I've decided to review all three of these books at once. I cannot begin to tell you how long I've been searching for Divine by Mistake. Somehow I'd gotten the other two first and then struggled to find DbM. I'm sure I could've gotten it on amazon or something, but anyway, that's not the point. :)
I just got back from a trip to the Oregon Coast. Lincoln City (my lovely vacation spot) is home to some awesome used book stores. One of them, Bob's Used Books, is my favorite. The lady who works there has a major liking for paranormal romances (a girl after my own heart) and as I was browsing through the selections, I found DbM. I squealed & basically made an idiot of myself. :)
Anyway, I first came across Ms. Cast when I won a copy of Goddess of Love on Bam's blog. I really liked her style, so I started going through her backlist. Her Goddess books are wonderful, as is the House of Night series she writes with her daughter. Anyway, I'm glad I can finally tell you the wonderful story of Shannon, the Chosen one of the Goddess Epona.
Divine by Mistake was first titled Goddess by Mistake. It was reissued by Luna with a new title and Ms. Cast also stated she'd tweaked it a bit. I gotta tell you, I've never read 3 books in one series that made me cry so hard. *sniffle*
We're first introduced to Shannon as she's driving through the back country of Oklahoma on the way to an estate sale. Shannon is a high-school English teacher (who by the by, I would have LOVED to have had as a teacher) and she likes to collect funky stuff. She gets to the sale and that's when some funky stuff happens. There's a guy who greets her when she arrives that gives her the heebie-jeebies. He's just too weird and she's flustered by her reaction to him. She proceeds to by this vase-type thing and then everything goes to hell in a handbasket.
As she's driving home, the thing she bought basically bursts into light, she crashes her beloved Mustang and comes to in a strange place. People talk to her like they know her, but they're dressed weird and she's just...confused.
Now I've stated before that I am not usually a big fan of 1st person stories. However, PC Cast is very, very good at writing 1st person books. In fact, she writes them in a way that causes me to forget they're in 1st person. I'm thinking that takes a lot of talent.
Shannon slowly begins to realize that she's not where she's supposed to be. Somehow she'd traded places with Rhiannon who is a complete & total psychopath. Turns out, Shannon is the nice one & everyone falls in love with her (this is the very short, very sweet description). She finds out she's engaged to ClanFintan. Turns out ClanFintan is...a centaur (yes, half horse/half man).
Now before I read the actual books I was trying to figure out the logistics to that. I don't know if anyone of you have witnessed horses mating, but all I could think of was "OW!". However, Ms. Cast figures out a clever way of glossing over that fact and making it feasible for a human woman and a centaur male to have sex and enjoy it. :)
I really, really loved watching the 2 characters fall in love. There was such a sweet build-up, until you really & truly believe that these 2 people belong together. *sigh*
There's fighting and action and betrayal and...well, everything a person could ask for in an epic romantic fantasy. :) By the end I was so pumped up I could hardly stand it.
And then I read Divine by Choice. Oh, this book was heartwrenching to say the least. Shannon is taken back to the "real" world and struggles to find her way back to her man. She finds out what Rhiannon has been up to while she's been "Shannon" and Shannon has to figure out what to do to get things fixed. Talk about heartbreaking choices to be made. I was blubbering like a baby at the end. *sniffle* However, the end is so beautifully done.
Divine by Blood tells the story of Rhiannon's daughter. This is where I got just a wee bit confused. Divine by Mistake & Divine by Choice were written fully in 1st person. Divine by Blood switches POV rather abruptly, but the story is still wonderful. I don't even know how to describe these three books. I hate to give away plot, because there are so many twists, turns and nuances that encompass the three I'm afraid I'd give something important away.
All I can say is that if you're a fan of epic romantic fantasies and you like strong, very well-written characters, then these three books are for you. There are 2 more in the series that I haven't had a chance to read (or find), but I plan on snatching them up when I get the chance.
Honestly, you won't be sorry.
Divine by Mistake-A
Divine by Choice-A
Divine by Blood -B+