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The Perfects

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Everything was perfect.
Until it wasn't.

Until my family took on a foster girl and placed her across the hall from me. A charity case to look good and a person who should have never existed in my world.
I kissed her to get her to stop talking, and then I kissed her again because I liked the taste of her words—I liked her.
It was our secret until we got caught—that night changed everything.

We became strangers living in the same house, seeing the same ghosts of our past mistakes, but I can't stop thinking about us, about those forbidden moments.
I pretend to hate her, I tell her I'll never forgive her, and then Quinn, my ex-best friend, steps into the picture. I can't tell if he actually likes her or if he has a death wish and just likes pissing me off, but what do I say? Stay away from my step-sister?
She's mine?
I've already had her?
Saying that to him would expose what we were and ruin everything.
We're all three of us living multiple lies, and eventually, I know our ivory tower of perfection is going to come crashing down.

He knows my secrets.
I know his.
And now she knows both.

She wants.
He wants.
But I always—always get what I want.

And what I want is the girl, no matter what it may cost me.

305 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 11, 2022

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About the author

Rachel Van Dyken

168 books17.9k followers
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!
EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-...

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5 stars
272 (30%)
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263 (29%)
3 stars
217 (24%)
2 stars
93 (10%)
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59 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 295 reviews
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,114 reviews7,139 followers
October 7, 2022
2e0pm6g thumbnail-IMG-0091-copy-1 '🆃🅷🅴 🅿🅴🆁🅵🅴🅲🆃🆂' Is a full length romance book by 'New to me' author Rachel Van Dyken. Spoken in 'Dual POV's. Ambrose McKee & Mary-Belle.

Reading the 'Synopsis' gave me those chills of anticipation of wanting to read it, so once it hit my kindle game over I dived in which was easily enough to get into.

What happens when your perfect wee life comes tumbling down around your ears?

That's exactly what happened to Ambrose as he's told he's getting a new stepsister Mary-Belle, as soon as they lock eyes they pretty much collided into each other, I don't even think even 24 hours had gone by before they stepped over the line, then it just escalated out of control because they couldn't keep their hands off the other, getting caught red handed had a domino effect, that changed their world in a blink of an eye.

They went from wanting it all to wanting nothing to do with the other.

I really don't do insta and for me this was a wee bit too insta, I wanted the lingering glances, the stolen touches, I wanted to feel the feels, I wanted to feel giddy. So for me in that aspect it missed the mark.

Then throw in a few twists here and there and it definitely went down a road I wasn't expecting, giving it a very unique tale which I've not encountered before.

The Perfects had it all, scandal, lies, corruption but friendship and love shone through.

Profile Image for Andrea.
607 reviews
October 9, 2022
I am in the minority when it comes to reviews for this book. I’m sorry, but I found myself just skimming through the end of the book because I just could not get into it. I’m not one to give out a lot of bad reviews, but this is an exception.

I am so not a fan of insta-love and within two chapters, we were in love in like two days. You would think I was exaggerating, but I’m not. I felt no immediate connection between these two, and I couldn’t find myself to search for it because the dialogue was terrible and so hard to follow. If I had to read one more “bro”, I thought about throwing my phone out of the window.

I felt like this could have been written so much better with the potential for this story. The forbidden-ness, the slow burn, sexual tension, and those yummy scenes we all love. But this was rushed, written like a seventeen-year-old boy wrote the dialogue, and I was just so happy when I finally found the words the end.

#avidreaderbookblog #readingislife #bookblogger #bookworm #booklover #bookaddict #bookaddiction #bookbloggersofinstagram #bookstagram #bullyromance #bullyromances #bookbloggersofinsta #booksbooksbooks #youngadult
Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
813 reviews829 followers
October 25, 2022
This story is an instalove- enemies to lovers-forbidden(foster siblings)-bully, high school romance. It is told in dual POV between the main characters, Ambrose and Mary-Belle( foster siblings).

So the problem is…………..I am not in high school or anywhere near that age so reading this story just wasn’t enjoyable for me. It’s completely my fault for not realizing the age of these characters. I could have maybe got on the bandwagon if they were college age but the instalove and sex that happened in the 4th chapter just sent me over the edge. And then the incident with Ambrose’s father and the reaction that followed did not make any sense in my opinion. And the reason I read and did not DNF was because there was a secret between Ambrose and his ex best friend Quinn and it got the best of me.

So if you like young high school love then this is for you. But as for me, my low rating is definitely a case of me and not knowing what I was going to read.

*advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for The Romantic Rush Blog.
1,571 reviews739 followers
October 15, 2022
This was not at all what I was expecting- and to be honest, I'm not quite sure how I feel about all of it. RVD continues to be a literary chameleon- it's clear she's trying her hand at a variety of tropes, genres, even writing styles. Every book feels like a new adventure. What is consistent is how frequently RVD reinvents old and dusty ideas- she's always got a fresh spin, unusual concepts, and tons of emotional angst.

