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The Warrior    by Kathleen Nance order for
by Kathleen Nance
Order:  USA  Can
Dorchester, 2001 (2001)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

How do two powerful gods like Zeus and Hera while away their earthbound days after being forever banished from Olympus by the Oracles? Simple. They peek into the lives of the descendant children of other Olympian gods and nudge them onto the path of true and lasting love. This time around they've got their sights set on Callie Gabriel and the man she's destined to spend the rest of her life with - New Orleans police detective, Armond Marceaux. Armond just happens to be a descendant of the Alpha of all Males - Ares, God of War. And like his mighty Olympian ancestor, Armond cannot seem to commit to love. His career is all consuming - his job his true mistress as the old adage goes. So he'd done the smart thing and stopped seeing Callie before they had a proper chance to fully explore their feelings and a possible relationship.

When Armond shows up on her doorstep one rainy night, Callie is less than impressed and reminds him in no uncertain terms that he chose his job over her. Logic tells her to kick him back out into the pouring rain. But her emotions tell her otherwise and before either of them can stop themselves they give in to mutual attraction. Two months later Callie finds herself pregnant, with no way of letting the father know - he's still working undercover for an FBI task force. She tries telling herself her life would be more than complete hosting her popular cable cooking show and being a single mom - hadn't every successive generation of Gabriel women been single moms? Yet in her heart, Callie knows she cannot keep Armond in the dark about his impending fatherhood.

Eventually Callie tracks him down at a ramshackle cabin in the swamp and soon discovers he's suffering from amnesia after being captured and drugged by a crime kingpin. Over the course of the next few weeks Callie and Armond are inseparable as they travel together filming on location segments for her cooking show, and as they learn more about one another. When not busy filming or gathering local research, Callie works to lighten up Armond's stoic and protective character. For Armond this working holiday proves invaluable, not only as a way to get to know Callie, but also in piecing together the puzzle of who he is - and why his enigmatic enemy had gone to all the trouble of holding Armond against his will and using experimental drugs to mess with his mind. Of course Zeus and Hera are always close at hand to help out the young lovers in subtle - and sometimes not so subtle ways.

Kathleen Nance's premise, while not new, adds a nice twist to what otherwise might have been a run-of-the-mill romance. Zeus and Hera's presence, and their machinations, definitely add an enjoyable and often humorous turn to the story, especially given the fact that Zeus's roving eye is as active as ever, much to Hera's annoyance. Additional walk-ons by other Olympian gods and denizens are also fun - indeed the secondary characters sometimes come very close to upstaging the main characters. Overall, The Warrior is a fun and satisfying summer read for any who enjoy their romance sprinkled with a touch of fantasy.

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