Pan’s Conquest by Aubrie Dionne

Pan’s Conquest Cover (Entangled Publishing, LLC)

Following my love of the Hades/Persephone story Seeds by M.M. Kin, I decided to pick up this story by an unfamiliar (to me) author. I thought another mythology retelling might be appealing. Really, though, all the two stories have in common is a mythological base…otherwise, Pan is completely different from Seeds. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it!

THE PLOT: Pan, the god of fertility, has been chasing Syrinx, a goddess of chastity, for aeons, but she always managed to escape him. Now Syrinx is living disguised as human florist Sylvia in the 21st century. (The gods can travel in time and space, sans TARDIS!) Pan finds out where she is and also disguises himself as a very attractive and rich human, Parker Thomas. What follows starts off as a game of cat-and-mouse, but quickly becomes more about Pan learning to truly love instead of just pursue.

MY TWO CENTS: I was SO pleasantly surprised with this book. I was afraid it might turn into erotica, and it didn’t at all…in contrast, it’s a VERY clean romance! It’s about novella length (about 200 e-pages), but it didn’t seem short at all. The author took her time building Pan’s character, having him learn and change. Rutherford and Kaye were great character additions. And hey, who doesn’t love characters who can conjure up Jaguars and perfect party clothes with a snap of their fingers? Wish fulfillment 101.

BOTTOM LINE: I thought the writing was very good. Love the double meaning of the title. Really enjoyed this as a short, easy read and hope the author does more mythology retellings. How about Syrinx’s sister, Saturnia? I think there’s some story there that needs exploring. Just sayin’.

TEACUP RATING: 4½ out of 5 teacups, and hoping for a second course.

Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Seeds Volume 3 by M.M. Kin

seeds 3

Seeds Volume Three (Cover Image: Moranyelie/Osario Morales)

I had previously reviewed Volumes 1 and 2 in this trilogy here, and was eager to find out of the conclusion was satisfying. Spoiler: It was.

THE PLOT: When we left off in Book 2, Hades had done something…iffy…that you just KNEW was not going to go down well. Sure enough, this volume picks up with Persephone’s anger, plus the continued wrath of her mother, Demeter, against Zeus’s human acolytes. Without giving too much away, Demeter finally does reunite with her daughter…and the first thing she does proves she hasn’t learned a damn thing from her daughter’s absence. Thankfully, Persephone has truly grown up during her captivity and is no longer the easily bullied little girl.

Does Persephone forgive Hades? Do they get a happily ever after? Will Demeter ever forgive Zeus OR Hades? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Again, I don’t want to give away the ending. However, I found the ending reminiscent of the “Battlestar Galactica” reboot’s finale, which I very much enjoyed.

MY TWO CENTS: The author took the Hades/Persephone myth and truly fleshed it out into a relatable story. I found it a very richly drawn portrait of an ancient era. I also had an emotional connection with the characters. For example, when Demeter gets Persephone back and tries to mold her back to a child, I was FURIOUS. I felt bad for Seph and triumphant when she fought back. That’s the kind of involvement I want with my books.

BOTTOM LINE: I have enjoyed M.M. Kin’s “Seeds” saga more than the works of any other indie author I’ve sampled. If you are a fan of mythology, I suggest you give this series a try. Do keep in mind that there are some VERY steamy scenes throughout, but overall, this story encompasses more than just a romance between two characters.

TEACUP RATING: Five overflowing cups of dark, seductively scented tea.

Seeds Volumes 1 & 2 by M.M. Kin

Seeds Volume 1 (Cover Image: XX)

Seeds Volume One (Cover Image: Moranyelie/Osario Morales)

I will be honest with you: I was never interested in being a fiction writer myself, and I avoid the whole fanfiction thing like crazy. I also tend to be highly skeptical of self-publishing because there are many, many more people out there who believe they have talent than actually do. However, I have learned my lesson. Independent authors cannot be dismissed, because then true talent like M.M Kin could be overlooked. And that would be a shame.

THE PLOT: Simply put, Seeds is a retelling of the original Hades/Persephone Myth. It’s about the actual ancient Greek gods and goddesses as opposed to modern “reimaginings” of characters who play those roles. Volume 1 starts with the story surrounding Persephone’s birth and explains how her overprotective mother, the goddess Demeter, planned to keep her safe from harm by hiding her away. But even trapped in the body of a prepubescent girl, Persephone soon captures the attention of the gods…including Hades. Hades would happily court Persephone properly, if only her mother wasn’t determined to keep her away from all men. So Hades feels driven to kidnap her and take her to the Underworld.

seeds 02

Seeds Volume Two (Cover Image: Moranyelie/Osario Morales)

Seeds Volume Two explores the evolving relationship between Hades and Persephone, as well as Demeter’s frantic search for her daughter. But even as the couple grows closer together, feisty Persephone simply cannot let someone else decide her fate. And Hades has some control issues. Can he be worthy of Persephone’s love after starting their relationship with a kidnapping?

MY TWO CENTS: If you love mythology, you’ll enjoy this richly crafted retelling of the story. Meticulous research results in a detailed setting that greatly adds to the story but never overwhelms it.

Persephone’s character is especially likeable, as she is determined to be the master of her own fate, despite her attraction to Hades. (Who is all but irresistible, to Persephone AND the reader.)

Please be aware that these novels have some especially steamy love scenes. I don’t think they verge into erotica territory, but may be a bit more graphic than your average romance. (Think slightly more graphic than Elizabeth Hoyt’s sex scenes.)

Also, although the novels are set in ancient times, the language is sometimes very modern. I, personally, do not have a problem with that since no one can duplicate that ancient language accurately. And I’m sorry, but “twas” or “tis” in a historical drives me bonkers. These are actually deal-breakers for me. One single “twas” and I’m outta there. So thank you, M.M. Kin, for not sounding laboriously artificial!

TEACUP RATING: I give each volume a solid 5 teacups, and I can’t wait for the final volume. Plus, I will be more open-minded in the future about self-published books. I’ll be eagerly waiting for this author’s next novel or series.

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