Truth be told, the Perfects isn't quite perfect. But it's certainly interesting. There's a lot happening in this story- loads of twists and emotional moments - but the story rests on a relationship that felt not adequately built to me. If you aren't a fan of insta-love (or instalust), this story might not work for you- because the lynchpin of this sorta bully, sorta forbidden, sorta love triangle, sorta second chance story comes down to two teens who fall instantly in love...until stuff falls apart. Twists and drama. OH THE ANGST! I loved the characters, but I think this story is just trying to be too much, and the result is that nothing feels fully developed or polished, just a bit rushed. The depth doesn't deliver the same intensity I'm used to with RVD, even though the concept itself is original and creative. Overall, I was intrigued, even if it's not my favorite of hers. 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,413 reviews312 followers
December 31, 2022
Estuvo raro pero entretenido.

El desarrollo de la trama es muy inverosímil, el comienzo es intalove y luego se odian pero el motivo es absurdo y pasan más cosas que son absurdas.
Y si las cosas hubieran tenido más lógica, tomaría en serio el trasfondo de la historia.

Pero al menos me entretuvo y no sentí que desperdicié mi tiempo.
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
496 reviews302 followers
October 11, 2022
The minute I walked into his life— mine began—his ended.
I’m shaking and don’t even realize it.

The Perfects was an emotional, angsty, fabulous read!  With an enemies to lovers vibe, a tiny bit of a love triangle, and a twist that will leave you staring at the pages wondering where this story was going next, this book was so easy to binge in one sitting!  If you like your young adult romance steamy, then definitely have this one on your tbr!
He stills and locks eyes with me. “Are you going to be an annoying little problem, Belle?”
“That depends.” I take a brave step forward. “Are you going to be a rich asshole?”

Mary-Belle made me love her right away, and my heart hurt for her. She was in the foster system and kept getting uprooted. She never had anything stable. When she ended up at her latest house, I was so nervous for her. She was thrown into the life of luxury, yet not everything was at it seemed. Emotions were faked. So much felt staged. And she ended up right in Ambrose’s cross-hairs. The son who lived at her current house. But as the story progressed, I loved watching how much Mary-Belle grew! She put people in her place. She found her strength. And she tried her best to do what was right and find love in her life.
His smile broadens. “How much will you hate me if I make this morning a bit better?”
“How would you do that?” I ask.
He smirks, and I notice a small dimple on his right cheek. “Such a dangerous question, Belle.”

Ambrose was a complicated soul. He was rich and hated that his dad practically owned the town they lived in.  His mom was perfect, his dad was perfect and he had to act perfect too and was destined to go places.  Yet Ambrose’s whole world got rearranged when a foster girl came and lived with him.  Right across the hall from his bedroom.  He wanted her.  And Ambrose always got what he wanted.  Yet fate had tragic heartache time and again in his future. His story was not easy. So Ambrose could be such an emotional ass. Or a dickhead, take your choice lol. He was so mean to Mary-Belle. But keep looking because there were moments where he showed us that he did have a heart.  And I loved seeing that side of him!
The family will always look perfect despite the fractures in the foundation; she doesn’t have to know the dirty details.
So yeah, maybe I want something just for me.
Is that so wrong? 

Mary-Belle and Ambrose were like fire and gasoline.  There was hate, passion, lust and a whole slew of other emotions.  When they physically got together, it escalated so quickly.  I didn’t know where they could go from there.  But a wrench was thrown in their lives.  And their enemies to lovers relationship was done beautifully heartbreaking!  Their antics were so crazy that I was glued to the pages because I couldn’t even guess what would happen next.  I screamed out loud, I was freaked out, and was nervous as other events popped up in the story! Mary-Belle and Ambrose had an extremely passionate relationship, but just like Ambrose’s life, their story together wasn’t easy.
I wonder if it’s the worst move I could have accidentally made.
A challenge.
A wave of the red flag.
Because I’ve never seen Ambrose so angry.
And I’ve never felt so safe.
In Quinn’s arms.

And then there was Quinn. He went to High School with Mary-Belle and Ambrose. First impression, I loved him! He seemed like such a good guy! And I didn’t get why he technically couldn’t be friends with Mary-Belle. Or maybe friends was the wrong word because they were both attracted to each other. But it felt like there were a whole ton of secrets between him and Ambrose. And about Quinn’s past. But Quinn was a little too much for me with some of the physical things he did. So while he wasn’t my favorite, I did love the emotions he pulled out of Mary-Belle and Ambrose. And I loved how he helped them as the story progressed!
I feel like an addict waiting for my next hit while still trying to push away the one thing that will destroy me.
We have no other option but destruction.
And yet, I give in.
I fold.
Maybe I always will. 

