Mortal Temptations begins a new paranormal romance series. Wait, don’t yawn – the heroes are not the usual vampires or werewolves that have been populating Romanceland in the past couple of years. Instead, they are demi-gods who have fallen prey to the wrath of Hera.
When Patricia Lake finds a handsome winged man unconscious in her antique store, she doesn’t scream and run. Patricia is a psychic and has encountered the unknown before. She senses there is nothing evil about this man, and he is handsome and compelling in a way beyond anything she has ever seen before. When the man regains consciousness he introduces himself as Nico, explains that he owns a nightclub with his friend Andreas, and he invites Patricia to come by, as he will tell her more about himself and why he was at her store.
When Patricia goes to the nightclub, she meets Andreas, a man with black and white hair, icy blue eyes and the grace of a cat. When a supernatural being breaks into the club intending to kill Nico, the truth comes out. Both Nico and Andreas are demi-gods. Nico is the son of Dionysus and a nymph, and Andreas is the son of Zeus and a snow leopard and they are both under Hera’s curse. Centuries ago, they seduced a priestess of Hera and the goddess has cursed them to be sex slaves. They will fall in love with a woman and must give her pleasure. As for the woman, she will – indeed she must – leave them heartbroken. However there might – just might – be a way to break the curse, and the clue lies in an inscription to be found in Egypt. A copy of part of that inscription was on an ostracon (stone tablet) in Patricia’s shop.
When Patricia hears Nico’s story, she is determined to help him. If only she can get a translation of the ostracon she might be able to free Nico and Andreas as well, so she hires Rebecca, a post graduate student in Egyptology from Cornell. The translation on the ostracon leads them to Egypt and further mysteries and finally to Hera herself.
Mortal Temptations begins well, and ends well but the middle is one long and draggy sex fest. Nico and Andreas are determined to live up the terms of their curse, so they have sex with each other (while Patricia watches) then do it again (while Patricia and Rebecca watch), then Patricia has sex with Nico and Andreas, then Andreas has sex with Rebecca, then Nico has sex with Patricia, and toward the end, another demi-god named Dimitri shows up and he and Nico and Andreas have sex. The sex is mostly kinky including some anal (the book refers to Patricia and Nico’s … umm, nether orifices as their “stars” which made me snicker). There’s bondage, spanking, and even some whip wielding on Patricia’s part. I like a hot love scene but more than two in the picture is beyond my comfort zone, and spanking is not erotic in my book.
I wish the author had concentrated more on the growing emotional relationship between Nico and Patricia and less on their many and varied couplings. While Nico has loved and lost many, many times in his long life, he senses that this time his love is something special and his loss will be bitter indeed. But when he finally does lose Patricia, it’s for about half a chapter and then they are happily reunited (and proceed to have a bout of kinky sex).
I’ve read Allyson James’s Dragon series, which I have mostly liked, and I am a very big fan of the books she writes as Jennifer Ashley. She can write some very hot and erotic love scenes, but with this book she missed the boat. She engaged the characters’ nether organs, but left out their hearts and souls. The next book in the series is about Dimitri, and even though I was disappointed in this one, I will probably read it. Allyson James can write good romantic erotica, and maybe Dimitri’s story will be all that.