I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Pan's Conquest by Aubrie Dionne
Published by Entangled: Covet on February 24th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Source: ARC from publisher
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Syrinx pulled a fast one on Pan to escape his raging lust. The God of Chastity wasn't about to break her vows and succumb to his temptations. Transported to the twenty-first century, she runs a florist shop—fulfilling her fake, mortal life. Until the breathtaking Parker Thomas hires her to decorate his grand estate for a gala. Five hundred roses? Easy enough. Except Parker makes her feel things she can't ignore...
As the God of Fertility, Pan is used to maidens flocking in droves to his pastures. So when Syrinx denies him, he's determined to win the one that got away. He poses as a mortal to get close to her, but he doesn't count on falling hard for his conquest—hard enough to make a life and stay.
But Syrinx is falling in love with a man that doesn't exist. Can Pan hide his identity forever, or will the truth tear them apart?
I think we all pretty much know how these stories go. Girl swears off guys, then finds the one guy who makes her change her mind. What bothers me about Syrinx is her resolve, or lack thereof. She’s a Greek goddess, for goodness’ sake. You’d think she’d be committed for life. You choose (choose?) what you want to represent, and stick with it. She had a lot of resolve for about the first few pages. And then it weakened every time I expected it to strengthen. She certainly had a lot of desire for a goddess of chastity, which makes it pretty clear that wasn’t her thing. She chose the wrong thing to stand for. Which brings me to another point.
I wasn’t really aware gods and goddesses got to choose what they stood for. It never really occurred to me. Is that really a thing? (I have no idea why I’m going on about this as if Greek mythology is real) (I guess it’s real to me) I mean, I love Greek mythology and consider myself…not really an expert, but well-versed on many of the myths and legends and I love books about them. Like the Percy Jackson series. Love love love. So naturally I was interested in this book. But while at times I absolutely loved the mythological aspects, I felt a little disappointed by Syrinx. Actually, both Pan and Syrinx. To my knowledge, Greek gods don’t change (or that drastically). It felt…a little out of character. Their behavior. It wasn’t what I expected from Greek gods, but it is something I would expect of mortals. But given that they were playing as mortals, I was fine with overlooking their god statuses for the most part. If it was more believable (I hate saying this, but if it was more true to what I expected of Greek gods) than it may have been more enjoyable.
I’m kind of sidetracking here. The main point is that I expected much of the novel to be about Pan winning over Syrinx, which should have been difficult because she believed in her morals and chastity. But I was mistaken about the point of the book. The point is that she falls for him pretty easily because she believes he is a mortal, so she falls for the mortal, not the god, and when he tells her, there would be problems. When she finds out who he is….
And that really only became an issue towards the end of the book. I will say there was a satisfying antagonist- a jealous would-be lover of Pan from their past, who helped Syrinx evade him before betraying her to him. Syrinx trusts her completely because she helps her escape, and remains oblivious for most of the book. Which is another thing….
Not only can Syrinx be weak sometimes, but she is also incredibly naive. She hasn’t got the faintest clue in the world about Pan’s true identity, no matter how much he should remind her of him (all the forest and nature motifs). She doesn’t recognize Coral, the jealous would-be lover, when she appears and starts messing things up. In fact, she has so integrated herself into mortal society and way of life that she doesn’t even think about Olympus very much at all, much less draw connections from people there to people in her new life. And I can’t say I’d really expect that of her, but it seemed a little too convenient that she remained naive for so long. I kept wanting her to suspect it was really Pan, but who knows where that would have taken the story…
Pan himself worked out pretty well. He started off as a player but then settled down a bit, formed some relationships and learned some of the mortal things that the gods didn’t have. Like the concepts of time and love. Proper love, anyway. That was good. I don’t really have any complaints about Pan. I did find it ironic that he was pushing her away more often than she was pushing him away. She said yes to almost everything with very little thought. (“Oh, but I’m the goddess of chastity….yeah, but look how hot he is. Maybe this is a good opportunity.”)
Another thing that bugged me a little was that her (their) powers as a goddess were never really defined. It just seemed like it was assumed that every time there was a tight situation, she could easily resolve it if she was in goddess form. Her powers were seemingly unlimited. Teleportation, control of the elements, etc. But at other times they seemed restricted to a certain domain, like Pan had less power in the river where the river nymphs had more power. Strange. I would have liked a few certainties regarding powers.
What I loved was the Gatsby party at the end. It was mentioned that the whole situation was very Gatsby, and it totally was! He built up a new life for her, and had a huge party at the end where they all speculate on who he is without actually knowing him…it’s The Great Gatsby all over again. I actually really loved that, despite disliking The Great Gatsby (my review is here). It was a nice little nod to Fitzgerald.
As for the ending……I guess I did expect it to work out exactly as it did, but it was still kind of a surprise when it came. That’s a good sort of happy ending. Like, you can predict it from the beginning, but as you get more and more involved in the story you forget where it’s heading, and suddenly you’re there and it’s like, hey, we made it! Yay!
This book can best be described as short and sweet! The plot was a little predictable and the characters were somewhat…not what I expected, but it was still a fun, light read. Would I read more by Aubrie Dionne? Yes. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, especially if they are Greek mythology fans like me. I’d like more opinions so we could discuss it.
Pan’s Conquest Giveaway