I just read Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I started it Sunday and finished it yesterday. What a great book. Definitely an A+. Sherrilyn just has a gift for making characters that you shed tears for and fall in love with. Julian really touched my heart and I felt for him in his pain. SK also has a great way with telling ancient history so that you're riveted. I admit I'm a history buff anyway, but she just brings it to light in a vivid and interesting way. And she seems fairly accurate in a way that Xena and Hercules aren't always. Her books make me want to go out and buy a book on ancient history and dive in headfirst. At first I was wondering if I shot myself in the foot reading the other Dark Hunter books first, but I'm glad I hadn't read this one. It gave me something to tide me over until Night Play comes out in August. This book has so many layers. I enjoyed the romance but also there was a family drama played out through Julian's relationship or lack thereof, with his godly relatives: Aphrodite, his mother; Eros, his brother; and Priapus, his other brother, who is also his mortal (or immortal enemy). I cried with Julian for his feelings of rejection by his mother, and the loss of his children. I also felt for Grace and her family issues. Her parents died in a car accident, leaving her alone in the world, with only their possessions and her memories to keep her warm at night. Since I lost my father last year, I could identify with her feelings of grief. Fantasy Lover is also very sensual. There are lots of scenes that involve exploring the woman's pleasure, and SK did this very cleverly with her premise. Julian is a sex-slave (and he cannot have an orgasm). IE he makes love for the woman's pleasure and is very good at his job. Grace had a bad first sexual experience that causes her withdraw from the dating world. She feels lonely, unwanted and unfulfilled, and her friend Selena gets the idea to conjure Julian out of his cage (which is a lovely ancient book.) Julian comes ready to serve, but Grace isn't interested in another empty sexual experience. So Julian must seduce her, while Grace tries to get his mind off sex and onto the modern world. This storyline makes for quite a few fun and poignant moments, as Julian gets to experience being more than just a sexual object for two millenia. Julian exudes one of a kind sex appeal that is irresistible, even and most of all to Grace. But he also makes her fall deeply in love with him. I liked how SK worked to build their relationship and also gave reader just enough sexual tension to add spice. This tension definitely builds since there's a reason why Julian and Grace cannot consummate. Instead Julian takes those opportunities to unselfishly bring Grace pleasure, not because he's supposed to, but because he loves her and wants her happiness. I don't want to tell too much, but I felt a need to rave about this lovely book. It definitely cemented my love of SK and her universe. Fantasy Lover ranks in as my number two favorite Dark Hunter book (although technically Julian's not one, he exists in their universe and so he gets counted.). Run, don't walk to get your copy of Fantasy Lover.
This is my chance to rave about the wonderful books that I've read, and movies and tv shows that I've watched. And a chance to share my thoughts about these important subjects with the world at large.