Review: Ivan by Kit Rocha


Title: Ivan (Gideon's Riders #3)
Author: Kit Rocha
Genre/Themes: Dystopia, Princess-bodyguard romance
Release Date: 28 March 2018

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Add on Goodreads

My rating: 5 Stars


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.

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.


I loved this book so much, it's my favourite in the series so far. 

This is very much a typical bodyguard-princess romance and it's beautifully and very engagingly done. I loved the complexity of the main characters and all the pining and their long and stubborn resistance to giving in into their feelings.

Unlike the previous book where I felt there was strong emphasis on the cult/religious apsect of the secovite in Sector One, here the focus was more of the court intrigues and the world of the noble families in the Sector. There was still a lot of talk of (living) saints and martyrs and self-sacrifice but it didn't bother me as much. Either I am getting more used to the world of Sector 1 or it was indeed less present as a theme than in Deacon and Ana's book. The important thing is that it all worked so much better for me.

I loved both Ivan and Maricela and found them to be wonderfully complex characters, both hiding a lot from the world, only showing a deceptively simple facade. Theirs was a slow burn with lots of hidden touches and looks and it all exploded in hot passion. They completed each other perfectly despite the seeming impossibility of a relationship between them.

It's a very character focused story but we also see a lot of the rest of the Riders and noble families which creates a very rich, vibrant world. I loved the sense of camaraderie among the riders and Maricela's female friendships were really precious to me. Ivan and Maricela became the world for each other they could never forget their obligations and responsibilities to those they loved and cared about.

There is tense suspense plot going on which too a surprising turn at the end and I can't wait for the next books to see how it will all play out. The humour and easy interactions among the Riders were a delight to read and much needed comfort from the very intense and emotionally charged relationship of Ivan and Maricela.

I absolutely love how the authors take a familiar trope (in this book and in the previous ones in the series) and explore it from all angles, presenting it as a real, easy to relate to life experience.

In short, Ivan is a bodyguard-princess romance which I loved and can recommend to everyone. It works well enough as a standalone, so if you haven't read the series yet, you can start here.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images