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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Goddess, by Chanta Jefferson Rand

Ayana is an Egyptian princess who is considered a goddess by her people due to a marking on her inner thigh which marks her as a gift from the sun god. Ayana's no goddess, but she is the spoiled daughter of a pharaoh and his Nubian queen (Pharaoh's Desire is the first book and tells the story of her parents). Ayana hasn't found a man to her liking so her father has arranged a marriage to a Syrian general. As the book begins, she and her grandmother are on their way to meet the general when they are overrun by bandits. The bandits kidnap
the woman and take them to Kerma. The kingdom of Kerma is ruled by a Nubian king who has many children. His oldest and heir is prince Bakari. Bakari is an evil man who wants Ayana on sight and sets out to teach her lesson when she resists. His brother, prince Samir is the second in line to be king. He is a good man who has just returned home from travels that have taken him far and wide. He isn't looking for love as his heart has been broken in the past. When he encounters Ayana the attraction is mutual. The question is, can they stay safe from Bakari and his increasingly evil ways? Will Ayana keep the secret of her identity and escape? Will she recognize and accept her feelings for Samir and risk it all to stay?

This was a good book that I had a hard time putting down. Ayana was strong willed and never backed down. For the most part I liked this about her, but at times she was a bit too much to take. I found it hard to believe that everyone thought of her as a slave but allowed her to be so combative all of the time. Her near misses with severe punishment just seemed too conveniently (or easily) resolved, but those were minor issues. All in all Ayana had her moments of being a character that I liked and one that annoyed me. I loved her grandmother and thought she was a calming and balancing presence for Ayana. Samir was to die for. I absolutely loved that Nubian prince!! He was the right blend of sensitivity, strength, and honor. He didn't flaunt his power as prince, but wasn't afraid to show how fierce he could be. This was particularly true when it came to protecting Ayana. Where Samir was all things good, Bakari was sinister. A  prince whose power has gone to his head. Ms. Rand pulled off his character flawlessly and he gave me a feeling of dread whenever he was in a scene. Like I said, sinister. There are also the Nubian princesses and two other princes in the story. Like the two eldest brothers, the princesses are a contrast of good and evil, while the princes seem to be leaning toward Bakari as the one to follow and emulate.

I loved the fact that this is a historical romance that shows people of color as the kings and queens that they were. This is rare in historical romances, which tend to focus on European royalty. It was just refreshing to read, so thank you Chanta Jefferson Rand! The story wraps up nicely although there seems to be a gap in events at the end that I would have liked to read more of. Once the story ends, keep on reading for some very interesting historical facts, many of which were mentioned in the book itself. Goddess is a good book that I recommend to readers who want diverse historical books and a romance involving a captive who falls in love with her kind and protective captor.

*I received a copy of Goddess from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Rating: 4 out of 5
Published: August 17, 2013
Pages: 229

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