In the game of love, she never loses.
by Staci Hart
Aphrodite knows love — just don’t ask her to figure out her own mess.
Rather than deal with her sticky love life, she toys with the hearts of unwitting humans. It’s a little game she plays, and the stakes are high. Lucky for her, she’s just found the perfect match.
Lex is everything Dean needs, but he can’t have her.
It doesn’t matter that her eyes speak to a long forgotten part of him, or that her art and poetry touch his shredded heart. She’s off limits — crossing that line would implode his band and everything he’s ever cared about. There’s only one option: stay away from her, no matter the cost. Even if the price is his heart.
Dean is everything Lex wants, but she can’t take the risk.
The second she meets him, she knows her heart is in danger. She’s convinced it’s only attraction that has her hung up on the dark, quiet lead singer, but with every day that passes, she knows it’s more. It’s just that she can’t put her heart on the line. She won’t — love has never been worth the sacrifice.
If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in the game of love, Aphrodite never loses.
*Formerly titled Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools has been rewritten and re-edited just for you.*
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Paper Fools by Staci Hart is definitely a unique story. I’ll be honest, when I started it I wasn’t sure if I would love it. With all the different storylines and so many characters, I worried I’d lose track of what was going on. In the end though everything came together and we got two stories in one which I very much enjoyed. The way the story of the gods and the lives of the human interconnected was fantastic and everything just worked well together.
In this story we have the gods and goddesses in modern-day Olympus. Even though they are thousands and thousands of years old, they are so normal and act like everyday people. They compete against one another in “games” to fight the boredom they feel after living for so long. The next game is between Aphrodite and Apollo.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love and matchmaker extraordinaire. She never loses. Ever. Apollo accepts the challenge because he has his own reasons to win. It’s not just a game to Aphrodite and Apollo. There’s something more lying beneath the surface between them. They have their own feud going on unrelated to the new game they are playing. This game is one of Aphrodite’s favorites. Both pick a human and Aphrodite wagers that they will fall in love within twenty-eight days while Apollo bets the opposite.
The players in the game are Dean Monroe and Lex Greene. Dean is a musician. He is closed off and unfeeling, and though he doesn’t do relationships, he is never hurting for female company. He’s got a habit of crossing the line with the band mate’s girlfriends creating the obvious turmoil that would come from those actions.
Lex wants “knock-your-socks-off-love” and though she has had a steady stream of boyfriends, she has never truly found “the one.” Once she gets an inkling that she and her boyfriend are not right for each other, she gets the itch to run, which is pretty much where she is now with her current boyfriend. Getting a good look at the lead singer of Paper Fools, Dean “Professor Panty Dropper” Monroe, only makes things more complicated. Do Dean and Lex have a chance at love? Let the game begin!
Paper Fools is an entertaining book with a fun take on Greek gods and their relationships with humans. There are layers upon layers in this story. I could tell a lot of research went into it and I actually enjoyed the mythology aspect of the book. It was complex with snippets of their pasts as well as how the gods were living in the present time.
I enjoyed Aphrodite and the other gods and goddesses. They added a good dose of humor to the story as well as some steam. The flashbacks give us a great understanding of who the gods really are as well as how they interact. I felt invested in their lives and cared about what the outcome would be. I liked watching the game play out and was curious to see who won. The way the gods could manipulate situations was entertaining and exciting.
The human side of the story was enjoyable too. Lex and Dean were interesting characters. Both broken in their own way, they had a lot to overcome if they wanted to take a chance on love. I felt their pain and fear, but also their longing and inability to easily walk away. There was spark between Lex and Dean the moment their eyes met which only burned hotter the more they denied their attraction. The sexual tension surrounding them whenever they are in the same room is palpable and not invisible to the people around them, and I felt it right along with everyone else.
This story was told in third person POV and we get to see inside the heads of several characters, not just the big players, and for this book it worked. I loved watching the game and realizing how complex decisions could be when playing and why things happened the way they did. I found I was rooting for Aphrodite because I am a romantic. However, because of what I knew about the Apollo and his past, I was rooting for him as well. Obviously, both could not be victorious and in the end, I was happy with the way things turned out.
Paper Fools was an enjoyable read and I cannot wait to see what’s up next for Aphrodite and the other Greek gods!!
*ARC generously provided by the author and Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review*
Hearts & Arrows series
About the Author
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.