by Colleen Love, paranormal (2007)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 1-59578-299-0
Colleen Love seems to be doing a revisionist revamping of Greek mythology in Thief Of A Goddess Heart where she has the Greek goddess Athena getting mad at humans for defiling the Earthly Plane of Gaia. Isn't Gaia a titan and therefore one of the mortal enemies of the Greek gods? More importantly, why is Athena, the goddess of war, and not Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and woodlands, getting mad over humans polluting Mother Nature?
Ivy Jones, our heroine, is one of Zeus' "Earth daughters". I suppose this means Zeus in the form of a goat or something must have impregnated her mother. She is the curator or something (the job is never really made clear in the story) of a museum who is currently suspended for being implicated in the theft of a statue of Athena. Our hero Dane Knight is a Navy SEAL turned PI and he's on the case, which makes sense. Who needs the cops when we have a Navy SEAL turned PI?
Thief Of A Goddess Heart is just not good at all. Colleen Love writes in a manner that is all telling but no showing. Her prose is stilted and boring with no variation in sentence structure. There is no sense of chronology. There is no change in pace. A scene of great drama is written in the same tone and style as a scene where nothing happens. For a contemporary story with paranormal elements, the love scenes have terms that are more suited to a historical romance ("shaft", "seed").
Characters behave like robots with emotions that can be switched on and off as if there is a switch to control these emotions. Ivy cries on cue but in the next sentence she's dry-eyed and angry, for example. Conflicts in this story translate to characters bickering and being needlessly confrontational for no reason from the get go and sexual tension is the presence of secondary characters insisting that Ivy and Dane are hot for each other because they are bickering like children. After sex, those two are suddenly all sugar and sunshine.
Ms Love has Ivy on a bike and acting like a tough gal but while I appreciate a tough heroine, Ivy goes way overboard with the tough girl act and behaves like a castrating bitch for no good reason too often.
By the way, I've written this review from the third paragraph onwards in my best approximation of Ms Love's style in this book. I think my sentences are longer than Ms Love's though. So, if you find this review written in a style too choppy and staccato for you, you're going to really enjoy this book, I tell you. Ms Love doesn't get into her characters' heads at all. There is really too much telling going on here.
Thief Of A Goddess Heart is written like a first draft of an author who followed too closely the things she's learned from her Shirlee Busbee writing workshop back in 1983. I'm sorry, I really don't know how to say this in a nicer way, but I'm going to have to show some tough love and say upfront that I find this book just not good at all. For her next book, Colleen Love is really going to have to work on her writing style, voice, and technique because I'm really shocked at how amateurish Thief Of A Goddess Heart is.
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