Poseidon’s Kiss had a lot of potential – an interesting plot, original paranormal elements, and for the most part, smooth writing. Author Crease unfortunately squanders a number of opportunities and the end result is a merely average read.
Chelsea Porter is a workaholic interior designer on the edge of burnout. One night at the opening of an art gallery she worked on, her gaze alights on a fascinating, disturbing painting, Poseidon’s Sorrow. She is drawn both to it and its gorgeous, strangely magnetic author, Nicolas Demitry, in ways that she can’t explain.
Nicholas Demitry is really Nikodemus, a son of Poseidon, the sea king. He is not at Chelsea’s gallery by mistake. He has been watching her since she was born. Well over a hundred years ago, Nicholas spared Chelsea’s great-great-grandmother, Rebecca, who was in danger of drowning after being swept off the deck of her ship. He rescued Rebecca, earning the anger of his father, and to rectify things he agreed to marry her first female descendant. Chelsea is that descendant. Nicholas has been waiting for her to be ready to be with him for all these years. Unfortunately, in order to be Nicholas’s bride, Chelsea must face her own death, and she must love strongly enough to do that. Nicholas sets about earning that love. But will Chelsea be able or willing to meet his challenge?
As I mentioned, the plot here has real potential. Certainly the “born to be together” premise has been used well in numerous romances. Nicholas himself is interesting, and his paranormal abilities would make him attractive to those who enjoy monster romances. Also, I happen to love books about old family mysteries, especially those that include letters and diaries.
Unfortunately, the old family mystery part of the story is almost completely glossed over. What’s there is mostly narrative summary and a few bits from the diary. This could have been an extremely effective device to ratchet up the tension in the story and make Nicholas appear more mysterious and more threateningly seductive. What’s there seems hardly worth including, however.
Crease’s writing style is quite readable with only a few melodramatic missteps (always a danger in paranormals), but she spends far too much of her word count on internal monologue. Chelsea and Nicholas drone on and on mentally about each other thinking about how attractive they are to each other, how mysterious Nicholas is, whether Chelsea will ever be capable of a strong enough love, etc., etc. The predictable result of all this internal monologue is that nothing much happens for the first part of the story, and then in the middle when something dramatic occurs, the internal monologue simply shifts gears, further crippling the action of the story until its climax occurs.
Chelsea and Nicholas are both fine characters, if a bit underdeveloped. Nicholas is too noble and Chelsea is strangely passive, but they are both worthy of love. However, as love interests for each other, they seem completely mismatched. The inequality of their relationship is staggering. Nicholas knows everything about Chelsea’s past and everything about her future. He also knows about just about everything else, given his extreme longevity. Chelsea knows nothing about her past or her future and has only the knowledge a normal 36-year-old woman could accumulate in her lifetime. Nicholas is endowed with supernatural abilities. He can breathe in the water or on air. He has super strength. He is completely gorgeous, an exquisite specimen of masculinity. Chelsea is reasonably attractive and can cook. Why Chelsea is so beloved by Nicholas is a complete mystery, as is why he has avoided any other companionship in all the years he’s been on the earth. There is a notable lack of chemistry between them perhaps because their relationship is so unequal, so much more like a parent-child relationship than one between a man and woman.
Poseidon’s Kiss wasn’t a difficult book to read, and at times is truly engaging. But the story’s wasted potential ultimately frustrates, and in the end, leaves a sense of dissatisfaction over what the book could have been.