Goddess Interrupted by Aimée CarterGoddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter

Goddess Interrupted

byAimée Carter

Paperback | March 27, 2012

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Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry's first wife, Persephone.

Title:Goddess InterruptedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.26 × 5.37 × 0.8 inPublished:March 27, 2012Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373210450

ISBN - 13:9780373210459

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good and Bad Rating: 2.5 While there is a lot more action (a loooooooooot more action) in this novel, it has got to be one of the most frustrating things I've ever read. The lack of communication between Kate and Henry is absolutely ridiculous. Kate is constantly overthinking everything Henry does (or doesn't do, rather), while Henry is just clamming up and refuses to tell Kate anything. This mix made the "drama" parts of the book so hard to read. I really wanted to slam my head against the wall at times. I am grateful for more adventure in this book, however.
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the first one I loved this book! I thought the first one was good, the second one is better!
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Love Great follow up to the story. I always felt so pent up waiting for Henry to show Kate affection!!! I loved how they continued this story
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good book Kate is now married to Henry, as husband and wife, he fantasizes about their married life and that she?ll be happy forever. Little does she know that?s not the case. The book opens up with a ceremony to announce she is queen of the underworld. Until a surprise attack led by Cronus, King of the Titans and some of the Gods themselves get attacked. This is only the first plan out of Caillope?s evil master plan to release Cronus. Talk about a bad ass villain! Caillope surely has it in for Kate and the others. If you looked up revenge in the dictionary her picture would be beside the definition. She surely didn?t want anyone to be with Henry and that makes her such an interesting and vivid character. Can I say I was rooting for her instead of Kate? I felt so annoyed with Kate?s whining that I had to start liking the villain instead. Page after page is her incessant whining about why she THINKS Henry doesn?t love her. And everyone else including her own mother telling her that this is just the way he is and you need to give him time. I did however enjoy the journey in the underworld. The fact that people?s after lives are punishments they think they deserve was truly horrifying. Pitying even. All those Souls there for eternity. Only feeling pain and suffering. Aimee Carter definitely painted a realistic portrayal of hell and I applaud her. As for the ending well, damn I think there always should be a cliffhanger ending. Why? Because it makes me want to grab the next book! A great fun read, but I could do without the annoying laments of unrequited love.
Date published: 2014-09-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Better than the first but could be better In The Goddess Test, I really enjoyed the way Aimée Carter created her own version of the Greek Mythology world and made the Olympian characters her own. In GODDESS INTERRUPTED, she took it to the next level (literally) by bringing the story to the underworld. Greek Mythology is all about personification and giving gods and goddesses human emotions. One thing the author is very good at, is differentiating her characters through emotions and personality, and since there are so many characters in this series, differentiation is a good thing. For a young woman married to the King of the Underworld, Kate Winters was still very immature and naïve at the beginning of the book. Often, she was wondering if her husband Henry really loved her and if their marriage was just one of necessity. Her doubts were well founded, since Henry never really demonstrated his emotions. Sometimes, I just felt like slapping her because her doubts were present throughout the book and it became very repetitive. Fortunately, we saw Kate mature a little as the book progressed. She gained confidence in not only herself but in her capacity to become a leader. After battling it out against one of the only enemies that can kill Kate and the Olympians, I believe she has gotten closer to being real Queen material. One of the things I love to see, over the course of a series, is the evolution of a character into a stronger person and I think I've become more attached to Kate because of her personal growth. However, she still has a lot to learn before being confortable in her role as Queen. One character I did not expect to meet was Persephone. In the first book, Henry's memories of Persephone were a big threat to Kate. In this second book, this exact same person might be the only one who has the knowledge to save Henry. The animosity between Kate and Persephone was very tangible, right when they first met. I'm still not sure why Persephone tried to help Kate and the rest of her group, since I viewed her as a very selfish person. And for that matter, I'm still not sure if it was truly necessary for Persephone to have an active role in the book. I would have been content with her being just a memory, since she is, theoretically dead. Besides adding to Kate's doubts, she really didn't add to the story, in my opinion. Along with her fictional character Kate, Aimée Carter is slowly maturing as an author. I love the world she's created since it keeps me coming back for more. However, I would have loved to see more Henry scenes in this book. He's such a broody and strong character that any scene with him is an enjoyable one. I just hope he'll be more present in the third book. Also, the next book is guaranteed to start with a bang since the cliffhanger of this one is a huge. I think we can all agree that having the main character black out is a pretty abrupt and frustrating ending. Overall, GODDESS INTERRUPTED was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who's a fan of Greek mythology. **Copy provided by the publisher**
