A Fierce, Inclusive, and Deliciously Sweet Polyamorous Romance!
“There’s truly nothing as satisfying as a dramatic exit.”
Katee Robert has a brand of storytelling that hits all the right notes for me. The Dark Olympus series is a refreshingly modern and inclusive retelling of Greek Mythology. Wicked Beauty is the third installment which thrusts Helen, Achilles, and Patroclus together as they compete for the coveted title of Ares of The Thirteen.
If you’re looking for an easy comparison, think of this competition like the Hunger Games crossed with American Ninja Warrior and just a sprinkle of the Triwizard Tournament. While Wicked Beauty can easily be read as a standalone, I think readers will have a better understanding for the references to the political climate of Olympus if Neon Gods and Electric Idol have also been read. With that said, Wicked Beauty starts off with Helen’s brother, Perseus —who is the newly appointed Zeus, announcing that the new Ares will also be able to claim his sister Helen’s hand in marriage.
“When life is just a series of bad scenarios, you learn to take your pleasure and joy where you can.”
Our heroine, Helen, has no plans to just be arm candy. She doubles down and decides to enter the competition. This not only defies her brother’s direct orders but also paints a target squarely on her back and while Helen is fully capable of taking care of herself in any situation— her competitors are blood thirsty. Her ex, Paris, is determined to get Helen back under his control and he’s willing to fight dirty to become the next Ares in order to do so.
The dynamic and relationship of Achilles and Patroclus is where Katee Robert excels. Achilles is the epitome of a well-honed war time general. His strategy, training, and commanding presence is second to none which means he’s a shoe in for the title of Ares. His counterpart and best friend, Patroclus, is the genius gentle giant. Think Professor Hulk but less green and without the rage issue. When it becomes apparent that Patroclus and Helen knew each other in childhood, Achilles begins to see the possibility on the horizon. Whereas Patroclus is wondering where he might end up when Achilles and Helen inevitably marry as he’s entirely confident that Achilles will be the next Ares.
“But this is Olympus. We’re all monsters here.”
Helen, Achilles, and Patroclus have a slow evolution from competitors to friends to lovers. Helen’s safety is threatened one too many times for Achilles and Patroclus’ liking therefore creating a situation where they become her de facto bodyguards in a place with just one bed. You can imagine just how delightfully wicked their feelings turn when their emotions get tangled, the looming title of Ares within grasp, and their mutual growing sexual attraction get thrown together. Their polyamorous relationship is respectful and I couldn’t get enough of how well the three of them complement each other. Their strengths and weaknesses all balance out. Their relationship is a case of follow your heart first and hope your head catches up.
I didn’t anticipate Wicked Beauty ending the way that it did, but I enjoyed every moment of the ride to the finish. Katee Robert’s vision for the Dark Olympus series is inclusive, progressive, modern, and completely addictive. I guarantee that if you have loved the first two books of this series then I don’t need to sell you on this one either. Out next week, Wicked Beauty is the perfect spicy beach read to start your summer off with a bang.
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.