Utter Cupidity
by Toni L Meilleur, paranormal (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-545-4


I wonder whether Dionysius would be a better hero for this story than Cupid, since the hero in question is a hedonistic Greek god kicked out of Mt Olympus for being a neglectful deity. Cupid is the cute fellow who shoots people with love-barbed arrows. Dionysius is the one who holds and participates in drunken orgies. Then again, I suppose Cupid is easier to spell. Plus, Utter Dionysity doesn't have the same ring to it.

Because Cupid's constant pursuit of pleasure has affected - and I quote - "the integrity of our positions as a whole", he has to face a test. In one month, he must get a woman who is picked by the Olympian Council (not to be confused with the Olympics Council) to marry him. However, he cannot resort to his magical abilities nor can he lie to her in order to get her to marry him. If he fails in this task, he will be stripped of his divinity and be forced to live the rest of his life as a mortal man.

And as usual, no one asks the woman picked by the Council whether she agrees to play the guinea pig in this story. Still, Artemis has kindly consented to wipe the memory of the one month from the woman's head once Cupid is done with her so I suppose that makes it alright. We are talking about a bunch of deities led by a sex maniac who loves to sexually assault women while in swan form, after all.

I know. The idea of Greek gods wanting to maintain some kind of responsible integrity makes me laugh as well. However, the plot actually makes sense in the context of this story.

Our lucky heroine is Brea Saunders. She takes commissions to look out for and purchase works of art for anyone rich enough to afford her services. Cupid naturally makes himself an art dealer "Jordan Areson" so that he can work on getting her to agree to marry him. Charming Artemis couldn't have found a better woman for Cupid to work his charms on. Witness Brea's charming wit. She's being serious, by the way.

"Of course I hate men. They're disgusting. If it weren't for the one function of procreation, they would serve no purpose. Look at him; he must be like, what, a thousand years old? She's twenty - if that. It's disgusting. Men only want one thing. They don't care about the person giving it to them."

"Yes, well, you stand a better chance of seeing Moses part the Red Sea again than my thighs being parted by any man."

For your information, the Red Sea parted on page 56 (out of 190) for some heated two-and-half base action. Poor Moses can only hang his head in shame and wish he's as efficient as Brea.

Utter Cupidity becomes very readable only in the late third or so of the story when the characters stop trying so hard to reenact a Harlequin Presents "Greek Lothario and frigid dim-witted bitch" story. It's too late for me at that point as I'm over the two characters by then. Brea's annoying and repetitious "Yes, you can give me an orgasm but I will hate myself so much in the morning that one would think that I have pimped my underage sister out to some horny sheikhs" behavior and Cupid's frequent resemblance to Pepe LePew in terms of action and speech pattern have taken their toll on my nerves.

Rating: 71


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