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I purchased this book because once you’ve read the first book, you just HAVE to know everyone’s story!

In order for this book to make sense you must read “Elude” first.  This book picks up Sergio’s story almost immediately after “Elude.”

So why did I choose to start this series to begin with?  It’s a Mafia series and honestly, I didn’t think it would really pull me in.  But I truly adore Rachel Van Dyken’s writing style so I thought I’d give it a try.  And I was hooked from book 1.  Her characters always have some sort of humor and I love that even in Mafia world, there’s humor.  So… back to “Empire.”

Sergio is one of my favorite characters of this series.  He’s the oldest of this new generation of Italian mob bosses and has experienced so much more than the other characters.  So he’s more complex.  I wanted to see how he dealt with the tragedy at the end of book 6 and moved on.  And what the surprise he had coming to him was.  While I was really into this story sometimes the twists and turn were harder to follow than the other books.  (Or maybe it was because I was up until the wee hours of the morning reading?!)  The plot was definitely fast paced.  Which kept me up waaaay too late, by the way!  And it was interesting to see the romance brewing between Sergio and Val.  They are so different in the beginning and both grow in different ways so that by the end, they have so much more in common and more friendship to cement the relationship.  And then throw in the rest of Eagle Elite crew and there’s laughter, tears… and of course, guns!

Overall I give it 4.75 stars out of 5 only because there was a small portion of the story that I felt was a little harder to follow.  But Rachel certainly didn’t disappoint and I can’t believe I have to wait an entire YEAR before the next one comes out!