A review of the entire Rent Me Series rolled into one.
Good character development, good plot, good consistency and development in the character’s interaction.
Primary characters in the series:
Brennen Brady is a spoiled brat with prima donna tendencies.
Dmitri Dubrovsky is a control freak with a soft spot for Brennen, but he is jealous and has trouble letting the boy grow up.
Misha Dubrovsky is scary, but like his older brother Dmitri he loves Brennen like his own flesh and blood.
There’s an array of smaller characters important in the dynamics of the three primary character’s development, and Nika is the gassoline on the fire between Brennen and Dmitri. So is Adrik, a lawyer, and a few passing friends of Brennen. Victor is a jealous jerk with a whole set of issues on his own, which needs to be worked out.
In Rent Me, Brennen is a big kid who has trouble figuring everything out. The background of the story unfolds slowly and at a nice pace, keeping the reader interested in the dynamics of this very screwed up family (the three primary characters)
Brennen works as a rent boy, Dmitri married a bitch, Nika, and Misha is struggling to keep up with the load of bad ideas on the two latter men’s behalf.
Only Brennen’s POV is in this book, and he is so annoying! Yet his submissive mind is believable, and the rollercoaster feelings and genuine sorrow at not only his own fits of anger toward Dmitri, but also Brennen’s own actions to get attention and punish Dmitri are well described and ease some of the irritation toward the brattiness of the character.
In Own Me all the ghosts from Rent Me reappear and put Dmitri and Brennen’s marriage off to a rocky start. Both men are possessive and jealous, and both men have to learn to live with each other under completely new circumstances. Dmitri needs to look at Brennen differently, and Brennen has to fight himself out of the role Dmitri keeps him in. This would of course have been easier if not for outside forces plucking at their focus on the problem at hand in their marriage. Suddenly finding the Dubrovsky family in harm’s way takes much of the attention Brennen and their marriage needs from Dmitri, and that man is attentive to his responsibilities as the head of the Dubrovsky family.
In this book Dmitri’s POV is introduced, and it’s nice to get his side of the ordeal, but the author has a nasty tendency to head hop between Dmitri and Brennen.
In Make Me Dmitri’s resolve to keep the family safe and together takes a toll on him and Brennen, but Brennen is growing up and maturing into the role of an equal partner in their marriage. Outside the marriage bed that is. Dmitri has so much to take care of that he doesn’t always notice. But he, too, learns from his mistakes—especially when faced with possible outcomes of the Dubrovsky family problem that he cannot even fathom.
Once again both men has a POV, but they’re not clean, and there is a lot of head-hopping to muck the waters of story and confuse the readers.
In For Me Dmitri takes Brennen to Russia to have Christmas at his parent’s house. They bring their daughter and hope, that she can help placate the hate for them being gay. It doesn’t look like it, but what is a Christmas story without a few miracles? It certainly puts Brennen on the spot as he struggles to be Dmitris equal in every aspect of their life as a married couple.
Dmitri takes Brennen on a small vacation, just the two of them, and Brenne finally gets to meet some of his family on his father’s side.
I have one problem with For Me—the meeting Brennen’s family and the end of their vacation seems hurried to a point where I feel like the author just wanted it over and done with. It was certainly too fast for all the sweet I Love Yous and the development of their relationship was completely neglected. That’s too bad, because Brennen’s development from Rent Me to For Me has been both nice and turbulent as fits the character. Dmitri’s development, too, so the ending here kind of fell flat on its face.
Over all praise and pouts from this reader
Dmitri’s games are fun and inventive, but the sex in general is the same—almost always the same position and they come in the same order and the same way every time for the first two and a half book.
Dmitri is an odd character that I, like Brennen, couldn’t always get a read on. Either he’d be mad for real, or he’d be disciplining for fun. Not always in the order I’d expect, but hey, the guy’s a mystery, and that’s a good thing.
The books could definitely need a good editor as it technically suffers from head-hopping, inconsistencies in details, and several repeat explanations that make the text echo with facts or makes the reader feel stupid enough to need reminding of small things. Also one person’s dialogue is sometimes split up in two consecutive and separated dialogues, which is confusing.
But the story wins, no doubt about that. I love this mobster family going clean, and I have a book-hangover. If a book can give me a book-hangover, then I can live with a lot of mistakes—and I’m usually kind of anal about that in books I buy.