Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Series or Standalone:Dark Olympus #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Fatphobia; fat-shaming/body shaming; violence; emotional abuse
After being let down by Neon Gods, I went into book two of the Dark Olympus series with tempered expectations. But color me surprised as I ended up really liking this one! While I might have been expecting a bit more spice and a few more sex scenes than we got, the central romance between Eros and Psyche was incredibly sweet and had me invested!
After pissing off Aphrodite, Psyche’s got a target on her back. Aphrodite tasks her son Eros to bring her Psyche’s heart. Despite being a ruthless killer, Eros, for the first time, balks at taking out his mother’s latest target. Confused by his reaction to Psyche, he does the only thing he can think of that will save both their skin – he marries her. But marriage isn’t enough to keep his mother off their backs; they need to make it look like they’re madly in love even though Psyche feels she should hate his guts. As the lines blur and loyalties shift, both their hearts end up on the line.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the romance in this one! We get what I’ve dubbed the “fake marriage of convenience” as Eros and Psyche get married and have to pretend they’re madly in love so that Aphrodite doesn’t kill them. The chemistry between Eros and Psyche was apparent from the start, and the dialogue between them flowed naturally. They balance each other out, and I loved that they saw the other’s flaws as something worthy of love. We also get a male lead who falls hard and fast for our female lead. Eros is SMITTEN. Both Eros and Psyche also convince themselves that there is no way the other could love them, and I’m a sucker for those stories when we, the reader, know that’s not true. And while Eros and Psyche hadn’t known each other long before they catch the feelings, their love story felt believable and I fully bought into their relationship.
While there are sex scenes in this book, they felt relatively tame compared to Neon Gods and Katee Robert’s other work. I did feel like the sex scenes we got added to the story, so they weren’t just thrown in there to add some spice. They helped advance the story and tell the story of these characters, which I enjoyed as it added more depth.
When it comes to the characters, I loved both Eros and Psyche a lot. Poor Eros – that boy has PAIN. He sees himself as a monster as he’s been doing Aprodite’s dirty work for years and feels tainted by that. He’s convinced he’s unworthy of love because of his actions and because he never received an ounce of affection from his family. His mother saw him as nothing but a tool to use, which did some emotional damage. Psyche was the perfect partner for him. She’s genuinely a good person and very sweet and caring. She seems to be the peacekeeper in her family but is also constantly underestimated by those around her. She is excellent at reading others, which is why I think she can see beyond the image that Eros presents to the world.
One of my big complaints with Neon Gods was I didn’t understand the world the book was set in. In the first book, that annoyed me so much that it took me out of the story. This book does a better job fleshing the world out and politics at play. I still have questions about some things as I’m still not a hundred percent sure if the rest of the world knows about Olympus, but it bothered me a lot less since we got more details this time around.
When it comes to the story, I felt the plot and pacing were a bit better in this book than in Neon Gods (I’m still mad at how anti-climatic the ending of the first book was). The main story of this book reminded me of Snow White with the “bring me her heart” vibes and an Evil Queen determined to be the fairest of them all. Eros is our huntsman, but instead of letting his Snow White run away, he marries her to protect them both. While the story’s major beats felt a bit predictable, I still enjoyed seeing how everything would unfold. The ending confrontation between Psyche and Aphrodite was much better than the one between Zeus and Hades, even though it was predictable. However, it fits the story well and the consequences of everything that happened seem like they’re going to have some major ramifications.
Electric Idol was a quick read and surprised me with how sweet the central romance was. I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did, but I devoured this book. I’m very interested in where the story will go next given some of the major shake-ups at the end. Before reading Electric Idol, I was a bit ambivalent about this series. But now I’m looking forward to Wicked Beauty as I enjoyed the scenes we got with Helen and am excited to see if Robert can put a spin on the Helen of Troy myth (one of my least favorites) that I’ll enjoy.