Friday, December 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken - Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken from Grand Central Publishing's Forever Imprint.  You can read my reviews for both Elect and Elite below.  We also have an excerpt for you, and in addition, the publisher is sponsoring the following really great giveaway:  5  WINNERS: SIGNED Forever gift bag, Signed PRINT copy of ELITE (to catch you up on the series!)  5 WINNERS: 5 digital copies of ELITE, so be sure to check that out below as well.  Thank you so much for stopping by!
Elect (Eagle Elite #2)
by Rachel Van Dyken
Published:  December 10, 2013
ELECT Synopsis:

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 . . .

My Thoughts:  Elect picks up where Elite leaves off.  The plot thickens, the romance gets steamier, and things get even more dangerous as the mystery continues to unfold.  There is a love triangle in the book, but this isn't your typical love triangle, so don't let that fact deter you from reading it.  The chemistry between Trace and Nixon is off the charts, and it becomes obvious just how much they love each other.  It also became obvious the depth of Nixon's love for Trace and what he was willing to do and to sacrifice in order to keep her safe, even if it means placing her in the arms of his best friend.  Chase, the best friend, struggles with what is going on, including his loyalty to Nixon and his feelings for Trace, which makes things even more complicated.  Given only a short time to find the answer to a crime committed years earlier, Nixon is forced to hatch a plan that could not only destroy him, but could cause him to lose Trace forever.  

I loved Chase, I really did.  He's a great guy, but I really came to love Nixon in this book.  The depth of his love for Tracey was obvious and the fact that he was willing to sacrifice his own happiness for hers, made me love him all the more.  So, that said, I am team Nixon, but I do love Chase and I want him to be happy also.  As the saga continues in Elect, the depth of the conspiracy reaches a whole new level, trusts are broken, friends become enemies and enemies become friends, danger and suspense reach an all-time high, and the depths of love and friendship are tested to the core.   Elect is filled with plenty of passion and romance, as well as betrayal, murder, and mystery, with glimpses into a world of crime that most can only imagine.  Rachel Van Dyken has caused me to totally fall in love with this story and what it involves, a type of story and a world that I never thought I would be interested in, and now I am totally captivated with it.  I absolutely loved Elect and the Eagle Elite Series, and I most definitely recommend it, but I warn you, hold on because you are in for quite a ride.  
“Let’s make a pact.” Chase put his hand on my shoulder.
“A pact?” I sniffled and turned to him. “What kind of pact?”
“One that’s forever. One that protects people rather than hurts them.”
“How do we do that?” I was suddenly interested. What if I could make all the hurt go away? What if I could save everyone!
“We do this.” Chase pulled out his pocketknife and cut open his hand, then nodded to me to do the same thing. Without pausing I cut open my hand and handed back the knife. “Blood brothers. We’re never gonna hurt each other and we’re gonna save those like your ma, Nixon. Ones who can’t save themselves. We’re going to protect them.”
“How?” I watched as the blood dripped from my open palm.
“Rules.” Chase shrugged. “They keep people safe, right? At least that’s what my mom says.” He smiled. “We make rules and we start our own club. That way, we don’t have to listen to anyone but us.”
I liked it. I chewed on my lower lip. “What do we call ourselves?”
“The chosen?” Chase offered.
“No, that sounds lame. We have to sound… more powerful than that.”
My eyes flickered to the road, and a sign poked into the ground. It said election. “Elect.” I pointed. “Let’s call ourselves The Elect.” It made sense; after all, the president was elected, wasn’t he? We weren’t exactly chosen, but we were making the choice, we were electing ourselves protectors. That’s what we were.
“Who else can join?” Chase asked.
“Tex and Phoenix. They’ll want to.” A weight suddenly felt like it was being lifted off my twelve-year-old shoulders. “Should we shake on it?”
“Yeah.” Chase smashed his hand against mine as our blood mixed. “No going back, Nixon.”
“No.” I shook my head. “No going back.”