Rachel Van Dyken’s writing hooks me every single time!  This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions!  Some of the moments were just wild, some were nerve inducing, quite a few made my heart beat faster and laughter kept bubbling up while in the next moment I was gasping while muttering cuss words under my breath lol. And I loved that we got to alternate between Mary-Belle and Ambrose, I desperately needed to hear all of their thoughts! So with heartache, love, friendship, hate and all of the angst wrapped into these pages, this book was so easy to binge!
This is our moment.
Our chaos.
Our frenzy.
Our imperfect perfection.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
7,522 reviews16 followers
October 11, 2022
The Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken is the story of Ambrose and Mary-Belle.
Mary-Belle is a foster care child who found a forever home she thought be the lady died and she was taken in by another family. Ambrose is a rich spoiled young man who behind what face he puts on is someone that has a need to be truly loved I felt. Mary-Belle is taken in by Ambrose's family and the sparks fly between the two along with some smart remarks. Enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more from this author.

Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,301 reviews85 followers
October 19, 2022
***3,5 "Together forever!!!" stars***

I won't hide to you that from the blurb I was already enamored with this story and I was anticipating it like crazy...
Well, this story really had potentials but some things weren't working very good for me...
For example, I am not very fond of insta love, but this first encounter between Ambrose and Mary-Belle was a little bit too insta for me and it felt kind of weird...
And then some abrupt changes on topics were kind of frustrating... still, I managed to find many things that I liked in here!!!

Ambrose was a perfect kid with a perfect life...
Mary Belle is the charity case of the Perfects...
Ambrose and MB came instantly closer, but very soon tragedy hit them and these two stopped being anything to each other other than strangers that were leaving under the same roof...
They had to do everything to mantain their perfect status... even though their stares were lingering a little bit longer to each other...
When Quinn, Ambrose's ex best friend is stepping into Mary-Belle's life, everything is changing between all of them...

Well, honestly, I had a different idea where the things will lead us, but the author took another road...
There were lies and secrets between the Perfects...
Mary-Belle had shaken the calm waters with her appearance and their perfectly structured life started to shake...
Add to that Quinn and his past with Ambrose and everything will change for the three of them...
I know what will you think... A love triangle??? Honestly, it wasn't exactly that, but I can assure that it was a lovely turn of events...
Friendship was shining in here and I liked that fact...

**I received an ARC for the exchange of an honest review**
Profile Image for PP's Bookshelf.
1,993 reviews290 followers
October 6, 2022
I love how Rachel Van Dyken gives me a fresh story from a different angle in every new book. The Perfects was a mix of brutal angst, heart stopping drama, forbidden love, complicated feels and so much twisted passion. This new adult romance delivered complex characters with never ending secrets and heartaching emotions.

I didn't read the Blurb. It's Rachel Van Dyken. I don't need Blurb. But go ahead and read it. It is pretty much details so I am not doing a summary. If you have triggers, there is a link in the content note where you can check out details. It's a new adult forbidden enemies to lovers romance.

The author took us to the imperfect side of the Perfects here. Ambrose has a rich and powerful family with a flawless image and he has been under tremendous pressure to keep on the appearance all his life. He is bitter and jaded and just ready to burst. He is almost god in high school but he doesn't want the fame or fan following. He just wants something real and raw and Mary-Belle is that person. They are not related any way but it's still scandalous. They are forbidden and from different worlds.they have a very strong and intense connection immediately. Things don't go easy for them as accidents keep on happening and Ambrose started to hate her..or not. And then there is his ex best friend Quinn. They share a lot of trauma and secret and Mary-Belle is making their worlds collide again.

Gahh I absolutely love Quinn. He is on the lighter side of the dynamics but he is the sweetest and so charming with a devilish naughty side and really the best friend one can want on their side. He and Ambrose have an unbreakable bond but misunderstanding tore them apart. Our girl Mary Belle broke my heart too. She had nothing and Ambrose gave her the love she wanted and then took it away. She is so brave and fierce that she did everything to protect and heal two broken boys even while her own heart was at peril. It was interesting dynamics for sure but it was never a question that she belongs to Ambrose. This story has some hard hitting issues. Grief. Pain. Fear. Sadness. Loss. But the ultimate message is that love heals everything. It was a whirlwind of messy and chaotic feels and my heart felt like getting killed over and over again but it was so worth every pain. From the witty banter and flirty friendship to soul wrecking love to nuclear hot passion..it had all.

I reviewed an early copy voluntarily
Profile Image for Karen Mc .
911 reviews724 followers
October 9, 2022
“He’s suddenly everything I see.”

I finally popped my Rachel Van Dyken book cherry and what a yummy delight it was! The Perfects is heartbreakingly beautiful and brilliantly told. All the WOW! I wholeheartedly felt this shatteringly stunning saga of soulmates, survival, sacrifice and second chances at love and life.

Readers will fall for this new adult romance where two soulmates must battle the past and perception before they can become one. The Perfects tackles tough topics that tear apart lives and unrealistic expectations. It gives a voice to those who sometimes have none.

