Monday, July 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Elude by Rachel Van Dyken with Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway

The sixth book in the internationally bestselling Eagle Elite Series.
*Interconnected Stand Alone*

Welcome to my stop on the Elude Review Tour.  There is a new excerpt below, as well as my review, and don't forget to enter the great giveaway below that is going on as part of the tour as well.

Twenty-Four hours before we were to be married--I offered to shoot her.
Ten hours before our wedding--I made a mockery of her dying wish.
Five hours before we were going to say our vows--I promised I'd never love her.
One hour before I said I do--I vowed I'd never shed a tear over her death.
But the minute we were pronounced man and wife--I knew.
I'd only use my gun to protect her.
I'd give my life for hers.
I'd cry.
And I would, most definitely, lose my heart, to a dying girl---a girl who by all accounts should have never been mine in the first place.
I always believed the mafia would be my end game--where I'd lose my heart, while it claimed my soul. I could have never imagined. It would be my redemption.
Or the beginning of something beautiful.
The beginning of her.
The end of us.
AMAZON    iBooks   NOOK

Suspense/comedic excerpt:
"You weren't kidding about those mimosas." Andi yawned behind her hand as we walked through Lincoln Park. I'd originally thought to take her to the zoo since she had that odd fascination with animals, but after seeing how tired she was, I decided to save it for another day.
"Well…" I held in my chuckle. "…when you have five of them…"
"I had three." She held up four fingers.
"Good to know you're just fine." I laughed. "Should I carry you?"
"Probably." She gave me a dopey grin. "But I think I can at least make it to the car."
"It's about a mile away."
"Oh." Her face fell.
"How about a piggyback ride?" I offered lamely, hating that a simple walk to the car was making her sad because she was so exhausted.
She stopped walking and crossed her arms. "Riding a cowboy was on the list."
"I'm not following."
"Talk to me in a southern accent, and I'll imagine a cowboy hat on that gorgeous head of hair and boom… I'm riding a cowboy."
I pinched the bridge of my nose. "Andi, I have so many different scenarios that would fit perfectly with that statement. None of them, however, include me carrying you through the park while singing 'Achy Breaky Heart.'"
"Oh good. You know it then?"
"I need to learn the art of silence."
"Probably true." She nodded.
"And teach it to you," I added.
"Aw, come on cowboy…"
I rolled my eyes and turned around so she could jump onto my back. "Should I find a park bench, or can you actually jump this high?"
"Never ask a ninja if she can jump — it's degrading."
"My mistake. I thought you were a short Russian masquerading as a baker. Go ahead, ninja. Jump."
She did, probably using the rest of the energy she had left. Her arms wrapped around my neck tightly. "Mush."
"I thought I was a horse."
"I changed my mind. Girls can do that on occasion."
Damn, the girl made me smile. The afternoon sun was starting to set as we walked along the path. Andi was encouraging me to use a southern accent in her most Russian accent.
And I was trying to pay attention to our surroundings, just in case we'd somehow been followed.
I thought we were in the clear until we reached the edge of the park. I could see the street, and immediately regretted that simple fact the minute two black sedans pulled up to the curb.
Five men got out.
Two from the first car.
Three from the second.
Andi tensed behind me.
"Andi." I kept my smile in place like there wasn't anything wrong. "Got any energy left?"
"Enough." She shuddered behind me.
"My gun," I whispered. "It's in the back of my pants. Reach between your legs and slide it up so nobody sees."
"You know in any other situation…" she muttered as I felt the gun slide up my back.
"Good," I encouraged. "The minute I put you down I want you to aim for the guy to the left. Don't shoot for the head. Hit his kneecap so he goes down. If he reaches for his gun—"
"This isn't my first rodeo, cowboy."
"You're right. I forget."
"I'm good. Don't worry about me."
The tension left my body. "I won't. Just don't get shot. I hate having to sew up bullet wounds."
"Please." I could feel the energy riding off her body. "You owe me a massage if my body count's higher."
"So now it's a competition?"
"Russians rarely lose."
"Well, you should get used to it. Because this Italian's going to hand you your ass."
"I'd like to see you try."
The men were trying to look nonchalant, outside their cars, smoking cigars like they weren't waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack.
"One," I whispered.
Andi slid farther down my back. "Two."
"Three." The word fell from my lips just as I ducked to the right. Andi went to my left and popped off two rounds directly into the guy's kneecaps — not just one, but both of them. A crunching sound broke out across the park as he fell on bones, cracking them further. He wailed in pain and surprisingly didn't reach for his gun.
Three of the men started charging me. Gun less, I could only rely on the fact that my fists were just as deadly as any gun could be, and I punched the first man in the throat then turned and elbowed the next. They stumbled back. Another gunshot went off. Andi was seriously picking them off like she was shooting fish in a bucket.
The three men turned their heads to glare at her. Then, rather than attacking, came at me again.
Surprised, I was knocked in the face by the first guy but sidestepped the next hit then landed a hard blow to his stomach followed by a knee to the groin. With a growl, I head-butted the next guy then punched him in the jaw; the sound of teeth breaking was my only indication that he'd be down for the count.
The final man circled me.
"Let me get him," Andi pleaded behind me.
"He's mine," I barked.
The man shrugged and held up his hands. "You should let girl do your work."
I rolled my eyes. "I'll never hear the end of it."
"Andi," the man called, "why not come with us, huh? You've done job. Time to come home."
"Job?" I repeated.
Andi came up beside me and aimed the gun for his forehead. "I've never worked for you."
"Oh?" The man chuckled and glanced at me. "He knows as well as I know… you are never out."
"Please let me pull the trigger."
The man ran at us.
I ducked then heaved my body into his, sending him backward against the park bench. Punch after punch I landed to his face, his blood mixing with the slices breaking out on my knuckles.
The sound of sirens interrupted my blatant mutilation of his body.
"Serg…" Andi kicked me. "…gotta disappear."
I backed up, chest heaving. "Right."

