I’ve enjoyed Stephanie Julian’s Lucani Lovers series in the past and I was pleased when I realized that What a Goddess Wants is set in the same unique world of Etruscan gods, shifters and magic.
Tessa, the Etruscan goddess of Dawn, has pretty much exceeded her shelf life. Most of her powers became dormant after the Roman gods horned in and ousted the Etruscans. Bored and wrestless after a lifetime of excess, she now spends her time using her remaining powers as a midwife for the Etruscan people bringing their babies safely into the world. But a god of the underworld who has been locked away in hell believes he has found the key that will release him from his prison. He seeks to steal Tessa’s powers from her. He finds her in her dreams and has sent demons in search of her. After seeking the counsel of a friend, Salvatorus, (from the Lucani Lovers series) Tessa goes in search of an ancient warrior for protection.
Caligo (Cal) is a Cimmerian warrior. He’s a tough guy and has no love for or use for a goddess. After nearly losing his life for trying to help one and then being betrayed by her he learned his lesson and isn’t interested in helping out another. But when Tessa barges into his life, she appeals to him on a level no woman or goddess ever has. He’s really not interested in becoming her body guard but he has a weakness for a damsel in distress, as well as a fondness for their mutual friend Salvatorus, and just can’t seem to say no. When he realizes the seriousness of the danger Tessa is in he becomes determined to keep her alive.
This is a very sexy romance, but I had a bit of trouble right from the beginning in how Tessa and Cal got together. Cal returns home to find Tessa passed out on his couch so he strips her down (she is wet from the rain) and ties her to his bed. He doesn’t know who she is and is suspicious of her because no one should be able to get through his wards, yet she did. So she sleeps through the stripping and tying and wakes to find the hot hunky Cimmerian warrior standing over her. Pow! She’s wet, he’s hard and they do it! Now, sometimes spontaneous stranger sex works but in this case I really missed the sexual tension and build up. The sex actually fit the characters as both are very sexual beings but the tied up, banging hot sex right out of the gate didn’t really work for me. As the story progressed this couple did develop a nice chemistry and as a result their sex scenes were smoking hot. I just wished there would have been a better build up to their physical relationship.
The story actually moves quite fast I really enjoyed the way the action kept pace with romance and many sex scenes. Did I mention the sex was really hot? Because of the rough start, I thought perhaps I might be disappointed in the depth of the characters and their relationship, however among the action each character developed nicely and we get a good idea of who they are what they are made of.
As I mentioned I really like the Etruscan world of gods that Stephanie Julian has created. I love the incorporation of magic and mysticism. The goddesses seem more human than godlike but perhaps that is because they are the “Forgotten Goddesses” and no longer worshiped as they were in their hay day. The world is steep in magic and mystical creatures but I didn’t really get the “godlike” vibe from Tessa, instead she came off as more earthy.
We get a brief introduction to the other “Forgotten Goddesses” and as you might expect after infinite years of life most are bored, and a little misbehaved. We get a nice idea of the direction this series could take as it focuses on the Forgotten Goddesses.
Despite a couple of complaints I enjoyed this first book in Stephanie Julian’s new Etruscan series. If you are a fan of her Lucani Lovers series then you’ll want to take a whirl into the equally dangerous world of the gods and goddess of the Etruscan people.
Stop by later today. Stephanie Julian will be here with a guest post as well as a chance to win one of two copies of What A Goddess Wants.