Review: Enforce (Eagle Elite, #1.5) by Rachel Van Dyken

Print Length: 386 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 18, 2014)

From 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...

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

DISCLAIMER #1: This novel is a re-telling of her Original novel in this series Elite. However it is told from the male point of view. 

It has been over a year since I originally read Elilte (in fact you can read my original review by clicking on that link). In the course of that review, one of the main issues I had was not understanding why the males acted or said the things they did. Well Enforce certainly cleared all of those questions up! 

I wouldn't exactly call Enforce a "re-telling" of Elite, although it will certainly be construed that way. Rather - Enforce can be read as a stand alone in place of Elite, and things would still make sense. To try and say one is better than the other would be hard work as they each have their own merits. I will say that I enjoyed Enforce more than I did Elite, simply because now I better understood the pressure that Nixon was under, as well as Chase's conflicted feelings. There seemed to be more going on in Enforce simply due to the reactions (and actions and emotions) of the male characters. I also found them more intriguing this time around - the way they seamlessly walked the line between "normal college students" and "Mafia Bad-asses" was insightful to say the least. 

One of the major "OMG" moments came with reading the chapters that were from Phoenix's point-of-view. I went from completely hating him in Elite to actually being able to sympathize with him and his plight. No person should have to live with what he had to live with, and the compounding factors not only of his childhood, but how he perceived Trace and everything that happened once she came into the picture would melt even the hardest of hearts towards him. 

Yes, I realize there may be some people who hem and haw that the Eagle Elite series is a bit .... unrealistic, but I say to them, don't you read a book to be transported into a different world? For me, I care more about the depth of the book - was I completely drawn in? Did I care about the characters? Then I do about the "true" inner workings of the Mafia in regards not only to how they operate, but how the police would inevitably get involved. 

In the end - if you have not read Elite yet, I would read and then read Enforce before moving on to the other novels in this overall story as I think that will allow you a better understanding of their world (as the rest of the series is in the POV of multiple characters throughout the course of one book). 

I would highly recommend this novel to not only fans of Ms.Van Dyken, but also to those who enjoy a good, complex novel. And the hot Mafia men don't hurt things either. 

DISCLAIMER #2: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 
 Enforce (Eagle Elite, #1.5)   is available from

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