I pressed my fingers to my temples and watched, replaying that moment over and over again in my head as the outline of Chase and Tracey flickered in the moonlight. Would he really do this to me? After all the shit we’d been through?
I gauged her reaction, hoping that I would be wrong. Praying to God that Trace would just this once listen to me. Her eyes flickered with interest for a few brief seconds before she looked down at the ground.
“Shit.” I waited in the shadows. A part of me knew this would happen. The part that told me to damn my feelings to hell and ignore all the warning signs that I’d been seeing. But now it seemed like it was too late. I stayed, planted where I was, watching, waiting.
“Chase, you can’t…” Trace shook her head. “You can’t be like this. We can’t do this!”
“We aren’t doing anything,” Chase said in low tones, reaching for Trace’s hand. “Don’t you?” He looked directly at me, although all he saw was a shadow. I knew I was well hidden. “Don’t you feel the same way?”
Trace jerked her hand away from Chase’s. “It doesn’t matter what I feel. It’s not about me, Chase.”
“But it is.” Chase reached for her again. This time her hand grasped his in such an intimate embrace I thought I was going to vomit all over the ground. The outside air was cold as hell as little pieces of ice tried to find their way into my wool coat.
“It isn’t.” Trace sighed. “It never was.”
Chase jerked her toward him. She fell against his chest and looked up into his eyes. “What are you doing?”
Chase sighed. “What I should have done a long time ago.” He grabbed the back of her head and pulled her in for a kiss. Their lips touched.
I had to look away.
The only sound in the night was that of my soft footsteps as I walked away… leaving my heart in broken pieces where I’d last stood. She was lost to me; it wasn’t even the Sicilians that had taken her, but my best friend.
A gunshot rang out loud and clear in the night air. I turned back around just in time to see Trace collapse into Chase’s arms.

Rachel Van Dyken’s Bio:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!

5  WINNERS: SIGNED Forever gift bag, Signed PRINT copy of ELITE (to catch you up on the series!)
5 WINNERS: 5 digital copies of ELITE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elite (Eagle Elite #1)
by Rachel Van Dyken
Published:  July 9, 2013
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. 

My Thoughts:  I was initially drawn in and interested in this story after reading the synopsis, which sort of gives of the vibe of a secret society, but is, I think, purposely vague, which made me even more intrigued as to the possibility of what and who "The Elect" were and what they were all about.  I was shocked when Tracey Rooks, farm girl from Wyoming who won the lottery giving her a scholarship to attend Eagle Elite College arrived, and she was met by the rudest, most self-centered, snobby jerks you could ever imagine.  I was also hooked because I had to know what this was all about.  I loved Tracey from the get go and found myself feeling very protective of her.  She is a bit naive, but also a bit of a spitfire, something that I think may have took Nixon Abandonato, leader of the evil welcoming pack, by surprise.  Nixon and his friends, Chase, Tex, and Phoenix were the meanest and most conceited bunch of guys, and I totally could have slapped them with their Greek-God looking selves for the way they treated Trace, but as the story progresses, there is so much more going on than meets the eyes.  The further I got into the book, and the more the mystery behind everything began to unfold, I was like a firefly drawn to a flame and couldn't put it down, especially when it began to become clearer as the book progressed just what it was all about. 

In the beginning, Trace's one saving grace was Mo, Nixon's twin sister, who took her under her wing and helped her.  Nixon was one of those guys you loved to hate, the you loved, then you hated, but wanted him all at the same time because of that bad boy appeal.  He has a commanding presence and it soon becomes clear that he is in charge, of pretty much everything.  I loved Chase, he could come across as jerk at times, but it was obvious he had a really good heart.  Nixon's heart, on the other hand, was harder to see into.  Some really awful things were done to Trace, a lot in the name of protecting her, then there were also things that got totally out of hand.  As the mystery of who Trace really was, who Nixon really is, their pasts, their present, and their possible future collides, things get even messier and even more intriguing.  

“He’s the spawn of Satan” she grumbled. “And you are?” She grinned and held out her hand. “Monroe, I’m Satan’s sister.” 

I really don't want to say too much and give things away (you can see a little bit of a spoiler if interested below), but I do have to say that this was one of most exciting,  edge of your seat, and captivating books that I have read in quite some time, and not something I would have been drawn to if I would have known more about the details of the story in the beginning.  Romance, danger, conspiracy, intrigue, passion, more danger, suspense....Elite has it all.  I loved it and I am so excited to read the next book in the series.  I most definitely recommend checking this book out.    
 ~Spoiler alert below (highlight to read) ~ 

I have never been a fan of mafia or crime syndicate books or movies in any way, shape, or form.  They just didn't interest me in the least, to the point I have avoided mob-related movies and books for years, with the only exception being I do enjoy stories revolving around secret societies.  I have to say that Rachel Van Dyken has totally and completely changed my opinion on this, and not only did I like this story, I loved it!!!  It was brilliant and totally captivated me from beginning to end.  No doubt, I'd be lining up at the door if it were to  be made into a movie.    


  1. Between the excerpt and your review, I definitely want to read this one now Ellen! Great review. Have a nice weekend. :)

    1. This was a great series. I think you would really enjoy it.

  2. I'm not really so big on romances all of the time, but you throw in some good mystery and other elements and I definitely get intrigued. This definitely sounds like an interesting series!

    1. It was good. I am not sure if you'd like it or not though Candace.

  3. I've heard some good things about this series. Thanks for sharing the excerpt!

    1. It was really good Andrea. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

  4. Replies
    1. It was great. I was surprised how much I liked it.


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