"Move over Flipper, Jason's back in town"

Jason Murphy was back in town. Unfortunately so was his evil Outcast father, Hieronymous. His father, a dreadful fact he had learned on what should have been the happiest day of his life. No wonder the Inner Circle had always viewed him with a jaundiced eye.

Jason Murphy was a Protector, a superhero descended from those who had been proclaimed the Gods of Olympus. Jason's skill was the ability to communicate with fish and cetaceans, as well as being able to shift into the form of a dolphin which was probably why he'd been chosen to avert his father's projected strike at the San Diego Sea World. Hopefully he would be able to put his father away once and for all, proving his loyalty to the Council, and allowing him to get his family back. Not that he'd ever had that family, thanks to Hieronymous.

When his sweetheart Lane Kent had announced her pregnancy over seven years ago, Jason had fretted about his bad blood, and without explanation, had gone after the man he'd just been told was his father. The young, inexperienced, Protector had been caught and imprisoned in a fish tank, while Lane had given birth to his son alone. He had missed nearly seven years of Davy's life, years he could never get back. He would not fail this time, because time was running out.

Jason had just received a letter informing him of his negligence in registering his Halfling son. He'd been ordered to deliver the child to the equivalent of Protector boarding school, ASAP. Lane wasn't going to like that, but with the boy's seventh birthday approaching, he would come into his powers and require training. Jason wanted to train the boy himself, but the council had had their doubts about Jason's loyalty. Some felt that he'd been too long in his father's clutches to have resisted his evil influence. Jason had been watching his family from afar for the last several months, sending his child anonymous gifts, waiting for the right time to approach them. Now he could not afford to wait. He'd make his move as soon as this assignment was complete.

So far there had been no signs of Hieronymous and Jason was beginning to think the whole thing was a false alarm, when he spied Davy in the company of his Aunt ZoŽ, the wife of Lane's foster brother, George Bailey Taylor. While Jason was distracted an Outcast induced storm struck the park endangering riders. While he was busy saving them, his Halfling half-brother Mordi kidnapped his son. The worst part was that Mordi had shifted to resemble Jason, and ZoŽ was certain that Davy's father is the kidnapper. Precious time was elapsing while Jason is in her custody.

Thanks to ZoŽ and her brother Hale, Lane was knowledgeable about Protectors, although she'd been a bit stunned to find that her former love qualified as one. Although she'd moved on with her life and had no intention of letting Jason back into it, she could not bring herself to believe that he was responsible for their son's disappearance. Her fragile trust allowed Jason the chance to attempt to recover their child. Time was of the essence because Davy would come into his powers at midnight leading into his birthday.

Heironymous had already discovered that Davy's strength lay in his brilliant mind. If he was not stopped, the child's intelligence would soon supplement his own genius. Heironymous planned to siphon off his grandson's blossoming intellect at that precise moment before his powers were set, to make himself the smartest man alive. Then no one would stop him from taking over the world and enslaving the human race. Would Jason defeat his dastardly dad, save his son, and win back the love of his life?

I must say Jason has a lot to contend with, ZoŽ's mistrust, competition from Lane's perfect new boyfriend, and a fledgling Protector named Boreas whom Jason sarcastically calls Boring, but who comes in rather handy at key moments. On the plus side he's got quite a bit of help from Davy's pet fish, and Hale's ferret, as well as other miscellaneous sea life and yes, Shamu. As always there is plenty of suspense and a heartwarming love story, for these two star crossed lovers are undeniably soul mates. It's rather lovely to see some of our old friends again, ZoŽ, Taylor, Hoop and Deena. ZoŽ's got a bit of news of her own, and more than a bit of trouble delivering it. Mordi is still on the fence. Who knows what he'll get into next. Perhaps he just needs someone to love besides his inconsistent father. I hope we get to find out. Another delightful read from Ms. Kenner.

Copyright © 2003

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted May 13, 2003


Jason Murphy could talk to creatures of the sea. He could also change into a dolphin, and had a ton of other superpowers like all Protectors; but none of them really helped his situation. The love of his life didn't trust him anymore - thought his devotion was...fishy. Sure, she had her reasons: when she'd needed him most, he'd been focusing on his super-career. But that was all over. He vowed to win her back.

It wasn't going to be easy. His outcast father was still plotting world domination, and Jason was still pledged to protect mortals everywhere. His other Protector friends didn't trust him, feared his commitment to justice. And though Lane still loved him - he could see it in her eyes - how to win her hand in marriage seemed the best-kept secret ever. Heck, pretty soon Jason would swear that beating up the bad guys was easy; it was this relationship stuff that took a true superman!


Aphrodite's Secret
(Aphrodite: Book 3)
by Julie Kenner

Love Spell
May 1, 2003
Available: November 1, 2006
ISBN #0505525097
EAN #9780505525093
384 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
Silent Confessions
Nobody But You
Undercover Lovers
Aphrodite's Passion
A Mother's Way
L. A. Confidential
Aphrodite's Kiss
Intimate Fantasy
The Cat's Fancy

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