Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: Elite (The Elite Series #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Title:  Elite
Series:  The Elite Series
Author:  Rachel Van Dyken
Genre:  NA/Romance
Publish Date: July 9, 2013
Review Source:  Purchased

Barnes & Noble


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.


Tracey Rooks, Trace for short, is about to have her life turned completely upside down. It’s been about six months since her Grandma died and her dying wish was for Trace to attend the prestigious Eagle Elite University. She applied to win a spot in a lottery-type drawing that she will have to win in order to get accepted. She won!

Trace has been with her grandparents since the age of six when her parents died. She grew up on a farm with dogs and cows (she really loves cows!) and life was completely simple and wonderful. She was home schooled so she didn’t have many friends but didn’t feel she had missed out on anything. She had her Grandma & Grandpa and they gave her everything she could ever want. She feels that with Grandma gone, it’s now up to her to provide for her poor farming Grandpa so she agrees to go to Eagle Elite knowing that she will have her pick of professions at the end. She wants to take care of him like he has cared for her.

She never saw her life changing the way it does. What happens when everything you thought you knew about your life is completely……false? As in going from Farm Girl to Mafia Family in a matter of weeks? Trace enters a world she thinks she’s not apart of but actually she’s at least as entitled to it as any of the ones that brutally pick on her. On her first day she meets The Elect. A group of four guys that basically are BFF’s and completely run the school. Well, at least Nixon does. Nixon is amazingly handsome, arrogant, loyal, mean, dominate and well at first lets face it….he’s an ass. However it becomes clear that he wants Trace and will stop at nothing to protect her.

Chase is Nixon’s right hand man. He’s also his cousin and they are really more like brothers. Monroe is Nixon’s twin sister. Tex and Phoenix are the other two that round out The Elect. Chase becomes Trace’s body guard and that friend that you love but only as a friend.

Nixon notices a necklace that has “Alfero” on the back. Trace has no idea what it means but Nixon sure did. He knew at that moment that he had found his other half again. How did he know…..well I’m gonna have to make you read the book to find out. Just know that he is now even more determined to have her protected and cared for no matter the cost.

When it comes to Tracey and family commitments, Nixon will do everything it takes to do the right thing. He’s definitely the good guy. I’ve never met a character so completely selfless. Based only on the love he has for Trace and the love he has faith that she feels for him he makes extremely hard decisions.

Being the first book in the series, the story builds and builds very nicely. The characters all have amazing personalities which makes it hard to say it’s just about Nixon and Trace. Whole chapters are dedicated at certain times to other characters. Elite has just enough hotness matched with complete Mafia excitement to make for one amazing story.


Rachel Van Dyken is a Graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, with a degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis in industrial psychology and a minor in Spanish. She is also a Post Graduate of California Coast University receiving a MBA with an emphasis in Human Resource Management. She resides in Nampa, Idaho where she writes full time. Starbucks is a daily must, spiders make her scream, and she loves chocolate but is allergic, of course. Nate, her husband, makes her laugh so hard she cries and they share their Pacific Northwest home with a very loud snoring boxer named Sir Winston Churchill. Rachel loves to read almost as much as she loves to write. Although she loves to write contemporary romance, her heart will always be with historical and regency romances. Glittering balls and dangerous rakes hold her captivated like chocolate and Starbucks.


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