22051713Reviewed by A.D. Cole

In Doe Eyes, a third installment to the Good Gods series, Aphrodite, goddess of love, is in competition with Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Each goddess is to pick a human player. Aphrodite’s goal is to help the two humans fall in love. Artemis’ is to keep them apart. Normally Aphrodite would win this competition blindfolded. But at the moment, she has her own personal problems to deal with.

Jon and Josie are the two human pawns. Jon has returned to New York after three years away and he wants Josie back. Josie has been living with the belief that Jon left her three years ago to be with his pregnant ex, and she has no intention of forgiving him. Ever. But when her investigation into the murder of her partner, Anne, becomes desperate, Jon is the only one with the key to helping her catch the killer. Josie is forced to let him back into her life and open her mind to the truth of why he left three years ago.

Each novel in the Good Gods series is structured similarly. There is a competition surrounding two human pawns, offering a standalone contemporary romance within each novel. The serial aspect centers around Aphrodite and her relationships with her best friend, Persephone; her lovers, Adonis and Ares; and her estranged, but devoted husband, Hephaestus.

In these novels, the gods have moved their homes to New York and adopted the culture of the modern times. As a result, they are quirky, relatable, and frequently profane. It’s very much a Sex In the City atmosphere except with immortality and magic. As fun as it is, the human romances are very down-to-earth and real, evoking more than a few shed tears from me, at least.

Doe Eyes is set apart from the first two in that it takes on the structure of a suspense novel, since the two main humans are chasing a serial killer. I can’t help hoping Staci Hart adopts this structure in future novels, as it was very well done and added an element of ticking clock to the whole story.

Though there’s a standalone element to each novel, they really need to be read in order to understand where Aphrodite is in her life. If you’re looking for something truly unique in urban fantasy romance, I highly recommend this series. It’s fun and edgy, heartwarming, and well-written.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Staci Hart. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.