ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Katee Robert’s Cruel Seduction ARC Review

Thank you to Katee Robert, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Raincoast, and for the advance reader copy of Cruel Seduction, the fifth book in the Dark Olympus series.

Has this been my most anticipated instalment since Katee announced all the pairings? Yes, yes it was. Did it deliver? Oh yes, yes it did. The idea of managing four characters and their interlocking relationships as friends and lovers – only Katee could manage something like this!

I am a Katee Robert review team member, but I remain honest and genuine in my reviews.

He was my enemy. My lover. My husband.

And the one man I swore by all Olympus I would destroy.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Aphrodite and Hephaestus (and Pandora and Adonis).*

Aphrodite has never flinched at getting her perfectly manicured hands dirty, and she’s not about to start now—even if that means marrying Olympus’s enemy number one, the new Hephaestus. She has a wicked plan to keep her deadly new husband off-balance, seducing the one person he seems to care about most in this world: Pandora, a woman as beautiful as she is sweet.

Two can play the seduction game, however, and Hephaestus is all too happy to put his new wife in her place. Her ex, Adonis, seems like he’ll do the trick. It doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous in the way of fallen angels, either.

The only problem with using seduction as a weapon? Hearts are all too quick to get involved. With Hephaestus and Aphrodite trading venomous strikes that feel a whole lot like foreplay, lines become blurred and emotions entangled. But a broken heart may be the least of their worries. With unrest in Olympus reaching new heights, these bedroom games may have deadly consequences for themselves, their city, and everyone they’ve come to love.

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: This book features a poly knot of four characters: Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Adonis, and Pandora. Olympus’ current Aphrodite is Eris of the powerful Kaitos clan. Her brother is Zeus and her sister is Ares. I have wanted to be in Eris’ head for so damn long! She is such an interesting character and I loved getting to see different sides of her through how others perceive her along with how she sees herself. You get a different side of Eris with her family and her lovers, she is not just some stilted ice queen. She is loyal, determined and the type of person who avoids feeling or seeming like she needs someone. I loved seeing the cracks in her armour and how others cared for her. Her husband is Hephaestus, a role in which Minos’ adoptive son Theseus killed for. I didn’t know what to expect, but he was a pretty dynamic character. I am looking forward to getting to know more of Mino’s brood of adopted children. Adonis is in this story in a role that mimics his of the Greek myths, he’s Aphrodite’s lover. I really loved his character and his fierce loyalty to Eris. The final character Pandora felt refreshingly different than her mythological counterpart, plus I loved her dynamic with Aphrodite.
  • Setting: Olympus politics are heating up and I live for it! This world is getting thrown for a loop. I love the wider cast of characters so much and how Katee always starts dropping easter eggs for future instalments. I cannot wait to read the next one about Eurdyices, Orpheus, and Charon.
  • Pacing: This story was riveting as I read it in just a few days. Every time I think the stakes are high, Katee finds a way to raise them.
  • Romance: What I loved about the makeup of all the relationships is what I tend to notice in these poly romances. It is very apparent in the Adonis and Aphrodite relationship, for example, that they didn’t make sense as a pair – almost that something was missing. This book just like every book in this series, and basically every Katee Robert book I have read is just incredibly hot. The nature of the poly knot meant you get a variety of combinations, making for some hot sex scenes. Katee always does a good job balancing the toe-curling hot sex with the emotional side of navigating a non-monogamous relationship. These characters really had to go through a loop to embrace happiness in non-monogamy.

Cruel Seduction receives four out of five stars.

You can pick up the story here.

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Thank you again to Katee and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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