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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Review: Co-Ed by Rachel van Dyken


Print Length: 350 pages
Publisher:  (April 24, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Four guys. 

Constant moaning. 

And a revolving door across the college suite I somehow ended up in because my first name is Shawn. 

They don't discriminate. Girls. Guys. Grandmas. Plants (okay maybe not plants) all walks of life stroll in stressed to the brim, and leave so satisfied I'm wondering what sort of talents lie behind that door. 

My roommate calls them the pleasure ponies. 

But the rest of the college campus? 

They just call them the new face of Wingmen Inc. A paid for relationship service that makes big promises. 

Breakup? They'll glue you back together again. 

Depressed? They have the magic pill. 

Lonely? Just spend a few minutes while they rub you down and you'll forget all about it. 

And broken hearts? Well, that's their specialty. They'll fix you.

For a price…

I swore I wouldn't get involved. 

But apparently they like a challenge, and a girl who doesn't put up with their BS is basically like waving a red flag in front of a bull. 

They. All. Charged. 

But one holds my attention above the rest. 

Knox Turner looks like a Viking — and getting pillaged is starting to look more appealing by the day. Though he's hiding something — all of them are. And the closer I get. The more I realize that some things are left better in the past.

You've read reverse harem books before — but you've never read one like this. It's not what you think, or is it? Dive in and find out…

Knox, Leo, Finn, and Slater are waiting, and they aren't patient men. 

Welcome to the new face of Wingmen Inc — You're welcome.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

It's a sad day when you realize that you're starting to fall out of love with a favorite author. Unfortunately, it feels like that is what is happening to me. I don't know if maybe she's pushing herself too hard to be an author that writes across multiple genres, or if my expectations of her are too high, or if she's just feeling burned out. But as of late I have divided my love of her books into "Old Rachel" and "New Rachel", but more on that in a minute. 

To begin, I wanted to like this book. I LOVED the original Wingmen Inc books. But this.. whatever this was? Fell so far below what I expected that it was a struggle to finish it. I'm going to try and attempt now my reasons without giving too much away. 

Let's begin with the fact that our heroine is named Shawn. I don't have a problem with her name at all. What I do have a problem with is a college campus mistaking her for a male and placing her in an all-male dorm with a male roommate. Then telling her oops sorry, but there are no other open dorms on campus. Pretty sure that's just asking for a sexual harassment lawsuit. 

The men are all gorgeous though so Shawn's cool with it. Even if the three across the hall do keep her up at all hours of the night with the moaning she can hear coming from their room. Apparently they give excellent massages. Or something. 

I guess being an exceptionally good looking man really does entitle you to better privileges considering a short time later, Leo thinks its perfect acceptable to pull back the curtain while Shawn is showering, and have a conversation with her. I mean he keeps his eyes on her eyes, so that totally doesn't make him freaking creepy does it? Oh, and did I mention she doesn't even know his name? But instead of getting upset, or mad, she enjoys the attention. Not very realistic to me, and an ultra-dickhead move on his part, but to each their own. Also, having two characters have sex in a classroom on campus when one is a student and one is the TA? Not technically wrong, but tacky regardless. 

Now I'm going to admit that I have zero firsthand knowledge of reverse harem books. I had thought however, that the purpose of them was a single female having a connection with several men and having sexual relationships with each of them. To that end, this to me, is not a reverse harem. Sure she has a connection with the guys, but with three of them it's a friendship. She only really has a relationship with one of them. I feel like some fans of the true reverse harem are going to be strongly disappointed with this one. 

My final complaint with this story is the fact that it seemed like the author seemed to insult people from the south. No I am not naive enough to think that racism doesn't still exist. I know it does. But when a direct line from the story reads "My parents warned me that not every place was as progressive as New York. I hadn't listened. Not until going to LSU" I tend to get a little irate. Suddenly I was left wondering if this was a book that was supposed to be taking place during the height of segregation. Or maybe she just feels like racism is more prevalent in the south than anywhere else? I don't know.  Whatever the case may be, I feel like a lot of her recent books have lost the spark that made me enjoy her writing as much as I did. I keep hoping that will change.

That leaves us with my earlier statement "Old Rachel" vs "New Rachel". When I first began reading books from this author it seemed like she had a handful of releases a year (maybe 3-4 if that). Each book was witty, well-executed and the characters were as unique as the story-lines. I eagerly awaited each new story and typically loved all of them. And then something changed. Instead of having to wait months for new releases, it seems they are being released every other month (so far I've reviewed 3 others not including this one and I know she has a release scheduled for June as well). A look back at my blog? A release in January, one in February, one in March and now this in April. It seems like its more how many can I publish, not what am I giving my readers? And from an AUTHOR standpoint it makes sense. More books + More Genres = More Money. But when the QUALITY of the books suffers? Maybe not. Being completely honest? Some of the newer books? Seem like I could re-use an old review and just change the names and a couple of key plot details. That THING that made them Rachel van Dyken books is absent. It makes me sad as she was one of the first authors I took an active interest in. 

Overall, there are people to whom this book may still appeal. And I'm sure this story will even bring in some new readers/fans. I would classify it more as a rom-com with a secret than a reverse harem though. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                       Co-Ed is available from Amazon.com

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