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Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Worship a Goddess by Stephanie Julian

How to Worship a Goddess by Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (269 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum


Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood...

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that...

If a reader is looking for a book that will grab them from the first chapter then How to Worship a Goddess will do the trick. Ms. Julian sets the seduction up with teases about who and what Lucy is and how she’s yearned for the sexy and scarred hockey player. He turns up at her bar and the heat just sizzles between them. At first it’s a slow burn but the reader gets drawn in because of the eager anticipation thrumming through the scenes. It doesn’t take long for the pages to ignite and a reader is in for an eye-popping start to their relationship. I expect some readers will feel flushed because the descriptions are intense and I felt the emotions all the way to my toes. From that moment on, I simply could not put this book down. That same first chapter ends with a twist. What I found incredible was that it was only the beginning of the amazing and entertaining journey that Lucy and Brand embark upon. Where could the author go from there?

Internal and external conflicts – that’s where. Ms. Julian imbued her characters with a boatload of problems to overcome. Trust issues, life changes, nefarious manipulations, overprotective offspring, and the truth about Lucy. How’s a guy, used to playing the rough and tumble game of hockey, ever going to believe in what Lucy is? What will he do to keep her? And will the heroine get out of her own way so she could accept the happiness that’s just a touch of skin away? I had a great time watching how the author made the hero and heroine dance around all those dilemmas while falling in love the whole time.

Another great thing about this story is that it made me laugh. The out loud wanting-to-stifle-the-giggles-lest-people-thought-I-was-nuts laugh. I loved it when Ty showed Brand what he could do. The hero’s reaction was priceless and I could imagine what that must have looked like –making me giggle all the harder. That’s just one great example of the author’s sense of fun.

Then Caeles showed up and that exchange between Dogbreath and the “intelligent son” had me in stitches again. I completely enjoyed the banter and camaraderie that jumped off the pages between the main protagonists and the secondary characters. In fact, there were other secondary characters that played key roles in moving the plot along or gave me greater insight as to what makes both Lucy and Brand tick. Great writing all around.

Just when I thought all the cards had been played, Ms. Julia threw down a winning hand with a secret about Brand. It was awesome! It was exciting! And I thought I’d been gripped and engrossed before? Half way through the book and it was like I was recharged -- I could not stop reading. I never saw that revelation coming and it knocked my socks off. Again, the drama, the writing and descriptions brought it all to vivid life for me. I love surprises and every one of them is delightful in this tale.

The scene where Brandon gave into his passion despite his fighting not to do so – that whole encounter was combustible, totally screaming hot and made for a sexually intense and satisfying relationship scene that wowed me. If erotic romance readers like what I like, then they’re in for a treat. They’ll thrill to his mastery and loss of control. The author wrote it to perfection.

Just to be clear, the story isn’t all internal angst and sex. There’s this really scary demon thing that hurts someone Lucy loves and they all have to band together and outwit the thing. It was dramatic, heart thumping and emotional. More kudos for that well written action.

The happily ever after is everything that I could wish for and I was very satisfied and content with the romantic declaration towards the end.

Romance that makes you smile, cheer and swoon doesn’t get any better than How to Worship a Goddess. It’s a wild and amusing tale with great emotion, intense dramatic flair topped off with sizzling sexual chemistry between the main characters. Ms. Julian has given a marvelous gift to readers in writing her Forgotten Goddesses series and I can’t wait to read the next adventure. It’s truly worth waiting for.

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