Thursday, February 19, 2015

Release Day & Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for Ember by Rachel Van Dyken

Phoenix's day to tell his story has finally come!  I'm super excited and so impressed with this book!


I am a Killer. A Rapist. A Monster.
I know only pain and survival.
That is until the Cappo's sister walked into my life.
And changed everything.
She's a light who makes my darkness darker, her smile makes my heart turn to ice, and I can't escape the fear her seductive looks instill--knowing it's only a matter of time before I fail--again, and take her for myself.
This is the story of my redemption.
But it's not pretty...I died, and now I'm alive, but not living, breathing but not surviving. I am Phoenix De Lange, son to a murdered mob boss, estranged brother, horrible friend, monster in the making, newest leader to one of the most powerful families in the Cosa Nostra.
And I will have my vengeance.
Or die trying.
I am Phoenix De Lange.
Death is all I know.
Until she offers me a piece of life--I can't resist taking.

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Once we were on the road, Phoenix chose the correct music for our drive. I say correct because, according to him, one didn't start the day listening to hip-hop or anything remotely fun. No. Mr. Rogers had me listening to classical music.
Mozart, to be exact.
Not that I wasn't a fan of the arts, but really? It just seemed so against what you would expect from him. He was the bad boy personified; like, if you put his name in the dictionary, right next to it would be "And mothers warned their daughters to stay away, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and that heart wants that body… bad."
He was all lean muscle and tight abs.
And I could have sworn he had a dimple, but I'd never actually seen it. Phoenix's dimple was like Bigfoot; I'd seen glimpses in pictures and via rumors, but I had never actually seen it for myself.
One day.
One day I'd catch it and take a mental picture or five. Maybe ten. Needless to say, I knew that if I had one of his smiles, it would be a magical thing.
His hands gripped the steering wheel so hard I had a brief moment of panic thinking he was actually going to rip the thing from the dash and have a breakdown. Sad part? I half-expected it. He wasn't acting normal… well, he was always moody, but this morning he seemed downright suicidal.
"So…" I tried to zone out the instruments assaulting my sanity. "You went to Eagle Elite, right?"
He was quiet for a minute then gave a swift nod.
"Wow, don't talk so fast. I almost didn't get all that."
And crickets. Again.
I cleared my throat. "You graduate?"
"Sort of."
"How do you sort of graduate?"
"Did you bring lunch money?" He asked in a tight voice.
I gaped. "Did you just ask me if I brought lunch money?"
He shrugged.
"You're driving me to school, forcing Mozart on my poor sensitive morning ears, and just asked me if I had money for milk."
"I'm concerned about you eating. Sue me."
"Pretty sure the Nicolasi boss can afford to spare me a few dollars for a sandwich and a can of pop."
"No pop."
"Who died and made you my grandpa? Seriously. I want to know so I can steal your gun and point it at them."
"Nobody touches my gun."
"Which one?" I smirked, hoping he'd find the humor in my sexual innuendo, but who was I kidding? It was Phoenix. He simply grunted, rolled his eyes, and kept driving.
In a moment of pure rebellion, I undid the first two buttons of my white, collared shirt.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he asked, his voice calm, his eyes still on the road.
"Wow, you really are like a parent. You can see me even when you aren't looking."
"Button that shit to your chin before I pull this car over."
"Put on Jay-Z, and we'll talk."
More cursing.
I undid another button.
"Son of a bitch, you're annoying."
"Is this our first lovers' spat?"
"Were there drugs in your toast?" He finally glanced at me, his blue eyes chilling me to the bone. "Be serious. I don't want to get called into the dean's office because you're high."
"Do I look like I'm on drugs?"
"Is this a trick question?"


★★★★★ stars

Rachel Van Dyken has done it again.  She's written a story that both entertains and thrills the reader. It's dramatic, powerful, and captivating.  She manages to take a character I would have never thought I'd be able to be sympathetic towards, let alone tolerate, and turned everything I think about him around.  How can some one who is the abuser turn out to be a victim himself?  Well this book answers that question and more.

I didn't think this series could get any better after Elicit, however Ember has tossed that thought completely out of my head.  Phoenix's story was such a revelation.  He was a revelation.  His childhood was so painful and trying to deal with everything that had happened in the recent past weighed heavily on him too.  I loved Bee's influence in his life.  I loved the Phoenix he was with her, once he stopped fighting the self loathing and attraction he felt to her.

Bee (Bianka) might have been the Capo's sister, but she had a painful past of her own, never being wanted and passed from family member to family member.  Yet she still somehow managed to remain sheltered and have a great attitude towards life.  I loved how she teased Phoenix.  Their bantering never failed to bring a smile to my face.  The chemistry the two shared was wonderful.  I loved seeing Phoenix so protective of Bee, even if she didn't realize his true feelings and just thought he was obsessive and over protective. 

I will admit to laughing more than I cried while reading this book, but since I laughed a lot, it also means I cried plenty too.  It was really hard to not get caught up in what Phoenix, Bee, and the gang were dealing with.  Every time I read an Elect novel, I always feel like I'm transported into the story, and I always get caught up with what the characters are feeling. I loved how Sergio played an important role in this story and I'm really looking forward to reading his book next.  In fact, I might say he was the biggest surprise of all.  Just so you know, the teaser at the end of the book will shock you!  I love how the series keeps growing.  I don't think I'll ever be ready to stop reading about the Elect.

*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

Facebook Group

There's a group on Facebook for those who'd like to discuss the book once they've finished reading it!  

Warning: There will be spoilers!!

The Reading Order of the Series


Amazon  B&N  iTunes 

Amazon   B&N    iTunes

 Amazon   B&N   iTunes


Amazon   B&N  iTunes


Amazon   iTunes     Barnes & Noble    Kobo     Smashwords


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About the Author
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, 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. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at

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