"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 out 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 tale.

Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 22, 2001


2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Winner - Best Contemporary Paranormal

She could see right through him ... Zoe Smith was far from normal. Crazy as it sounded, on her twenty-fifth birthday she had the chance to become a superhero. But x-ray vision and the ability to fly were only two things to consider. There were other factors, too…. There was her newfound heightened sensitivity. She could hardly eat a chocolate bar without writhing in ecstasy; how was she to give herself the birthday gift she'd really set her heart on -- George Taylor?

The handsome P.I.'s dark exterior hid a truly sweet center, and Zoe felt certain that his mere touch would send her spiraling into oblivion. But the man was looking for an average Jane -- no matter what he claimed. He could never love a superhero-to-be, especially one with an overprotective stallion of a brother and a creepy cousin who seemed to be lurking in all the wrong places. Could he? Zoe had to know. With her super powers, Zoe could only see through his clothing -- to strip bare the workings of his heart, she'd have to rely on something a little more potent.


Aphrodite's Kiss
(Aphrodite: Book 1)
by Julie Kenner

Love Spell
July 1, 2001
ISBN #0505524384
EAN #9780505524386
392 pages
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Other Books by
Julie Kenner

Demon Ex Machina
Deja Demon
These Boots Were Made for Stomping
Good Ghouls Do
Demons Are Forever
Fendi, Ferragamo, and Fangs
Hell on Heels
The Prada Paradox
The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even
Hell with the Ladies
The Givenchy Code
California Demon
The Monolo Matrix
Carpe Demon
The Hope Chest
Aphrodite's Flame
Essence of Midnight
The Spy Who Loves Me
Stolen Kisses
Beyond Suspicion
Silent Desires
Manhunting in Mississippi
Aphrodite's Secret
Silent Confessions
Nobody But You
Undercover Lovers
Aphrodite's Passion
A Mother's Way
L. A. Confidential
Intimate Fantasy
The Cat's Fancy

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