I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Elect by Rachel Van Dyken
Published by Forever, Grand Central Genres: NA
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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 pushesher 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 . . .
“Trace, we can’t be seen together right now.”
She jerked her hands away from mine and glared. “Oh no you don’t, Nixon Anthony Abandonato!”
Wasn’t expecting that. I laughed without really thinking, and then she slapped me across the face. It stung like hell. “What was that for?”
“You aren’t leaving me!”
“Did I say I was?” Although my cheek was throbbing I couldn’t help but keep laughing at her response. And this was why I would never walk away. Who would walk away from such a little pistol?
“Oh.” Trace tugged her lower lip between her teeth and sheepishly looked up at my cheek. “You should probably put some ice on that.” I winced as she touched my cheek.
Covering her hand with mine, I winked. “Yeah, well, I’ve had worse. Promise.”
Her eyes welled with tears, but to her credit she kept them all in. If anything I fell in love with her a little bit more. Her strength was so damn sexy, I couldn’t even put into words what she did to me.
I kissed her softly and sighed against her still chocolate-tasting mouth. “Sweetheart, Chase was . . . well, today he was gifted with a stroke of brilliance. The head of the Nicolosi family talked with us this evening, and he had Phoenix with him.”
I quickly explained to her what had happened, leaving out all the violence, guns, and threats. So basically I censored everything and then dropped the bomb. “You and Chase need to pretend to be together. People will be watching you, they’ll be following you.”
Tracey swallowed and licked her lips. “And you’ll what? Pretend you hate me again?”
“Hell no!” I snapped, grabbing her ass and lifting her until her body was firmly pressed against mine midair. “I’ll just be the friend. Basically, Chase and I are switching parts. He gets to play the boyfriend, I get to play the jackass.”
That earned an eye roll and a laugh from her. I dropped her to the ground and kissed her nose. “If they find out how much you mean to me, they’ll use that against our family and against your grandfather.”
She was silent for a moment. Her hands traced circles around the tattoo peeking out from underneath my white t‑shirt. The writing was in Sicilian, but it said, “Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” I had always wondered which I was. The saint or the sinner?
It was Trace’s favorite tattoo, even though I had several down my left arm and a few on my stomach and back. Her favorite had always been that one, on the left side of my chest. She said it gave her comfort. I guess she was using it for comfort right now.
“Okay,” she whispered, “I’ll do it.”
I was waiting to feel relieved, but all I felt was tense. My muscles literally tightened underneath her touch the minute the word “okay” had fallen from her perfectly pouted lips.
“I’m going to apologize in advance, though.” Tracey sniffed as a tear ran down her cheek.
“Why are you apologizing?”
Her eyes met mine. “Because I’m going to break your heart.”
If you haven’t read Elite then you probably should wait to read this review. It’s simply impossible to review the second book in a series without giving something away! Also check out my review for the first book HERE!
Nixon has to make choices and sacrifices for his ‘family’. It’s just part of his life. He doesn’t want to lose Trace but at the end of the day he might have to, and it might be to the one person he loves as much as he loves her. His best friend. ELECT is full of twists, turns, action, romance and just about everything you could possibly want to read in a book about young mobsters. To put it bluntly I loved this bloody book.
Just for the record before we even delve into the review #TeamChase! YEP! I need a badge, a sweater vest, something to officially declare my love for him. I simply don’t feel that a hashtag does my crush on this fictional character justice.
ELECT picks up right where ELITE leaves off. Trace’s Grandpa is in hiding, and bad things are coming for Trace and Nixon. It drives a wedge between them, and at times it seems unbreakable. One of the biggest obstacles facing their relationship is his cousin/best friend Chase. It’s obvious by the end of ELITE that Chase and Trace have feelings for each other. And those feelings only grow throughout this book. By the end it’s hard not to be rooting or booing for their relationship (depending on whose side you are on).
The action scenes are great. A fair amount of gore and death that you would expect from a book about the mob. Which we all know I am on board with that.
The romance is just beyond good. Rachel Van Dyken can write a steamy scene, and there are more than enough throughout this book to keep hardcore romance fans entertained.
In fact this book is just plain entertaining. From page one to the last page it’s just a joy ride. This book and series are just so much FUN to read. I know that from the outside it might seem a bit cheesy, but the cheese factor is quickly forgotten as you lose yourself in the story and characters. Being on their emotional roller coaster is a blast, and I cannot wait for the next book. I need it. Now.