Monday, August 15, 2016

With Every Breath (Wanderlust #1) by Lia Riley | Review

With Every Breath (Wanderlust #1) by Lia Riley | ReviewWith Every Breath (Wanderlust #1) by Lia Riley
Published by Forever on December 29th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

BREATHE DEEP . . . AND JUMP IN

At the ends of the earth, Patagonia is a land where ambition trumps reason and the savage summit of La Aguja lures the most determined climbers. It's also the last spot a "play-it-safe girl" like Auden Woods expects to find herself. But she'll lace up her brand-new hiking boots and do whatever it takes to secure a dream job at an adventure magazine . . . even if it kills her. And it just might. When disaster strikes, her only chance at survival comes in the form of the surliest, sexiest mountaineer ever to come out of Scotland.

After a climbing accident cost him his brother, professional mountaineer Rhys MacAskill is at the end of his rope. Redemption is not in his future. That is, until a terrifying storm blows a budding journalist into his tent and it's up to him to make sure they both survive until morning. Despite the demons weighing on him, Rhys can't resist the temptation of the charming American and one wild night just isn't enough.

Auden and Rhys soon learn there are no shortcuts as they navigate their way between life, death, and atonement, and discover something they never expected—love.

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Oh new adult novels, you can be so cheesy.  With Every Breath fits in that category but I must say that I found myself enjoying my first foray into Lia Riley’s works.  It’s a fast-paced read that you can probably read in one sitting if you really want to.  It’s cute and will definitely leave you with a smile on your face.

Pros:

  • Story: I loved both Auden and Rhys’ stories.  Auden is an aspiring journalist who doesn’t have much to show so far in life.  She’s lived in the shadow of her twin sister and she feels that it’s finally time to get out there and create some stories of her own.  Rhys has lived more than most people.  He’s a professional mountaineer who is looking for redemption at the top of La Aguja.  Both Auden and Rhys are looking for something at La Aguja.  What they find isn’t exactly what they set out for but it proves to be exactly what they need.  There were some surprising twists in each of their stories and I liked that I could be kept guessing.
  • Characters: Auden is probably one of my favorite new adult protagonists.  Her life hasn’t been easy but she’s not a depressed or pessimistic person.  She’s funny and quirky and a lot of fun.  From the moment I was first introduced to her, I knew I’d be able to relate.  She’s not very outspoken and she’s afraid to ask for help.  All that changes when she meets Rhys.  He’s someone who doesn’t know her and she can be whoever she wants to be around him.  She was looking for the chance to change and he was the perfect opportunity.  As for Rhys, what can I say, I have a thing for the brooding ones.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s Scottish.  Even in my head I could hear that accent.  He was very closed off and that didn’t change the second he met Auden.  He didn’t really have a choice but to help her out.  His past was much darker than Auden’s and I could see that he thought his future was going to be too.  He had to work hard to open up to her and trust did not come easy from him.

Cons:

  • Ending: The ending felt really rushed to me.  I remember looking down at the page count on my ereader and wondering how everything could be wrapped up in so few pages.  I felt that once Auden and Rhys reached the camp at La Aguja everything just sped up and came tumbling out.  Things were revealed and resolved in just a few pages.  I didn’t see how that fit with either character.  I also felt that the biggest thing that happened in the whole book just got glanced over.  It’s a huge thing that impacted both Auden and Rhys and it was barely mentioned.  I don’t know if the next book in the series will address it at all but I really hope so.
  • Dialogue:  Dialogue is what usually gets me in new adult novels and that was the case with this one too.  Rhys is this brooding mountaineer who supposedly uses women for his own purposes but when he meets Auden he acts like this lovestruck teenager.  Sure he sometimes acts rather rude but most of the time he’s super romantic and sweet, even in his head.  I just couldn’t put that with my idea of Rhys as he had been described previously.

Overall, With Every Breath is an enjoyable read if you are just looking for something fun and mindless.  It’s not the best new adult but it’s definitely not the worst either.  I have a feeling I’ll continue with this series and check out more of Lia Riley’s books.

Overall reaction:

What others are saying about With Every Breath:

Romancing the Book’s review: “Emotions are high throughout and I shed some tears along with a few laughs.”

Harlequin Junkie’s review: “With Every Breath is a fun, enjoyable, slightly angsty read that I highly recommend especially if you’re interested in an at-home trip to South America.”

