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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

For the Love of a God by Rosanna Leo


Conservator Maia Douglas is an expert on ancient Greece and its mythology. She would never tell anyone at the museum where she works, but she's always had a secret crush on the mythical Eryx, Greek god of love. There is nothing she loves more than to tend to her favorite statue of him, and her nighttime dreams are filled with luscious images of Eryx making love to her.

One day, the peace at Maia's beloved museum is shattered when a new director arrives. A man who looks exactly like her image of Eryx. As Maia watches, he manages to upset her ordered museum world, at the same time he inflames her with unwanted desire.

Maia does not know that her new boss is actually the god Eryx, disguised as a mortal so he may work in antiquities. Although he is the god of love, he has forsaken his sexual nature because of a curse that has killed any woman he's dared to love. Though he fights it, Eryx is drawn to Maia with a force he's never experienced in a thousand years. But can he convince her of his true identity? And can he protect her from a vengeful goddess who seeks her destruction?

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A fun, refreshing story that manages to embody many different dichotomies within it. It's funny and serious, playful and suspenseful, reverent and irreverent, heartwarming and heartbreaking often at the same time, and the list could probably go on. Just when you think you know what to expect next, Ms. Leo takes it into an unexpected turn, keeping you guessing as to how it's going to play out right up till the end.



At first glance Maia seems to be your stereotypical scholarly nerd woman. She's more at home in the halls of the museum, working on her beloved artifacts, than she is living in the real world. She's oblivious to the dictates of modern fashion, and yet in her disregard for it she manages to sport a quirky, funky style all her own. With her '70s cartoon character t-shirts, her technicolored Crocs, and her vintage Holly Hobby bag, she ends up seeming very avante garde in a very neo-hippie, anything but dowdy kind of way. She'd probably fit right in on many college campuses, and would have sorority girls fawning over her dying to know where she got her vintage duds. Looking below the surface, Maia's personality is also a curious blend of the staid and the quirky. She thinks nothing of fondling Poseidon's testicles while evaluating how to repair the damage to the marble they're carved from, but shies away in rather prim fashion from any attention from a flesh and blood man. Her adventurous side lets her get involved with Eric Lord, yet her intellect hold her back at a few crucial junctures. Watching how all the contradictions resolve themselves, or how they manage to coexist and not seem like contradictions, is fascinating reading indeed.

Eryx, or Eric Lord as he calls himself in the mortal world at the time of the story, is largely everything you would expect a Greek god to be, and many things you wouldn't expect. He's more than a little bit cocky and arrogant, but also frequently self-effacing and humble. He suffers a bit much from the "I'm no good for you, I should leave you alone for your own good because you'll be much safer and better off without me" mindset that so many paranormal heroes seem to espouse, but he thankfully doesn't cling to it quite as tightly or for as long as many do. Maybe because as the God of Love there's a point at which he just can't help letting his lust overrule his better judgement, or maybe because being what he is, he's less able in many ways to deny the call of true love when he finds it. Whatever the case, he ends up being a thoroughly adorable hero, and your heart will break for him and what he has had to go through for most of his existence, and what he'll have to go through to earn his HEA with Maia.

As a nearly lifelong student and lover of Greek mythology, I'm always drawn to stories about the Greek pantheon, and love seeing the original take that various authors have on them. I'll admit to not being as knowledgeable about most of the lesser deities like Eryx, but such knowledge isn't really necessary to the enjoyment of this tale, for all of the crucial bits of the mythology are explained in the text, and reading Ms. Leo's portrayal of Eryx and some of the other gods/goddesses is far more entertaining than learning the classical tales anyway. The relationship between Eryx and Maia and the forces that they're up against will take you on an emotional roller coaster. You'll laugh, you'll want to cry, you'll want to scream with anger, and you'll want to fan yourself 'cause it gets mighty hot in here sometimes. In short, it'll do most everything you want a good book to do (except tell you where to find your own studly god to try on for size). My one complaint is how it all turns out, because I'd have preferred to things turn out a little bit differently, though I understand why Ms. Leo went the route she did. Just, yeah, a few details done a bit different would have made me happier, but that's just me really.

Definitely a book I'd recommend to anyone interested in paranormal romance, Greek mythology and/or reading modernized twists on such, or just anyone who likes a quirky, funny, heartwarming yet slightly bittersweet love story. Four and a half stars easily to this one.

1 comment:

  1. I am so honored by this review! Your words have really touched me and I am so happy you've decided to continue the saga with Sweet Hell. Next. Thanks for reading and for sharing!

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