Date published: 2012-07-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After As much as I enjoyed The Goddess Test (the first book in Aimee Carter's series), my experience reading Goddess Interrupted was very different from when I read the first book. While the stakes are high for all the members of the council in Goddess Interrupted, the story mostly centers around Kate's internal thoughts and feelings and her relationship with a number of characters. It's interesting that the book's biggest strength was also its greatest weakness in terms of storytelling. Regardless of any other events taking place in the book, the story is really about the romantic relationship between Kate and Henry; which is great for fans of books heavily influenced by romance, but lacking for those who may hope for something more well-rounded. Reasons to Read: 1.Masterfully emotional writing: This is the one thing that really sold me on Goddess Interrupted; after being convinced that I wouldn't find anything interesting enough to redeem itself in GI, I was happy to discover that Aimee wasn't going to let me down and she threw in some heart-wrenching scenes that pulled at my heart strings. Kate asks so many questions of herself and even of Henry, intimate questions dealing with their relationship, which was nice to see in a YA book. It's definitely neat to see a YA book with a slightly older character (Kate's 19 in GI, I believe) and one who's married (in a semi-arranged marriage, at that!) because you get some really unique dynamics and questions being brought up that just don't get asked when you have a 16 year old heroine. 2.A twist I did NOT see coming: I probably pride myself a little bit too much on figuring out plot twists and whatnot (which is surprising, seeing as I seem to give this reason in a lot of my reviews for why people should read a book... maybe I'm not as clever as I think?) but yeah, I'll admit it: I was completely wrong about this one. I thought I had it alllll figured out and then WHAM- nope! Not even close! We get a FAST one pulled on us at the end, folks. There really isn't a hint that it's coming, but it still makes sense. And now I just kinda HAVE to read the third book. Because this is HUGE. Which leads me to my next problem: Henry's pretty much a huge jerk. The conversations he and Kate have about their relationship? Um, I've had those. It's kinda freaky how they almost felt word for word. And my issue is that Henry can talk the talk... but he won't walk the walk. And for me, that's an issue in serious relationships...I didn't feel that this was really discussed very well in GI. At times it seemed as if Kate was just being brushed off for being silly and paranoid; but she's NOT. Most of the time she's spot-on with her thinking, and I don't think she should have to brush off her feelings because Henry's vulnerable. ALSO! Kate doesn't really DO anything. There's barely any fighting, and even then Kate's just told to stay at home... so she does. She sits in a chair and cries. And even if she does sneak off, there's no fighting. They just kind of all yell at each other. And then they leave, go home, and try to come up with a new plan. That's it. Huge disappointment for such a promising description. E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley (Note that this is an abridged version of my review from my blog due to posting limitations)
Date published: 2012-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great follow-up ** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed The Goddess test, it didn't blow my mind but I got invested in the characters, then came The Goddess Hunt and the re-telling of the Gemini Twins broke my heart. This book tried to do the same and it succeeded. When James and Kate gets to the Underworld, Kate's new powers hit her with a vision that Henry and his brothers are fighting against an enemy. Calliope is trying to free one of the Titans, the race who created the Greek Gods, and if she succeeds, the world and the Gods will be destroyed. There's an attack during Kate's coronation as Queen and all the original Gods end up captured by Calliope and the Titan. Kate, Ava, and James seek the help of the only person besides Henry who knows where the Titan is being held, Persephone. I felt for Kate in this. Persephone is her sister but she's also the girl who Henry's in love with and Persephone not loving Henry is the only reason Kate was born. I adore James, he's probably my favorite character, and he hurts that Kate loves Henry. Maybe he does have some selfish motives for being very truthful but he's the only one who seems to want Kate to make decisions for herself and not for Henry. When everything in her life, including her birth, has been about Henry, it's hard not to like someone pushing her to think about herself. I wanted to dislike Persephone, and at times I did, but she does seem to care about Henry even though she doesn't love him. She did the best thing for her, and in the end for Henry even if no one could see that at the time. The end is a huge cliffhanger and I'm excited to find out what happens next.
