Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author/publisher to The Pagan & The Pen Book Reviews. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Mar 20, 2011

The Heart of War by Lisa Beth Darling


Title: The Heart of War
Author: Lisa Beth Darling
Buy Link
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Genre: Dark/Erotic/Paranormal/Romance
Length: 501 pgs.
Reviewed by: Gray Dixon

Cover: 3
Presentation: 2
Editing: 1
Story: 2
Writing Ability: 1

Overall Card Rating: 


The Book: The publisher provided this blurb and it appears here exactly as on the publisher's website -- Meet Ares God of War, the greatest Warrior the world has ever known. He's moody, grumpy, dominant, ravenously sexual, and above all, built like a Greek God.

Suspected of killing his Daughter in-Law, Psyche, and long in exile from Olympus, the solitude of Ares' secluded Greek Isle is interrupted when Magdalena MacLeod a plucky little Fey washes up on his shore after believing she's been shipwrecked. It's not mere fate that has brought the unlikely couple together yet it may be what tears them apart.
Branded with a golden chastity belt bearing the mark of Cernunnos, Celtic God of the Forest and Death, Alena has been on the run from her husband the Great Horned God for 200 years.

When the Olympians discover her presence on Ares' island, they send Apollo to the island while Ares is away with orders to bring her to Olympus. With nowhere to run and strikes a bargain with the God of War--her virginity for his protection.
Ares sees a sweeter deal; her in his bed and himself back in his rightful place on Olympus among the Gods. If it means turning Alena over to Zeus afterward, well that's of no consequence to him...is it?

After Alena proves herself to the God of War in battle and in his bed, the Ares must choose between his Divinely Dysfunctional Family, his pride, and Alena.
Get lost in this sweeping dark saga of lust, rage, revenge, and redemption. Battle Ancient Gods while falling in love with Ares God of War and Alena MacLeod. They share a love that will rock the world from the heights of Olympus to the Celtic moors, but will it be enough? Will love triumph, or will revenge and rage win the battle for the Heart of War?

The Review:  Initially I couldn’t wait to read The Heart of War. I love mythology, and looked forward to a contemporized tale of a classic Greek hero finding true love. Lisa Beth Darling disappointed in more ways than I could have imagined. After the first two pages I literally wanted to close the book and forget reading further, but I calmed down and decided I would give the story a second chance. After a long weekend, I finally finished and couldn’t wait to put an end to the grueling agony of reading this tragic attempt at calling itself an epic, dark, erotic saga.

Where do I begin with all the defects of this book? First, the dizzying effect I had from the head hopping between the characters was disconcerting, especially when occurring within the same paragraph. This happened throughout the entire novel. Second, the multitude of editing problems such as misuse of words, grammar, missing words, backward pronouns (her used instead of he), and misspelled words, all added to the overall dysfunction.

However, the plot disturbed me most of all. The villain’s obsession with having sex with his own granddaughter, the heroine, didn’t sit well with me.

The hero, Ares the God of War is in exile on an island with a harem and a few guards. (Read as they have lots of sex) None of the action is put on the pages for a reader to enjoy, only implied. The author dedicates much dialogue to talking about sex but the one scene that shows it is drab. Keep in mind this story is supposed to be an erotic saga, I saw little, another point I found disappointing. The sex scenes throughout were mundane, ordinary, and left me feeling nothing for the characters.

The heroine, Alena MacLeod, washes up on the beach, with apparent amnesia and claims to be a shipwreck victim, but fails to say how she survived a swim in the ocean with bound hands. After they have sex, Ares sets out to verify her story about working at a refugee camp in Africa. (Huh?)

Turns out the camp is what I assume is similar to the Leonardo DiCaprio movie about the black market of blood diamonds. Alena worked as a missionary in a camp where children did the mining of the diamonds. She saves a young girl, but in the course of doing so is tortured, raped, and left for dead, but one day is plucked from the sky by Eros, the God of Love, because he has been watching and is falling in love with her. (Huh again?)

The story doesn’t get any better. I tried to feel for the characters, but couldn’t get into them because they made no sense. The editing kept getting in the way for the most part, pulling me out of the story. This novel, if cleaned up and polished would have a fighting chance. Right now, even if the publisher offered it as a free read, you would pay too much to add The Heart of War to your library.

Pagan Elements: Mythological gods and goddesses, Greek and Celtic.


Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & The Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.


Lisa Beth said...

Clearly, you didn't understand the novel.

Ares and Alena have sex AFTER he returns from the refugee camp...not before.

Alena doesn't "fail to say" how she washed up on the island...she doesn't remember. She tries to explain to Ares how she got there but since Apollo played with her memories, her story keeps more and more far-fetched as her mind tries to fill in the missing pieces because she doesn't realize her memory is false until later in the story.

If you're disturbed by Cernunnos' desire to have sex with his granddaughter, you have little comprehension of mythology to start with.

As to the rest of it, I could sit here all day pointing out all of the points you missed, got mixed up, or have simply misrepresented in the above 'review'. It's completely flawed to the point where I'm doubting you actually read it.

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