Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Sunburn by Rosanna Leo
Patience O’Conner is a travel blogger who lives for her work. Her dedication to her readers brings her to the famed Helios Resort in Mexico, a locale that stuns her with its beauty but at which she suffers from some very strange accidents.
Luckily, hunky resort bartender Apollo Delos is always there in the nick of time, a malcontent guardian angel. Apollo stuns Patience again and again with his life-saving abilities, to say nothing of his smoldering looks and apparent desire to keep her alive.
Before long, Patience wonders if there is more to the sexy bartender than mixed cocktails and insane first-aid skills. Something strange is happening at Helios and Apollo doesn’t want to talk about it.
Can Patience open herself up to this enigmatic man, even though she is terrified to be vulnerable again? And can Apollo recover from an eternity of hurt and learn to trust once more? They must both decide before Death comes calling.
Where to Buy
Another fabulous entry in Leo's series about the Greek pantheon. This one features Apollo, and is substantially different from the first two books in the series, though that is all to the good in my opinion. Where For the Love of a Godhad a down-to-earth practical(ish) feel, and Sweet Hellhad something of a fairytale feel to it with their journey through Hades, this one has a very exotic feel to go with the exotic setting. The setting comes alive so well here that at times you almost feel like you should put on sunscreen and a hat for protection from the sun while reading it.
Like the other heroines, Patience is a fully adult professional woman who is entirely self-sufficient. She's been burned badly in love before, and has sworn never to let anyone in that close again, but one look at Apollo has her struggling to keep that vow to herself. She tries valiantly to keep her distance from him, to remain aloof and objective, walls firmly in place, but every encounter with him further weakens her defenses until finally she just can't fight it anymore. Still, she's a reasonable, practical woman, so even though she gives in to her attraction to him, she still tries to keep her heart out of it and to maintain some sense of objectivity about it all. For all that she seems to be a born skeptic, however, she still quite readily accepts several fantastic things without much question or fuss. Her willingness to take the plunge as it were, to explore the rabbit hole and see what treasures it might hold, is one of her strengths, as is her willingness, eventually anyway, to let go of the hurts in her past and open herself to the possibility of love again.
Apollo is much the same in many ways. He's loved several times in the past, and been hurt badly on more than one occasion, starting with the infamous Daphne. He too has vowed never to let another woman into his heart again, however lonely he might be. As with Patience, all it takes is one look at her for that resolve to begin to weaken, though he's not quite as successful even from the start at resisting the attraction as she is. Ultimately, though, he's both more and less successful at accepting his love for Patience and accepting of having a serious relationship with her. He's more willing to admit to his feelings (perhaps because he has to tell the truth always), but somewhat less willing to fully commit, and less willing to really believe that she could want him regardless of who and what he is, warts and all.
Without being overly descriptive, Leo manages to capture the feeling of a Mexican resort quite well in the tone of her writing, to the point that you can almost feel the heat and taste the pina coladas. The writing and descriptions are very entertaining, with many chuckles and laugh-out-loud moments over some of the situations, and most particularly at some of the epithets she comes up with. "By Poseidon's barnacle-infested ass" and "Tits of the Gorgon!" and several others that I forget off the top of my head now, all add flavor and hilarity to the tale. Even when events in the story are totally dire, still there are amusing phrases and descriptions thrown in that bring a bit of levity and remind you that it's all going to come out OK in the end. Probably.
I would highly recommend this story to anyone who likes romance, paranormal romance, and tales about figures from ancient mythology told with an irreverent and offbeat sense of humor. All of the characters are loveable (well, most all anyway), and even the villains are shown to have their softer, more human side so that they aren't just wholly evil. I might mark down a teensy bit for minor things here and there, but overall my rating on this one is so close to 5 stars as to make little difference.