Review: ‘Cruel Seduction’ by Katee Robert
Cruel Seductionby Katee Robert
Series: Dark Olympus #5
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on August 8, 2023
SubGenres: Dark Romance, Fantasy Romance, LGBT Romance, MMFF Romance, Polyamorous Romance
Format: AudioBook, eBook
Narrator: Alex Moorcock, Zara Hampton-Brown
Length: 11 Hours
Source: Library, Everand
Audience: 18+/Rated R
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He was my enemy. My lover. My husband.
And the one man I swore by all Olympus I would destroy.
Aphrodite has never flinched at getting her perfectly manicured hands dirty, and she's not about to start now—even if that means marrying Olympus's enemy number one, the new Hephaestus. She has a wicked plan to keep her deadly new husband off-balance, seducing the one person he seems to care about most in this world: Pandora, a woman as beautiful as she is sweet.
Two can play the seduction game, however, and Hephaestus is all too happy to put his new wife in her place. Her ex, Adonis, seems like he'll do the trick. It doesn't hurt that he's gorgeous in the way of fallen angels, either.
The only problem with using seduction as a weapon? Hearts are all too quick to get involved. With Hephaestus and Aphrodite trading venomous strikes that feel a whole lot like foreplay, lines become blurred and emotions entangled. But a broken heart may be the least of their worries. With unrest in Olympus reaching new heights, these bedroom games may have deadly consequences for themselves, their city, and everyone they've come to love.
Cruel Seduction is the fifth novel in Katee Robert’s Dark Olympus series. This book has to be my favorite in the series so far because I had trouble putting it down. I’m usually not a fan of politics in books, but this one was full of drama, potential murder, and lots of tension. Let me not forget to mention that this book was definitely spicy, spicier than the others.
My favorite things about this book:
- The Enemies to Lovers Trope. Katee Robert did a friggin’ amazing job with having Aphrodite and Hephaestus hate each other up until the very end, especially when they were married to one another and had reasons to hate each other. Aphrodite couldn’t trust Hephaestus due to how he got his title in the Thirteen. Hephaestus doesn’t like Aphrodite because she’s a part of the OG Thirteen.
- The Marriage of Convenience Trope. The fact that Aphrodite agrees to marry her enemy Hephaestus because it’s a good political move and she cares for her people. She also needs to keep an eye on Hephaestus and find out what his father is up to next due to the Thirteen now being a target because of what happened in Radiant Sin.
- I LOVED Aphrodite, and that’s not me being biased because she’s actually one of my favorite Greek Goddesses. She was a kickbutt in her own way, and I understood her reasoning on why she did the things she did because it was for the people. She was trying everything not to be like her father.
- Adonis and Pandora. I have a soft spot for these two characters and wasn’t fond of them getting caught in the middle of the drama between Aphrodite and Hephaestus and how they became pawns. Pandora didn’t want Aphrodite to hurt her best friend, Hephaestus, and Adonis didn’t want Aphrodite to be married to Hephaestus because he had feelings for her.
- The political drama that is now happening within the Thirteen and outside of it is crazy, especially since Hephaestus’s father was potentially the reason for it happening. I could understand why the Thirteen was jumpy. Aphrodite was kickbutt on her decision at the end of the book, and so was her husband after what happened to them. No spoilers from me
- I loved the polyamorous relationship between Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Adonis, and Pandora. There are MF, FF, MM, and MMF scenes in this book, and all of them are equally spicy. I loved how all the characters came together in the end and knew this would work better than monogamy. The key thing that Katee had in this book was ‘communication’ between all four characters.
The only thing that drove me bonkers was Hephaestus and how brainwashed he was when it came to his father. He did eventually redeem himself. One of my favorite scenes with him is how he takes care of Aphrodite after she is targeted and how he knows she needs help and he needs assistance to take care of her. That is when he redeemed himself with me as a character. There were others afterwards, but that one won my heart over.
Overall, it is a great installment in the series, and I’m pleasantly surprised I enjoyed this one over others. The characters, the storyline, and the spice were all together f**king amazing, and I give it 4.5 stars. This book needs to be made into a TV series/movie because I would watch it in a heartbeat.
Story Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5
Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the Dark Olympus Series and I recommend reading in order.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. I recommend this book/series to readers who love Greek Mythology Retellings with politics, spice and drama.
Genre/SubGenre(s): Romance | Dark Romance | Fantasy Romance | LGBT+ Romance | MMFF Romance | Polyamorous Romance
Trope(s)/Element(s): Enemies to Lovers | Marriage of Convenience | Forced Proximity | Instant Love/Attraction | Second Chance at Love