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With a little bit of spare time on my hands recently I have been reading quite a lot, but as I am quite a fast reader I get through books quite quickly and so end up having to read what I can get. Among a bag of books I got from a car boot sale I found one called Fantasy Lover - Dark Hunter Series by the author Sherrilyn Kenyon. I was a bit dubious about the fact that it was called Fantasy Lover as I don't read romance novels, but I thought the fact that it was part of something called the Dark Hunter series might mean it was something along the lines of the Sookie Stackhouse novels......I was wrong!
Sherrilyn Kenyon is an American best selling author and according to Wikipedia, she mixes Romance with the Paranormal. I was going to say that sounds pretty weird but now I think about it I think 80% of all recent books have been using that theme, because if fancying a vampire and werewolf (Twilight) isn't Paranormal Romance, I don't know what is! There are currently 16 books in her Dark Hunter series and the last book reached Number 2 in the New York Time best selling fiction list.
There may be slight spoilers
Before the book starts we are given a short prologue concerning a half man half immortal, who was blessed in numerous ways by the Gods, in beauty, intelligence, bravery, fame and romancing women. However there was much jealousy of this man and so 'twas a curse put on him (the author seems to think that putting 'twas and 'tis in a lot will make us think she is writing in an ancient language!)
He is cursed to be summoned up by women to give them pleasure but unfortunately for him he will never receive any and this will last for a month after which time he will vanish and again be trapped until another woman summons him. At the end of this prologue the man is revealed to be none other than Julian of Macedon.........should I know who that is??
Fantasy Lover begins with Grace and her best friend Selena discussing Grace's lack of a love life, Selena tries to encourage Grace to get a boyfriend or just have a romance with someone but Grace seems hesitant and says her job as a, wait for it...sex therapist is satisfying enough. Early on we can see that Grace is strait laced and Selena is a bit of a dippy mystical type and this is confirmed when we find out that although Selena has a university degree in Ancient History she is working as a Tarot reader. The two women plan to meet up at Grace's house later on for Grace's birthday celebration and just as Grace is about to leave, Selena shows Grace a very old and special book. On the book is a drawing of an incredibly handsome Greek god/warrior and Grace cant help but feel drawn to the image, it is then that Selena reveals the secret of the book. When you repeat the name Julian of Macedon 3 times he will appear and be your love slave for a month!
Grace is sceptical that it will work, but later on when Selena and Grace get drunk, Grace summons Julian and after Selena goes home Julian appears (I didn't see that one coming!). The first thing that Julian wants to do when released from the book is sleep with Grace, however Grace is having none of that and tells Julian that he can stay with her for the month but that there will be no funny business. But after a month with the most irresistible man, she or any woman has ever met will Grace be able to keep her promise and not sleep with Julian and will she be able to help free Julian from the curse.....
Fantasy Lover is written from the perspective of both Grace and Julian and although I cant say that I liked the characters I think the author succeeds with giving them both distinct personalities and doesn't make them too annoying. All the other characters in the book with the possible exception of Selena felt a little bit like they were in it just to fill the space and usually acted as a plot device to bring Grace and Julian together.
I was able to predict the plot of this book so much that I started to wonder if I had actually written it!!! You can tell what is going to happen a mile off as everything just seems so obvious. For example Grace had a bad experience with a boy when she was a teenager, so what do you think happens......yep, that's right Grace and Julian bump into him allowing Julian to beat the living daylights out of him.
I actually studied ancient history, though unlike Selena I am yet to find a mystical book containing a Greek love slave and have to say that the Greek history aspect of the book is a load of codswallop, but something tells me the women who read this book wont be too upset about the historical inaccuracies.
I have never read one of these sexy/romance novels before, so I am not quite sure how it would compare to the usual kind. I suppose to some extent it was romantic as both Grace and Julian were longing for each other but I did find some of the sexy talk a little funny
'She would love to strip Julian's clothes off his body and lick cheese from it for the rest of the night!'
And they say romance is dead!
I felt the idea of what the author thought women find attractive seemed a bit outdated as Julian was a giant muscled blond with hair down to his waist (until he got it cut) and spent half the novel walking around in a cut off tank top and short and tight denim shorts! I mean if you actually met someone like that I doubt there would be any chance that he would fancy anyone but himself!
So overall I would say that the book was enjoyable rubbish. I was rolling my eyes at the stupidity of it but it didn't stop me reading it, so that either means that the book was ok or there is something wrong with me and to be honest I would prefer that it means that the book was ok.
Although I sort of enjoyed reading it I seriously cannot fathom how anyone could read more than one of the series as I imagine they must all be so similar.
I am going to give this book 2 stars as although it wasn't bad I just cant give it more than two stars as I think it would have a very limited audience and because there are far better books out there, but if you like romance novels this might be your thing.