Date published: 2012-05-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Going backwards.. I think Goddess Interrupted suffers from second book syndrome. I felt a lot happened while at the same time nothing did. Kate and Henry's relationship,or lack thereof, was again my main concern. Kate is in love with Henry and wants to fight for him but her actions and thoughts were so all over the place that it was hard to really see that. It was interesting to see Persephone return to the picture but I wasn't really a fan of her or her attitude. The action I was hoping for wasn't there but I have to say that I'm curious to see what will happen in book 3; it seems that it could be the book I was hoping for in this series. ~~ I really wanted to like Goddess Interrupted. I wasn't a huge fan of book 1 and its lackluster romance and I unfortunately had the same issue with this book, less so, but also some new issues. I'm going to jump into my main concern. Kate. Kate has given up her life for Henry. They're married. She's ready to lead with him as queen of the underworld. She loves him. But oh my goodness she was the most insecure character I have ever read. Almost every page she was doubting her relationship with Henry--over and over again. Doubting if he really loved her. He could never love her. She's not good enough for him. Not as good enough as Persephone. He doesn't love me. Repeat. It was incredibly frustrating. On top of that, these concerns take place either to herself or Ava, her best friend, when I wanted to yell at her to go talk to your husband! What is a relationship if there's no communication? They were both to blame for this, but I really wished they would step up and voice their concerns to each other. I thought a lot of the action I was expecting happened in the background. It was mostly talked about but I desperately wanted to see it. Imagining it was definitely not enough. What does Cronus look like? What powers do the gods have? Do they fight with swords or guns? I wanted to know and not being given that information was, again, frustrating. We also meet Persephone, Henry's previous wife and the girl he still loves. I thought as the novel progressed I might come to appreciate her more, understand how difficult it was for her to give up half the year to a man she didn't love. And while a part of me did, I also thought her character came across as selfish, demeaning and rude with a sort of 'better than thou' attitude. It didn't endear me to her at all and the sooner she sashayed out of a scene the better. And then the ending happened. Wow. Definitely the last thing I expected, it felt thrown in just for the effect of the reader going "whaaaaaaat!?" That's pretty much what I did. I'll admit that even though I'm not a big fan of this series there's always something that makes me want to keep reading. Some of the plot points were wrapped up while others remain open and ambiguous, foreshadowing trouble in the last book. I hope The Goddess Inheritance will deliver. Review from my blog: http://allofeverythingforyou.blogspot.ca/2012/03/review-goddess-interrupted-by-aimee.html
Date published: 2012-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from omg absolutely awsome omg omg i loved it so much i cant belive the ending of it and now i have to waite till next year fot the last book i would say everyone must read them lol
Date published: 2012-04-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Weak Heroine Taints a Great World Additional Reviews can be found at http://readingbetweenclasses.blogspot.ca/ Cover Impressions: The cover is quite beautiful and matches well with the previous one in the series. I like the styling of the model in a simple dress and headband with natural wavy hair. Although a small part of me does wish it showed some reflection of the opulence of the Underworld palace. The Gist: After winning both her immortality and a seat as the Queen of the Underworld, Kate Winters must now fight to win the heart of her King and husband, Henry. Just when she is ready to spend some time getting to know the man that she married, her new-found family is attacked by Chronos, King of the Titans and Kate must put her own jealousy and mistrust aside to enlist the help of Persephone, her sister and the woman who broke Henry's heart. Review: Goddess Interrupted is one of those books that leaves me wishing I could shake the author until she agreed to go back and fix it. I love this world. LOVE! I enjoy the new take on the Gods and Goddesses, I love how they had to re-invent themselves and how they depend on mankind to keep them relevant. I was really intrigued by the imagining of the Underworld as being whatever the spirit expects it to be and believe that this opened the door to explore the moral ambiguity of a person spending eternity being punished, not because they deserve it, but because this is what they have always been told to expect. The plot itself hinges on the many instances of infidelity among the Gods and could question whether or not a person should be held accountable for their actions after having their heart broken over and over again for millenia. Had the author chosen either of these paths, the second half of this novel could have been interesting and thought provoking. However, she did not. Instead, Aimee