Ambrose is the ultimate hero and I crushed on him so hard … feeling his protectiveness, his brokenness, his strength and his deep love for Mary-Belle. Mary-Belle is the light that Ambrose needs in the dark, the beautiful bright star that helps him shine as he helps her. I felt this hero and heroine’s undeniable connection that explodes through the pages in this all-the-feels tale threaded with friendship, fate, and forever love.

The Perfects grabbed me from the first page and never let go. Van Dyken crafts a compassionate and compelling love story that breathes fire, blazes with intensity, and bleeds beauty and bravery. I burned for this book! Pure intoxication. Perfectly imperfect.

I bestow all the stars in the universe to this top read of 2022.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ perfectly imperfect “but worth all the” stars

➡️ https://amzn.to/3fWF1P9

Reviewed by Bookalicious Babes Blog
Profile Image for Meegz Reads.
1,333 reviews103 followers
October 11, 2022
*4 Stars*

ARC kindly received for an honest review.

Honestly, I finished this book this morning and I'm still kind of like - what on earth did I just read? As usual with RVD I was hooked very quickly with this book. Ambrose, MB and Quinn have a very intriguing and interesting story. Full of mystery because of terrible pasts and plenty of angst and emotion moving forward.

I had to keep reading to find out what had previously happened to these guys, and what the current circumstances and situations were. A lot of focus on friendships in this too. I'm kind of struggling with how to explain and write about my thoughts on this one. As usual with RVD, I enjoyed this and would recommend.

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Profile Image for Liz.
3,295 reviews54 followers
October 12, 2022
The Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken is a captivating taboo forbidden new adult romance. Ambrose is expected to be perfect. Always, when all he wants is normal. Mary-Belle has never known what it is like to be loved. He was determined and arrogant. She was reserved and a bit lost. When she is fostered by Ambrose’s family, she is totally out of her element. And yet, together they find an unexpected and undeniable connection. When tragedy strikes, Ambrose and MB are torn apart by his actions.

Enter Quinn, Ambrose’s ex-best friend, who befriends MB at her lowest. What follows is a steamy story where secrets are revealed and trust is challenged. Can Ambrose and MB find a way back to each other?

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Sharing My.
1,125 reviews17 followers
October 7, 2022
Perfect! This book had it all! All the feelings, hot and steamy scenes, forbidden moments, best friends, and more. I felt so many emotions as I read chapters from both Ambrose and Mary-Belle's point of view. I kind of wish there were a couple chapters from Quinn's point of view, because he was also an important character. I really loved the book though. Rachel Van Dyken is really good at pulling you in at the first chapter and keeping you hooked until the last page. I can't wait to read more of her books like this one.
Profile Image for D Amora.
162 reviews70 followers
October 11, 2022

How do I go back in time?😭

Guys this is why you don’t judge a book by its cover.

I tried so hard to love this and I was even honored to receive this arc, the synopsis was so intriguing that i immediately had to read this. I just want to forget everything that happened after the 4th chapter.

I want to wash my eyes in zam zam water in the nicest way possible.
Profile Image for czarina ⋆·˚ ༘ * ♡.
28 reviews621 followers
October 13, 2022
2 ⭐️ it pains me to give a low rating bc this book had so much potential in the beginning but then twist after twist kept coming and it just fell a bit short for me. i didn’t really connect with ambrose or mary belle, but i liked quinn. i just couldn’t get behind the foster sister/brother and insta love tropes. the conflict between ambrose and mary belle wasn’t reasonable to me and i also found myself confused or even weirded out by the plot at times.

i read this pretty fast though so something in the author’s writing kept me interested. this one unfortunately didn’t do it for me, but i plan on reading more of her work!

thank you so much to the author and valentine pr for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Daniela Tavares.
428 reviews7 followers
October 9, 2022

* Thank you to Valentine PR and the author for giving me an arc of this book.*

4.5/5 stars. This book got me addicted from the beginning, it flowed easily just like every RVD books. The story and the characters captivated me and I had a great time with it. But also yes, this story made me cry. That damn note was my undoing.

Ambrose was great and all at the beginning but then things changed for him . Even though he was irrational with blaming MB for what happened to his family, I totally understood why he reacted that way and why he couldn’t control himself when being spiteful even though he knew full well it wasn’t her fault but he just needed someone to feel like he felt and he got it.

Mary-Belle was awesome. I really liked her , she’s the type who doesn’t care about what others think and since she went through a lot, whatever comes her way, she just lets it slide by her and she doesn’t let others affect her when they don’t even know her. The stares and hushed conversations didn’t fazed her and I loved that the most about her.
I didn’t agreed with her choice of being quiet. I didn’t saw the need to do that, it just racked up the pain for everyone needlessly but I get why she thought it was the best thing to do and frankly it would probably take Ambrose awhile to came around anyway so I guess it was needed after all. 🙈

Their relationship started as a whirlwind of emotions and it honestly stayed that way throughout the book and oh boy the range of emotions was huge. What started as fun, pure in a way and perfect just shattered and became the imperfect. There’s definitely a thin line between love and hate because those two emotions are the strongest one a person can feel and this book brought that out.
I loved how everything went from perfect to imperfect to perfectly imperfect.

