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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What a Goddess Wants by Stephanie Julian

What a Goddess Wants by Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (271 pgs)
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

It’s OK no one remembers Etruscan Sun goddess Tessa. But when a demon threatens her life, she must turn to mythology’s darkest warrior for protection...

Caligo of the Cimmerians has never met a woman as warm, sunny and inviting as Tessa. Their sizzling mutual attraction quickly sweeps the two of them into a love story that’s worthy of the gods...

Old gods versus new gods and the power plays they conspire to achieve wreck havoc on those that get in their way. This story about Caligo and Tessa takes readers on a hot and furious ride as the hero and heroine try to outwit a powerful foe while trying to resist the passion brewing between them at the same time. Something has to give and finding out who or what has to be sacrificed kept me riveted.

The first thing Ms. Julian does is set up for a reader the basis for Caligo’s internal conflict. It’s a pretty gritty scene and provided nice insight into the gruff and rough personality that makes up the hero. Cal, as he’s referred to through most of the book, is a Cimmerian. I’d never heard of them before and I got a kick out of how the author provided details with a subtle and deft hand. The information comes through dialogue, some internal discourse and from some of the secondary characters during the course of the tale. I liked that because every tidbit and hint was one more reason to keep on reading.

Cal is a fun character. He’s seen and done things that no ordinary human man can and yet his problems are basic to all humanity. When he meets Tessa, the heroine, and realizes something about her, he is almost helpless to resist her. It’s his needs and how they connect to him emotionally that resonated with me. His appeal is his trying to resist her in his manly way, and failing. How can a man ignore and push away something that is an intrinsic part of himself? A reader finds out and there’s one scene where I felt very sad for the hero. It was sweet, poignant and actually quite romantic when his mood gets lifted. I got my happy back when he did.

Tessa is in way over her head. It’s her external conflict that brings Cal and her together as well as providing movement and motivation for the plot. She’s an old goddess who has had a cold dash of humility thrust upon her. She’s hanging on to her current life by her fingernails and she’s running out of time and options. In spite of her dire situation, she retains her spunk, her hope and her attitude. I loved the sparks she ignited off of Cal. I also enjoyed the scenes where she doesn’t deny herself physical satisfaction. She may not be the prominent goddess she once was but she sure knows her way around a man’s basic needs and that made for some very steamy and entertaining reading.

Speaking of hot stuff – the very first time Tessa meets Cal knocked my socks off with a scorching bed scene that inspired my need for ice cubes. Turnabout is fair play and Ms. Julian has the hero and heroine taking turns driving each other sexually nuts and then delivering satisfaction with well written dialogue and descriptions.

For secondary characters I liked Cal’s dad. His father contributed a nice bit of internal conflict for Cal which in turn made the hero a more likable personality. It provided depth, more emotion and a delightful and exciting surprise cementing my enjoyment of this book.

Salvatorus is another secondary character that is important to the storyline. He’s humorous, cunning and a good friend to both hero and heroine. There are a few times Cal is less than happy with Sal’s contributions which surprised a few grins and giggles out of me. Their dialogue and interactions provided lighthearted entertainment and were some of my favorite parts.

Then there is the villain. It’s the threat he poses that is more in the forefront than his actual physical presence. I enjoyed the unique way the author has him pursuing Tessa and it contributed a decent amount of tension, action and opportunities for heroism. I never knew when or where the bad guy would show up and it kept the thread of suspense present throughout most of the book. I couldn’t stop reading.

What a Goddess Wants provides a thrilling and unique spin on the gods and goddesses of old while giving readers spice, passion and action all the way through. I adored how Cal and Tessa played off of each other and showcased their strengths and weaknesses. Together they make an impressive couple and I had a great time getting to know their characters. The happily ever after is both sweet and saucy and totally satisfying. Based upon how Ms. Julian ended the story, I’m pretty sure the bad guy is going to be coming back for round two. I’m looking forward to the adventure.

1 comment:

Stephanie Julian said...

So glad you enjoyed Cal and Tessa's story. Thanks for a great review.