Ivan (Book 1)Erin needs to find her sister. She has gotten caught up in a dangerous situation and if Erin doesn't find her first, chances are she will end up dead. The only person in Houston that Erin can think of to help her is Ivan Markovic. The big, tattooed Russian owns and operates a mixed martial arts gym where he trains fighters. The rumor is that Ivan has connection to the Mob. Erin has it in good authority that there is truth to the rumors. Ivan wants to say no when Erin shows up in his gym. He knows the trouble her sister is in. It will be a headache, not to mention dangerous, to get mixed up with helping Erin. So why is he saying yes? Ivan cannot believe he agreed, but the need to protect Erin overpowers his good sense. If he doesn't step in, he knows Erin won't stop and the people after her sister will hurt Erin. If he doesn't protect his own heart, he may lose it to Erin.
What I liked
Ivan is intimidating but he is a big softie with Erin. An alpha male all the way but with a soft warm center for his girl. Who doesn't melt over that? Erin is a strong woman. A weak woman couldn't have strolled into a mob connected gym and ask for help. Sure, she was afraid. I said she was strong, not an idiot. Ivan hasn't had a lot of great things walk into his life. He recognizes Erin as a chance at real personal happiness. I like that he didn't strong arm her into a relationship with him even though he did not want to let her go. Ivan was supportive of Erin, even when she wasn't seeing things clearly over her sister.
What I didn't likeErin's sister. She makes me want to reach into the book and slap her. Erin is a doormat for her sister. She feels the need to make up for the past and overlooks her deplorable behavior. Ivan gives Erin the strength to finally open her eyes and see the truth. I was glad to see Erin stand up for herself but I kind of wanted her to yell at her. Probably would have been counterproductive to the healing process, but she isn't my sister so I didn't care too much about that. For the story, it was the way to handle it.
Forbidden Fruit Rating
Dimitri (Book 2)
Benny inherited the family bakery with her brother, Johnny. Instead of helping Benny, Johnny runs the streets with a dangerous gang. All of this is witnessed by the man who rents the apartment over the bakery, Dimitri. The former Russian Spetsnaz runs a security service. He can afford to live somewhere nicer, but he can't seem to leave Benny. When Johnny goes too far with the gang, Dimitri steps in to help Benny. It isn't long before they wind up in bed. Passion is like that, uncontrollable. Benny runs the risk of losing her bakery, her brother, and her heart. If she trusts herself to Dimitri, will it be worth the gamble?
What I liked
Benny and Dimitri have been crushing on each other, not realizing they could be together since it is mutual. The book doesn't waste time on the unrequited love angle. Dimitri is a patient man. That patience pays off with Benny. She has so much coming at her that it takes someone with a gentle hand to coax her out of her shell. Benny is a hard worker. She isn't going to let anyone walk in and step on what she has built. I liked that she didn't play games or allow anyone to steamroll her.
What I didn't like
Johnny. Of course, he was a pain. He is supposed to be a pain. Irritated me to no end. If we were supposed to want Johnny to take a short walk off a long pier, mission accomplished. Not much else bothered me.
Roxie Rivera has two more books to be published in the Her Russian Protector series. I will absolutely we buying them as Yuri and especially Nikolai intrigue me. When I picked up Ivan and Dimitri, I also purchased Seduced by the Loan Shark. It was a fun read. I have enjoyed all three of the books I bought and will be adding Roxie Rivera to the authors I follow. If you want to get to know Roxie Rivera you can check out her Goodreads page and her Facebook, in addition to her Official Website.
Forbidden Fruit Rating
A book in hand is better than two on the shelf.
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