Sunday, December 22, 2013

ELECT by Rachel Van Dyken (Review)


Would you die for the one you love?
Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will.

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .


Thank the Lord when I finished Elite, I could start Elect right away.  If I had to wait, I would have been pulling my hair out.  Rachel, words can not begin to explain the emotions that I felt while reading this book. My heart broke for Chase, Nixon and Trace. 
Nixon needed Trace; she wasn't just a girl to him.  She was his lifeline.  She was the air that he needed to breathe.  She was his light in the dark world that he lived in.  If he lost her, he would lose everything. He would have no reason to live.  Nixon and Trace belonged with each other.  They were each other's soul mate. She was as much his, as he was hers. Nobody said love is easy.  Love hurts.  Love is tough.  We can only pray that the ones we love will fight for us, fight for what we have together and not let anyone or anything come between it.  Will Nixon fight for Trace?  Will Trace fight for Nixon?  What do you do when the one you love, life is in danger?  You do what you need to do to save them; even if it means sacrificing yourself and that is exactly what Nixon does.

Trace's life is in danger and Nixon has to make a decision.  Nixon has to lead everyone to believe that he and Trace are not a couple.  By doing so, he has to distance himself from her.  When Nixon and Chase get themselves into a situation, one that they didn't know if they would walk away alive, Chase makes a haste decision and tells everyone that he and Trace are a couple.  Trace is his girlfriend, not Nixon's.  Nixon was surprised that Chase said what he did, but if anyone would keep Trace safe, it would be Chase.  Nixon trusted his cousin, his best friend with his own life, so he knew he could trust him to keep Trace out of harms way.  The only problem is, Nixon never imagined his own cousin would fall in love with his girlfriend.

By keeping Trace safe, was he pushing her into Chase's arms.  Chase has always been there when Trace needed him.  He was there when Nixon crushed Trace's spirits, when he shattered her heart.  Chase has always been Trace's savior where Nixon has always been her knight in shining armor.  Nixon thought by pushing Trace away, that would protect her.  Nixon needed to know why Trace was a target and who was after her.  There was a rat amongst them, Nixon just needed to sniff the rat out.

"But if I was protecting her?  If I was saving her life by driving her into another man's arms?  Would that redeem me in the end?  Or just damn us all to hell? ~ Nixon

Trace agrees to go along with this charade.  She trusts that Nixon is doing what is best for the two of them.  The decision does not fall lightly on either one of them, but they both know that there is no other way to keep Trace alive. Nixon tells Chase and Trace that they need to make everyone believe that they are together.  They need to touch, kiss, do everything that a couple does.  Nixon knows that seeing the two of them will break him, destroy him, crush him, but he has no other choice.  He promised to keep Trace safe, and he never goes back on his word.  It may cost him his own life, but he will make sure that Trace is safe. 

"I'd just singlehandedly given the love of my life to my best friend -- on a silver platter, with a shiny bow attached." ~ Nixon

Chase has loved Trace from the moment he saw her.  He only wishes he would have gotten to Trace before Nixon did. Chase knows the connection that Nixon and Trace have.  But Chase can't stop the way he feels.  He loves Trace.  He is in love with her, but the question is, when Nixon pushes Trace away, can she love Chase the way she loves Nixon?

"When I say I love you.  I don't mean it the way you do.  I'm not...capable of loving you in that way."
"When I say I love you I mean I love you so much it hurts to be close to you, it hurts to be away from you.  I hurt all the damn time because my stupid hear had decided for one reason or another that it can't survive without being next to yours.  I don't know what the hell you've done to me, but I'm a disaster.  I'm broken for you and I never want to be fixed.  And it hurts like hell because when you kiss me, I know you think of him. When I kiss you, all I see is you, all I feel is you." ~ Chase

Trace does loves Chase.  But is she in love with him? She is playing the part, whereas Chase is not acting.  Chase truly loves Trace.  He knows he is betraying his cousin every time he has these thoughts about Trace, but he can't help himself.  His heart is telling him one thing, where his head is telling him something different. 

"Don't fight it, " I mumbled across her lips. For once, just stop thinking, and don't fight it, Trace.  It's just you and me.  There is no mafia, nobody's out to kill us, and we aren't putting on a show.  We're making out, behind a tree at college, like normal college students do." ~ Chase

Things take a turn for the worst and no one saw it coming.  The group is rocked to the core and they need the support of each other to get through this tragedy.  Will this make them stronger?  Will this shatter them completely?

Trace is in the middle of this love triangle.  Trace needs to make a decision.  She loves them both.  One has her heart, and one has her soul.  Who will she pick?  Will Nixon and Chase let Trace choose or will they fight for her?  Both of them only want what is best for Tracey and that is to see her happy.

I have to say that I love both Nixon and Chase, so it was hard for me to see them hurt while protecting Trace.  Chase didn't mean to fall in love with Trace, but sometimes the heart does things that it isn't supposed to do.  Trace loved them both, but in different ways.  I was routing for both Nixon and Chase.  I would not want to be Tracey and have to pick between the two of them.  Tracey was pushed into the arms of Chase by Nixon.  If things worked out as Nixon had planned, was she supposed to go back to Nixon as if nothing happened.  Would she pick Nixon?  Or would she pick Chase?  Decisions, decisions..  Sometimes we don't get to pick.. Sometimes our choices are already made.

I absolutely LOVED this book,.  I could not put it down. Rachel had your attention from page 1 and I could not wait to see where the storyline was going.  There are twists and turns, and things that you would never see coming.  Of course, there are funny parts in the book.  It would not be a book by Rachel if it didn't.  I love the bantering between the characters, and I love the chemistry between all of them. 

I will have to wait patiently until April to get my hands on the next installment of this series, so I can only hope that she throws us a few teasers to help fill my curiosity of what is to come.

This review was prepared by Heather.  I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


"I'm going to apologize in advance, though".  Tracey sniffed as a tear ran down her cheek.
"Why are you apologizing?" 
Her eyes met mine. "Because I'm going to break your heart."
Break? It was already broken! Horrified, I watched her look down at the ground, her shoulders slumped in defeat.
"Nixon."  She placed her hands against my chest.  "I need you to do me a favor."
"Anything." My voice was hoarse with emotion.
"Trust me.  Trust us.  No matter what I say, no matter what I do - and I'll do some terrible things - know that I love you. No matter what."
"Kind of sounds like the speech I gave you a few weeks ago."  I sighed.
"Sucks huh?  She laughed a bit and leaned her head on my chest where her hands had just been.
"Regardless of what I do, you have to know, I love you, Nixon.  I choose you and only you.  I'm going to break your heart every day I hold his hand instead of yours.  It's going to kill me to laugh at his jokes knowing you
re dying just a little bit inside.  And if he kisses me - I'll kiss him back, Nixon.  I'm going to break your heart - because you've given me no other option." 
"I know." Damn if I wasn't ready to burst into tears myself.  I knew it would be hard -- not this hard.
"Just do me a favor, Trace?"
"Think of me..." I smirked --"not him.  When you're kissing him, do me a favor and just keep your eyes closed so you can imagine it isn't my best friend and yours.  And I swear to all that is holy that if he puts his tongue in your mouth I will cut it the hell off."
Tracey laughed against my chest. "You've got yourself a deal, Godfather."
      BOOK #1     BOOK #2

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