Now I have to mention Quinn and I loved him for the beginning and I must be honest, he got me nervous there for a moment but once I saw where this whole thing was going , everything was good. Quinn is himself when around MB and Ambrose and I loved how candid he was even if he was through flirtation. He’s very endearing , soft and understanding. Unbeknownst to him at first, he ended up being the bridge that would bring MB and Ambrose together again. Their friendship ( between him and Ambrose but also with MB) was so deep and beautiful. Truly beautiful.
The things both the guys went through shocked me and I was aware of the content this book had but it was done different from what I’ve read so far and that’s something that I appreciated a lot. Oftentimes the women are the ones going through that in books but I loved how this time it were men because honestly it’s not just women that go through stuff like this. I loved how it portrayed how they felt about it and I just wanna hug these two boys…
I loved how MB went about mending past trauma in a way and how she brought these two guys together and how their friendship somehow got deeper because of it. The three of them are in this life together and their bond is strong than ever and I loved that for them.

I loved how everything wrapped up and I couldn’t be happier with Ambrose and MB living their life together but especially with Quinn too. They living together and going through life is how they should be. It truly felt like it was meant to be for them.
Profile Image for Carrie Youngcourt.
212 reviews5 followers
October 11, 2022
“Dreams come true when you let them go,” he whispers in my ear. “You hold them in the palm of your hand for so long that it’s all you can feel against your skin. It imprints onto your body in such a way that you don’t even realize it.”
I loved this book so much! Rachel decided to stick things up and do a tragic and serious book. But she also made it funny where it needed to be! Such a unique book and had me baking my eyes out and I haven't cried like that sense I read Elude. I have a new favorite couple of Rachel's and it's Ambrose and MB but everything isn't rainbows and unicorns. I really hope that she gives Quinn his own book I really loved him and my heart went out to him as well as the other two.

MB (Mary Belle) is an orphan who's been bounced around from home to home and not had the easiest childhood. When she comes to live with Ambrose and his family after a tragic accident left her homeless again. She quickly hits things off with Ambrose and she finally feels like she belongs somewhere that is until another tragic accident happens and her life changes again. Can she overcome heartache like she has so many times before or will she give up?

Ambrose is son to a man that is a millionaire and that built his reputation as being the perfect person so he expected his family to do the same. All Ambrose wanted was to be normal, have a normal life do normal things be a teenager. Until something happens and it changes his life. Secrets that have long been buried come to the surface and he must navigate it with Mb who is now his foster sister and his best friend Quinn who he hasn't spoken to in years. Can Quinn and Ambrose go back to being friends again and can Ambrose be civil with MB when he hates her so much?
Profile Image for Sandra Shipman ~ Two Book Pushers.
1,842 reviews44 followers
October 7, 2022
The Perfects is Rachel Van Dyken’s newest standalone and it’s different than anything I have read by her and I am here for it. It’s an addictive, raw, beautiful, and heartbreaking story.

It was senior year and everything was perfect. That’s what the outside world thought anyway. The inside world was full of secrets, nightmares, and chaos. Everyone wanted what Ambrose had and all he wanted was to be free of it all. To be free like the birds. He had never felt that until she showed up. A girl with a black garbage bag in her hand. A girl who would be staying across the hall from him. A girl who set his world on fire. A girl who was forbidden. A girl he wanted and hated at the same time…

Mary-Belle was new to this perfect life. It was everything people would want. Two parents. A mansion. Food. Oh, the food. She knew she was only there as a charity case and it wouldn’t last long but Ambrose made her feel safe and that was hard to come by in the foster system. She thought it was love until one night changed everything. He hated her. She was alone once again until Quinn walked in her life. A boy who knew how it was to be hated by someone so perfect. Will him being in her life be a safe haven or a mistake?

I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed this book. From start to finish I was invested. Their relationships are complicated, beautiful, and I felt their connections on every page. Rachel killed it…


“How can you be both such an asshole and such a gentleman? I don’t get it.”
“The world’s a confusing place, princess.”

Well, apparently, Cinderella came out to play.

“I’m gonna make you my bitch.”
“Fuck yes.”

Profile Image for Shay.
870 reviews20 followers
October 15, 2022
This is my first ever Rachel Van Dyken book and I was by no means disappointed!

Ambrose is the highest of the high on the wealthy side and is an absolute GOD for every girl in his school; he is broody, dark, relentless, ruthless, and OTT. Quinn, oh how I absolutely LOVE him, he's so sweet and loveable. Now, Mary Belle she is a foster child, that the family takes in; and that's when everything starts to go down hill... when she finally gets a family... poor girl...