Carter choose to write page after page of an increasingly whiney girl begging a boy to love her, despite the fact that his words and action show little more than disdain. The first half of this novel described a fascinating world in which resplendent meadows gave way to rivers of fire and back again. Kate explores this world, enlists the aid of the sister she never wished to know and is part the battle against the King of the Titans. The characters showed major flaws, but we still had half the book to go in which they could grow - I was hungry for more. Then things quickly fall apart. We spend the second half of the book listening to Kate as she laments that Henry doesn't love her. *Knock, knock "Hello Kate? Just thought I would remind you that the world is about to end. Yeah, this big mean dude made of fog is going to kill everyone in the ENTIRE WORLD, could you maybe concentrate on the big picture for one, teeny, tiny moment?" Nope. She didn't listen. Kate goes on and on about Henry's lack of interest and, normally, I would chalk this up to her being an annoying, self-deprecating character who is unable to see the truth, but no, based on Henry's behavior, I don't think he loves her. He treats her like garbage, refusing to speak to her, refusing to be alone with her and comparing her to his first wife at every turn. At one point I found myself yelling at Kate to get angry, start throwing things, storm out of there, do ANYTHING but cry on your bed and make excuses for why you should overlook his behavior and "give him time". Goddess Interrupted gets a 2/5 because the world is wonderful and interesting. It is also redeemed by the last couple of pages which leaves me considering reading the next book in the series. But please, no more sycophantic teenage girl characters who are willing to overlook not only major flaws, but horrid mistreatment, for the man that they "love". It sets a poor example to young girls everywhere and with all the Snookies and Lindsay Lohans out there, aren't there enough bad role models already? Teaching/Parental Notes: Age: 16 and up Gender: Female Sex: Talk of sex between two characters, A LOT of talk about infidelity, one sex scene. Violence: Cuts, attempted strangulation, loss of a limb Inappropriate Language: None Substance Abuse: None
Date published: 2012-04-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Kill The Goddess. This is book two in the “Goddess Test” trilogy. I read the first one, “The Goddess Test”, forever ago and was excited to finally get a chance to read the sequel. Unfortunately, all of that waiting was not worth it. I thought since the first book established that Kate was a goddess, that this one would be more focuessed on Kate and Henry’s relationship and their future together as king and queen of the underworld. But no, that wasn’t the focus at all…the whole book Kate and Henry are separated. There is little to no interaction between Henry and Kate because of the fact that Henry has pretty much been abducted, and Kate and the gang must figure out how exactly to get him back. On top of that, the last part/end of the book takes a complete nose dive from ridiculous to plain crazy. It honestly reminded me of Breaking Dawn…aka. the book shouldn’t have existed. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I won’t say what happens. Let’s just say it’s pretty typical/cliché. The Goddess Test wasn’t even bad, but this book killed all hope for me…especially considering where the book left off. It’s going down the family route, whereas I was expecting more of a kick*ss leader/ruler of the underworld series. The book picks up six months after the last one...so we didn't get to see any of what Kate did over the summer. I wish it didn't have that time jump. It would have been neat to see Kate do some crazy sh*t while away from Eden Manor. There’s no saving this trilogy for me, the author could kill Kate at this point and I wouldn’t even care.
Date published: 2012-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing sequel! FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Oh. My. Goodness!!! My words, my words!! Where are my words? I know I told you in my review of The Goddess Test that I couldn’t wait to read the next book, Goddess Interrupted, and I was so lucky to receive it from NetGalley. As soon as I finished writing my review for the first instalment, I immediately dove into this one and it so was not a disappointment! I know this girl who can’t just read a book all the way through — instead, she usually skips to the end to see how the book ended before she can continue reading the rest of the story. This is exactly what I felt like doing while reading Goddess Interrupted, the second book in the Goddess Test series, by Aimee Carter. It completely blew me out of the water and I found myself squirming to know what was going to happen as the book went on, just itching to flip to the back to make sure everything would turn out how I wanted it to. Goddess Interrupted starts off six months after The Goddess Test finished. At the end of The Goddess Test, Kate marries Henry and then she gets to go live her life away from the Underworld for six months until the autumnal equinox when she will have to go back to her new life. As she had promised to take on the role as Queen of the Underworld, as