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Empire (Eagle Elite Book 7) by [Van Dyken, Rachel]
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Empire (Eagle Elite Book 7) Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Length: 376 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Van Dyken is a New York Times 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 and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3799 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Van Dyken Enterprises INC; 1 edition (May 31, 2016)
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01CFALEPW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,892 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've not read Elude by Rachel Van Dyken, I'd advise you in the strongest terms to read it before diving into Empire. In fact, I'd advise you to even stop reading this right here and go and read it.

Bring tissues.

You see, while each of the books in the Eagle Elite series and its related spin offs are written as standalones, the story of Empire picks up and builds, very much on the themes and storyline of Elude, and the character of Sergio Abandonato in particular.

For the second time in less than a year, Sergio is pressured to marry someone he hardly knows. Something hes even less inclined to do a second time around, but, if mafia families were nations, this would be considered a marriage of state. The joining of families, ensuring the succession of dynasties, honor, duty, all of that, and having failed his family in the past, that's something Sergio wont do again.

Then, as if all of that weren't bad enough, there's 'that girl'. Nearly ten years younger, 19 year old Valentina is sweet, innocent, and completely oblivious to the fact that the three doting uncles who've raised her and her twin brother Dante are mafia. So far as she knows the far too quiet little florist shop they run that she works in is kept afloat because of sound investments.

Splitting her time between being coddled and sheltered by her uncles and reading about dashing Dukes and perfect Princes, she's entirely unprepared for the whirlwind that her life is about to become.

After being somewhat broken by Elude, to the point that I start to tear up a little whenever I come across the word 'twirl', I approached Empire with some trepidation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has been almost a full year since Rachel Van Dyken wrecked my heart with Elude, and to say I've been anxious for Empire is an understatement. I learned a while ago to trust completely in RVD and have faith she would deliver exactly what readers longed for. However, I wasn't prepared for how emotionally exhausting Empire is, and it easily ties Ember as my favorite book in the series. From the dedication page until the the last chapter, I felt with all my reading soul the gut wrenching story of Sergio and Val.

"Life is full of two-twirl moments--don't allow her to settle for only one."

When I started crying on Chapter 2 of this book, I knew this was going to be a devastating read. I think watching someone learn to move on is even more difficult than loss itself. Sergio is just going through the motions and my heart ached for him immensely. Val is a refreshing change and nothing like the other ladies of this series. I immediately loved her innocence and child like charm. Not only is she a book nerd, but she is witty and caring to her overbearing family. She is exactly what Sergio needed, even if he refuses to see it. I wanted to hug Sergio one moment and slap him the next. Their journey is intense and filled with a vast array of emotions. There are highs and lows, laughter and tears, and heartbreak and healing.

"Sometimes, it's nice to be someone's hero. Just for once."

Of course, it wouldn't be Eagle Elite without new revelations and plot twists. Even after seven books, they remain fresh and completely unexpected. Frank has been a prominent character since the early books, but he really shines through in Empire. I enjoyed being inside his head and seeing him battle his inner demons.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No matter what I think to expect going in to yet another story of the Eagle Elite, nothing can ever prepare me for the overwhelming hit of emotions that Rachel Van Dyken evokes. Her words, every detail, the characters--they don't just pull you in, they inexplicably hold you capture and tear you apart and make you lose yourself far longer than the duration of the story.
My mind is a rush of thoughts, my heart so full, and the anticipation she leaves us with is insanely all consuming right now.

What we were left feeling in Elude makes reading Empire all that much more difficult. Just like Sergio, I had to learn how to open my heart up to the possibility of more--different. And it was hard!
But it was amazing.

Empire healed what Elude had hurt.

And it was the most painful healing I've ever had to endure.

***
"Please don't try." He swallowed and looked down at his hands. "Don't try to get me to fall in love with you. No seduction. No angry tears when I don't kiss you goodnight--I can't...I just..." His voice trembled. "Promise me you won't ask for something I won't ever be able to give you."
***

RVD once again slayed my soul before taking extra care in mending the shattered pieces back together.
I laughed.
I cried.
I loved.
I hurt.
I lived.

Empire...faultless.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Sergio Abandonato is not really living anymore. He is angry, lost, broken, and numb. He lost his wife and now he has another obligation to the family to take on another one. This girl has been hidden from the mafia life. Her name is Valentina and her whole stable world is about to be turned upside down.

Their initial interactions are awkward, stilted, and intimidating. She is nineteen, sheltered, sweet, and completely unaware of the lifestyle and how she fits in.

He is fighting demons and his attraction to Val. He tries to keep her at arm's length and scared of him, but it is hard to maintain. They are about to face some serious changes--marriage, family dynamics, enemies, and threats. And they are two people that are thrust into these situations together, but neither are emotionally ready to handle them.

I love that all of the guys and girls are back...Nixon, Trace, Chase, Mil, Tex, Mo, Phoenix, Bee, and Frank. They completely crack me up with their fun banter and threats to each other. They definitely add comic relief with their own brand of humor. Frank is also a big presence. We meet Val's twin Dante and her three overprotective uncles as well. Andi's presence was also still felt in this one.

Sergio seems to always have something he is fighting. This time it is himself, his feelings, his memories, his friends, and Val. He knows if he lets her in then it might overshadow his memories or make him forget Andi. He is full of guilt and self hatred for developing feelings. And Val is young and inexperienced and she feels like she is a poor stand-in for his true love and will never measure up. She just needs attention and even a bit of kindness. But Sergio finds it hard to tame his beast.
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