I'm not giving anymore info on this book because you need to just dive in and take this heartbreaking, intense, forbidden, secrets, lies, family, and more drama than you can even imagine.
Profile Image for Darlene Avery.
914 reviews4 followers
October 11, 2022
The Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken is one of those books that has you truly stopping to think about life, and love, and friendships.

Ambrose comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But he’s miserable. Because money doesn’t mean love.

Only the need to be Perfect.

Mary-Belle comes from Foster care, with literally only a trash sack of her belongings.

But together, these two will experience the lowest lows and the highest highs.

Van Dyken allows this storyline to flow in directions you’ll never see coming.

To help show us what true love and friendship really mean.

And that imperfection is something to be valued.

Especially when it means love and friendship are there no matter what.

“Sometimes dreaming means letting go, not holding on.”

May we all find our imperfect perfect.

4 Stars
October 11, 2022
The Perfects is a very raw, real and will leave you feeling all the feels! This story starts off strong and doesn’t let up till the very end!

RVD wasted no time getting to the good stuff and I loved that within the first two chapters we could already get a feel for Ambrose and MaryBelle. You could feel the tensions but also got to see their struggles and knew that you were in for a very wild and twisted tale!

This story really pushes you and forces you to look deeper at not just the characters but the whole situation! Which is what I love about it! I love a story that takes you to places you are unsure about. I love a book that is more than words on paper but a cathartic experience that has be going through it all along side the characters!

Another knock out hit by RVD and a definite must read this year! If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would, no questions asked!
October 9, 2022
Foster siblings is something we’ve all seen before, but I can assure you, as with everything she writes, she put everything she had into the story. The Perfects is nothing short of Van Dyken perfection.

The Perfects will CONSUME you, a few words, and these characters will own your heart, your thoughts, and your time until you’ve devoured every word.

Mary-Belle has spent most of her life in the foster care system, and the strength she showed on every page was admirable, to say the least. I loved that she never tried to be someone she wasn’t. She had lived a very different life than the one she was thrust into, and although there were a few times she turned her head so they wouldn’t see her tears, not once did she cower. She was sassy and quick to reply to others' words with clever retorts and sarcasm.

Ambrose was angry at the world behind the mask of perfection he was expected to show the world. He was the rich kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and to anyone who looked at him, it was the perfect life, except it wasn't, not even a little. Not even at all. Behind the perfect smile was a broken hero, not knowing that all he needed was someone to look close enough to see through the perfect façade to turn the fake smiles into real happiness.

Sparks were flying between MB and Ambrose the moment they started slinging clever retorts at one another. He was being rude, and she wasn’t having it. It didn’t take long for the sparks to ignite an explosive physical connection, only to be severed when they were caught, turning into hateful glares and hungry glances. Following the insta-lust fest, they build a foundation based on friendship, honesty, and overall being there for one another the second time around.

Ambrose and MB had lived very different lives, but as we all know, heartbreaking tragedies don't discriminate. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or don't have, none of us make it out of life unscathed. The character's emotions wrapped around my heart like a vice, making it impossible to keep the tears at bay. This may be fiction, but I think what gutted me the most was that you know in your heart that out there somewhere, there are people who are dealing with this in real life.

When I open an RVD book, I know that within the pages will be a story that will suck me in so deeply that for the length of the book I’ll be offered an escape. All of the aspects of reality that are pulling me under, and at times make it hard to breathe, will vanish, allowing my mind and heart the reprieve they need, so when I reach the end, I’ll be recharged so I can straighten my crown and face another day.

The Perfects is a heart-wrenching story about two people finding their forever with the one who sees the raw imperfections and loves one another all the more for it. explosive chemistry, a sassy heroine, an alpha-hole(ish) hero, clever banter, heartbreakingly raw emotions, and red-hot steam.

**Not really part of my review, but sort of because if you are in need of an escape from real life as much as I was, then this is a book you need to read**
I haven’t devoured a book this fast in a long time. Between a house fire, a death in my family, and worsening medical issues, it’s been overwhelming and near impossible to escape into fictional worlds lately, so being able to immerse myself inside The Perfects for hours was something I desperately needed.

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Profile Image for MJLovestoRead.
1,839 reviews45 followers
October 9, 2022
Rachel Van Dyken clearly took me on quite the whirlwind experience with The Perfects. I was thrown for a loop as the book starts out one way with Mary-Belle (MB) and Ambrose almost immediately becoming much more than just a foster sister to the McCree heir and then changing direction just as quickly. And I did enjoy it for the most part. Especially the fact that MB had a true heart of gold while knowing when to stand up for herself and not being the typical somewhat pathetic foster child so many write about. MB is a survivor who may have fallen in lust a bit too quickly with Ambrose but her giving nature was something I admired and gave this book a realism I appreciated.

Ambrose is a good character and his reactions to what happens to his family in a short period of time, not to mention his thoughts on MB's part in it all were spot on. He wasn't the bastard he could have been and as the story unfolds, I sympathized with what he had to contend with, despite his cushy upbringing. He really does care for MB even when he wanted so badly to hate her. And trust me, he tries his hardest to do just that.

