P.C. Cast / Paranormal Romance
Bk 2 of the Goddess Summoning series
Berkley Trade / November 2008
This time around, a down-on-her-luck baker comes upon a cookbook that turns out to be a goddess-send...
Lina's trendy bakery in Tulsa is proving to be less than lucrative, and she must come up with a plan. When she stumbles upon an Italian Goddess cookbook, Lina can't help but think she's found the answer to her problem—even if it means invoking a goddess to save her business. Soon enough, Lina finds herself face-to-face with Demeter, who has a plan of her own. She proposes that Lina exchange souls with Persephone, the Goddess of Spring, who will breathe new life into the bakery. In return, Lina must set order to the Underworld.
Before all this, Lina's problems mostly involved sourdough and second dates. Now that she embodies the enchanting Persephone, Lina has weightier things on her mind—like the formidable task of bringing Spring to a world of spirits. But when the handsome, brooding Hades kindles a spark in her heart, Lina wonders if this Lord of the Underworld might be the man of her dreams
Writing this review is a little hard at the moment because having just finished the book, I have tears streaming down my cheeks and my body still hasn’t stopped shaking from the constant pulse of tingles that come solely from reading something truly romantic. My heart is beating as I sit here grinning and my family is wondering why the only noise they can hear from me is the contented deep sigh of someone who has just had her heart touched deeply. You would think considering the majority of the books I read are romance, that I would be used to such a reaction, that being completely swept up in the emotion of a book is commonplace and I’d have to agree with you except – there are those books that take romance that one step further and for me, without a doubt THE GODDESS OF SPRING is one of them. It captures your heart entirely as it takes you over and the emotions it brings out leaves you in a huge gooey mess at the end.
I remember being in school and one of the subjects I enjoyed was learning about mythology and all the different stories that came with it. I loved reading about the gods and goddesses so when I discovered PC Cast had written a group of adult romance books called the Goddess Summoning series that took some of those stories and through in modern twists, I was in heaven. GODDESS OF SPRING tells the story of Lina, who after learning her beloved bakery is in trouble, goes home to pour over old Italian recipe books to see if she can find some kind of “magic” to save her. What she gets is a one way ticket to the Underworld, care of Demeter (the Goddess of Harvest) who offers her a deal – by switching bodies with her daughter, Persephone will save her bakery and Lina spends time in the Underworld, letting the spirits there feel the touch of a goddess. Lina agrees and after being told she has no need to fear the reclusive, asexual, BORING Hades, begins her task. What happens next stuns her as she discovers there is NOTHING boring about the smoldering and sexy Hades and that the Underworld is not a dark and fearful place but one filled with beauty. As she grows closer to Hades, she falls hopelessly in love with him but the agreement hangs over her head as the time approaches when Demeter will come to take her home. She wonders what will happen then – will she be able to stay or will she leave her heart in the Underworld and its god, breaking it as she does?
You would think seeing this is the second time I’ve read the book that my reaction to it wouldn’t be as intense as the first but undoubtedly, my mind and heart is blown away with just how powerfully I connected with story again, especially with the story’s lead characters Lina and Hades. They were such a dynamic couple and you could just feel the heat they generated between them coming off the book. There were so many incredible scenes with them – passion filled ones, tender ones, heart breaking ones, funny ones and it made me feel good as I watched them grow closer and closer together. Lina was a strong, successful and independent woman who had given up on romance in her life. I loved reading her reactions to the Underworld, how her eyes were opened up to the beauty she saw and the compassionate heart she had for the spirits she found there. She was incredibly open with everyone, even the animals there adored her and I could just see how she baffled and entranced Hades because although she was in a different body, her soul shone through. I can’t imagine how much it must have weighed on her, thinking she had gone to do a simple task and then watch it become complicated as she fell in love with Hades. Her strong sense of responsibility and honor bound her to keep her true identity secret and I really felt for her because it could only spell for disaster if it all came out. Overall she was easy to love as a character.
This is my favorite story with Hades, hands down favorite. Before this book, whenever I thought of Hades, I would automatically see him as a devil like figure because I linked the Underworld with Hell (something that Lina did also) With that image in mind, the Hades of this book BLEW ME away because he was nothing like I imagined. The only thing he had that was even remotely “devil like” was he was devilishly handsome and had a heat about him that I found so sexy it was crazy. He was nothing like the somber, boring god Demeter had described and showed he had sides and depth to him. I sighed along with Lina as I read of the tenderness he could show, the fatherly softness to those spirits he talked with, his teasing loving nature and the pride and joy he felt for the world he reigned over. There was a vulnerable and sensitive side to Hades, one that I found oh so appealing because what he wanted most of all was to find the love that could be found between soul mates. He didn’t want the frivolous kind commonly found amongst the immortals and I loved watching him discover that with Lina. Of course, I LOVED his sexy, passionate, intense side. The side where when Lina catches him working over a fire in his forge, wearing only a loin cloth proceeds to ravish her up against the wall. I don’t think I could do him justice because he is just such a powerful character and if I thought it would work, I’d work the magic Lina did with the hope Demeter could send ME to the Underworld. *sighs dreamily*
PC Cast did a wonderful job writing THE GODDESS OF SPRING and it has the strength to pull you completely in. With no boring or slow parts at all, this story is filled to the brim with romance and heartache with a stunning end that gave me full body chills and is by far one of my all time favorite books. I have a feeling that this story will always have the same intense effect on me and doesn’t that show the signs of a truly good romance story? Happy reading!
(that's how HOT Hades was!!)