Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Matching Wits With Venus
Publisher: Astraea Press
Cover Art: Elaina Lee
Genre: Women's Fiction (alternate reality?)
Length: 304 Pages
For centuries, Cupid has longed to be more than Venus’s arrow boy. When he’s sent to eliminate “Happily Ever After by Amelia”, the matchmaking business threatening Venus’s status as the goddess of love, Cupid decides to steal Amelia’s methods and make his own matches. While spying on Amelia, Cupid accidentally shoots himself with his magical arrow and falls in love with her. But bereaved Amelia doesn’t believe in the existence of Roman gods, and she’s certainly not looking for romance. She’s too busy perfecting the patented personality profile that’s made her Hollywood’s favorite matchmaker. Disguising himself as a mortal financial advisor, Cupid manages to break through Amelia’s guarded exterior. As their passion deepens so does Cupid’s guilt about deceiving Amelia. Cupid’s interference with Amelia’s life causes her business to falter, leads to a sterile spring that threatens the animal kingdom and shatters the longstanding peace between the Roman and Greek gods. With the fate of the natural and under worlds at stake, Cupid must decide whether to reveal his true identity and risk losing the chance to live happily ever after with Amelia.Disguising himself as a mortal financial advisor, Cupid manages to break through Amelia’s guarded exterior. As their passion deepens so does Cupid’s guilt about deceiving Amelia. Cupid’s interference with Amelia’s life causes her business to falter, leads to a sterile spring that threatens the animal kingdom and shatters the longstanding peace between the Roman and Greek gods. With the fate of the natural and under worlds at stake, Cupid must decide whether to reveal his true identity and risk losing the chance to live happily ever after with Amelia.
I have to be honest here - I realize that I'm going against the common opinion with this book. I've read other reviews and I know that most people seemed to really like this book. I was given this book months ago to review, so this review is well past due, but when I started reading it, I only got about 2/3 of the way through it and had to put it down. I kept thinking I would come back to it and try reading it again, but I just haven't been able to make myself do it. I'm solidly in the middle with this review. There were things I liked about this book and things that I didn't like.
The concept is interesting and original. There are several Greek Gods and Goddesses that play a central role to the story and it's interesting and fun to see how the author chooses to portray them. And therein lies one of the biggest problems for me: I didn't like the main characters very well. I didn't get attached to them and I wasn't invested in what happened to them.
Amelia, our heroine, runs her own business, playing matchmaker to the millionaires. She does her job very well and it's amusing to see how the celebrities are portrayed. (Note: No known celebrities are mentioned) She is also very nice to some of the local "colorful" people, which is nice to see. But she is also judgmental and comes across as shrewish - to me.
Colin/Cupid is likeable in some respects, but in other respects he drove me nuts because of his childish/immature behavior with his mother. On one hand it's funny, that this Greek God can be ruled by his mother so completely to the point where he is sneaking off like a teenager trying to get away with something. On the other hand, he is quite literally hundreds of years old and I was often left thinking "grow up! Grow some backbone!" And the role of his best friend, Inuus, in this book confuses me. I couldn't decide if he was Cupid's best friend (which you would think would merit some loyalty) or if he is Cupid's mother's errand boy.
There are other characters in the book, that are central to the plot, that I really did enjoy. Jennie, Amelia's assistant, is a spunky character that I loved. Also, Amelia's mother - she is hilarious in that perfect Hollywood Diva wannabe way and very believable. Justin, the homeless man that Amelia helps, is an interesting character as well.
There were instances in the book that made me almost feel like this should have been given an "alternate reality" type of tag. When Justin sits down at the curb, in the middle of Hollywood and thinks to himself (in essence) "I don't hear any birds singing. Wow, Cupid must have really messed up spring," and the first conclusion that anybody in the near vicinity jumps to when something bad has happened is that the Gods must be angry - this is not my world. Even in Hollywood.
I do remember running into some grammar issues, but it's been a while since I read the book, and I didn't make note of pages or instances, so I just want to make a small mention of that.
This author has some very fun ideas, and a sense of humor. I would definitely not be against checking her out in the future at all. This book apparently didn't do it for me. And there's nothing wrong with that. Not every book is going to appeal to every single person the same way. Absolutely check it out for yourself. You may love it!