Author: Kit Rocha
Release Date: March 28th 2018
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Content Warning: Depression
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.
If you recall, we did a cover reveal for the rebranded covers for one of the books in the Beyond series, where I gushed about how much I enjoyed reading Kit Rocha’s books. The Gideon’s Riders series is actually my favorite series that the two co-authors have written, and it’s an incredibly immersive experience getting to know the cast of characters and found family is one of my favorite tropes to read.
Maricela and Ivan had my heart from the opening pages and I love how loyal they both are to the core, with Maricela being the Rios princess who cares deeply about her people and Ivan being rock solid committed to his duty as a Rider. It makes their romance that much sweeter, knowing that they can’t help but be drawn to each other in spite of those conflicting circumstances and duties.
Maricela struggles with being in the public eye and ever aware of her own image and duties, stifled by expectations and political entanglements, while Ivan is a soldier with a tainted family legacy, even as he struggles with his childhood and the burdens it brings.
While the romance is one that made me angst and swoon, what I think makes this book so truly special is the supportive cast that features in this book. Maricela has her brother and her friends, Avery, Nita, and Grace, who all care and worry for her. Ivan has his Riders, who are united by a band of loyalty and trust, as despite the scattered backgrounds they come from. I love seeing how interconnected this family is, and they hold a special place in my heart.
One of the most pleasantly surprising things about Ivan was how many scenes there were to get to know some of the later couples. Zeke and Grace are my first favorite of course, but I will admit Nita and Hunter snuck up on me in an unexpected way. It can be a bit daunting knowing there are at least four or five more books to go in this series, but the build-up is always worth it for Kit Rocha and I’m so excited to get each Rider’s own story.
Ivan is another strong addition to the series and I couldn’t help but fall in love even more with the characters in this world the complicated relationships they have with each other. Even though Gideon’s Riders does have a large cast, I love that through small scenes and chapters we get to know the supporting characters and also read hints of their eventual romances in later books.
At the core, Gideon’s Riders is a series about loyalty and trust, the bonds of family and friends, and finding love and acceptance as who you are.
If you’re interested, you can find Ivan at the following links: