EMBER (Eagle Elite, #5) by Rachel Van Dyken Blog Tour: Excerpt, Giveaway, + Reni's Review!

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.


It was getting harder and harder to ignore her warmth – when I lived in a constant state of near-death cold.


He’s the guy you love to hate, yet can’t help loving, all at the same time. The love/hate relationship between Phoenix and the reader shifts from book to book in the Eagle Elite series. You never know what you’re going to get from this unpredictable character. That’s part of what brings me back to this series, the unknown. Rachel takes twists and turns that I never see coming, and I absolutely love it – crave it.  

If you’ve gotten this far in the Eagle Elite series, you know all about Phoenix. That boy is a mess. His father royally screwed with his marbles. The actions he was forced to preform shaped him into what can only be described as a monster. At least that’s what most people see. But not Bee; Bee sees love, light. Hope; she sees her future. And she’s determined to help phoenix see it, too.

The dynamic between these two characters makes the entire novel. Bee is a funny, sassy, feisty flirt.  She doesn’t back down, even when Phoenix is anything but lovable. She’s determined.  Each time Phoenix shot her down – which happened pretty regularly – I could literally feel her heart breaking. When you’ve never had anyone show you love, you grab onto any little scrap of it with both hands. God… I think Bee may be my absolute favorite of all the girls. There's just something about her that screams special.

You’d think I’d be used to his barbs, but for some silly reason, I’d forgotten to put on my armor this morning, and the hits kept coming, aimed at my heart, my soul, my insecurities.

As with any Eagle Elite book, there were some crazy twists and turns. A decent portion of the book focuses on Sergio. Remember him? He was once a ghost. That’s no longer the case. He has his own boat load of problems to work though…

Yeesh… There’s not much I can say about this book without giving the storyline away. I can say that I really enjoyed Phoenix and Bee, and I think you will, too. Rachel Van Dyken never ceases to amaze me. I’m not so patiently waiting for the next installment. It may give Phoenix and Bee a run for their money! 

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.”

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 www.rachelvandykenauthor.com

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