Sophia's Reviews > The Heart of War

The Heart of War by Lisa Beth Darling
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's review
Apr 14, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: pnr-uf
Read in April, 2012

I just love stories that involve Greek mythology so I was thrilled to find this one.

Heart of War is the story of Aries the God of War and Magdalena McCleod a half fey. Aries has been exiled from Olympus for hundreds of years for crimes that he did not commit. He lives as a hedonist with several women to serve him on his Greek island. One day, his boring existence is interrupted by the battered body of a woman rolling up on his beach. At first, Aries is suspicious and cruel, but Maggie's warm spirit starts to melt his cold heart. He decides that though she cannot remember how she got there he wants to know all about her.

Aries attention to Maggie does not go unnoticed by his other women. One of them, who considered herself his consort, becomes jealous and hateful toward Maggie. She is horrid and cruel. But Maggie has also come to the attention of the watching Olympians from high on their mountain. While Aries is away searching out Maggie's past, Apollo comes to inform Maggie that Zeus wants to see her. Zeus is convinced that Maggie knows how his daughter Artemis was murdered and he hates Celts and fey so he plans to use her as bait against Cernunnos a god of the Celts.

When Aries learns of Maggie's past and became privy to her vicious brutalization, he avenges her and acknowledges that he has come to care for her. Their tentative relationship is tested strongly because of all those who seek them harm. Cernunnos has chased Maggie claiming her as wife so that he can use her for his nefarious ends, most of the Olympians and hate and are jealous of Aries and they feel the same about Maggie. They fight for their lives several times and their love is tested in the worst way when Aries is hit by a curse from one of Cernunnos' druids. There is also a huge betrayal by those close to them that give Cernunnos an edge. I don't want to offer any spoilers so I will stop there.

The plot grabbed me from the beginning and this book was a page turner. The pace fluctuated between times of intense action or passion to gentle tender moments. The intrigue kept me guessing so many times. And there were so many heartwrenching moments. Aries and Maggie really do have have a tough go of things. This was a fairly long book, but never boring.

The characters were well drawn and this is Ms. Darling's strength IMHO. Aries was one hunky god and Maggie was his opposite in appearance, but they were so right for each other the way they were written. I really appreciated how Lisa Beth wrote her Aries. He was a real god of war with all the brute strength, rough edges, and fiery nature. He is not even likeable in the beginning of the book. Maggie is equally well drawn. She is so spunky and she has a powerful love even though she is a relatively ordinary-looking woman. I love how the Olympians are present as characters and those from other myths mentioned.

A bit of warning there is a great deal of steamy sex and a few non-consensual scenes. Some of the action scene are on the brutal side.

This was a great epic love story and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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