The Warrior
by Kathleen Nance, contemporary/paranormal (2001)
LoveSpell, $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52417-1


The Warrior is the second book in a matchmaking-Greek-gods series that started with The Trickster, and I better warn readers new to Kathleen Nance: The Warrior is a second book in every sense of the word. You will feel as you have stumbled upon a party that has already started without you. Even I, who has read The Trickster but has forgotten quite a bit, okay, a lot of that story, go "Huh?" at the first page. And some events in this book promise to be carried over to the next book in this series. You'd better start with The Trickster, although I find The Warrior a more superior book.

The story is already deep in progress, so to speak, from page one. But maybe I'd better give a brief background of things so that my subsequent ramblings will make sense. Okay, in this series, the Greek gods aren't gods, just some immortal creatures exiled by some even greater (and more powerful) beings to Earth. Back then, the ancient Greeks were gullible dupes and they worshiped these "Greek gods". Now, everyone worships science and money and our "Greek gods" have to, uh, diversify.

Hera, now a boutique enterprise queen, teams up with her playboy hubby Zeus in a quest to find the descendants of Zeus and his many paramours their true love. And The Warrior has them matchmaking Callie Gabriel, a descendant of Callisto the nymph, with Armond Marceux, a descendant of the war god Ares.

Actually, things have heated up even before our meddling twosome and their accomplices kick into action. See, Armond and Callie go way back, but Armond is an FBI undercover with a chip the size of Alaska on his shoulders, and Callie, well, she doesn't believe that a man in her life will do her any good (ahem), especially an alpha Alaskan-chippie man like Armond. But in the prologue, Armond and Callie do the bonkers in a heated moment of passion, and oops, there's a bun as a result in Callie's oven.

But hold the baby shower - Armond goes undercover and knocks his head hard. He has amnesia now. Ooops. Callie knocks on his door, demanding of know what Armand wants them to do now about that baby of theirs, and Armand decides that Callie is the key to him getting back his memory. That, and hey, Callie is a hottie too. But of course, he can't tell her he has ahm-nee-sia (don't ask, it's a macho alpha male smelly stuff thing), and he has to man it out, as in, "Hey woman, shut up, follow me, Man, you hear? Uh-huh uh-huh?"

Meanwhile, Callie, who is doing a show on cooking, has her own problems. Someone is sending her nasty messages. Armand decides to protect her while he goes about solving his own dilemma.

The thing is, Armond is such a dumb mule. Okay, not mule, since mules are sterile. A donkey then. All he could have done, if you ask me, is to sit Callie down, tell her, "Honey, mother of my baby, darlin' sweetie pie, I have amnesia. Can you tell me who I am and what could have brought this mess about? And while we're at it, how about an reenactment of that wonderful night when we made our darlin' tooty baby, huh?" But no, Armond is Macho, he is Man, he will do anything to uphold Justice and his own stubborn ass, even if that means keeping Callie bewildered and confused. Some readers call this type of guy "Alpha male". I call Armond the dumb male, if that's okay with dumb males everywhere. A lot of things that happen in this story is just unnecessary if he will just ask the woman for directions. Jeez.

Callie is a better character, and despite her own stubborn "No man in my life, no siree" behavior (it's old, lady, give it up already!), she is actually a decent heroine that doesn't come off as too neurotic or irritating. And I have to hand it to Armond for one thing - he and Callie do have chemistry. In spades. And the story, while based on very flimsy foundations, is very readable.

But let's face it, this story isn't anything grand or amazing. It's a story of a man too stubborn or stupid to ask the woman to read the map when they are lost. All that hot air and passionate tantrums for nothing. What a waste, really.

Rating: 79


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