Goddess of Love
P.C. Cast’s novels mix mythology with a unique voice, and the result is generally a highly entertaining read. I started Goddess of Love expecting another such treat, but, unfortunately, this book is just not her best. While the story definitely has some charming sections and even several laugh out loud moments, it lacks a certain richness. Somehow it felt rough around the edges and just didn’t flow as smoothly as it should.
Venus, the Goddess of Love, married Vulcan for the sake of convenience. Though her life is full of all manner of sensuality and she can have affairs at will, Venus has never known true love. It’s true that she represents love to the ancients who revere her, but Venus feels listless. A trip to modern-day Tulsa will change all that. The modern world offers a freedom Venus never expected and Venus brings to it a frank appreciation of sensuality that, even by modern standards, will shake up the lives of all she touches.
In Tulsa, Venus finds herself trapped under an enchantment when she encounters Pea Chamberlain, a good-hearted, frizzy-haired girl in dire need of a makeover. Pea dreams of winning the heart of Griffin, a gorgeous firefighter, but, unless committing a major social gaffe, she cannot seem to catch his eye. Venus finds real satisfaction in trying to help Pea and, under Venus’ tutelage, Pea truly begins to come into her own.
As Venus and Pea become friends, each helps the other to lead a fuller, richer life. In some ways, this is the most satisfying part of the book. Watching both Pea come out of her shell and Venus learn about warmth and deeper emotion feels more real than the romantic entanglements that follow. The romances in this book definitely have some good moments, but they also feel rather choppy.
Without throwing in spoilers, I will say that the interactions between Venus, Pea, Vulcan, and Griffin are full of passion and also some truly wonderful, understanding conversations between lovers. So what’s the problem, you may ask? Unfortunately, while the book contains some absolutely swoon-worthy scenes, it just does not flow smoothly. Wonderful moments switch quickly into improbable bits of action and the result is discordant. In addition, while much of the heat and sexual humor in this book definitely fits the story, the author goes a bit too far at times and some of the scenes feel forced.
The characers in Goddess of Love are all likable and, at its best moments, the humor is irresistible. Sadly, the quality of the book is too uneven to garner a recommendation. Those who enjoy P.C. Cast or who would like to read a humorous romance with a twist to it may like this book. However, there are better ones out there and I would instead recommend Goddess by Mistake (recently republished by Luna Books as Divine by Mistake) or Goddess of Light for those interested in the author at her best.