Hello, lovelies! 🍁 Yesterday I spent the whole day re-reading one of my favorite books Fantasy Lover by the amazing Sherrilyn Kenyon. I read this book when I was very young, maybe not the most appropriate book to read as a young girl but it opened the door to a genre I love to read even now: paranormal romance. Along with Ms. Kenyon came J.R Ward, Jacquelyn Frank, Gena Showalter, and many more amazing writers.
What made me love this book at a young age and continues to be one of my comforts reads at my current age;
- Grace and Selena’s friendship was something that made me so happy and giddy during every read. They are opposite sides: Selena is a happy, lively, and outgoing woman who enjoys being loud, assertive, and just overall positive. Grace, on the other hand, is very centered in her career, has a very lonely life, and has a sensible nature.
“As for the age of electronics, Selena, I really don’t want to get personal with something that comes with a warning label and batteries.”Grace to Selena
- Grace was a badass heroine then and now. She is incredibly smart, a sex therapist who doesn’t have a good sexual experience but who studied and became someone. She is not only smart but also very loyal, stubborn, sad, and looking for a relationship with someone she can rely on and be happy. I loved Grace’s personality, she is a very honest, hard-worker, and loves Selena even when her friend would drive her insane most of the time.
- Julian was a cinnamon roll who had suffered horribly and just needed Grace to wrap him in a blanket and love him forever.
“I worry about the men of your time, Grace. They all seem to be great fools.”Julian to Grace
- Grace and Julian’s relationship had it ups and downs but the ‘ups’ were the best scenes. I loved how Julian learned to understand Grace and why she built walls.
- The scenes of Grace reading Julian’s childhood books broke my heart and were some of the best moments during the whole reading experience. She was so patient with him – but also hurt him with her words which makes them not perfect and human. They both did and say things they were not supposed to say, but that’s life.
- This book has a lot of sexual scenes and sex talk – the plot is very much related to this aspect plus Grace is also a sex therapist so we see a bit of her job in some scenes which was interesting to read.
- Julian’s past broke my heart – like literally, it broke it – his suffering, his loneliness was so deep, his desolation huge. It was so good when at the end he was rewarded
- Grace’s relationship with her parents is deep. Her parents are dead but she carries her life as if they are somehow still part of it, she keeps their room intact, their clothes, and all the books they collected for her as a child. For some maybe this is not healthy but in the book is not described as Grace being dependent on this but just as Grace missing them intensively and feeling displaced after their death.
- The existence of the Greek Gods and how they take mortal bodies to live among us (some, and sometimes) was really cool – especially Cupid!
- Julian’s life as a soldier and Commander, he was fear by the Romans and his enemies and fearless when it came to battle, plus his brotherhood with Kyrian was also legend.
Things I didn’t realize as a young girl but as an adult;
- Julian is introduced in the story as a sex-slave, he is summoned during a full moon and will be the sex-slave of that person for a whole month. As a young girl I was more invested in the romance aspect of the books, in the glory of the battles and the gods but I never truly focused on the whole ‘sex-slave’ aspect of the book. During the book, we read of how he is summoned and used for sex and it wasn’t until I re-read it as an adult that I really hated it that aspect of the book. As a sex-slave Julian was repetitively raped by women who only saw his body and looks.
- To explain a bit about his looks, this book emphasizes a lot about Julian’s physical looks – even Grace and Selena are a bit shock-lust when they first meet him. Julian is the son of Aphrodite and because of it, he is intensively beautiful – both face and body, perfect. So, imagine during his life he has always been lust after, people meeting him and just wanting to get into his pants without even getting to know him first. Have you guys seen Malèna before? (click on the link) That’s how I visualized everything that happened with Julian when he was in public. It was a bit uncomfortable how people just looked at him and even gave him things in a restaurant just because of his look, even Selena sounded callous when Julian looked uncomfortable to be the focus of attention yet she took advantage of it.
- Grace’s stalker was a bit intense to read, he was crazy for Grace – going into her house, smelling her clothes, getting mad because she was with Julian, physically assaulting her in an elevator – I was ready to punch him – bit it was also intense to read Grace’s pain and fear even when she was at her house.
- Julian’s past while harsh was also a bit uncomfortable to read. I will not get into it because it would spoil a lot but the past was hard.
- Aphrodite was a sore loser and a horrible mother. There was a little redemption for her, but, no thank you.
- Grace’s sexual experience was horrible and the guy was an ass – took advantage of her parents’ death and will forever remain an ass.
- And let’s not talk about Priapus and his jealous ass, his ending was deserved.
Why after all those factors I continue to read Fantasy Lover?
This book was the first in a series that I will forever cherish. Yes, it does have a lot of problematic factors (like any other book) that as a young girl I didn’t really pay much attention but even now, I still hold this book close to my heart. The romance between Julian and Grace was precious – again, they hurt each other but their love was sweet and gorgeous once they got past their own problems. Plus the ending made all the suffering a bit more manageable – even if it will not erase the bad things in this book – the ending made me smile and find a bit of peace at their happily ever after.