Sunday, July 8, 2018

{Book Review} Elect by Rachel Van Dyken


Elect by Rachel Van Dyken
Published: December 10, 2013
Series: Eagle Elite #2
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Would you die for the one you love?

Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will.

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

{Review}
Wow! I really loved the first book in the Eagle Elite series, but this one blows that one out of the water! I flew through this book because I had to know all the mysteries that were not solved in book one and how the characters were going to deal with the repercussions from their actions. This book nicely wrapped up the loose ends surrounding Nixon and Tracey while still adding intrigue to the plot to make readers desperate for book 3!

The plot of this book was a lot more dynamic and intricate than book one. A lot more focus was put on the dynamic between the separate mafia families and how their past interactions have led them to the conflicts they have today. I think the nice thing about this book is that it does resolve the conflicts from book one so that way readers who don’t want to continue on could have closure. Of course, I don’t know why anyone would not want to continue on, especially with the little teaser readers were given of what is to come.

I fell even more in love with Nixon's and Chase's characters in this book! I loved seeing how Nixon was willing to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves and for his family and friends. Chase was the funny lovable character readers fell in love with in book one, but he also had a more serious side to him in this book. The side characters were still amazing and new characters were added that I am interested in learning more as I continue on with the series.

I think the #1 problem readers will have with this book or what will cause some readers to not continue on to this book is that it does indeed have a love triangle that is a big focal point. I will say that it is probably just as big, if not bigger, part of the story than the mystery surrounding who the murder is. However, love triangles are a guilty pleasure of mine and out of all the books I have read featuring one, this one is one of the best. I was highly invested in both relationships and honestly, would have been okay with Tracey ending up with either. My heart was literally torn in two and there was a good level of angst surrounding both relationships.

I was pleasantly surprised that this book continues on with the twists and turns. I honestly can say that I did not guess anything that happened regarding the reveal of the mystery and how it would all play out. There were so many characters that had morals that were not completely good or bad, which made it hard to know who was telling the truth or who was going to back stab someone. It was great and I can’t wait to delve deeper into the mafia family dynamics in the future books!

I just can’t get over how much I love these books and am ecstatic that this is a really long series that is still going! My only fear with long series is it seems to run out of steam or that the plots are repeated with different characters, so I am really hoping that it continues getting better and better as I read on!


{Rating}


"I truly believed that the greatest sacrifice someone could make in life was putting someone else’s needs before your own wants and desires. Loving someone with such a passion that you’d suffer the rest of your life just so you could see them smile. You’d go to hell and back-if only it meant keeping them safe.”

Also check out the other books in the Eagle Elite series below!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

{Book Review} Elite by Rachel Van Dyken


Elite by Rachel Van Dyken
Published: July 9, 2013
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.

{Review}
This book was my first by Rachel Van Dyken and I am glad that I finally discovered this amazing author! I became absolutely addicted to this story and had a very hard time putting it down. The plot was interesting, the characters were funny and intriguing, plus it had a mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat! I can’t wait to continue on with this series and I am really happy that this is a long series so I don’t have to part from these characters anytime soon!

I really liked Van Dyken’s writing. It was addictive, simple and easy to read. I will say that at the beginning of the book, there was some dialogue that I found weird, but it was short lived. I soon found myself completely immersed in the story and would highly recommend these books to any readers who find themselves in a book slump!

I really loved the plot to this book and I consider myself lucky going into the story not really knowing much about it. I would recommend not doing too much research about this book so that you don’t get spoiled considering the majority of this book focuses on a huge secret. This book mainly focuses on the unrevealing of said secret and college life where the main protagonist, Tracey, is bullied/tortured by Nixon and his friends. I will say that the college bullying was a bit overdramatic and unrealistic, however, the next book does not focus on the college aspect as much and is super good!

I really like the characters in this book. Tracey was pretty stereotypical when it comes to this type of story and she was a bit too trusting and forgiving, but I still liked her. Nixon was one of those alpha male a-hole characters that you love to hate and then you find yourself falling head-over-heels in love with his character! I really fell in love with Chase and can’t wait to see the other Eagle Elite members in the future installments of this series!

The romance was great! I can’t go too in-depth about it because of spoilers, but I found myself completely addicted to any scenes that had both Tracey and Nixon interacting in them! I don’t know why I am addicted to stories that have the two main love interests at each other’s throats at the beginning of the story, but I can’t help but seek them all out! It was also refreshing to read a book that did not have as mature content in it (however I am thinking that will change as the series progresses).

I highly recommend this book! It was addictive and a really fun read! I have already read book two and have purchased all the other books so that way I can binge them!

{Rating}

"Maybe the world isn't as shiny and fun as you once thought. People are mean. Humanity is a cruel joke, Trace. I'm just trying to prevent them from getting the last laugh."



Also check out the other books in the Eagle Elite series below!

Friday, June 22, 2018

{Book Review} Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski


Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski
Published: June 19, 2013
Series: In the Company of Killers #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Dark Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.

Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.

While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.

As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.

This is their story…

{Review}
I have heard about this book for such a long time and finally decided that it was time for me to give it a read. After finishing this book, I am really glad that I had purchased the rest in the series. It was a fast-paced read that kept me on the edge of my seat and intrigued me with its intricate and mysterious characters to want to continue reading on to find out what will happen next.

