Greek Gods In Erotic Romance: The Sky’s the Limit
I’m so pleased to be visiting the lovely Jennifer Labelle today. Thanks for letting me talk about my newest romance Sweet Hell.
Sweet Hell is a fun, sexy romp about the Greek god Dionysus and the mortal woman who happens to fall for him. Why Greek gods? Why not! In paranormal literature, there is already a variety of vamps. Throngs of werewolves. Hordes of ghosts. I wanted to do something that was a little different. but still familiar and nostalgic. We all know the old myths of ancient Greece. But can we envision what it might have been like if these gods existed?
This is what I try to do in some of my books, and along the way, these sexy deities get distracted by some very comely mortal maidens. In my first romance, For the Love of a God, I used the god of love. In Sweet Hell, it’s Dionysus’s turn.
The character of Dionysus is an intriguing one for erotic literature. He can drink you under the table but never get drunk. He loves a good orgy. He lives to please women, as many as possible. And he despises work and responsibility. I threw him together with a modern woman who is a workaholic, doesn’t have time to waste on her appearance, and who despises a player. A marriage made in Olympus, non?
The Greek myths provide a romance author with so much food for thought. They are already mostly scandalous. They are full of sex and dangerous liaisons. Most gods can shift their shape and have unusual strength and powers. These tales are a hotbed of inspiration! Not to mention some really gorgeous dudes…
I hope you will join me in falling in love with these characters. Let my Dionysus tease and tempt you.
Dionysus, Greek god of wine and theater, is the world’s original playboy. But lately, he has been restless, moody, and he knows something is wrong. His carefree and bacchanal lifestyle is starting to feel like one long string of meaningless, sexual escapades. Even worse, he is suddenly aroused by the idea of marriage. And to top it all off, Josie Marino, the mouthy, disheveled, and eternally annoying woman who serves him coffee at the local bakery, sets him on fire.
Josie, a Toronto baker of Italian heritage, is not looking for love or lust. Especially not with Dionysus Iros, the most aggravating, demanding customer she'd ever had to serve. With his rippling muscles and sexy, knowing eyes, he's obviously trouble with a capital T. Unfortunately, he's also the star of her every X-rated dream. She’s known players like Dionysus before, and one of them almost got the better of her. Josie determines she will not fall for his considerable physical charms, come hell or high water.
But Dionysus turns strangely protective when a sinister character arrives at Josie's bakery, and they can no longer deny their unwanted feelings for one another. They are forced to embark on a bizarre, sexually-charged journey to hell itself, which threatens to either change them for the better, or destroy them.
There were usually two men Josie Marino had contact with at the ungodly hour of five in the morning. Not good contact. Certainly not sweaty, chest-heaving, “take me, take me” contact. And definitely not contact with Petter, the Norwegian male model who lived next door.
Nah. That would have been too perfect, wouldn’t it?
Instead, most mornings, Josie had to settle for haggling with her two least favorite men on the planet. Nelson Tate, the deliveryman from her most important supplier. And Dionysus Iros. Worst. Customer. Ever.
Because of the business, she just had to put up with Nelson. He’d been delivering dry goods to her family bakery for years. Had known her parents, schmoozed with her brothers, and basically enjoyed making life hell for her. Not that he was a vicious sort. He was just far too handsy for her liking.
In the case of Dionysus, he was just an early bird and a womanizer. And couldn’t function without the coffee she brewed first thing in the morning. Invariably, he was already waiting for her when she got to the bakery each day.
Oh, joy of joys.
Not that he was a horrible person either. He just intimidated her with his unearthly good looks. Men like him, not that most men came close to looking like him, rattled her. They were best kept at a distance.
Dionysus was so bloody perfect; Josie wanted to shake him to see if she could muss his seemingly unmussable hair. Most days, though, she just contented herself with a lot of grumbling in his presence. He unnerved her, with his sexy brown eyes and long, dark waves of hair any woman would die for. To say nothing of his body… No, it was best not to say anything about that smoking body at all. She couldn’t help hating him, just a little. No man should look so divine at dawn, when she felt about as put together as a cavewoman.
To makes things worse, the man acted as if he were a Greek god. His parents, in a tragic case of bad judgment, had even named him after one. It was no wonder he was so obnoxious.
On this morning, too, he was waiting at the door when she got there. Looking as if he’d just tumbled off the cover of GQ, and the birds weren’t even up yet. At least today he didn’t have a sleepy bimbo on his arm, like he often did.
“Mr. Iros,” Josie drawled, yawning, as she unlatched the bakery door. “You’re losing your touch. I haven’t seen you with a woman in, what, forty-eight hours?” She pushed ahead of him into the bakery, catching the scent of wine on him.
God, how much did the man drink? She was sure he dabbed a little bit of the stuff behind his ears, and splashed it on his face instead of aftershave.
On any other man, the strange cologne would have been a red flag. An indication he drank more than coffee in the morning. But on this man, it just smelled delicious. As if the scent were his pheromone, oozing out of every pore, inviting her to mate with him. In very dirty ways.
He chuckled, low and deep, and sauntered in after her as if he owned the place. Within seconds, he was seated at his usual spot at Josie’s counter. “Just be a good girl and fetch my coffee.” He lowered his shades and peered at her through sensuous dark eyes that should have been bloodshot at that time of the morning, but weren’t. “And don’t forget. Make it a tall, half-skinny, half-one percent, extra hot, two shots decaf, two shots regular latte with whip. And exactly…”
“I know, I know,” she interrupted. “One hundred fifty degrees. Has it ever been anything less, Your Highness?” She pasted on her sweetest of smiles and turned to prepare the elixir of the gods. She heard him huff as he flipped open the day’s newspaper.
“No need to call me that, Josie. ‘My Lord’ or ‘He From Whom All Good Things Come’ will do just fine.”
She reached for the one percent milk, and contemplated tossing in some heavy, artery-clogging cream just to soften up some of his sculpted muscles. A man with that kind of body had to be on some sort of special diet. With that brawny physique he must spend hours a day at the gym and ingest copious amounts of protein powders.
She snuck a peek at the bulges rippling under his sleeves, turning her head sharply when he grinned.
It was one thing to look like God’s gift to women. It was another thing to act like it.
Available at www.liquidsilverbooks.com/books/sweethell.htm
Rosanna has generously decided to give one lucky commenter a copy of her newest release Sweet Hell. So, please leave a comment with your email address' and follow the blog for a chance to win it.
Rosanna will announce her winner on Monday August 13.
Rosanna will announce her winner on Monday August 13.
~Author Jennifer Labelle~