Review: Dissolution (Eagle Elite #12) by Rachel van Dyken


Print Length: 238 pages
Publisher:  Van Dyken Enterprises (February 20, 2023)

From "There is always a beginning—I will be their end."

For ten years the Cosa Nostra has ruled with an iron fist in Chicago—their reign is about to end, and I'll be the one to bring them down.

One more job for the Italian Americans, and I'm done.
Except this "one job" involves saving the boss's brother and sister.
When things go horribly wrong, and a price is put on all of our heads from my Family back home—I'm forced to stay in Chicago, offer not just my gun but my protective services to the young girl I saved while also making sure nobody touches her.
Myself included.

My own Family has splintered.
Half want me dead, half want me alive, and the only people willing to protect me are the very ones I hate—her included.

I'm the Grim Reaper of the Sicilian mafia, and I bow to no one, not even her, so when she asks me to teach her to fight, when she tells me she wants to be made, I give in just so I can piss off the bosses.
Only I made one mistake.

I protect her from the world.
But who protects me from her?

One more battle remains between the families in Italy and in the States.
One more battle where I'm torn between both sides.
And I'm left protecting the one girl who has the potential to wreck us all.

It all started a decade ago at Eagle Elite University—the beginning.
It will end on the streets of Chicago—with me as the end.

I, Santino Sinacore, am their end.


My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Man, this one was a ride. I have been a fan of the original Eagle Elite series since I read the first one back in 2013. For the most part, I have enjoyed them, usually giving them a 4-5 star review. 

However, I struggled with this one. A lot. 

To begin with, this one is a lot darker than I remember the others being. There are a lot of threats towards Katya of raping her. There might even have been some sexual assault that happened to her off the page, as the girl was well and truly traumatized (which, given how she was rescued, would be understandable even if no sexual assault occurred). 

The second issue I had was the fact that Santino had no qualms about having sex with Katya two days after he rescued her. It can be packaged any way that author wants to package it, but she was beaten, traumatized, and had just seen her twin brother killed in front of her. Putting her into a sexual relationship that soon with the man who rescued her nonetheless just came across as in bad taste to me. 

And while I understand that this is supposed to be a mafia romance and the mafia is definitely more bloodshed and anger than it is sunshine and roses, I definitely had an issue with them ordering Katya to take a knife to Santino as part of his punishment. Hasn't the poor girl been through enough? And then to threaten to kill the man she claims to love (I say claim because, again, it's only been like two days since the met) when she says she doesn't have the stomach for it? It comes across less about loyalty and family the way the others did and more... well, torture porn. 

At the same time, Dissolution also had some hard-hitting quotes, my personal favorites being "Weakness is in staying exactly where you are at" and "Only the strong know when it's time to walk aware, and have the balls to actually do it." I also enjoyed Katya's overall arc, where she learned how to be her own hero and became someone who, instead of hiding behind others, learned to stand beside them. I just wish there had been more of a build-up to this side of her as the book seemed to take place over the course of a matter of days once she met Santino and that to me, was in no way believable. A person just doesn't become an expert marksman with no training, and that's exactly what seemed to happen here. 

One final issue I have with this one is more a personal one than anything wrong with the series. I wish Rachel would have finished Eagle Elite before moving on to the spin-offs involving the children. It would have, in my opinion, given this one a bigger sense of fear where the fates of our beloved characters were concerned. It was hard for me to feel any sense of danger when I knew all of the OG characters were alive and well in the spin-off books.

Overall, I think it was a solid finish for the series, and I look forward to seeing where the author takes this world next as it was stated that even though the Original series might be done, the spin-offs are not. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                               Dissolution is available on

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