‘Ivan vs. Ivan’ (The Teddy Bear Collection Book 3) by Tarian P.S. #LGBT #Review #Mature #IndustrialBlueCollar #Bears #Contemporary #Collection

Wendy reviews Ivan vs. Ivan (The Teddy Bear Collection Book 3) by Tarian P.S. Published by TPS Publishing October 13, 2015, 181 pages.

Out here in the North Sea, love usually passes a man by like a ship in the night. So it’s a nice surprise when the captain of the ship hired to transport Ivan’s ocean platform rig into port for the winter might actually offer some unexpected non-business type amenities as well.

Ivan Voloshyn owns and operates the Marianna Shoal, a deep sea oil rig. It’s hard work and long days out in harsh weather. And he loves it that way. Because that’s what he knows. Seabeds— rigs— oil— and bad weather. He’s also about to find out the Norse Gods have a sense of humor. For who should it be to come riding in on the Sea Dock Heavy Lift ship? Another Ivan.

Captain Ivan Blažević knows who he is and what he wants; problem is, he also knows he can’t have it. Just because the rest of the world is coming out of the closet doesn’t mean every gay man can or should. Out here on the seas, the weather can change in an instant. He needs to trust his crew to do their job, and their hostility towards gays would get in the way of that if he was ever found out.

Ivan-the rig-owner’s very presence threatens Blažević’s closet doors, nevertheless it’s hard to turn that away, because he wants him to keep doing so.

Out here, the North Sea can change a man’s life— but hatred can take it away.

THE TEDDY BEAR COLLECTION
Their Plane from Nowhere
Big Spoon & Teddy Bear
Ivan vs. Ivan
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Where to buy: 

Amazon

Kobo

Where to add: 

GoodReads

 

Why I read this book: This weeks theme is reviewers choice. I asked the author where I should start with their work being a newbie and this was one of the recommendations I got. One of the things that I liked most about this book is that it is part of a collection and not a series. Don’t get me wrong… I love me some series, but all the books in the collection have a common theme, bears. This was a fun way to visit a trope.

I’m going to start this review by telling a story of my own. Please bear with me… I read het romance for years. Literally decades. I’ve always had a deep love of books for recreation, escapism, knowledge of fiction and non-fiction as well as the Easter eggs that are hidden in some stories. That’s just a partial list of why I love books and reading. So, back to reading het. While I’ve never met a book I didn’t like (some simply for the fact that someone took the time to put what they thought into words), I was getting a bit burned out with het romance because they all seemed to be the same and not in a good way. They all seemed to have a bully for a male MC and a weak female. Not submissive, because that has a strength of its own, but weak female MC that all but begged to have the male character walk all over her and of course the male MC complied happily with said bullying all in the name of love. I couldn’t stomach them any longer and was sadly losing one of my favorite hobbies. I love romance, I’m a romantic at heart and had only seen gay books written as erotica (which I love too). Can you imagine how I felt finding not only these books but my people  (I fall at the unconventional end of the LBGTQIA spectrum)? I did the biggest happy dance once I discovered MM romance and queer fiction! One of my favorite parts of MM books is that the characters have strength, they are to a degree, equals. In every trope in this genre, that has been true for me thus far. That strength in particular is one of the things that struck me the most in this book.

Both Ivan’s (who I will refer to from here on out as Ivan #1 and Ivan #2 for clarification), exude strength. They both have very demanding jobs and are both leaders, responsible for many lives on treacherous seas. Not an easy thing to do and on top of that they are both gay in a world that doesn’t share an LBGTQIA friendly vision.

Gods I loved these characters! Ivan #1 doesn’t exactly shout his sexuality from the rooftops (and really, who should?), but he doesn’t hide who he is since living on a floating city doesn’t give a person much privacy. Ivan #2 on the other hand is deep in the closet because being out could literally cost him his life working for a Russian company. These guys still found each other and when they come together it’s explosive in more ways than one!

There was so much more to this book than a simple romance though. You can tell when an author does their research and really puts their all into a story. That is VERY evident in this book. We readers get a glimpse of different cultures and religions and how they play into a group of men that spend many precarious moments on an unpredictable and sometimes violent sea. We see bigotry at its finest, unfortunately it’s a sad reality for many and more so in certain areas of the world and in certain trades like the oil rig industry. Plus… wait for it… we get a recipe! Anyone that knows me knows that means BONUS!

Seriously, I loved the realism in this one, it was very well written and am glad I read the Ivan’s journey. It was fraught with angst and danger but the end is totally worth it and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the collection.

 

Tarian, like his twin, Talon, loves to torment his editors with a nefarious world of words comprised of the already rule breaking English along with additions of foreign-language, slang, local dialect, stretched/outside-of-the-box definitions, and have even been known to throw in some new word creations of his own at times. This, of course, is all thrown in there with the dyslexia soup stock he and his twin both suffer from that makes editing for them a joy {joy: n. see mental illness}. However, the final product comes out as richly detailed as he believes all stories should be created: holographic worlds of love, pain, frustration, and challenges beyond the every day. Tarian believes a good story should take you on an emotional ride, pluck your heart strings, and zing you about until you’re dizzy and screaming at the antagonist, while cheering for the protagonist before returning you to your cozy reading spot. And he has created these adventures within a mix of genres, so you can find the one right for you: Gay & Het Romances, Suspense, Paranormal and Sci-fi Erotic Romances, War-time Romance Fictions, and not to be left out, his favorite works of Post-Apocalyptic Dark Fantasies and Historical Fantasies. They are all for readers to submerse themselves into and escape from your day when you need or desire, and to whet your appetite for more.

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2 thoughts on “‘Ivan vs. Ivan’ (The Teddy Bear Collection Book 3) by Tarian P.S. #LGBT #Review #Mature #IndustrialBlueCollar #Bears #Contemporary #Collection

    • That’s a really good point and I should have clarified. I never once was confused about which Ivan was which. I think I will make an amendment to my review. Thanks so much for pointing this out! ❤

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