Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a week since my last post! The end of the semester is one crazy whirlwind of grading and stress. Hopefully this week I can post a few more reviews, because there are lots of great books (and at least one not-so-great) that were released within the last week or so.
Title: How to Worship a Goddess (Forgotten Goddesses #2)
Author: Stephanie Julian
Format: Mass Market Paperback & eBook
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
This was a fun, sexy paranormal romance, and while it’s the second in the series, it reads as a standalone novel. I hadn’t read any of Stephanie Julian’s books before, but after checking out her webpage, I realized that this series is loosely connected to her Lucani Lovers series. You definitely don’t have to have read any of the other books to enjoy How to Worship a Goddess, but after finishing this book I’m looking forward to learning about some of the secondary characters’ backstory in her other series.
Lucy Aster was formerly the Etruscan Goddess of the Moon, Lusna, but as the number of her followers decreased over the years, she and the other goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon have lost much of their power. Centuries ago Lucy created the lucani, wolf shifters, and they still worship her and treat her as their mother, but she can feel her power slipping away. As a new threat to her and the other goddesses appears, it’s unclear if she retains enough power to protect herself.
Brandon Stevenson is a member of the local minor league hockey team, and he keeps noticing Lucy in the stands at all his games. He finally manages to introduce himself, and the two begin a hot and heavy affair. But Brand’s more than he appears – can a tough hockey player protect a former goddess from her enemies?
I enjoyed the mythology in this book. It was fun to see a pantheon other than the Greeks or Romans, and I like how Ms. Julian uses Brand’s introduction to Lucy and her world as a way to bring new readers up to speed on the series without a huge info dump. I think the lucani backstory adds a nice twist to the werewolf legend, and the interaction between Lucy and her various “children” is intriguing and sets up several possibilities for future books in the series.
Brand and Lucy’s sexual chemistry is off the charts, pushing this novel close to erotica, but I think it’s well done. I wish that the numerous sex scenes had been more balanced throughout the book, as many take place early in the narrative, which could put off potential readers. There is a well-developed narrative, and the characters are engaging so I suggest that you keep reading even if the sex scenes seem a bit much at first. I do like that the hero and heroine develop a strong relationship, even if it begins as a potential one-night stand.
I wish that we had more information about Brand’s background, which I can’t discuss too much without spoilers. Suffice it to say that he’s definitely more than human, and while this explains some quirks from early in the novel, I expected a bit more exposition about his new-found abilities and relationship with his parents.
Overall, this was a smoldering paranormal romance with appealing protagonists and an entertaining premise. I’m not sure how often I’ll be re-reading this one, but it was a fun ride while it lasted.