Source: provided by the author for review
Date read: March 28, 2018
3. Ivan - Paperback | Kindle
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As the sheltered princess of Sector One, Maricela’s life is defined by duty: to her people and to her family. Her wealth and influence have allowed her to build a better world, but they come with a price---the responsibility to secure political stability with a practical marriage. Maricela cherishes the idea of marrying for love, but there’s not much romance in the endless line of suitors interested only in prestige and power.Thoughts on Ivan: Big, broody, and stoic. Ivan's got it going on. He also has a past no one would envy and a raging case of admiration (to put it one way) for the princess of Sector One. Meanwhile, Maricela quietly chafes under the added protections Gideon has ordered while feeling guilty that she, the pampered princess, is complaining about anything at all.
And her handsome, brooding new bodyguard isn’t helping the situation.
Ivan is the perfect, deadly warrior, a man trained from childhood to be the ultimate protector to the Rios family. His focus on keeping her safe is intense--and a little intoxicating. When the threat of danger cracks his icy control, Maricela realizes she’s not the only one fighting against temptation.
Ivan knows that the blood on his hands makes him unworthy of the pure-hearted princess. But from the first kiss, their forbidden affair feels inevitable. He can give her a glimpse of life outside her gilded cage and a lover who wants the woman instead of the crown. The only thing he can never do is promise her forever.
Because spurning her noble suitors to marry her bodyguard wouldn’t just be a scandal. It could set off a political firestorm that would tear Sector One apart.
Which brings me around to one of the things I REALLY liked about these two. While they're from very different worlds, they both feel guilty for things they shouldn't. Maricela feels like she leads such a charmed life (and in many ways she does) she doesn't have the right to complain. As for Ivan, because of the part his uncles played in the failed coup years ago, he feels like he'll never be good enough to overcome their betrayal. No, wait. That's not quite right. He feels unworthy. Period. For all he didn't have a part in what his uncles did and he payed for it as a child, the past left its mark on him.
He's closed off and really, REALLY stoic about things.
Maricela breaks through his stony exterior by being herself, but he's a Rider and she's a Rios and things could never happen between them. Right?
Being trapped by the past -- tradition in Maricela's case and the sense that he deserves whatever bad things happen to him in Ivan's -- is a big stumbling block they need to get over if they ever plan on finding their happily ever after. I have SO MUCH more I could say about how the children and grandchildren of the families are being smothered by the respective heads of their houses using them as pawns for political alliances, but, well, this will end up a little wordy. Let's just say that change needs to happen and it needs to happen soon because Maricela and her friends are starting to unravel a piece at a time and its an awful thing to watch.
Which just means I'm excited to see how Gideon and his Riders are going to make those changes happen.