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Elite (Eagle Elite) Paperback – October 14, 2014
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"This is by far the best book I have read from this talented author."
―The Book Whisperer
About the Author
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult, 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, son, and their snoring boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
His lips met mine. The kiss was brief.
He sighed. “I wish I knew.”
This book was like a mash up of Mean Girls, Romeo & Juliet and The Godfather and I LOVED it! I only just heard about this series recently when Facebook was blowing up with posts about the newest release, Elude. The posts and the blurb for that book had me so intrigued and wanting to read it, but just in case I ended up loving it I figured I should wait and start at the beginning in order to avoid spoilers! I read the prequel novella, Enchant, and was interested to keep going but wasn’t really sure if the series would be up my alley. With the $5 price tag on this book, I debated a bit about whether to give it a go or not. Well let me say, this was one gamble that totally paid off because I devoured this book and I am so excited to keep reading through this series to find out what is going to happen next!
Trace Rooks is the winner of the annual lottery to win a scholarship/acceptance to Eagle Elite, the country’s most prestigious school, where many of the students go on to be world leaders and the like. Graduating from Eagle Elite basically makes you set for life, with any career open to you. Trace is excited with the opportunity that has been given to her but she is also feeling a little (ok a lot) out of her league and very far from the farmland of Wyoming which is the only world she’s ever known. That becomes really apparent on her first day when she comes face to face with The Elect: Nixon, Chase, Tex & Phoenix. Between their rules and the fact that they seemingly run the school, Trace begins to wonder just what she’s gotten herself into and what or who these guys are. As more and more information comes to light and after several strange occurrences, Trace is about to learn that there may have been more to her small town life in Wyoming than she ever could have imagined.
‘Classic. Someone should record the gold that flows from my mouth.’
I LOVED Trace, she was awesome! Definitely one of my top favorite female book characters I’ve ever read. Given the situation she was dropped into and considering all of the stuff that she had to put up with during her first days/weeks at Eagle, I really admired her strength and spunk. Especially since she was completely unaware of what was really going on behind the scenes. Many people would have broken after much less than what she had to go through. I couldn’t believe half the crap that the students and The Elect put her through, but just as I was about to get angry on her behalf she would come out with an awesome comeback or reaction and instead I’d find myself either laughing or cheering at how awesome she was. I loved her reactions or internal musings about all of the bizarre things she witnessed at the school, they were hilarious and I found myself echoing much of what she was thinking!
‘I counted to three and turned around, expecting one of two things. Either he was going to murder me or kiss me. There really wasn’t any other logical option, not with Nixon.’
I wasn’t sure what to think of Nixon and the other members of The Elect at first. When we first meet them I couldn’t believe what jerks they were, and their rules had me rolling my eyes. I remember thinking “who died and made them God?”, I couldn’t fathom how these “kids” could have so much power. As the book goes on though it starts to get explained and it’ll all start to become clear. And you’ll begin to see that there’s more at play here than just these guys running around with unlimited power, and there’s definitely more to them than just being jerks. I ended up really loving Nixon, even before we really learned who he was, as tough or mean as he was to Trace you could still see the underlying vulnerability to him. That really helped me to connect to him and want to learn more. I also loved Chase, it was clear early on with him that there was a nice guy hidden behind that tough guy “Elect” exterior. I didn’t learn enough about Tex to really form an opinion and from what I saw of Phoenix in this book I hated him, although I feel like there’s more to that story as well and I am looking forward to finding it out.
I liked how this book combined college shenanigans with much darker mafia dealings. It was crazy how these guys would be lounging in a dorm room watching movies and eating popcorn one minute and then cracking someone’s skull with a bat the next moment. But it worked, the books flowed nicely and the story was completely engaging. I found myself liking or even loving the characters despite some of their more nefarious dealings. The book ended with a bang (literally and figuratively) and I am completely hooked and can’t wait to find out what happens next! I have a feeling like things are going to get really crazy in the not too distant future for these guys!
“I’ll be scared with you,” Nixon murmured. “I’ll be scared until you aren’t scared anymore, okay?”
“And I’ll save you from all of it, Trace. I promise.”
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! The book starts out with our heroine from a rural farm in Wyoming landing a scholarship to a very exclusive university that seems to function more like a boarding school high school. The students who attend are the children of the super rich and famous so the school is surrounded by a fence with guards at the front gate and everyone mostly seems to stay on campus. The hazing is pretty serious and over the top and also feels high schoolish. For example,Trace gets drugged at a party and put in the quarterback's room for the night. Nothing happens to our virginal heroine but her walk of shame the next morning causes the most unrealistic controversy. The other students call her sl@t and wh@re every time she walks by after that and she even gets eggs and sugar water thrown on her. Is this supposed to be realistic? Do the student's all remain virgins at this college? I cannot see anyone being either shocked or caring who is coming out of whose room in the morning at that age.
We meet the hero when he is "greeting" the heroine when she arrives at school the first day. He tells her the school is run by the Elect and she must never speak to or touch the Elect. She cannot breathe the same air they do, etc. He goes on to give her a keycard for the elevator in her dorm but tells her she can only use it once a week. You get the idea. She goes to her room scared and unhappy and finds that her new roommate is Nixon's twin sister. She also finds out that Nixon assigned her to eat lunch with the Elite. This completely made no sense to me. He assigned her before he met her so it was not like he just wanted to get to know her better. Nixon acts horribly to Trace and then tells her it is for her own good because if he picks on her no one else will. Yea, right.
Up to this point the book felt like a ridiculous high school drama. Then the author decides to throw in a bit of mafia. Remember, spoilers here. Nixon is not only mafia but he is the head of his family. Despite already having graduated and being the head of a powerful mafia family he is staying at the school to keep it running smoothly and to keep everyone there safe. What? Then we find out that our heroine is really a mafia princess whose parents were killed so her grandparents took her from Chicago to rural Wyoming to hide. I might buy that except her Grandpa is the head of their family still. How did he run a powerful mafia family while pretending to be a farmer for 12 years? Just exactly how does that work? You also realize that Nixon and Trace knew each other as children. I was wondering why Trace was so close to Nixon but did not remember his twin, Monroe, at all. Turns out Monroe was conviemtly sent away to boarding school at age 6 since her father did not like girls. So many details in the story felt forced just like that. Nixon does not realize who Trace is until after he has already taken an interest in her.
Finally, I was particularly irritated when near the end of the story someone does something horrible to Trace. The perpetrator of the crime is another of these made men students. He gets called before a commission of mafia leaders to decide his fate. Trace gets invited to this meeting and ultimately is allowed to decide his punishment! That does not feel even remotely realistic and was the nail in the coffin for me as far as this book.
I could go on and on about parts of the book that just felt off or even ridiculous. This was not the book for me but keep in mind many seemed to love the series. I like raw, violent, and even gritty romance. I am completely sure that a lot of what I enjoy is more fantasy rather than reality but I like for my fantasy to seem at least plausible and this book misses that mark by a mile. I do not plan to read the other books in the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OBSESSED!!! That is what I am with this series and its characters, and this is only book 1!!!!!Read more
Reviewed For I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore
I read Elite a few years back and decided to do a reread.Read more