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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Her Russian Brute by Theodora Taylor

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Character diversity: Yes (?w/wm)
Published: February 26, 2016
Purchase: @Amazon
*I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

In Her Russian Brute, we get the story of Ivan and Sola. Ivan is the cousin of Alexi and Boris/Bair Rustanov from previous installments in the 50 Loving States series. In fact, if you are a fan of the series you've already met Ivan in Her Russian Beast. I'm not gonna lie, I was really looking forward to Ivan's story. I mean, the man was brutish as heck and an overall mess when he was first introduced. Super excited. While I liked the story well enough, it wasn't the best work that I've seen from Ms. Theodora. Like everything, it had highs and it had lows.

What I Liked
Loved me some Ivan. He wasn't as brutish as he could have been or as I had expected, but there was just something about this character. Yes, he had a past that we get a glimpse (see below) of, but in the present, he's all anger with sprinkles of vulnerability and a couple of dashes of insecurity. It's those vulnerable bits that make this character just delicious to me.
- A lot of times I really don't care to see or hear about the heroines of a book after their stories have been told. Why? They tend to come back as giggling girls who are desperate to best friend the newcomer, or latest heroine, to the family circle. That's what made the epilogue of this book so great. The scene with Sola, Sirena, Bair and Alexi made me laugh and really showed how personalities can clash at times!

What I didn't Like
-I couldn't connect with Sola nor could I really identify what her character looked like. Her nighttime "problem" seemed a bit too convenient and an obvious plot device. I also felt that she recovered and went about her business way to fast following the "incident" with the ex. I mean, really? She acted like it was just another Tuesday!
- The story is a not so subtle play on Beauty and the Beast. I'm not hating on it, because I actually love all things Beauty and the Beast. I just wish it hadn't felt so rushed and wasn't so incredibly obvious. Basically, I wanted to feel these two fall in love, but instead it just happened. That magical thing called lust filled sex strikes again!
- The ex-boyfriend felt like he was there to fulfill the role of Gaston. Villain needed? Role filled.

My Final Thoughts
I almost felt like the titles for this book and Her Russian Beast should have been switched. We have a beautiful woman who falls in love with a brutish, beast of a man, but the story feels like it's on hyper-drive and doesn't feel like it had time to truly develop into anything other than major lust.
It may sound like I didn't like this book, but I actually thought it was okay. The problem is, in previous books I've liked the fact that this author has been raising her own personal writing bar (at least in the last several books that I've reviewed). This book on the other hand, just was. Neither terrible or exceptionally good. I do think it is worth a read, especially if you like Russian heroes (like I said, there's just something about that Ivan!).
This book gets a 'Recommended' stamp from me and a solid 3 out of 5 star rating.

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