With one last kick to his body, I grabbed her hand and ran like hell toward our car, our very easy-to-spot car.

My Review:  It's no secret that Rachel Van Dyken's Eagle Elite Series is one of my favorites.  I've been helplessly hooked since I started book one in the series, and here we are at book six.  Mafia stories are not my thing, but Rachel Van Dyken's mafia I absolutely love.  There are quite a few characters, and while each character has their own story, all the others are active and entwined in each of them as well.  You'd think we so many different characters in each book, it would be hard to connect with each of them on an individual level, but Van Dyken does it seamlessly allowing you to get caught up in their world right along with them.  Elude is Sergio's story.  We've gotten to know Sergio in the other novels, but we really get to know him in this one.  He was a jerk in the very beginning, but wound up being a knight in shining armor before it was all said and done.  Andi is the female lead and I adored her.  Her sense of humor, the things she says and does, all that she has and is going through, you just can't help but adore her.  

Sergio and Andi's story is different than the others.  It is beautifully tragic.  I loved the way these two loved in the midst of their circumstances, in the midst of a situation that seemed hopeless, in the midst of everything going on around and in them......they not only find humor, they find passion and happiness in the moment, even when things look grim.  What starts out as a love/hate relationship between these two soon turns into a deeply intimate one, connecting them in a way that they will never forget.  

Then there are the other characters, and I love each and every one of them (except for the bad guys of course).  As well done as the romance aspect of the novel is, the suspense, danger, and mafia aspect is just as well written, keeping you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The ending was both happy and sad, but altogether beautiful, and I was left feeling so satisfied with how things wound up.  I am not a fan of stories that even hint at a sad ending, going so far as to not even read them, but this ending was perfect for this story and I think other readers are going to feel the same way, so don't let the synopsis or any of the excerpts dissuade you from reading it.  It is definitely something you'll want to check out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Elude by Rachel Van Dyken from Becca the Bibliophile on Vimeo.

About Rachel Van Dyken:
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, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook  or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is .

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  1. Okay. This story totally intrigues me BUT she's dying! I hate non-HEA stories. The one excerpt I read had me feeling like I'd die too. "Beautifully tragic" "happiness in the moment" I survived Fault in our Stars but just barely. Not sure I could take this one.

  2. This sounds really interesting! I am so curious about the blurb. Definitely going to have to give this one a go.

    A great review Ellen - Sharon – Obsession with Books


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