Ivan by Roxie Rivera
Series: Her Russian Protector #1
Published by Night Works Books on February 24th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Erotic, mystery/thriller, Romance
Desperate to find her sister, Erin goes to the only man in Houston who can help her--Ivan Markovic. The intimidating, tattooed Russian operates one of the most elite mixed-martial arts training centers in the world but it’s his shadowy past and reputed connections with Houston’s underworld that interest her most.
To find her sister, she’ll need the help of her big, scary Russian protector—but asking for help from a man like Ivan carries a steep price, one that might just include her heart.
Short and sexy, this book was a fun read!
Erin has discovered that MMA trainer Ivan Markovic is the only person who can help her find her missing sister. Erin’s sister is a junkie dating (another) junkie who used to train at Ivan’s gym. Erin goes to the gym and asks Ivan to help her find her sister and her sister’s boyfriend because they are in trouble with two different drug running gangs.
Ivan decides to help Erin. He tells her to stay home and wait for his call but she gets a call from her sister and runs after her. When Erin arrives at the location her sister gives her, she finds her sister gone and a drug dealer looking for said sister. Ivan shows up (he had Erin followed) and saves the day.
From there Ivan takes Erin to his house where they have a heavy petting session. I was…surprised that Erin had sexual relations with Ivan so quickly. By this time she had known him for less than a full day and the text tells the reader that Erin isn’t that kind of girl. The heavy petting was…somewhat hot but it read a little…strange, lol.
There is some (very little) action in the book. A scene occurs where people break into Ivan’s house and he has to defend them with no weapons. The scene is written from Erin’s perspective who is hiding in a locked room in a closet. So…mostly sounds.
Later they find Erin’s sister – OD’d in some crack house. They save her, get her to a hospital, etc. They also get her a lawyer so she can go to rehab instead of jail. I was…kinda irritated at how easy the sister got off. She’s been a junkie for years, she also known to dabble in prostitution and it was well known (by police) that she and her boyfriend were involved in drug and gang violence. But she gets off with a couple stints in rehab. Crazy.
The ending was…a little too sweet and/or easy for me. Everything was wrapped up with a beautiful little bow – even Ivan’s criminal past and immense amounts of money were waved away with the gentle hand of deus ex machina.
The book moves rather quickly which helped to keep me interested. There are little asides thrown in that made me feel that I was reading a book in an already established series instead of a first in a series. I’m assuming that the little asides are all teasers for later books in this series.
So, it was a quick read and it kept my attention! That’s great right there. The feelings (while rushed) between Ivan and Erin were sweet and I liked that. I also have a thing for big protective men with tattoos. I liked the characters enough to continue the series.