Stories Unfolded’s review: “Every new book I read of Lia’s makes me more of a fan and she’s getting another thumbs up from me on this one.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Right Kind of Wrong (Finding Fate #3) by Chelsea Fine | Guest Post + Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Right Kind of Wrong (Finding Fate #3) by Chelsea Fine | Guest Post + Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Right Kind of Wrong (Finding Fate #3) by Chelsea Fine | Guest Post + Review + GiveawayRight Kind Of Wrong by Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #3
Published by Forever on September 2, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.

picadillyblueRight Kind of Wrong, the third and final book in the Finding Fate trilogy, lived up to my expectations.  After reading two of Chelsea Fine’s previous novels, I’ve come to expect steamy romance, well-developed characters, and fun, fast-paced stories.  Right Kind of Wrong is not lacking in any of these.

Jenna and Jack take center stage in Right Kind of Wrong.  Their story is a bit different from Pixie and Levi’s and Kayla and Daren’s seeing as they already have a sexual relationship.  They’ve known each other ever since they started working together and they were both immediately attracted to each other.  One drunken night led to them hooking up but their relationship remained just friendly, at least on Jenna’s part.  Jack wants more and he’s willing to push Jenna until she gives in and admits she does too.  Jack really does everything in his power to push Jenna to her limits and admit she’s not as independent as she’d like to think.  He’s fine with her following her dreams but he wants to be there with her along the way.  He’s beyond sweet but he’s by no means perfect.  Jack has a very messed up past that takes a main role in Right Kind of Wrong.  It was refreshing to see someone with such a bad past take the role of the good guy.  It was also refreshing to see how the darkness in Jack’s past didn’t push Jenna away, that she was strong enough to handle anything he threw at her.

Jenna was my only issue with Right Kind of Wrong.  She was such a hypocrite!  She preached to Kayla and Pixie about letting love into their life and letting themselves be happy but she wouldn’t do the same for herself.  She did everything she could to push Jack away, all because he didn’t fit into her life plan.  She was actually downright rude about it to Jack and I hated that about her.  Also, it became a little repetitive with all the talk of her life plan and how Jack would just ruin things.  I wanted to reach into the book and slap Jenna right across the face.

The story was fast-paced and had me laughing a lot.  Jenna and Jack brought out the best and worst in each other and it was quite hilarious.  Jenna’s inner monologue was pure comedic genius.  There was a darker side to the story as well.  Jack’s little brother got messed up in some bad business and it was up to Jack to find out what happened to him and try to save his life.  It was a very different story from the first two books and actually appealed to me more than the other two.  If you’ve read Jay Crownover’s book, Better When He’s Bad, it’s a little similar to that.  And since I loved that one, I loved that aspect of Right Kind of Wrong.

Overall, Right Kind of Wrong has made me a Chelsea Fine fan for life.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  I’m hoping for more steamy new adult novels from this author!

What others are saying about Right Kind of Wrong:

One Click Bliss’ review: “You’ll have to read it to find out what happens, but Chelsea Fine’s writing grips you from page one and has you fully ensconced in their lives and pulling for their happily ever after.”

Love Between The Sheets’ review: “While I didn’t love Right Kind of Wong, I did like Jenna and Jack’s story enough that I think I’ll go back and read the previous books in the series.”

LovLivLife Reviews’ review: “Really cute story – I enjoyed this one a lot – it was different than the other two books since Jenna and Jack already had the connection.”

Guest Post from Chelsea Fine!

Atrocious, awkward, and amazing: Road Trip Tales

by Chelsea Fine

 

Ah, road trips. An American pastime and a part of most everyone’s vacation memories. They’re romanticized, televised, and idealized, but they almost never go according to plan.

 

When you lock people up in a vehicle for an extended period of time, you’re bound to end up with a good story. And the term “good” is used loosely here because, in my opinion, road trips fall into one of three categories: Atrocious, Awkward, and Amazing.

 

Here’s a brief glimpse into three road trips I’ve taken that fall into each of those categories:

 

ATROCIOUS: Let me set it up for you. My husband and me, traveling late at night, with three children, two of which were 3 years old and both vomiting, while the other child (who was 1 year old and still in diapers) was screaming. We were driving an old SUV, lost on a pitch-black road somewhere between California and Arizona, without any food or diapers, running low on gas, with the car heater broken and one headlight out, during the middle of winter, in the RAIN.

 

It was three hours of pure atrocity.

 

AWKWARD: In high school, a group of friends and I decided to go camping one weekend at a spot three hours away. The camping trip itself was fun, but on the day we packed up to leave, there was some confusion and two people got left behind: me and my ex-boyfriend. Now, you all know how dramatic high school breakups can be and this particular boyfriend and I hadn’t spoken since we called it quits. We made the three-hour road trip journey back home in my little car, driving the entire way in tense silence.

 

Awk-ward.

