Book Reviews

Book Review: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon – High School Students Write Better Than This

I’m not normally a chick-lit type of girl.  This book came to me by way of recommendation from someone at the bookstore I usually go to.  Knowing my love of sci-fi and historical fiction, they recommended Fantasy Lover which also happened to be in the monthly staff recommendations display.  In its favor, I read it through to the end and did want to find out how the story would end, but the book was not without its problems and I think they are enough for me to not recommend someone else get sucked in.

Grace Alexander is a sex therapist.  However, what her qualifications are for this are beyond me.  I mean, she had one, count ’em, one experience in her life that ended in disaster and she’s avoided relationships never mind sex since then.  But somehow she’s qualified to counsel others. Go figure.  Into this comes her mystical, tarot-card reading friend Selena. Selena thinks Grace needs some passion in her life and gets her friend to conjure up Julian, a Greek demi-God who’s been a love slave for years trapped in a book.  Whoever conjures him gets the use of his for a month, then it’s back to the book until the next time.

So here’s Grace with this hot-looking Greek love slave in her house. Does she jump his bones? No, she wants to get to know him better, and when she does she wants to set him free.  For the next 300 pages, the reader is treated to the two of them trying to resist each other.  Grace seems to be able to blow off her work whenever she feels like it.  Other events conveniently take place for her to appreciate having a man in her life to protect her, such as the client who suddenly becomes obsessed with Grace as well as an all-too-coincidental run-in with the only man Grace ever let get close enough to hurt her.

The clichés abound in Fantasy Lover, but that’s not all that dooms the book in my eyes.  The writing is sloppy and lazy at times.  Kenyon too frequently uses terms to describe Julian’s hunkiness that sounds like they are straight out of a high schooler’s fantasy.  I should have played the shot game for every time she described a part of his body as “yummy” and I would have been drunk before I reached the middle of the book.

The characters are ridiculously cliched as well and don’t make sense.  In addition to Grace’s sex therapist who hates sex, Selena allegedly has two Ph.D.s but works in the mall as a tarot card reader. Julian whines and pouts about his past life but won’t open up to Grace. Okay, we all know he will eventually, but it’s so drawn out between the ridiculous scenes of him trying to seduce Grace that it was hard to care.  Of course, it all boils down to issues with his mother. The poor boy was never loved enough and still isn’t… But then Mommy dearest shows up and tells Grace she’s not good enough for her son, after basically abandoning him more than 2,000 years ago.

If nothing else, Fantasy Lover taught me never to go into a series again full-tilt.  I bought the first three books based on the recommendations and now don’t look forward to the next two.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but since I already made the purchase I’ll do it anyway. Lesson learned for the future, and thanks for that. I just have to wonder if the people who recommended this and who have rated it highly read the same book as me?

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7 replies »

  1. So, Patti, Kenyon’s “Yummy” is similar to Jack Bauer’s “Damn it!” in “24”?

    Oh, I’m glad you didn’t decide to do the “Yummy” drinking game; you’d be needing a liver transplant if you had!

      • Unfortunately, people like E.L. James and Sherrilyn Kenyon because too many of them don’t really know what good writing (even in the hot-and-steamy romance genre) is.

        I know that Kenyon was probably going for irony when she created a sex therapist who doesn’t have sex, but from what I understand, she doesn’t quite make that work.


  2. I was in HS when my best friend gave me a book to read and I handed it back saying I didn’t want to read a “bodice ripper”. She assured me it was different. I read it. It was stupid and a bodice ripper! When she wanted me to read another I took it and handed it back the next day (unread). When she asked me if I liked it I gave her the synopsis of the first book and she didn’t recognize it as a different story! Too formulaic for me….

  3. Thank you. Not my type of book at all! Did you ever read 50 shades of grey. When I was still working a lot of the women I was working with kept on encouraging me to read it. Eventually I picked up a copy. Opened it at random and read about five pages. Nothing happened except some mAsochistic and very repetitive fantasy. I couldn’t have cared less.

    • I read all 3 – made the sacrifice (someone gave me them for free) and I thought they were stupid too. It was original written as Twilight fanfic and then someone told her to publish them and she rewrote them independent of Twilight. I hated Twilight too. Too many of these so-called “romances” are just ways to keep women “in their place” where they “need” a man. I just roll my eyes,