What gave me pause, however, was that there seemed to be too much going on while it also felt as if there wasn't enough. The huge secret held by Ambrose and his former bestie, Quinn, was indeed a bombshell and the sudden reappearance of Tessa clearly threw everyone into a tailspin. But I just felt the way it was all handled felt a bit disjointed to me. Although MB and this secret lead to an uneasy reunion for Ambrose and Quinn, getting there felt way too long at times. Not to mention Ambrose's absent mother's involvement towards the end was almost as if the author didn't know how to tie up that particular tangent and figured she could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

I was glad that Van Dyken didn't just make it the usual rich boy/poor girl kind of story, adding many layers to Ambrose and MB's dynamic to keep it moving. But it just felt as if it took too long to get to the resolutions needed, whether it was if Ambrose and MB could be happy together, if Ambrose and Quinn could be friends again and if Ambrose would still be 'perfect' when all was said and done.

I'm more than certain that Van Dyken's fans will love this one and I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it. I did but I just couldn't fully embrace all that happened or perhaps it's the way it all occurred. The easy flow just wasn't there for me this time around but again, I do want to reiterate that I did like the characters and am happy with the way everything turned out.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Ola Adamska.
2,667 reviews19 followers
October 9, 2022
I read the blurb for this story and I thought I know what I'm getting myself into, but I was so wrong in the case of the newest book from Ms. Rachel Van Dyken! Here she delivers a book about a really serious matter and gives us also highly needed time to laugh when it's appropriate. Do not expect this story to be an easy read where everything goes smoothly, this book is real and can get into our heads.
The Perfects - it's an interesting concept and shows what can become of our life when we will allow the opinion of others to rule it... nothing good will come out of it, and pressure to look ideal in the picture will b growing with each day. Can any of us imagine it? The author did a good job of picturing it - emotions, reactions, and how this family would deal with it.
Mary-Belle (MB for short) was adopted by a wealthy woman, and now he has suddenly died, it would mean for her to get back into the system, or get on board with "the perfects" who pulled some strings for her. It looks like she has found her place on Earth, but... what if nothing is as perfect as it seems. Once again fate strikes! And what seemed to be a great new beginning is gone, can she survive it and fight for her future and happiness when everyone seems to be an enemy, ad no friends in sight?
Ambrose had a "perfect" childhood, and that was nothing but it - he just wanted to have a normal family, that can do wrongs and nothing would be destroyed. Coming from a family of a millionaire with a pristine image he has to be the same, and being a teen or young adult in those circumstances is not easy!
This book was full of twists and turns that readers are not expecting and this makes this read even better - as surprising avid readers that are reading tons of books is something special! I hope this author will keep her level in future books!
Profile Image for Heather.
1,254 reviews21 followers
October 9, 2022
I always know that an RVD book is going to be worth the read and The Perfects was no different. This book drew me in from the outset and I settled in for quite a ride!

Mary-Belle is a foster child who thought she had finally found a home to get her to adulthood, but when her foster mother dies unexpectedly, she's once again on her own. Enter the family of her foster mother who agree to take her in.

Ambrose is a senior in high school and is popular, an athlete and is the foster brother of Mary-Belle now that his parents have welcomed her into their home. As soon as Mary-Belle arrives, it's clear that Ambrose is attracted to her.

Ambrose has grown up around money and power, which is the total opposite of Mary-Belle. While they have an immediate connection, circumstances occur that drives a wedge between them almost as soon as she arrives. Both of them are forced to focus on issues and pains from their past that are now affecting their present and future.

There is a so much that happens in this book that I'm going to leave the readers to find out the rest on their own as I did. I will say that you should take to heart the trigger warnings at the beginning of the book. There are some heavy subjects that are addressed. All are handled respectfully, but they are definitely there. Enjoy this wild ride!

**I voluntarily read an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Mycoton32.
4,274 reviews71 followers
October 13, 2022
17/20 - https://www.leslecturesdemylene.com/2...

