Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much--but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be the same...
The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met... and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy--until it was too late.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
As I have said in some reviews, I work at a bookstore. It's actually the best way to learn about new authors outside of being a blogger. I had seen a few Rachel Van Dyken books come through the way and was intrigued. When I realized that I actually had a few of her books for review I was even more determined to give this new author (new to me at least) a gander and see if I liked what I read. This series, The Eagle Elite, was not one I had heard about from her. After reading the synopsis my immediate impression was, 'Ooo, secret society?' I wanted to see if my assumption was correct.
Tracey didn't know what to expect when she started school at Eagle Elite University. She knew she would be surrounded by distinguished, upper-class students and wasn't sure how a farm girl from Wyoming would fit in. Her determination to do right for her grandfather after her grandmother's death was the driving force behind her remaining at the school. The students made her life hell. Especially the students in an elite group called The Elect. Nixon, their leader, seemed to have a personal vendetta against her. She sustained tarnished remarks to her reputation, physical and emotional abuse, and all sorts of torment from her classmates. Nixon, while maintaining a superior air, started making it known that she was protected by him. It was then that Tracey started forming a love-hate relationship with the Student Body President.
Eventually Tracey found out that there was more than meets the eye with the handsome Nixon and his posse. What she finds out makes her question who she is, where she comes from, and why she feels so connected and familiar with Nixon.
I genuinely liked this story. I got a little misty when I saw all the torment that Tracey went through. I was even more teary eyed when I started to see just how much Nixon truly cares about her. Everything he does has a reason behind it and most often it's his misguided way of protecting her. I liked the connection between Nixon and Tracey and found them to be an amazing pair of protagonists. I liked the whole secret society situation that appears to be going on and then eventually finding out it's totally different. I had a hard time truly finding much to dislike about this book, which is amazing for me. I normally find at least SOMETHING I don't like.
I think Elite and the Eagle Elite series would be perfect for someone who likes to be surprised at every turn or someone who likes to watch a couple who don't immediately fall in love at first sight. Tracey and Nixon work at their relationship. It's not handed to them. It makes the story believable and real. We all need a little reality in our fiction or the thrill of getting lost in the author's world isn't as satisfying.