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Monday, July 16, 2012

Goddess in the Middle by Stephanie Julian

Goddess in the Middle by Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy
Length: Full Length (299 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, menage, Anal play, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum


Romulus and Remus are sexy werewolf cousins with an unbreakable bond. When they meet beautiful goddess Amity and save her from an encroaching demon, they discover that the three of them together are way more powerful than any of them could ever have imagined. And they're going to need that power to overcome the forces that are determined to steal Amity's magic and destroy the two men. As different as night and day, and each an amazing man in his own right, Rom and Remy make all of Amity's deepest fantasies come true ...

A goddess sandwiched between two hot men who would do anything to protect her, anything to love her and everything to convince her that theirs is a relationship worth fighting for is only a small part of this exciting and steamy romance by the very talented Ms. Julian.

Amity is a goddess of old but with a very modern and important job as a medical aesthetician. So much has changed in her long life and in this book, it gets a whole lot weirder, not to mention dangerous. It’s not all drama and suspense though. Hunky Rom and Remy are a wonderful distraction for the heroine and at first, that’s all they were. The author presents the heroine as a woman not afraid of sex, but one who embraces it, enjoys it and is able to generate power from the event – eventually. Getting there is half the fun. But Amity is so much more and I enjoyed getting to know her.

Speaking of fun – Ms. Julian cracked me up with her nod to one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. I love the author’s sense of humor and it is brilliantly showcased at strategic points throughout the story. Even when the plot is at its most suspenseful and dark, Ms. Julian balances the negative conflict with sass and courage using brisk and snappy dialogue that keeps the action flowing at a good clip. That same talent for description and verbal foreplay makes the relationship scenes between her, Remy and Rom seriously delicious and well worth reading a time or two or three. It might be a good thing to have the A/C on high.

It’s not all fun and sexual hijinks, however. There are problems that are inherent in the dynamic of a threesome. Jealousy, assumptions of one’s place in the relationship, miscommunication or stubborn silence verging on martyrdom, all of those issues take turns mixing up the internal angst. I enjoyed how the three of them eventually solve it. I also liked watching how they worked through it while at the same time trying to build a relationship on top of trying to survive this latest attack by Charon, the villain, and a big scary demon. It certainly kept me flipping the pages from chapter to chapter.

Another thing I liked about this book is the author took her time in letting a reader know her characters. The cousins, Remy and Rom, have deep emotional pain, sadness and regret, not to mention a healthy dose of vengeance and retribution to dole out to their enemy. I got a sense of their determination and steadfastness to their cause. I also liked that for the first time in many years, they have hope and it all stems from meeting and falling in love with Amity. It was beautiful yet poignant to see them start to live again. Of course, the crisis and drama that comes before that can happen made for great reading.

As for the villain, Charon, Ms. Julian never does what I expect her to do because I ended up feeling sad for the bad guy! In fact, there’s a hint that perhaps he’s not truly evil, vile and unredeemable but in fact is as tortured a man as any tortured hero I like to read about being saved. Can Charon be saved? Only readers can decide if what I read can be interpreted that way. It certainly is food for thought.

And Sal is back! I like that man-goat. He cracks me up but what was even funnier is both Remy and Rom’s reaction to him. That was a great bit of writing. Add in other secondary characters from previous books and a reader is in for some fun times. I was greatly entertained how the author introduced the new characters to the previous stars of the series. It garnered excitement and furthered the action in the tale. Not only that, but it was great hearing about them again because I loved their stories when they were on center stage. Goddess in the Middle is a standalone read, no question about that but it’s an extra nice treat for readers of the series to see some old friends.

Goddess in the Middle is filled with all my favorite things. It’s a terrific story that has suspense, a bit of intense action, great dialogue, funny moments, and steamy scenes that are so hot the sheets cry ‘uncle’. Amity, Remy and Rom are wonderful together and when they are, it’s magical. I enjoyed the plot twists and surprises, and their verbal exchanges that alternate between sweet, sassy and naughty. I’m also thrilled with the fact that this series has more to offer fans in the future. I look forward to reading about Amity’s sister, Kari. Ms. Julian presented a great hook toward the end of this story, so much so that her next one will be an auto-buy for me. Every book so far in the Forgotten Goddesses series has been a winner. Goddess in the Middle continues the fine tradition of awesome and gripping storytelling with a saucy grin and a wink of mischievous fun while delivering a completely satisfying happily ever after. It’s a book not to miss.

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