well as the role of Henry’s wife, her coronation was the next logical step. But, as it always happens in books, nothing goes as planned and all hell breaks loose — literally — and Kate and her new family are thrown into a battle they did not expect. I loved this book. I felt it was the perfect sequel to The Goddess Test and also perfect in that it left me wanting the next book to come out this instant. I still loved Kate’s character in this story as she is left to face the newness of marriage. Not so much a newlywed anymore, having been married now for 3.5 years, I still could understand what Kate was going through. All of a sudden being in this new role where things are confusing and you have to learn the ways and habits of a new person who shares everything with you. I really, really loved this aspect of the book. I was expecting it to happen and I loved how it all played out, despite the fact that I was on pins and needles the whole way. That being said, I love Henry and Kate together — throughout the whole first novel, I detested James and really hoped that him and Kate wouldn’t be thrust together. I much prefer Henry and how he isn’t so quick and obvious to display his feelings. I also really enjoyed learning more about all my favourite characters in this book, too, especially Ava. If you’ve read P.C. and Kristin Cast’s House of Night series, you’ll know the character Aphrodite — to me, Ava (who is the goddess Aphrodite) reminds me of her and I love it. Another thing I love about this book, and I didn’t mention it for the first instalment, is that it’s so refreshing to read a book that is a YA book where the main character isn’t 16 years old. It seems every YA book I read, the second the age is mentioned, I don’t even have to read it. But in this series, in Goddess Interrupted specifically, Kate is 19 years old, a perfectly normal age to be going through what she’s going through (except for all the Greek god drama, of course). The only thing that was confusing to me, and it’s no fault of Aimee Carter’s, is that I had a hard time wrapping myself around the Greek gods themselves — who was married to whom, who had which children, etc. Sadly, I took a whole semester of Greek mythology in university but I failed to remember even the simplest gods. Perhaps this is a good excuse to pull out my text book for a read. If you haven’t read this series yet, you should read it (although if you haven’t read it yet, I’m sure I’ve spoiled plenty for you in the first book with this review!). If you only read the first book, you must pick up the second book the instant it comes out because I assure you — it’ll keep you up at night. I am so excited to see what Aimee Carter comes up with in the future because I think she is a terrific writer who weaves a novel full of twists and turns, romance and friendship, effortlessly. She is officially one of my favourite authors now — and she should be one of yours, too!
Date published: 2012-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An exciting sequel! In The Goddess Test, readers met Kate, a young girl caring for her dying mother. At her mother's request, she and her mother moved back to her home town, Eden. However, all that changed when she met Henry, ruler of the Underworld. Henry offered Kate the deal of a lifetime; he'd keep her mother alive if she agreed to the Goddess tests. If she succeeded, she would become his bride...and an immortal. In Goddess Interrupted, Kate has won immortality, successfully becoming Henry's bride and the crowned Queen of the Underworld. However, in isolation, Kate begins to notice that Henry is becoming distant. Suddenly, Henry is abducted and a dramatic turn of events unfold. Mythology in YA - who doesn't love that?! I, for one, am certainly pleased by the currently released and upcoming titles in the genre that are all featuring wonderful polished mythological retellings. Aimee Carter is one of the authors who has so wonderfully created such an intricate and pulling tale, one in which case I fell hopelessly in love for the moment I picked up The Goddess Test. However, last year, when I received a copy of The Goddess Test for review, I was left with many questions. I wanted to learn more so much more! In Goddess Interrupted, Aimee Carter delivers. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can touch on when it comes to Goddess Interrupted in hopes of avoiding any spoiler tags. However, Aimee Carter's highly anticipated sequel to The Goddess Test did not fail me one bit! I once again found myself falling in love with the story of Kate, who is now an Immortal and about ready to start her life as the Crowned Queen of the Underworld. I was pleased with the level of intensity and drama that Goddess Interrupted brought. I found myself clutching it's pages with excitement and anticipation. I begged and hoped for the best, and shuddered when the absolute worst happened. Goddess Interrupted will, without a doubt, take Goddess Test fans and readers down a whole new path with unpredictable twists and turns that will leave it's readers gasping and begging for The Goddess Inheritance, set to be released this upcoming July. Young adult and adult readers who love mythology and romance will find themselves adoring The Goddess Test series by the wonderful Aimee Carter!
