Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blog Tour and Review: Ember, by Rachel Van Dyken


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.

I wasn’t sure how to act. Wasn’t sure if I should apologize for attacking him or thank him for not laughing in my face. Embarrassed and irritated that he was most likely going to ignore whatever it was between us even if it killed him, I stared hard at the cement floor.
“How are you feeling, little girl?”
“I’m not little.”
“You want me to call you fat?”
“No.” I lifted my head. “Call me gorgeous like you did last night.”
“Well, shit.” Phoenix ran his hands over his face then grabbed my arm and dragged me down the hall into a darkened corner. “You remember?”
“You kissed me.”
“Prove it.”
“What’s wrong with you?” I pushed against his chest. “You like me! Admit it!”
Phoenix made a face. “You were drunk, launched yourself at me, and I caught you. Did we kiss?” His eyes went completely black. “Yeah, we did, but it meant nothing.”
“Really.” He hissed out a breath through his teeth.
“Prove it.”
I pushed him against the wall. “Prove it meant nothing. Let me kiss you now, and if it meant nothing it will be like… what? Kissing your sister.”
“I’ve sworn off women.”
“So this should be an easy test then, right?”
“Bee…” Phoenix’s face was pained, as if I was holding a gun to his head rather than offering to kiss him. Was the idea so abhorrent? “Please…” His voice had a pleading tone I’d never heard before. “Don’t do this.”
“One. Little. Test.” I rose up on my tip toes and kissed him full on the mouth.
His lips refused to move against mine.
I wrapped my arms around his neck.
He stiffened even more.
Irritated, I bit his lower lip. He gasped, and I slid my tongue inside his mouth. He pushed me away with a curse then wiped his lips. “Done. Your little test is done. I didn’t respond. Happy now?”
His eyes were furious; the blue flashed like lightning against his skin. His fingertips shook as he made a fist.
“You like me.”
“Bee…” Phoenix pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingertips. “…find someone your own age, someone who’s interested in you in the way you deserve, alright?” His tone was gentle, and maybe that was what hurt the most.
It was like he was letting me down slowly, hoping I didn’t break.
But the joke was on him.
Because I was already broken.
I didn’t want boys my age — I wanted him.
“You’re a good liar.” My eyes narrowed. “And you’re lucky I’m patient.”
“Lucky?” He sputtered out a laugh. “That you like toying with me?”
“No, lucky that even though you constantly push me away…I keep coming back for more. But, Phoenix… everyone’s time eventually runs out.”
“Go to breakfast, Bee.”
“Go to hell, Phoenix.”

4.5 out of 5 stars

Rachel Van Dyken has delivered another great installment to the Elite series in Ember.  I know I shouldn't have been surprised I would fall for Phoenix but I cannot help but point out Rachel's gift in taking a character who at one time you were disappointed in, who let you down, who quite frankly you probably didn't like and make you not only think about giving him a second chance, but actually giving the second chance.  Then totally and completely falling in love with him and wondering how you could have ever doubted his potential.  This is Phoneix's book and you just might as well prepare to clear your schedule when you start because you're not going to put it down until the last page is turned.  

Fan's of the series know of Phoenix's history, we not only know his past sins but we also know what he's truly capable of.  In Elicit we got a glimpse of his potential and in Ember we see him work for his redemption.  Luca put his faith in Phoenix, he saw something no one else was able.  Well that is until he is assigned to protect Bee, the Capo's sister.  Bee is able to get under his skin, she has the power to dig deep and bring Phoenix's emotions front and center.  Phoenix works hard to make sure he lives his life in hell on earth.  He doesn't think he deserves to be living, much less have happiness or anything in his life that could possibly bring enjoyment.  But Bee, she doesn't know his history, and therefore is able to see Phoenix for the man underneath the mask, and she wants nothing more than for him to break free of that mask!

Now buckle in and watch as sparks turn into fireworks between these two!  These two are both incredibly stubborn, but watching Bee time and time again pushing Phoenix, never giving up on him was just fantastic!  This is one tough girl and you're going to enjoy her outgoing feisty personality.  It's a rocky journey made up of hurt, rejection, passion, secrets and undying love for family.  It's a love story, but it's more.  This series does not disappoint and in fact seems to get better and better with each installment.  Full of lies, betrayal, suspense, mystery and guns you will be seconding guessing everyone.  But while the lines are constantly blurring one thing is for sure, this "family" is fiercely protective of one another and their stories make for some excellent escapes!

About Author Rachel Van Dyken

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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