West of Want by Laura Kaye

Published: July 10, 2012

The second book in the Hearts of Anemoi series was much more gripping than book one. Though I enjoyed book one, book two had a more intense storyline. I’m a big fan of mythology in general so I am naturally drawn to any paranormal romance that has a mythological factor as part of it. In this one we get to see one of the Supreme gods of the cardinal directions rather than the adoptive son of one. We meet Zephyros the Supreme God of the West Wind and we are introduced to the other Supreme Gods as well. Eurus is the Supreme God of the East Wind and Chrysander the Supreme God of the South Wind. And to round out the lovely family is Boreas the Supreme God of the North Wind. Boreas looks more like father time than the older brother to the three other gods and honestly acts more like a father than their own. But the family dynamic is stressed at best and fractured in reality.

Zephyros has been betrayed time and time again throughout his long existence. His first wife Chloris left him because she couldn’t take the rumors that Eurus spread about their marriage. After she leaves him, Zephyros is plagued with a line of betrayals from lovers for eons. Finally, he lets his emotions get the best of him and in his elemental state he accidentally hurts Ella who is out sailing. Plagued with guilt over hurting the mortal he rescues her and then continues to keep an eye over her. He cannot seem to leave her which is crazy considering he is a god and she is just a mortal. But she has a quality that soothes him and for Zeph being at peace is as close to heaven as he’ll ever be.

Ella Raines has lost everyone in her life that she cares about. Most recently she lost her twin brother. In her final good-bye to him a storm rolls in out of nowhere and tosses her overboard. Everything after that is a blur to her. Until she meets a mysterious man who can heal her injuries and who has the saddest eyes she has ever beheld. With him at her side she finds the happiness of the likes of which she didn’t know was possible after her own betrayal. But can Zeph really move past his past and accept Ella without suspicion?

Without giving away too much Zephyros works to rise from the ashes of his past just as his evil brother Eurus makes a play for his future. Eurus is clearly the villain in this series and I think that’s what the first book missed for me. The first novel set everything up nicely but there wasn’t someone to dislike or root against. In this one I intensely disliked Eurus and then I disliked Zephyros for a while as well (you’ll understand if/when you read the novel). I need characters to love to hate or just plain out hate. Those make the storyline much more dynamic. The next book is about the roguish heartbreaker, Chrysander. Considering where this one left off, I think it’s safe to say the next one will be a building block to the climax of the series and (hopefully) the death of Eurus.

—It is through adversity that the most beautiful people shine—

Angie

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