5 Star Review: Rip by Rachel Van Dyken

Thursday, 27 August 2015
RipRip by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

RIP is another amazing book in Rachel Van Dyken's arsenal of outstanding storylines. No-one quite writes Mafia like her and in this stand-alone book we are treated to Nikolai and Maya, two Russians who set about to save each other's souls, with the help of some Italian favourites along the way!

I was initially torn about this book. It didn’t start in the same vein as other Rachel Van Dyken books but instead had a slow and deliberate feel to it. Despite that, it did keep my attention, albeit tentatively, until I realised that this was going to be a side-story to the Eagle Elite series and once that happened *BANG* the story picked up and pulled me in at an alarming rate. Irrespective of how the story initially started though, I loved the characters right from the beginning. Nikolai was a dream of man with his mysterious, dark and Jekyll/Hyde ways which were complemented beautifully by Maya’s innocence and locked away secrets.

Overall, this story had an altogether darker feel and intensity to it than the Eagle Elite series which, despite it’s Mafia theme still maintained a light-hearted feel to it. RIP, by comparison was more blatantly gruesome and bloody and until the Italians arrived, had me wondering if I was reading a horror story!

Nik’s character was a complex mess and I loved him. He was initially cold and calculating but then an altogether softer side appeared as you began to see how his connection with Maya wasn’t completely new. Maya, is bewildered as to why Nik has singled her out and despite not trusting him, starts to push his buttons and slowly but surely breaks down the wall he has firmly placed around him.

So yes, for me, the Italians added an altogether unexpected, but wonderful, element to the book and in that light, did draw my opinion of the story into a more positive direction. I would have liked to have made an independent judgement of the book without their influence in order to see how Nik and Maya and their twisted and deep-rooted connection panned out without being distracted with Tex, Nixon, Phoenix, Chase and Sergio! For me, the Italians took the story from a 4 Star to a 5 Star read and, in some respects, I would have loved to have been able to score the book based on Nik and Maya’s story alone.

Phoenix played an unexpected part in this story, as did Sergio, as the Russian and Italian lives crossed paths and I loved their connection despite the obvious mistrust in each other. If you haven’t read the Eagle Elite series before reading RIP, I highly recommend it. You will get to see the Italian characters in a different light and in a lot more delicious detail!


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