Thank you to Katee Robert, Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the advance reader copy of Wicked Beauty, the third book in the Dark Olympus series.
I could not be more excited for the first triad in the Dark Olympus world! I adored Katee’s throuples in previous stories in the Wicked Villains series.
I am a member of Katee Robert’s review team, but I stand by my reviews remaining honest and true.
“She was the face that launched a thousand ships,
The fierce beauty at the heart of Olympus,
And she was never ours to claim.
*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*
In Olympus, you either have the power to rule…or you are ruled. Achilles Kallis may have been born with nothing, but as a child he vowed he would claw his way into the poisonous city’s inner circle. Now that a coveted role has opened to anyone with the strength to claim it, he and his partner, Patroclus Fotos, plan to compete and double their odds of winning.
Neither expect infamous beauty Helen Kasios to be part of the prize…or for the complicated fire that burns the moment she looks their way.
Zeus may have decided Helen is his to give to away, but she has her own plans. She enters into the competition as a middle finger to the meddling Thirteen rulers, effectively vying for her own hand in marriage. Unfortunately, there are those who would rather see her dead than lead the city. The only people she can trust are the ones she can’t keep her hands off—Achilles and Patroclus. But can she really believe they have her best interests at heart when every stolen kiss is a battlefield?”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: I love all these characters so so so much! First, in our triad we have Helen, she has been in the Dark Olympus series for quite a while but only as a side character. She is from a very prominent family, with her father being the former Zeus, her brother Perseus being the current Zeus, her sister Eris the current Aphrodite and her brother Hercules (who is the Hercules in the Wicked Villains series.) Growing up Helen had little autonomy over her life and now she has the chance to fight for her own agency and an equal place next to the rest of the thirteen who rule over Olympus. She has a bit of a party girl, spoiled princess reputation but as you read you understand that Helen is much more than meets the eye. She is guarded with everyone and as she opens up you learn how brave, politically savvy and gutsy she is. I did not think it was possible to love a female character more than Persephone in this world, but Helen may be forcing me to change my mind. Now for the men in Helen’s life, Achilles and Patroclus. Just like in the Greek Myth these characters are pulled from, Homer’s The Iliad, Achilles and Patroclus are best friends. These men could not be more different though. Achilles is the warrior, the orphan boy who worked his way up the ranks to Athena’s second-in-command. He wants to win the Ares title because he craves power and respect. While Patroclus joins the competition to back up Achilles. He is the wickedly smart, talented mind counterpart to Achilles’ brutal strength. I loved them both dearly for different reasons. Achilles drove me a bit crazy sometimes but I admired how good he was at reading people. Patroclus is my type of guy, nerdy and shy yet oh so charming. Side note: I love all the side characters so much! This instalment gives you time to check on how our previous couples are doing. I loved how Eros played a special role in this story. The competition brought in so many interesting side characters, maybe some future story ideas? And of course, we got to see some of the dynamics between the new Zeus and the new Hera. I cannot wait to get inside Callisto’s head in the future.
- Setting: The world of the Dark Olympus series takes place in an alternative version of Olympus. This version is just as wrought with political turmoil as the Mount Olympus of Greek Mythology. This time the majority of the God tiles are positions that can be held. Ares is the contested title featured in this book, which is won by competition. I really liked this idea, as it played off Myth inspiration in an interesting way. It is canon that men vie for Helen’s hand in marriage, I love how in Katee’s version Helen fights for herself.
- Pacing: I never wanted this book to end! I was hooked from start to finish and was really impressed by how compelling the plot was. Katee did a phenomenal job at pacing how this plot unfolded, both the speed at which our triad fell in love and the speed at which the various rounds of the competition unfolded.
- Romance: Is it weird to say I knew I was going to love this romance before it even started. In Katee’s Wicked Villains series my favourites were the ménage romances. So I had high hopes for our first throuple in the Dark Olympus world, and they were just so perfect together. To get the most obvious over of course the sex scenes were scorchers and I loved each and every combination we got. The emotional elements were impeccable! Achilles and Patroclus have their own history together. They are lovers, without a label, in an open relationship. Due to the nature of having all three points of view, you understand quite quickly both men love each other and want something more, but something is missing. Enter Helen and she shakes these two up and shows them why the three of them need to be together. They all balance each other out so well and I loved how quickly they fell in with each other. The early chapters featured so many fun jealous moments that gave way to the three of them coming together in a spectacular fashion. These three spend most of the book terrified of what the future holds, and you the reader will not be able to help but cheer for them and their imagined future together.
- Audiobook Elements: I actually listened to this as an Audiobook ARC rather than read the eARC. So, I wanted to spend some time mentioning the pros and cons of the audiobook if you were considering that format. This story has two narrators, a female and a male. As there are two distinct male points of view, the guy does a distinct accent for Achilles and Patroclus. I really liked the sounds of their voices and the intonation and speed of their speech. Often when I am listening to things I want to rush the speed but this time around I kept it at a normal pace because I was enjoying their storytelling.
Wicked Beauty receives five out of five stars.
You can pick up the story below…
Thank you again to Katee and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!