Monday, November 28, 2016

Empire (Eagle Elite #7) - Review

Empire (Eagle Elite #7)

By: Rachel Van Dyken

Published: May 31, 2016

376 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

I have lost everything. 
My purpose. 
My love. 
My soul. 
Death knocks on my door, I want to answer, but every time I reach for the handle--the promise I made her, brings me back. 
So I breathe. 
I live. 
I hate. 
And I allow the anger to boil beneath the surface of a perfectly indifferent facade. 
I am broken, I dont want to be fixed. 
One last trip to New York, one last chance to redeem a lost part of the mafia family. The Empire is crumbling and it's my job to fix it, my job to mend the pieces that were scattered over thirty years ago. 
The only issue is, the only way to fix, is to do something I swore I'd never do again. 
An arranged marriage. 
Only this time. 
I won't fall. 
Or so help me God, I'll kill her myself. 
My name is Sergio Abandanoto, you think you know my pain, my suffering, my anger, my hate--you have no idea. 
I am the mafia. 
I am the darkness. 
Blood in. No out.
Although not as emotional a book as book six Elude was, this second part to Sergio's story, was a process of deep sorrow, guilt and shame before there was healing. Grieving over his dead wife he learns of a plan set in place by Luca Neclosi. His now dead mentor, and mob boss. With so much respect for the man, Sergio will follow his last wishes flawlessly without argument. That doesn't mean that he's willing to hand over his wounded heart to another woman though. Protect with his life, his name, that he can do for her.

His dead wife, Andi, has a way of speaking to him from her grave. She carefully and methodically created a plan to take care of Sergio after she was gone. She loved him enough to want him to move on, to marry and have children, and live a life of happiness she wanted with him but was not granted. Afterall, she knew she was never meant to be his in the first place. Unbeknownst to him, he was meant to be saved for another girl but got Andi first as a deal Luca made with her - protection from her Russian mob father and someone to care for her as she dies.

Unfortunately I do have two small irritations. In the Kindle version I read there was very odd and choppy, run-on and fragmented sentences. I'm not sure if that was intended or not. I think likely not because there would be punctuation in the middle of a thought that was clearly out of place. A second frustration that always annoys me is when a main character's eye color suddenly changes. Two things must occur for this to happen. #1 - the author forgot halfway through the story what color eyes his/her character has. #2 - it was an editing blunder that didn't get caught. Either way - UGH! Near the end of book six, Elude, Andi says that the girl Sergio was always meant for, has hazel eyes. "Her eyes are this killer hazel that I know guys have the capacity to get lost in." (97%) Not far from this quote, Sergio sees a picture of the girl and sure enough, he confirms her eyes being hazel. Fast forward then to 97% in to book seven. Sergio says his favorite color is brown, the exact color of her eyes. NOPE! This slightly ruined the moment for me.

Two words: Mafia Romance. Probably one of my favorite romance themes to read about. Check out my earlier reviews from this series:

Book one: Elite (5 stars) - Nixon's story
Book two: Elect (4.5 stars) - Chase's story
Book three: Entice (4 stars) - continuation of Chase and Nixon's stories
Book four: Elicit (4.5 stars) - Tex's story
Book five: Ember (4 stars) - Phoenix's story
Book six: Elude (5 stars) - Sergio's story, part 1

Top Favorite Quotes:
To make eye contact with Sergio Abandonato was to know both pain and beauty simultaneously.

"I meant what I said. Listen well. I keep my word. Kiss me, and blood will be spilled."

"But the really great part about being human is our hearts grow, they make room, they have no parameteres for how big or how much they can love, and even though I'm not worthy, I'm honored that you're willing to share space with someone I loved..."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars


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