Lisa Lap's Reviews > Fantasy Lover

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
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Jun 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: paranormalromance, booksireadoverandover, 2010-books-read
I own a copy

Here we go: The first book that brings us into the world that Sherrilyn Kenyon lives in. Okay, I know – this book isn’t technically a part of the Dark Hunter series (for which my love knows no bounds), but Julian makes reoccurring appearances throughout the series so I’ve always considered this as where the DH world begins.

For most guys, being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a dream come true. Now, try thousands of bedrooms, thousands of women, and thousands of encounters where your sole purpose is to fulfill every sexual pleasure for the woman you’re with while never finding any release of your own. While you’re at it, also imagine that you’re never spoken to except to direct where to pleasure your partner, rarely fed, never clothed or allowed outside of the bedroom, and at the end of a month you vanish back into an ancient scroll. Within the scroll you can hear everything that happens around you, but you can never see as you are in perpetual darkness. You can never quench your thirst or quell your hunger, and you can never break the curse. Now you’ve gotten a glimpse into Julian’s life for the last two thousand years. Agony for a regular man, but for the fierce Spartan warrior this curse is torture.

Enter Grace Alexander, a sex therapist who shies away from physical intimacy in her own personal life. After a traumatic first sexual experience in college, and the death of her parents from a tragic car accident, Grace finds her solitary existence a comfort. Her best friend, self proclaimed Moon Goddess and fortune teller, Selena Laurens adds enough spice to Grace’s life for the both of them. Grace is happy with her boring evenings at home…alone. Or at least that’s what she thinks until her twenty ninth birthday, when Selena brings over an ancient book and persuades Grace to try a conjuring spell. Grace, knowing that Selena’s spells never work, humors her friend only to find a real life sex slave that looks like a Greek god standing naked in her living room. To quote Selena: Holy Guacamole!

Suddenly Grace’s life is turned upside down as she discovers that Julian isn’t just a love slave, but rather a man whose existence is more tortured and lonely than her own. As she seeks a way to help him break the curse, Julian finds himself enchanted with the only woman to ever deny him sexually. The days until Julian must return to the book quickly disappear as Grace and Julian grow closer – each realizing that they don’t want to live without the other. Can they do what must be done to break the curse and stay together? Or are they destined for the one heartbreak that could destroy them both?

Yeah, long winded summary but I can’t seem to wrap things up in a neat and tidy, tiny paragraph. One of the things I really love about this story is how both of the characters are equally flawed. Julian, while physically flawless, carries deep seated wounds that he’s never allowed anyone close enough to help heal, along with a healthy dose of family resentment. I can’t really blame him on the resentment aspect as his family makes mine look like absolute angels. Those Greek gods and goddesses…well, now we know where the term ‘god complex’ came from. Sheesh.

Then we have Grace, so giving in spirit and confident in her job, yet totally insecure with her own body and appearance, especially standing in public next to Julian. In her defense I think People’s Most Beautiful Person of the Year would feel a bit insecure standing next to Julian in public. He’s described as that gorgeous. So yeah, it takes a while for Grace to understand that Julian means what he says when he calls her beautiful. Being a sex therapist, this woman definitely needs to take some her own advice and see the gifts she has to offer. Thankfully, SK wrote Julian with just enough cocky humor and devilishly sexy appeal that you’re rooting for Grace to embrace that inner sensuality and let loose. It was also a treat to watch as after two thousands years of being forced to pleasure who ever conjured him, Julian really gets to discover the appeal of a woman on his own.

Their relationship, while flavored heavily with sexual innuendo, is actually playful and believable. The banter between them as they learn about each other, and comfort each other is touching and pulls you in deeper to their story. Throw in the fact that the likes of Eros and Pysche – as bikers no less – show up in the story, along with Aprhodite, Athena, and Priapus and it’s a mythological feast. For me, this is where SK really hooked me into wanting more. The way she weaves Greek mythology so seamlessly into her tales is where I feel her true genius lies. Greek mythology is already so riddled with the stories of love and loss, betrayal and redemption, and of course heroic efforts that when coupled with the modern day setting of New Orleans and it’s a recipe for a rich and decadent dish that I like to try over and over. And believe me, I have. ;)
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