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RESCUE: COWBOY STYLE by REBECCA ZANETTI


What A Goddess Wants

What A Goddess Wants, July 2011
Forgotten Goddesses #1
by Stephanie Julian

Sourcebooks Casablanca
Featuring: Caligo; Tessa
352 pages
ISBN: 1402251475
EAN: 9781402251474
Paperback
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"A Marvelous Twist in Urban Fantasy, Well-plotted and HOT!"

Fresh Fiction Review

What A Goddess Wants
Stephanie Julian

Reviewed by Diana Troldahl
Posted June 24, 2011

Romance Paranormal

Like most of her Etruscan co-deities, Tessa, Goddess of the Dawn, does not have the level of power she used to. It is to be expected what with the lack of temples and worshipers these days, but lately she has a bigger problem. The ruler of Hell is pursuing her in her dreams and when she is caught, she will cease to be. Immortality may have begun to pall a bit, but that doesn't mean she's willing to give it up without a fight. The one being who may be able to keep her safe is a Cimmerian warrior who has little interest in helping anyone, least of all a minor goddess.

Caligo thought life was rough when Robert E. Howard published the Conan books, leaving every Cimmerian warrior open to ridicule as well as revealing a few well-guarded secrets. It got worse when Schwarzenegger did the movies. These days he tries to keep his head down. His weakness is a woman in distress, but after being kicked in the teeth by spoiled goddesses like Aphrodite and Venus he has sworn to never put himself on the line for an immortal again. Until he sees Tessa.

Stephanie Julian has put together a fairly unique premise, full of humor and a solid sense of what it would be like to live as an ancient deity in the modern world. And did I mention the love scenes? It's a wonder my fingers didn't melt right to the cover of the book. I had a marvelous time reading WHAT A GODDESS WANTS, not only because I love a new take on urban fantasy but because Julian has a gift for tossing in intriguing twists and turns in the plot. I can hardly wait for book two in the Forgotten Goddess series and in the meantime I plan to back track a bit and get my hands on her other books to keep me happy while I wait.

Learn more about What A Goddess Wants

SUMMARY

It’s OK no one remembers Etruscan Sun goddess Tessa. But when a demon threatens her life, she must turn to mythology’s darkest warrior for protection...

Caligo of the Cimmerians has never met a woman as warm, sunny and inviting as Tessa. Their sizzling mutual attraction quickly sweeps the two of them into a love story that’s worthy of the gods...

Excerpt

\"My name is Tessa. Salvatorus sent me here to seek protection. He told me you’d provide.\"

\"Huh.\" The man’s mouth twisted in a smirk. \"Now, I know that’s not right because Salvatorus should know better than to send your kind to me.\"

\"Special circumstances. Please, I need you.\"

Some emotion crossed his hard face, something she didn’t understand, so she pushed on.

\"My name is Thesan, but I go by Tessa now.\" She paused, waiting to see if her name struck any chord at all with him, but his expression never changed.

She sighed. So much for being a formerly beloved goddess. That and five bucks would get her a Starbucks mocha latte these days.

\"Your name’s supposed to ring a bell?\" He crossed his arms over that deliciously perfect chest.

She shook her head. \"It’s okay. It’s been several thousand years since anyone worshipped me on a regular basis. Of course you wouldn’t know my name.\"

His gaze narrowed. \"Worshipped you?\"

She stood a little taller and pointed her nose into the air. \"Thesan, Goddess of the Dawn, at your service.\"

\"Yeah, right,\" he grunted. \"Goddess, my ass. The deities don’t live down here with the common people, babe. And the only Goddess of the Dawn I know is Aurora, and you ain’t her.\"

She held her smile though she had to grit her teeth to do it. \"No, I am not Aurora, for which you should be grateful. She’s…\" a worthless, ugly cow… \"not worth talking about. And most of the Etruscan pantheon still lives in this time and place.\"

His gaze never faltered. \"And that’s what you are? Etruscan?\"

She nodded, unsure if her affiliation would help or hinder her cause.

He grunted again, but in response to what she couldn’t tell. \"That still doesn’t explain why you need me for protection. Aren’t you deities supposed to be all powerful and shit like that?\"

Absently, she rubbed at a raw spot on her wrist from the ropes and saw his gaze arrow in on it. \"Not really. I was never all powerful, but I very much enjoyed what I did.\"

And then that bubble-headed, Barbie-doll bitch Aurora took my job and—

Okay, deep breath. No need to hash all that out again. It’d been centuries. She should be over it. Really.

\"When the Roman pantheon usurped our roles, some of us became… obsolete.\" She truly hated that word. \"There’s only one sun, after all, and, well…\" She forced a smile. \"Anyway, I retained my midwifery duties, but over the years, some of us have become mostly… forgotten.\" And that really sucked. \"Some of us still serve the magical races of the Etruscans, the Enu and the Fata. But mostly,\" she shrugged, hating the hollow feeling her chest, \"we merely exist.\"

Was that pity she saw in his eyes? Damn him, that’s not what she wanted. Her back straightened, but he spoke before she could say anything else.

\"That still doesn’t explain why you need me.\"

No, it didn’t, and she could only hope that when she told him, he didn’t kick her out on her butt.

\"Charun has—\"

He held up one hand. \"God of the Underworld, right?\"

She nodded. \"We call it Aitás, but yes. He’s one of the gods who has retained his position through the millennia, and he’s not very happy about it. He’s been stuck in Aitás, trapped there, really, and he’s decided he wants to be released from his service.\"

\"And what does that have to do with you? And me?\"

\"He plans to consume deities and absorb their powers, which will make him more powerful.\" She shuddered just thinking about it. \"I believe he’s trying to break free of Aitás and is tracking Etruscan goddesses through their dreams. I believe he’s already taken one and has decided I’m next.\"

His expression remained unchanged. \"I can see why you might have a problem with this, but why should I care?\"

\"If Charun is released from Aitás, the dead will follow him out, and then everyone on earth will have a problem.\"

His eyebrows lifted. \"So? I’m not the police, lady. I’m not a god. I don’t have an infinite lifespan, and I don’t like to do dirty work for deities. They tend to fuck you over. I’m just a guy—\"

\"No, I know that’s not true. I know what you are, Caligo of the Cimmerians.\"


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