Cruel Seduction

Sourcebooks Casablanca. (Dark Olympus, Bk. 5). Aug. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781728262765. pap. $16.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Securing his title as one of the Thirteen—despite earning it through murder—means that newly crowned Hephaestus must marry Aphrodite. Despite enjoying their marriage bed, they hate each other and turn to gossip as a weapon. Hephaestus tries to use Aphrodite’s ex, Adonis, to annoy her, but their attraction is undeniable. Pandora, Hephaestus’s best friend, seems like an easy target for Aphrodite to seduce, but instead she’s feeling inconvenient emotional attachment. A spate of assassination attempts on the Thirteen forces all of them together, but surviving the killers might be easier than showing vulnerability to lovers. Robert makes the stakes even deadlier in this latest installment of the “Dark Olympus” series, after Radiant Sin. Hephaestus’s struggle between duty to his foster father, who wants a ruined Olympus, and the realities of seeing others suffer drives the plot. The polyamorous bisexual quad that emerges feels both natural and tentative, and the novel handles levels of fidelity swiftly and without judgment. Hephaestus’s disability affects his mobility realistically throughout. Robert masterfully writes characters who are physically intimate but emotionally withholding, and this novel is no exception.
VERDICT This retelling of Greek myth is a delicious polyamorous enemies-to-lovers romance.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing