Valermo Dax is a stripper who is drawn to a customer one night. The suited man with the kind eyes seems an easy mark to Val’s boss, Mitt, but Val isn’t interested in that. It turns out that Val shared a college course with the man—and he’d like to share more.
Corey Blumenthal was attracted to Val years ago when they took a biology class together, but he’s stunned to encounter Val now at the club. He’s come a few times before, but was never able to work up the courage to speak with his longtime crush—until tonight. Val talks Corey into a private show, and their reconnection leads to intense desire.
Val, tired of the strip club life and Mitt’s increasing sexual demands, impetuously decides to quit. And Mitt, frustrated to let have Val slip his grasp, curses Val to suffer pain from the hand of Zeus. It seems a random and harmless threat, but Corey takes it personally. His studies into ancient Greek culture have warned him that curses drawing upon Zeus’ power can lead to people being locked into stone statues for centuries. Val brushes off Corey’s concerns—until after their lovemaking when he finds Corey encased in chrome.
Now, Val needs to call upon the powers of the Greek pantheon to help revive the lover he’d begun falling for head over high heels in their night of passion and connection.
This was a cute novella that had some really imaginative storytelling. Yet, I had some issues with the book as a whole. The storytelling felt juvenile at times. Corey’s a college graduate, working on his doctorate and teaching college for a living. He shouldn’t sound like a whiny kid. Val’s a street-smart stripper, but read as incredibly naïve. The curse transformation was interesting, but the summoned gods were caricatures, as was Mitt, the creepy strip club manager. How Val is able to convince the powers that be to remove the curse seemed ultra-convenient, with everything resolving within a 48-hour timespan. Even the ending, set a year after the curse is cast and lifted, seemed trite—as if it would take so long for Corey or Val to reveal their true feelings for one another.
In all, I thought expanding this into a bigger story might have given me the time to grow to like Val and Corey as characters, and then I would be more invested in their plights. As it stood, the connections and plot seemed thin and rushed, and I wasn’t as into the sexytimes as I would have liked.