 

AMAZING: The best road trip I’ve ever been on was, by far, with my husband. A few years ago we attended a wedding in Northern California and rented a car for our stay. We set out to find lunch one day, but took a wrong turn and ended up lost. At the time, neither of us had GPS on our phones so we had no way of knowing where we were. We tried to find our way back to the main roads, but all our turning-around only led us farther away from civilization and, soon, we were headed down a skinny dirt road in the middle of nowhere, tired and hungry. A few hours passed and  suddenly, the scenery changed from dirt roads and scattered shrubbery to winding hills of colorful trees, and rows of manicured vines stretched before us. In all our lost confusion, we’d accidentally driven right into wine country! Just off the dirt path to our left was a lone building that looked like it belonged in Tuscany. It resembled a cottage, with shutters and an oak door with iron hinges, and on a sign above the door was the word: RISTORANTE. Parking, we wandered inside the quaint building and were greeted by a pleasant old man and his wife, the owners of the small restaurant. They sat us on the patio, overlooking rolling hills of vineyards, and served us the most delicious lasagna and wine. We ate and drank to the beautiful rays of the setting sun and marveled at how we’d set out to find lunch and ended up on the best road trip ever.

 

Simply amazing.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have any of you ever had an atrocious, awkward, or amazing road trip? Or perhaps all three? 😉

Chelsea Fine Headshot

About The Author:
Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

 

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2) by Chelsea Fine | Review

Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2) by Chelsea Fine | ReviewPerfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #2
Published by Forever on June 3, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . . 

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.

picadillybluePerfect Kind of Trouble, the second book in the Finding Fate series, is the cute, fun new adult story that I expected with some twists thrown in.

Daren was introduced to readers in the first book in this series, Best Kind of Broken.  Kayla is a new addition, back in town after the death of her father.  Kayla only plans to drop in, go to the funeral, and sign off on the will but she soon learns that her father left her an inheritance but it comes with a catch; she has to be handcuffed to Daren while going on a scavenger hunt to find the money.  Things wouldn’t be so bad if Kayla wasn’t supremely attracted to Daren even though she can’t stand him.  Daren wouldn’t mind either except Kayla abandoned her father and he has no respect for her.  However, Kayla and Daren quickly find out that the things they think they know about each other aren’t exactly true.  Oh and the scavenger hunt they expected to last a few hours?  Yeah, try a few days instead.

Kayla and Daren are both majorly flawed characters.  One of Kayla’s  biggest flaws and my only real problem with the book was her vanity.  She never stopped talking about how guys treated her like an object and how women were intimidated by her beauty.  I know she hated that about herself but it really did make her seem vain.   Other than that though, she was smart, kind, caring, and witty.  I grew to like her once I learned to look past all the talk of her beauty and her body.  Daren was easier to like from the start since I did know a bit about him from the first book in the series.  He was cocky and full of himself but it was pretty obvious from the start that it was all a shield so people never saw the real him.  He’s a kind person with a big heart but no one to share it with.  Life definitely gave him lemons but he wasn’t quite sure how to make lemonade.  Kayla helped him figure it out.  They really helped each other figure a lot of things out.

The story was nothing special but it was really fun.  A scavenger hunt that could lead to a quarter or a couple thousand dollars?  Sign me up.  Sure, Kayla and Daren were handcuffed together the whole time but that just made it even more fun.  There was tons of madness and mayhem and some seriously funny moments.  The development of their relationship was also fun to see.  They started off thinking the worst of each other and really not getting along.  By the end, they definitely saw different sides to each other.  There was some serious chemistry between the two of them from the start and I loved watching it all play out.

Overall, Perfect Kind of Trouble is a solid second novel in the Finding Fate series.  This book also introduces the two main characters from the next book and I look forward to reading their story next!

What others are saying about Perfect Kind of Trouble:

Bookworm Coalition’s review: “I loved the first book, Best Kind of Broken, and it seems Chelsea Fine has another great addition to what’s shaping up to be a fantastic series.”

Book Angel Booktopia’s review: “I am utterly smitten with this series and the characters Chelsea has created.”

Bitter Sweet Book Love’s review: “It’s realistic and honest and just a bit messy and I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1) by Chelsea Fine | Review

Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1) by Chelsea Fine | ReviewBest Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #2
Published by Forever on March 4, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Pixie and Levi haven't spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are... awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they're forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.

picadillyblueBest Kind of Broken is the first novel I’ve read from Chelsea Fine but it will not be my last.  If it’s any indication of her talent as a writer, I have high hopes for her future titles.

