Review: Envy by Rachel Van Dyken (Eagle Elite #9.5)


From New York Times Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken, comes ENVY, a new novella in her Eagle Elite Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights!
Be sure to grab your copy today!



From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a new story in her Eagle Elite series…

Every family has rules, the mafia just has more….
Do not speak to the bosses unless spoken to.
Do not make eye contact unless you want to die.
And above all else, do not fall in love.
Renee Cassani’s future is set.
Her betrothal is set.
Her life, after nannying for the five families for the summer, is set
Somebody should have told Vic Colezan that.
He’s a man who doesn’t take no for an answer.
And he only wants one thing.
Somebody should have told Renee that her bodyguard needed as much discipline as the kids she was nannying.
Good thing Vic has a firm hand.



Don’t you hate when you are in a tight reading schedule and you need to read a book but your mood plays tricks on you and makes you enjoy the book less? I hate when that happens and it unfortunately happened while I was reading this book.
My mood totally did me dirty because for some reason I found the story very corny and I don’t think it was supposed to come across that way. I think it was supposed to feel intense, passionate, dangerous and forbidden but I only got the forbidden part and it wasn’t as thrilling as I wanted it to be. 

I wasn’t a big fan of the forbidden side of the romance story—which is basically the most important part. I felt like Rachel tried to keep things very mysterious so when the reader discovered the reason why Vic and Renee’s relationship was forbidden everyone would be left gasping from the surprise but in my case that didn’t work. I felt like I didn’t know anything at all about Vic and the secrets he was keeping that I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t have a relationship with Renee and that left me frustrated most of the time. I really couldn’t understand WHY their relationship was forbidden. And then when I discovered the reason, the only reaction I had was to roll my eyes because to me it seemed like a very corny reason. All I could think was “of course, there had to be a fairytale moment!” when all I wanted was a dark, twisted and incredibly passionate mafia story just like the previous books in the Eagle Elite series. 

If this were any other day, I probably would have loved everything about this forbidden romance but man, I’m not in a great reading mood right now. I think I’ll try reading this one again someday and hopefully I’ll enjoy it more the second time around. 

If you’ve never read a mafia romance before but you’d like to give them a try then I definitely recommend you pick up this book. It is short-ish and a nice start to the Eagle Elite series (even though it is book 9.5). It doesn’t contain any spoilers so you’ll be able to enjoy the previous books just fine so please check it out!


You can read my review of Eulogy (book nine in the Eagle Elite series) HERE.


3.5 / 5 flowers



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“See?” Renee spread her arms wide and gave a little shrug. The moonlight cast a glow through the impressive kitchen window, giving her such an ethereal look I stopped breathing for a second before schooling my features. “Nothing to worry about, nobody here to kill me.”

I didn’t relax my stance or lower my gun. “So you checked the crawl spaces? Closets? Dark corners?” I took a step as she shook her head slowly. “Then surely you checked the pantry, right? I mean it’s right behind you. Hell, there could be someone with a gun trained on that pretty mop of hair right now and you wouldn’t know until it was too late.” Her eyes widened like she hadn’t thought of it. Of course she hadn’t. It wasn’t her job to think about the monsters in the dark, just like it wasn’t her job to protect herself. That was why she had me.

I reached behind her and opened the pantry, pointing my gun inside before shutting the door and facing her again. “It’s clear.”

Her lower lip trembled. “I didn’t think of the pantry.”

“It’s not your job to obsess over the pantry,” I whispered in a gruff voice. “It’s your job to listen to me when I’m trying to do my best to keep you safe.”

She looked away. “Can’t save everyone.”

“But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying, Renee.”

I said her name.

It tasted sweet on my tongue.

The moan that wanted to follow was barely suppressed by clenching my teeth together.

“Are you going to do a sweep of the house?” she asked quietly.

“Did you want to join me?”

“Am I safer with you or by myself in the kitchen?”

“With me,” I lied. Physically she would always be safe from our enemies—but I knew the truth in my soul. I was just as dangerous to her as a bullet. My being with her would eventually kill her.

All the wives knew it.

They knew that eventually there would be blood.

And if their husbands were gone—it was only a matter of time before it was theirs that was spilled.

I’d like to think that’s why we drank wine like water.

Because when you constantly stare down your impending doom, you start wanting to celebrate every extra minute you’ve been given.

“Let’s go.” I nodded toward the hall. My footsteps whispered against the carpet. Nothing seemed out of place—which was almost more suspicious. People were messy. The hallways were lined with family pictures of Renee smiling with her parents. A heaviness settled on my shoulders.

“She can’t know,” Phoenix had said earlier that night. “At least not yet.”

I knew she was close with her parents. I also knew that they were dishonest with her. And she wondered why she was the one nannying the kids.

Why she was constantly under the watchful eye of Nixon.

I shook my head and kept walking with a stiff Renee next to me.

I cleared each room, each closet, each corner, and twenty minutes later when I felt it was safe enough for her to do more than breathe at my side, I lowered my gun and put it back in its holster.

“All good?” Renee stepped away. She rarely looked me in the eyes, but this time they locked onto me for a good three seconds before she tucked her hair behind her ear and walked farther and farther away.

I almost reached out and grabbed her arm.

Almost jerked her against my chest.

Almost confessed it all.

The lies they’d told.

The secrets we kept.

All to keep her safe.

All to keep her in the dark.

To keep her alive.



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!

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