P.C. Cast: Goddess of Light

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P.C. Cast Goddess of Light
  • Название:
    Goddess of Light
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Penguin Group
  • Жанр:
    Фантастические любовные романы / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2005
  • Город:
    New York
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    0-425-20196-1
  • Рейтинг книги:
    3 / 5
  • Ваша оценка:
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Goddess of Light: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Tired of dating egomaniacs, interior designer Pamela Gray has nearly given up on men. She wants to be treated like a goddess – preferably by a god. As she whispers her wish, she unwittingly invokes the goddess Artemis, who has some tricks up her celestial sleeve… Twins Artemis and Apollo have been sent to the Kingdom of Las Vegas to test their mantle. Their first assignment: make Pamela’s wish come true. So Artemis volunteers her golden brother. After all, who better than the handsome God of Light to bring love to this lonely woman? It might be a first, but here in Sin City, where life is a gamble, both god and mortal are about to bet on a high-stakes game of love. Hey, you only live once. Or do you?

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P. C. CAST

GODDESS OF LIGHT


With love to the real Pamela,

owner of Ruby Slipper Designs,

who found her Apollo in Keith.

Lucky girl!


Acknowledgments

I am profoundly grateful to my good-humored friend, Pamela Rooks, who let me borrow her name and her business and then let me fictionalize… fictionalize… fictionalize! I would also like to thank her clients who patiently allowed me to traipse through their lovely homes as I followed their interior designer and asked a zillion questions.

Thank you and a wink to my fabulous webgoddess, Shawn Wilson, who bears an amazing resemblance to Vernelle…

And, as always, I am grateful for my Goddess Editor, Christine Zika, and my friend and agent, Meredith Bernstein.


Prologue

"I have made my decision, Bacchus. The portal will remain open."

As Zeus spoke, he turned his back on the corpulent god and rested his hands against the smooth top of the marble railing that framed the balcony. He gazed down at the Great Banquet Hall of Olympus. The magnificent room was teeming with young gods and goddesses. Zeus' smile became self-satisfied. The immortals were matchless in their beauty, and when they gathered as they did on this evening, their combined allure was more resplendent than all the stars in the heavens. Then his expression sobered. No matter how perfect their exterior, he had slowly been forced to admit to himself that there was something lacking in the group below him.

They lacked the sublimely mortal touch of humanity.

The Supreme Ruler of the Gods indulged himself briefly in a particularly enticing remembrance. Aegina… she had been the most lovely of maidens. Her skin had been seductive mortal cream. He could still feel the imprint of its unique softness as she had pressed herself willingly against his feathered back when he changed himself into a mighty eagle and carried her away to make love to her. No, her body had not had the sheen of perfection that gilded a goddess's complexion, but she had responded to his touch with a naive exuberance that no goddess could ever match.

"Exuberance!" Zeus thumped his palm against the balcony railing, causing thunder to grumble across the sky in response. "That is what our young immortals are missing." He didn't turn to look at Bacchus; instead, his gaze roamed restlessly across the sparkling crowd. Considering, he squinted his dark eyes. What was it that Hera had said… They take for granted the gifts of their immortal power. They need to spend time away from the Ancient World. Somewhere they are not idolized and worshiped. He had to admit that Hera tended to be right, even though he often had reason to wish his wife's powers of observation were less accurate. He grimaced, wanting to forget the knowing look of her sharp gaze, which always seemed to see into his soul.

"They have languished too long in Olympus. It is past time that they mingle with modern mortals," Zeus said suddenly.

Bacchus tried to keep the irritation from his voice. "But I am the only one of the immortals to ever show an interest in the modern world. Why must you insist that they clutter up my realm?"

Zeus looked over his shoulder at Bacchus. "Demeter and Persephone have recently visited the modern world of mortals, and, as the Goddess of the Harvest told me, Persephone became so attached to a kingdom known as Tulsa that she has made a bargain with a mortal woman so that she may return on a regular basis."

Bacchus drew a deep breath and tried not to squirm under the Thunder God's gaze. "Then why not open the portal in the Kingdom of Tulsa?"

Zeus shook his head, turning back to his contemplation of the crowded hall. His talk with Demeter had convinced him that Tulsa was not a place where young gods and goddesses could come and go without being noticed.

"No, Bacchus. I have given this great consideration. I have searched the modern mortal world. Las Vegas provides the perfect setting with its fanciful mortal re-creation of Caesars Palace and The Forum." Zeus chuckled, remembering the silliness he had glimpsed through the portal.

"But Las Vegas is my realm! You know how much time I have devoted to making Caesars Palace and The Forum mine. They will be meddling in a part of the world I have chosen as my own."

Zeus' head snapped around, and his eyes blazed. "You presume too much! Have you forgotten that I rule supreme amongst the gods?" Thunder rolled threateningly in the background.

Hastily, Bacchus bowed his head. "Forgive me, Lord."

"Do not forget yourself again, Bacchus. What I have given, I can also take away." He stared hard at the lesser deity before returning to his scrutiny of the crowd. "Look at them. The portal has only been opened to them for a short time, but already I feel a change. Even the nymphs have become excited." He paused, scowling as he remembered how too many of the lovely semideities had chosen to be made stars and flowers and trees because they had become so bored with their lives. "Exuberance… that is what Olympus has lacked. And that is what Las Vegas has breathed into us once more."

"But Lord." Bacchus covered his growing anger and pitched his voice to a concerned, paternal tone. "You know what happens when gods and goddesses become too involved in the lives of mortals. Think of Troy. Remember Medea and Jason. Consider what became of Heracles and Achilles. Are you willing to doom the world of modern mortals to chaos and heartache?"

"I do not need to be lectured by such as you, Bacchus." Zeus' voice remained controlled, but his warning was clear. Then, changing moods as easily as a spring storm cleared from the mountains, he smiled. "But I have already considered such things. I have set into place certain … restrictions"—Zeus drew the word out carefully, his eyes gleaming—"which I intend to announce tonight. My children will simply be gracious visitors, enjoying a much-deserved sojourn in the Kingdom of Las Vegas." He shifted his head so that Bacchus could see his stern, majestic profile. "This discussion is over. My will stands."

Bacchus had no choice but to bow and retreat respectfully from the balcony, but his mind seethed. Once again his needs were to be ignored as Zeus played favorites. He had made Vegas his own. They worshiped Baccus there. At The Forum he commanded the attention of an audience of mortals every day. They cheered for him. They adored him. And now he was to share his realm with the young, beautiful darlings of Olympus?

"We shall see…" he whispered between clenched teeth as Zeus' voice thundered from the balcony, calling the attention of the Banquet Hall to attentive silence.

"Beloved children!" Zeus beamed at the gathering. "It pleases me greatly that you enjoy my latest gift." He stretched his arms, palms open, towards the two pillars that stood in the center of the hall, between which an opaque disk of light quivered and swirled. "This evening I announce more news—I have decided that the portal may be open to our lovely legions of nymphs, as well as the young Olympians!" Excited gasps from the minor female deities and semideities present sounded like sweet music to Zeus. "But remember, my beauties, you are entering a world unused to having gods such as us walk amongst them. You do not go to meddle with mortal affairs but rather to observe and to delight in a unique world. Lest you be tempted to forget that you are only there to visit, I have decided that the portal shall only be opened at limited times."

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