wear a bike uniform?” He flipped me off and quietly shut the door against my laughter.
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