Review and Excerpt Tour: Rip: Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken
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Expected October 20, 2015

Pretty things aren't meant to be broken.
But I broke her, and now we both have to pay the price.
I'm her nightmare.
I'm her savior.
And now that I have her signature on an ironclad contract, I own her body and soul.
She doesn't remember me.
She will.
It's inevitable.
Because as much as I know I need to stay away, for fear of unlocking the memories I helped her father bury--I can't.
She was the apple in the Garden, dangled in front of me, her core so tempting and sweet. A voice whispered. Just. One. Bite.
I bit.
I tasted.
I fell.

Welcome to the world of the Russian mafia, where death, is your only future.

by Becca the Bibliophile
“You are your father’s daughter.” His lips curved into a delicious smile, “You resemble each other, not in looks, but definitely in attitude.” His gaze was unapologetic as he tilted his head and started raking his eyes from my feet up my legs until finally settling on my face. I clenched my legs together tightly and forced a smile.
“If you don’t mind, Mr. Blazik, I’d really like to get on with the interview, I know your time is precious.”
As was mine, I wanted to stress, but didn’t, just barely restraining myself and clenching my teeth to keep from giving him a much-needed verbal lashing.
“I blocked out my entire day.”
Did he want applause? “Right, well, I assure you I can be fast.”
His dark laugh had me shivering and wanting to lean forward all at once. Men that good looking shouldn’t be blessed with chuckles like that—a freaking sirens call that’s what it was.
“Amazing… You truly don’t know why you’re here, do you?”
How many times did I need to repeat myself and why was I getting the sudden impression that the guy was on some seriously hard drugs? I looked closer; didn’t pinpoint pupils mean he was high or something?
“I assure you I’m not drunk, nor high, if that’s what you’re thinking.” He chuckled again and rubbed his hands together. “Though the idea does have merit, all things considering.” A muscle clenched in his jaw.
Oh good, so he was a doctor who liked drugs and had more money than God. That should go over well for addiction problems.
I scooted back against the leather and clicked my pen for, oh, I don’t know, the tenth time. “If you aren’t going to answer my questions, I should probably go.”
“You won’t be going anywhere,” he said in a quiet voice. “And for that I’m truly sorry.” His eyes met mine, and they seemed… apologetic.
“Pardon?” Was he threatening me? Warning bells went off in my head as adrenaline shot through my system.
“Your father…” He tilted his head. “He owes me a debt… of gratitude… I asked for something irreplaceable, something that’s been owed to me for a very long time.”
My stomach sank as my heart started hammering against my chest.
“What exactly did my father give you?” I choked out, hating that I probably knew the answer, because my father was ruthless, he was a business man after all, and he never backed out of a deal. It was business over family and our business was darkness itself, horrible, something I blocked out because it made me feel better when I woke up in the morning and fell asleep at night.
“Well…” Mr. Blazik stood. “I thought that would be obvious.” He turned his back to me and walked over to his desk then pressed a button causing blinds to creep down all the windows. When he turned, the room was already starting to blanket in darkness, making it so that his teeth practically glowed. “He gave me you.”

Maya Petrov is suddenly given a new internship with Nikolai Blazik, Russian Doctor, researcher, and genius. Too bad it is forced upon  her and will essentially keep her at the Doctor's mercy for a year. Thrust in this strange and questionable new world with strict expectations and flexible ethics, Maya is just trying to figure out how she ended up in this situation and what is going on under the surface.

This is  a mind-bending, mysterious, dark and twisty ride with deals, debts, danger, and repressed memories. It is full or all kinds of dark subject matter like murder, questionable experimentation, and dirty deeds.

In the beginning I just kept thinking...can this aloof, mysterious, and apparently dangerous man become a hero to me?

Nik is rich, handsome, brilliant, but also brooding, controlling, bossy, and erratic. He is a man of mystery with many hidden secrets. He usually can control himself,  his environment, and even other people, but Maya manages to get under his skin, tempt him, and makes him lose control. He has his reasons for all he does, but they are kept from her and from us until they are gradually revealed along the way. He is a man that appears to be dangerous, uncaring, arrogant, and  a possible sociopath, but sometimes we can see his conscience and hidden feelings and he appears more like a savior. Is he a hero or a villain?

Maya is not sure if Nik is imprisoning her or keeping her safe. It is hard to see who is the lesser of two evils. She is sassy, smart, and determined to get answers. She only knows a portion of the real story of her life and she has no idea what the truth holds. 

Touching her or a relationship is strictly forbidden. There are reasons why, but the pull is hard to resist. They have an undeniable attraction, but there are lots of rules, obstacles, secrets, and lies. A coupling could prove deadly for both of them and either one is at risk to break. They are tethered together, but caught up in a volatile, dangerous situation that has no easy resolution.

This story happens along the same timeline as Elude(Eagle Elite #6), but can be read as a stand alone spin off. I loved getting some of the Italian mafia cross overs. They always manage to make me laugh right through the danger and suspense. There was an underlying continuing story line of Russian vs. Italian mafia. I am Team Italian all the way

This was full of secrets, dangers, mysteries, surprises, and twists. It started out convoluted and a bit confusing, but gradually started weaving a compelling, complicated dramatic story line. The mysteries were slowly revealed keeping me turning pages. The characters layers were peeled back as they opened up and truths came out. Various connecting story elements began to come to light to form the big picture from past to present. It was told in dual points of view in present and flashbacks. It was a multi-layered, unique story with some dark suspenseful elements, but also had some humor and deep emotions. I ended up really enjoying it and the characters.

So did Nik win me over? YES, he did. He is not perfect, guiltless, or innocent, but he has enough good in him that I got attached, and I was totally rooting for him and Maya to overcome their many dangerous obstacles. 

ARC provided by author and tour host in exchange for an honest review.
Maya Petrov finds herself swept away and bound as an “intern” for the mysterious Dr. Nikolai Blazik, cut off from the outside world she is contracted to work for him for a year. The stipulations in the contract state that she cannot speak of the things she sees, nor can she engage in any kind of relationship while working for the doctor.

Nik knows his new intern is strictly off limits -- for her safety and his own. The secrets he helped lock inside her memory could spell his downfall if she remembers. But he is drawn to her in a way he cannot resist.

This book was a surprise for me. It fit very neatly beside the Italian mafia from Eagle Elite, but the Russian mob influence here was a much darker beast. I spent the first part of the book completely disoriented right alongside Maya. I couldn’t figure out who was the villain, who was the hero, and what exactly Maya had fallen into.

Once I settled in, and Maya began finding her footing in her new situation, this story completely opened up. There was still mystery surrounding what was going on, but I was swept along in the suspense of the story, watching, waiting for the other shoe to drop, for Maya’s memories to return. 

Rip is a standalone spin off from Rachel’s Eagle Elite series, one can read this without reading the original series, but for those who want to read in order, it falls best after Elude as there are some details that could be considered Elude spoilers. That being said, it is also a great way to get one’s toes wet in this mafia world without needing to read 5 books for backstory. 

ARC provided by author and tour host in exchange for an honest review.
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, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com


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