Best Kind of Broken starts off with a bang and never slows down.  It’s a surprisingly fast paced contemporary novel.  There isn’t a whole lot to the story but the characters and the dialogue really keep the book moving at a great pace.  It was impossible for me to put this one down once I started it because I really wanted to see if and how Pixie and Levi would get their happy ending.  It’s the best kind of contemporary novel out there that can keep you reading even when you know you have tons of others things you should be doing.

Pixie and Levi are both very broken people.  Pixie lost her best friend and her first shot at love all in one night.  Levi lost his sister and his shot at love that same night.  Now they don’t know how to find their way back to each other and let go of that one night that ruined both of their lives.  Pixie is no longer the vibrant, outgoing person she was before the accident.  She no longer paints in colors, spends time with a boyfriend that makes her feel absolutely nothing, and she avoids the one person who knows exactly what she’s going through.  Levi is just about as bad as Pixie.  He lost his whole family in one night and add to it the girl he was falling in love with and it makes for one seriously depressed person.  He dropped out of school, gave up football, and really just decided he didn’t deserve anything or anyone that would make him happy.  Levi and Pixie would continue to avoid each if other if only they weren’t working at the same inn and living next door to each other.  They may not want to but they are finally forced to face the past and decide if they have room for each other in their futures.

Pixie and Levi may say they want nothing to do with each other but the way they act says something very different.  They banter constantly, torment each other nonstop, and really just do anything they can to put themselves in the path of the other.  Everyone at the inn can see that they love each other and should be together but they are two hardheaded people who will do anything to avoid talking about the one night that ended the short life of Pixie’s best friend and Levi’s sister, Charity.  Their story isn’t a happy one but it’s clear that they need to work together to get to any kind of happy ending.  They can’t avoid their love for each other forever and they definitely can’t avoid the sexual tension between the two of them.

Overall, Best Kind of Broken is a great place to start if you have never read anything from Chelsea Fine.  She has definitely been added to my list of new adult authors to watch out for!

What others are saying about Best Kind of Broken:

Parajunkee’s review: “I have mixed feelings about Best Kind of Broken; on one hand the characters were interesting and I wanted to know their story, on the other hand I found the build-up to the “big secret” to be frustrating.”

Girls in the Stacks’ review: “Holy heck this is a freaking great book!”

The Good, the Bad, and the Unread’s review: “This is a lovely, quirky story about a group of very distinct personalities.”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski | Review

Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski | ReviewSong of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski
Published by Forever on February 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Since they were kids, Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates have been inseparable. When Bray moves to South Carolina, separating the two for the first time, they both at last realize that their innocent childhood friendship has developed into something much more. So when Bray finally returns to Georgia—and to Elias—things between them couldn’t be more perfect…until one fateful night changes everything.

Desperate not to go to prison for a terrible accident, Elias and Bray decide to run. As they try to make the most of their freedom, the two find themselves relying on a rebellious group of people who tempt the duo into a wild and daring new life. But they can’t run from their troubles forever.

As the consequences of their past catch up to them, the couple must finally face reality. Even if they can make it through the unimaginable, Elias knows the truth about Bray’s painful history, and in the end he may not be able to save Bray from herself…

picadillyblueI don’t know why I continue to torture myself by reading J.A. Redmerski’s books.  I didn’t care for her previous book, The Edge of Never, but I figured I’d give Song of the Fireflies a shot.  Needless to say, I feel like I wasted my time with this one.

Elias and Brayelle are two of the dumbest characters that I’ve ever read about (and that’s saying a lot.)  They have what you would call a very unhealthy relationship.  Elias has always been in love with Bray and Bray has always avoided any kind of serious relationship with Elias.  She’ll sleep with him but that is absolutely all she wants from him.  She sees relationships as a way to get hurt and nothing more.  Elias is a clingy guy who wants nothing more than to be with Bray.  You can see how this might not be a good combination.  They do eventually start a relationship and from there it is all downhill.

The whole story is how Bray does something horrible one night at a party and she and Elias go on the run.  They get into some terrible situations while on the run (such as having their car and all their belongings stolen.)  They meet up with some strangers one day and decide to stick with them even though they know that they might not be good people.  Along the way they drink a lot, do some drugs, and have lots of sex.  That’s about the extent of their relationship.  They don’t talk much, they just have sex.  The people that they are with have some secrets that eventually come out but so do Bray and Elias.  I’m pretty sure of the two groups of people, Bray and Elias have the worse secret.  Oh and along the way they have a run in with Camryn and Andrew from The Edge of Never.

Honestly, the only reason I gave this book three stars instead of no stars was that it was entertaining and the writing was actually pretty good.  I wanted to know how Elias and Bray’s story would end and so I didn’t DNF this one even though I thought about it a few times.  There was enough mystery and suspense to keep me reading.