En bref, ce roman est clairement barré, on le comprend dès les premières pages... J'ai adoré les personnages, leur évolution et surtout tous les rebondissements qui nous sont proposés par l'autrice, il faut dire que je n'en avais vu venir aucun... Ambrose et Mary-Belle sont tous les deux intenses, ils ont traversé un certain nombre de tempête et Ambrose va apprendre à MB à être une "parfaite". Sauf que rien ne se passe comme ils l'imaginaient, l'autrice n'est pas tendre avec eux et ils vont devoir se battre pour s'en sortir. Les événements s'enchainent, les mots sont parfois très violents tout comme les actions de certaines personnes. Certains sujets sensibles pourraient heurter le lecteur et je dois dire que j'en suis restée comme deux ronds de flan en découvrant la vérité. Le final est pour le moins intense et nous surprend encore une dernière fois avant de nous permettre de laisser les personnages avec le sourire. J'en suis encore toute secouée !!
Profile Image for Beyond The Covers Blog.
2,249 reviews79 followers
October 11, 2022
"And now I wonder if she’s right. If the reason that nobody ever kept me was because I’m unkeepable. I’m the person that stays for a season, only to be kicked out the very next."
Mary-Belle as shifted from one foster home to another. Just as she lands in the perfect home with a perfect foster mom MB's life is shattered.
Ambrose couldn't believe his aunt had died. Now her foster daughter was going to be his new foster sister. Once again he is reminded by his father that he has to be perfect in public.
Then in the blink of an eye MB's life was shattered as well as Ambrose's heart.
When a ghost from Ambrose and Quinn's past comes back to terrorize them and puts Ambrose's life in danger MB realizes she must leave again.
I love Quin's words!
“Dreams come true when you let them go...You hold them in the palm of your hand for so long that it’s all you can feel against your skin. It imprints onto your body in such a way that you don’t even realize it...What nobody tells you is that dreams can very easily turn into nightmares when they linger too long, when they imprint in your soul, when you can’t see past them... Sometimes dreaming means letting go, not holding on...Dreams come true when you let them go.
A heartbreaking and yet heartwarming story with a good dose of rebellious teenage antics.
Perfect to be imperfect.
Profile Image for thehotmesslibrary.
729 reviews16 followers
October 9, 2022
The Perfects by Rachel Van Dyken is a standalone bully romance/ new adult book which looks at the characters Ambrose and Mary-Belle. Mary Belle is a foster child who is brought to live in Ambrose’s house when tragedy strikes. Ambrose seems to have the ‘perfect’ life, but not everything is as it seems and adding Mary-Belle to the mix just seems to add cracks to the façade that he is trying so hard to keep together. There is a lot of emotion going on in this book with both characters trying to be ‘perfect’ in an imperfect world with lots of things thrown their way which make them question who they are.

There is a lot going on with the characters in this book as they feel their way through tumultuous emotions. Boundaries are pushed, the angst is prevalent and there is enough suspense to keep you wanting to turn the pages to find out what happens. If you’ve read RVD before you know that she puts her characters through the wringer and this story is no different. I definitely don’t want to give too much away, so you need to pick it up and give it a read!

ARC received for a fair, honest and sometimes long review. All opinions are my own. 😊

More of my reviews can be found on my blog: http://thehotmesslibrary.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Thindbooks.
573 reviews32 followers
October 11, 2022
*this e-arc was sent to me by the publicity team to give an honest review in return*

This book was not for me. It is about a girl (an orphan) who moves into a billionaire's house and both start liking each other until the best friend is involved. I have heard great things about Van Dyken's books and I was disappointed. I knew from the first page that I wasn't going to like this book because of the way the dialogue starts off. It's annoying and very childish for me. The setting was good but the plot was so messy that I didn't know what was going on half of the time. I honestly still don't know what I just read. The pacing was way too fast where one of the MCs becomes a jerk, then lovable and then a jerk again to the other MC all in 10% of the novel. The dialogue was not well written in my opinion and I often cringed throughout the book. This book is written in dual povs.

This book follows Ambrose and MB who both have traumas and are trying to go through them with each other. I did enjoy how they developed each other but I did not feel connected to them at all. They were both very annoying and I wanted to beat up Ambrose half of the time. Note that they are also HS seniors that acted like 8th graders instead. There is also the best friend, Quinn, who was very involved in the book that I was confused why he didn't have his own pov. I had high potential for him but he too was boring like the others. The romance is a high school bully romance and foster sister/brother trope. I did not ship the characters as they both need to mature.

This book does end with a happily ever after. So much happened in this book in a small amount of time that I don't remember anything I liked about it. I decided many times to DNF the book but after looking at the ratings, I thought it would get better. This book was just not it for me but I think other readers might enjoy it.
Profile Image for Sarah Dale.
2,662 reviews66 followers
October 10, 2022
Soon as I saw RVD had a new book out I got super excited and she didn't let me done. I was HOOKED from page one to the very end.

Mary-Belle has had a hard life. She has been passed around the foster system till she ends up with Ambrose and his family. Ambrose is just trying to get through senior year at school until he can escape to college and finally get some freedom from putting on the perfect family life.

The minute he meets Mary-Belle he is enraptured by her. She calls to him and he wants to protect her. She makes everything bearable. When tragedy strikes he withdraws from her and almost makes her his enemy but when his true enemy arrives back in town and long buried secrets stand a chance at coming to light he realises who really matters and has his back.

Oh I loved Mary-Belle. I honestly just wanted to hug this girl! She has never really had anyone have her back before, be there for her until Ambrose so when he pulls away and leaves her along again i just wanted to shake him and protect her.

This was such a gripping story of family, secrets, lies and heartache, tragedy and drama, mix this with love, friendship and passion and this is one book you will not want to miss.

I was gifted a copy of this book by the Author. This is my honest opinion

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