Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Review: 'Enforce' by Rachel Van Dyken

Idaho author Rachel Van Dyken has published some sixty novels and is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Rachel writes in series and this series – THE EAGLE ELITE – is a mafia centered one – well, mafia and romance! She opens the campus origins with a seductive first chapter – ‘I watched as the parade of cars made their way through the black iron gates, as if somehow that barrier would protect them if the country went to war. Funny, they had no clue that the war — Lucifer himself — was already parading around inside, safe from the police, the feds, anyone who would be a threat. Safe from everyone but me. My eyes flickered to Phoenix on my right. He grinned as a new girl walked up to him and gave him a flirty wave. I elbowed him hard in the ribs. His grin turned sour as he glared at the girl and flipped her off. Remember your place. I'd said it once, twice, a million times to the guys, and they were still struggling with the idea that they weren't here to go to school, they weren't here to make friends. We weren't at peace. We were in a freaking war zone. And Phoenix's family was our only key to redemption. "That seems to be the last of them." Chase's cool gaze surveyed the main road that led into campus. It was easier on security to have one road in and one road out. Too bad life wasn't that convenient. If someone didn't belong, it would take us minutes — scratch that — seconds to eliminate them, their family, all the while making it look like a very unfortunate accident. "Wait." Tex squinted toward the iron gates. "I think there's one more car." "The hell there is," I muttered. "I counted the cars. I've looked at the lists. We aren't missing anyone." Chase yanked the list out of my hand and started reading through the names of all the freshman enrollees. His grin made me about to lose it as he lifted his head and handed back the paper. "I hear Wyoming's beautiful this time of year." "What?" I jerked the list away and started greedily reading through the names. One stood out. Tracey Rooks, Female, 18, Casper, Wyoming.

As for the plot, Rachel offers the following brief but accurate outline – ‘ There’s two sides to every story…And ours? Isn’t pretty… Then again, what’s pretty about the mafia? Trace Rooks, that’s what. But she only wants one of us, and I’ll kill him before I let him have her. The only problem ? We’re cousins. And she may just be our long lost enemy. Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn’t attend Eagle Elite University. Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep yours? Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies? Even closer…’

This is a fine setup with a fine payoff for an end. Rachel deserves her kudos. Grady Harp, August 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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