Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book Review - Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark-Hunter Series)

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Fantasy Love by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon is an imaginative and original paranormal romance novel that is bound to make you want more. Listed as the first installment of the popular Dark Hunters series, it is more like a prequel as the elements of the Dark Hunters world was not mentioned in the book at all, it is definitely a fascinating read that is well worth 4 Pink Hearts.

Julian of Macedon was a ancient Spartan general cursed into the pages of a book, only to be released for a month at a time when summoned - as a sex slave. During his time, he was a demi-god, powerful in the human world, and which such good looks that almost any women will fall at his feet. Summoned by Grace Alexander, he arrived naked in her living room ready to pleasure her, but was soon surprised by both her refusal and her caring for him that he never had by any other women from before.

Grace Alexander was a sex therapist living in modern day New Orleans, who has been celibate for the past four years... until her eccentric best friend, Selena, brought a mysterious book to her, and she was drunk enough to go through with a spell per Selena's, persistent, request. When Julian actually appeared in her living room, she was beyond shocked. Although he was what every women dreams for, she wasn't about to use him as a sex slave, partly due to her previous experience with her self-centered jerk ex-lover. Suggesting that he should find a way to break the curse, they quickly found out, from Julian's half brother, Eros, the Greek god, that Grace was the key. But helping Julian would mean that she, herself, would have to overcome one of her own demons.

Fantasy Lover is a great read with a lot of sexy materials in it. Sherrilyn Kenyon did a great job of creating a whole new world with funny Greek gods and ancient characters. Although the whole concept was a little far fetched, the author made it believable and it was easy to be absorbed in her world. Julian was sexy and lovable throughout the novel, but what made me really fall in love with his character was the sacrifice he was willing to make, and have made, for Grace in order to spare her from facing her biggest fear. Grace's character was a little more average, down to earth, but her gentle and caring personality had made it very believable when Julian fell in love with her.

Two of the reasons why I've rated Fantasy Lover as a 4 Pink Hearts instead of 5 was the delivery of Julian's history and the time allocation of the story. There are many ways that Sherrilyn Kenyon could have talked about Julian's past, but she chose to have a dialog between the two protagonists. In some cases, this choice could have not been a problem at all. However, in this case, it didn't work well at all. Julian had a very tormenting past, and it ran right from his birth all the way to the point when he was cursed to being a sex slave, and from then to his multiple summons from the past. And to deliver all that in dialog format, it was just a little too much. Half way through, it just became him ranting on and on. Should his past be "shown" to readers by flashbacks or other methods, the quality of this book will definitely increase dramatically.

The time allocation of the story was also a little out of proportion. The time frame of the whole story was about 30 days, yet from the time Julian was summoned until the end of the day after, when they found out the way to break his curse, Sherrilyn Kenyon had written so much that it lasted for half of the book. Therefore, we ended up with half a book talking about the first 1.5 days, and then the other half covering the rest of the 28.5 days. Although this allowed the thorough development of the Sherrilyn Kenyon's world, it limited the interaction and the action of "falling in love." If she had spent a little more time to describe how the two fell so deeply in love with each other, it would definitely earned a better rating too.

Fantasy Lover is a great read that I would definitely recommend. Just be aware that this is one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's earlier books, so her writing was not as fluid as her newer novels. But if you are interested for a imaginative paranormal romance novel that is a little different from the others, this story of Julian of Macedon and Grace Alexander is definitely worth a try.

All reviews of the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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