Overall, Song of the Fireflies is not one I’d recommend.  If, for some reason, you decide that you still want to read it, get this one from the library.

What others are saying about Song of the Fireflies:

Nosegraze’s review: “I didn’t like Song of the Fireflies.”

Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “I got about half way through the book and found that I honestly didn’t care about what was going to happen next.”

I’d So Rather B Reading’s review: “Redmerski’s writing is emotional, passionate, and intense.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElect by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #2
Published by Forever on December 10, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 267
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

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 . . .

A while back I kind of tore apart the first book in this series, Elite. I really did not have very many good things to say about it. For some reason I decided to give the second book a shot and I’m actually glad I did. While I didn’t love it, it was a definitely improvement over the first book and I enjoyed it.

Trace and Nixon have matured a bit since the end of Elite. I wasn’t impressed with how their relationship was so hot and cold in the first book and that definitely improved with this book. Sure they were still really obsessed with each other but they seemed to know more about being in a relationship this time around. They talked to each other more and they tried to work things out together this time. They didn’t manage to work things out together but at least they tried this time around.

The story was a lot more intense than the first book and I wasn’t sure that was possible. This time things were officially life or death. Nixon and Trace love each other but their relationship is forbidden. How do you fix this? You have your best friend (who just happens to be in love with your girlfriend) pretend to date your girlfriend so that nobody suspects you. Yeah, that seems like a good plan. That’s not the real drama though. The real drama starts when the Sicilians come to town and threaten to take matters into their own hands if the killers of Trace’s parents aren’t found and brought to justice. Seems simple, right? Not so much. It’s up to Trace, Nixon, Chase, and the rest of the ragtag group of teenage mobsters to find out who did it and bring them to justice. Things are definitely intense.

Overall, I still had flaws with Elect but I ended up enjoying it much more than the first book. If you’ve already started this series, definitely continue it.

What others are saying about Elect:
 
The Book Bellas’ review: “This is an action-packed, mafia-themed book with some romance that includes a hint of a classic love triangle.” 
 
The Lusty Literate’s review: “I really enjoyed ELITE and was pleased to find that ELECT successfully continued the Eagle Elite thrill ride with drama and passion to spare.”
 
Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Elect was very different from its predecessor.”
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElite by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Published by Forever on July 9, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 338
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

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.

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken is one of those books that I really don’t even know why I didn’t DNF it. To be honest, I’m not sure why a traditional publisher picked up this originally self-pubbed title. Fair warning: this review might get ranty.

Let’s start with the thing that bothered me most about Elite: the romance. Well, not really the romance but the love interest. Sure Nixon sounds sexy as hell but he’s a total ass! Since when is it okay to treat someone like shit and then say that you were doing it to help them? Oh and by the way, you think you might love them. No. That is not love. Nixon is a grade A asshole and I could not get past how mean he was to Trace. Oh and the secondary love interest, Chase, (because we really need a love triangle) isn’t any better. He helps set her up to look like this huge slut after one of his friends drugs her. Umm, no. So not okay. I thought I’d read about bad love interests before but these two take the cake.

Then there’s Trace. Where do I even begin with her? She figures she can’t win against Nixon and Chase and the rest of the Elect so she decides she might as well make fun of herself and maybe people will think she’s cool. Yeah, that doesn’t really work out for her. As if that’s not bad enough, she is the biggest cry baby I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading about. Every little thing sets her off. And she’s not one of those people who cries in private, she cries in front of everyone. Like that’s really going to make people like her more. Oh and the main source of her crying fits, Nixon, just happens to be the guy that she can’t stop thinking about. Of course.

The story makes no sense. This 20 something year old guy runs the school? Even though he’s not actually in charge of anything, everyone listens to him? Even the principal? How exactly does that work? It’s kind of explained later but it still doesn’t really make complete sense to me. Also, what kind of school lets their kids get away with this kind of bullying? There’s also segregation (for the good of the students) and other stupid crap like that. I don’t know about you guys, but I would leave that school ASAP.

There’s a lot more that I could rant and rave about but I’m going to try to wrap this up. The writing is crappy, the characters are annoying, the story makes no sense, and the romance did nothing for me. I truly wish I could get back the few hours I spent reading this book because it was a complete waste of my time.

Overall, Elite is one book that should have remained self-published. This is one book that I highly recommend you don’t waste your time or money on. Oh and as if one book isn’t bad enough there is going to be at least one more in the series.

What others have to say about Elite:
Tinley Innes’ review: “The best way to summarize this book is this: Twilight with the mafia instead of vampires.”
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers’ review: “This book had me laughing, had my heart racing and even breaking with the events that occurred.”