"Hilarious, Better Than A "Pick-me-up Bouquet!"
George Bailey Taylor was NOT having a wonderful life. The
former police detective had taken a bullet in the leg and
been sidelined for a desk job. Not his style at all, so
he'd thrown it all over to start his own detective agency.
Business had not been good lately, forcing Taylor to dodge
his landlord and accept unsavory assignments like getting
the dirt on a nice school librarian for her dirtbag
husband. That's how he ran into Zoe Smith.
Taylor's luck with women hadn't been great either. He
didn't fancy the loonies his foster sister had been fixing
him up with. He reeeeeeally didn't fancy the piercings and
the tattoos. His childhood had not been pretty. Abandoned
by his parents, he'd been shuffled from foster home to
foster home all his life. He longed for a family, with a
nice NORMAL woman, a couple of kids, and house with a white
picket fence. The sweet little librarian's assistant would
definitely fit the bill, had he not gotten off on the wrong
foot with her. How did she know he'd been rummaging through
her colleague's desk? Why can't he get her out of his mind?
Zoe Smith had her own problems. A relationship with a man,
any man, was the least of her concerns. A MORTAL man was
of the question. She really needed to get a grip on her
powers before her twenty-fifth birthday. Her senses were so
heightened at the moment, a tiny bite of chocolate could
send her into spasms of ecstasy. A man's touch would
probably drive her insane! Still the handsome private
investigator did look good enough to eat.
A nice normal man like Taylor would never want a woman like
her anyway. Would he? Relationships between Protectors and
mortals never worked out. Just look at her own parents. Her
mother had loved her father deeply, but had made him leave,
and promise never to return, once she'd learned his secret.
She'd wanted Zoe to have a normal life. Not likely, unless
she chose mortalization, but she'd already decided to
submit to the trials.
Zoe is a halfling, Her father's branch of superheroes had
inspired Greek and Roman mythology. In addition to
heightened senses, Zoe's unique powers included x-ray
vision, the ability to fly using a special cape, and
somewhat shaky levitating skills. Being a halfling is
rather like having dual citizenship. Before her birthday
she is required to decide whether or not she will embrace
the Protector lifestyle. She dreads having to tell her
mother, but the alternative would result in the erasure of
all her Protector relatives from her memory, including her
father and half-brother Hale. She wanted all her family,
besides she really wanted to help protect the world.
Unbeknownst to Zoe her trial will be somewhat out of the
ordinary. Oh, she'd only have to save the world from the
intentions of her evil uncle. All she had to do was gain
possession of the magical stone from her ancestor
Aphrodite's girdle before the eclipse, which coincides with
her birthday. Too bad no one is allowed to tell her!
Unfortunately her halfling cousin Mordi, who shares her
birth date, knows it's significance and will do anything
to gain it for himself.
Right now though, Zoe needs a date. She's got to break the
news to her mother before her birthday. The upcoming garden
party seems the place to do it, but she'd led her mother to
believe she'd been living a normal life, and that included
having a boyfriend. Zoe's buddy Deena saves the day by
introducing her to her boyfriend Hoop's office mate, who
turns out to be none other than the love struck Taylor.
Taylor is determined to make this temporary arrangement
permanent. As things heat up, Taylor vows to do anything he
can to keep her out of harm's way. Little does he know that
she's more than capable of taking care of herself..... and
the rest of the world! Will he still love her when he
learns out the truth?
This story is hilarious. Zoe's power mishaps, her quirky
friend Deena (The Cat's Fancy), inept slimy henchmen, and a
talking ferret with attitude, are just some of the things
that will leave the reader howling. The plot was very
original and the ending is poignant and really quite sweet.
Aphrodite's Kiss is better than a "pick me up bouquet" for
the reader who is looking for a humorous and heartwarming
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 22, 2001