While most of the books that I read focus primarily on the romance and then sprinkle in the plot, I felt that this one was opposite. The world building was amazing and what really captivated me about this story. There were also a lot of twists that kept me guessing what was going to happen next and question the morals of the characters. This is one of the few books that I have read in awhile that I think would appeal to both male and female readers.

This story is mainly told in Sarai’s POV, with chapters in Victor’s voice beginning later in the book. It really helped to establish the connection I had with Sarai and I instantly fell in love with her character. I loved that she was strong, courageous and caring even though she had experienced trauma. I did appreciate that Victor’s charactererization stayed true throughout the book, but he was probably the most reserved character I have ever read about. He was cold, quite and very direct. It felt like only a small portion of him was revealed, but that there is so much more lying beneath the surface. I am hoping that in future books he is expanded on a bit more.

There were also a lot of great secondary characters introduced in this story that I am sure will make appearances in the future installments. I found it funny that Victor was a main character and had chapters in his POV, but I felt like I knew some of the secondary characters more in-depth than him.

The thing that made this read a 4 star was that fact that I could not get invested in the romance. Victor’s cold personality and lack of affection made it hard for me to believe that he cared for Sarai at all. I was not able to invest or root for these characters to be together, but I am hopeful that their relationship will become deeper in the next installment.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! It was refreshing reading something that did not solely focus on the romance and had an expanded world and characters. I can’t wait to immerse myself within this dynamic series because considering how many dark twists and turns was in book one, I can’t wait to see what is yet to come.  

{Rating}

In the end, you can only trust yourself. I am not your hero. I am not the other half of your soul who could never let anything bad ever happen to you. Trust your instincts first always, and me, if you choose, last”

Also check out the other books by J.A. Redmerski below!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

{Book Review} The Silver Swan by Amo Jones


The Silver Swan by Amo Jones
Published: March 7, 2017
Series: The Elite King's Club #1
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Dark Contemporary Romance
{Goodreads}{Amazon}

Riddle me this...
“I am neither dead, nor alive, and I’m not something little Madison can hide.
But you will be dead, by the time this is done...
the timer starts now, and the games have just begun…”


Madison Montgomery comes from money and power, but when someone close to her commits the ultimate crime, Madison must live with her tainted name for the rest of her life. When she begins Riverside Preparatory Academy, the private school her father has swept her into in The Hamptons, she hopes for a fresh start. What she wasn't hoping for was the pack of bad boys who run the school; ten, to be exact. When Madison gains the attention of their leader, Bishop Vincent Hayes, a whole new world that she didn't think existed is exposed to her. A whole world that starts and ends with The Elite Kings Club and these boys, are about to flip her world upside down. Secrets are overflowing and family lies are about to be exposed. Is there more to Madison Montgomery than even she knows?

{Review}
I want to start this review stating that I think that this book has very polarized reviews. Some readers absolutely loved it, while others blatantly hated it, but I found myself falling somewhere in-between (but falling more on the hated it side). With a cover that is absolutely stunning and book synopsis that promises to ‘F’ with your mind, I thought this book was going to be mind-numbingly messed up-and while it was messed up, it did not live up to my expectations. Although I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped I still kept reading it because I wanted to know what would happen. I was captivated by it even though I found it lacking in many ways.

When I began reading this book, it gave off some pretty strong Paper Princess (by Erin Watt) and Corrupt (by Penelope Douglas) vibes. There are quite a few similarities between those series and this book, which I would not have minded since those are some of by favorite books, but in The Silver Swan, they didn't work for me. I will not go into detail because it is treading on spoiler territory, but considering all the mixed reviews, I still encourage readers who are interested in this series to give it a try. 

I thought that the idea of this story was AMAZING, but it was not executed in the way I had hoped. I think with books like this-ones containing secret societies, mysterious characters and puzzling situations-it is imperative that the reveals to readers make sense. I have read some reviews where readers said that this book was predictable, which I absolutely did not think was the case-in fact, quite the opposite. By the end of this book, I was scratching my head because there was a lot revealed, but the problem was I did not understand how characters were able to put 2 and 2 together. There also was not enough information given for me to be shocked. When the ‘big’ reveal happened, I didn’t know what it meant, where the story might be headed and how this information affected the characters.

The thing that I struggled most with this book was the characters and their actions. The main female protagonist, Madison, lacked common sense (and that is being nice). She was constantly being seriously threatened with murder and rape, harassed and stalked, but then would forgive the individuals who were doing the threatening. The members of the Elite King’s Club were slightly more interesting, however only Bishop (Madison’s love interest) and Nate (Madison’s step-brother) had any sort of character development. The rest of them (I can’t even remember their names) seemed to be there just to add more characters (hopefully they will be more pivotal in the future books). Tillie and Tatum (Madison’s ‘friends’) were probably the most useless characters because they added absolutely nothing to the plot and their friendship with Madison seemed forced and awkward.

With all that being said, there was still something that made me read this book late into the night. It was mysterious and how some of the elements were revealed really kept me on the edge of my seat. I still am really on the fence about if I want to continue on with the series. There is still a part of me that wants to find out what is going to happen, but I will be really disappointed if the next book does not have some clearer reveals and the characters don’t become more dynamic. Although I did have problems with this read, I still recommend it to any readers who think that it sounds good. I could see how this book could be some people’s favorite read, but for me, there was just too much I could not overlook.

{Rating}
 
“In this world, secrets are weapons, kitty. It’s what stands between us and six feet underground.”

Also check out the other books in The Elite King’s series below!
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