|Sherrilyn Kenyon: Fantasy Lover|
Martin's Press (Paperback), ISBN 0-312-97997
Two thousand years later, the bound edition of Julian the Love Slave turns up in New Orleans. There, an occultist named Serena picks up his dust-covered volume for a gift. Her best friend, Grace Alexander, could use love slave! However, in light of Grace's knowledge of men (learned in her professional capacity as a sex therapist) and a bad sexual experience with her last boyfriend, she cherishes no desire to engage in a month long fling. But then again…
As a lover of Greek history and myth, the premise of Fantasy Lover intrigued me. However, from what I can recall, Julian was an actual Macedonian general who died in Mesopotamia in a battle against the Persians. In the book, Julian springs from the womb of the goddess Aphrodite, fruit of a liaison with a Spartan general. Wherein lies the truth or, for practical purposes, legend? Even in a novel, I want to know. Accordingly, Julian's mythos and history (the best part) proved to be more exasperating than pleasurable.
While creative, this disappointing fantasy romance often stumbles awkwardly forward in plot. Only a descendant of Alexander the Great (why him, I ask?) can free Julian from his curse (note Grace's surname). Only Grace sees beyond Julian's physical beauty to discover a man with a tormented past. Only Julian (a handsome, intelligent, strapping Greek God) possesses the discernment to see beyond Grace's lack of outer beauty to her inner beauty -- surely the fantasy element. Ugh!
Perhaps if Kenyon kept the mythical or historical skeleton intact without so many gratuitous scenes, my response would differ. As far as "sappy romance" and "drippy dialogue" goes, it either works because of believability and the charismatic nature of the couple, or it doesn't. Here, it doesn't. At least for me.
Fantasy Lover may be "a Greek god fantasy," but unfortunately, it isn't mine.
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