Date published: 2012-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ending Left Me Wanting More!! Goddess Interrupted was soo good like OMG Awesome!!! I thought its plot was very creative and it was amazing!! From beginning I was caught up in Kate and Henry's life in the Underworld. I loved the first book The Goddess Test, that I couldn't wait to read this book. It did not disappoint either. From every page Carter will grab your attention with Kate and Henry's in the Underworld, and the things that will happen along the way. Kate was a bit whiny about how she wasn't sure that Henry loved her, but it is hard for him because in a way he still has a connection with his first wife Persephone. Calliope is still evil and I can expect to see her more in the next novel, she will leave us speechless. Persephone was a very interesting character because we get to see this side of Henry that we never really saw in The Goddess Test. Henry was very cold in the beginning because after Kate got back he got a little jealous. But after he was taken to the Underworld, we see that Kate and Henry are still sorting out their feelings for each other. They are a normal couple, and they are trying to reach each other that people are conflicting with their reunion. I really did like this part because with this block between them because in the end, it was a BIG Surprise ending that I didnt even expect to happen!! The sequel was really well done and put together. Aimee Carter is one of my favorite authors and she has created this series that I have fallen in love with her characters. Kate is a very dependent character, but she does show that she is very powerful in this book. We see her starting to get used to the role of Queen of the Underworld, with her husband Walter. It was a very great read and the ending was amazing because now I want the next book!! From beginning to end Aimee Carter left me wanting more of her writing because it was addictive, Goddess Interrupted is definitely a must read!!
Date published: 2012-02-14

Read from the Book

When I was a kid, each fall my teachers had the class write and present one of those horrible "What I Did Last Summer" essays, complete with pictures and funny anecdotes designed to make a classroom full of bored students pay attention.Each year I sat and listened as my classmates in my New York City preparatory school talked about how they'd spent the summers in the Hamptons or in Florida or in Europe with their rich parents, or au pairs, or as we grew older, boyfriends and girlfriends. By the time we reached high school, the same glitzy stories got told over and over again: escapades in Paris with supermodels, all-night parties on the beaches in the Bahamas with rock stars—every student vied for attention with exploits that got wilder every year.But my story was always the same. My mother worked as a florist, and because most of her income went to paying for that school, we never left New York City. On her days off we spent our afternoons in Central Park soaking up the sun. After she got sick, my summers were spent in the hospital with her, holding her hair back as the chemo attacked her system or flipping through the television channels looking for something to watch.It wasn't the Hamptons. It wasn't Florida. It wasn't Europe. But they were my summers.The one after my first six months with Henry, however, blew every single summer my classmates ever had out of the water."I can't believe you'd never swum with dolphins before," said James as I drove down a rough dirt road that didn't see much use. We were back in the upper peninsula of Michigan and surrounded by trees taller than most buildings. The closer we got to Eden Manor, the wider my grin spread."It's not like we had a ton of them in the Hudson River," I said, nudging the accelerator. We were so far from civilization that there weren't any posted speed limits, and the last time I'd been down this road, my mother had been too ill for me to risk taking advantage of it. But now, after the council had granted me immortality, the only thing I risked was my old beat-up car. So far, I liked the perks.James bit off a piece of jerky and offered me the rest. I wrinkled my nose. "Suit yourself," he said. "You realize you're going to have to tell Henry about everything we did, right?"I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. "I hadn't planned on otherwise. Why? What's wrong with that?"James shrugged. "Nothing. I figured he wouldn't be too thrilled with the idea of you spending six months in Greece with some dark, handsome stranger, that's all."I laughed so hard I nearly drove off the side of the road. "And who was this dark, handsome stranger? I don't remember him.""Exactly what you should say to Henry, and we'll both be in the clear," said James cheerfully.It was a joke, of course. James was my best friend, and we had spent the whole summer together touring ancient ruins, vast cities and breathtaking islands in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Maybe one of the most romantic, too, but James was James, and I was married to Henry.Married. I still wasn't used to it. I'd kept my black diamond wedding ring on a chain around my neck, too afraid of losing it to wear it properly, and now that we were only a mile or so away from Eden, it was time to put it back on. I'd struggled to pass the seven tests the council of gods had given me to see if I was worthy of immortality and becoming Queen of the Underworld, and because I'd won—only barely—Henry and I were now technically husband and wife.With the silence between us for the past six months, however, it didn't feel like it. I hadn't admitted it to James, but I'd spent the summer glancing around in hopes of seeing Henry in the crowd, there even when he wasn't supposed to be. But no matter how hard I'd looked, I hadn't seen any sign of him. Granted, half a year was practically a blink of an eye for someone who had existed since before the birth of humanity. But surely a sign that he missed me wasn't too much to ask for.I pushed my worries from my mind as the black wrought iron gate of Eden Manor came into view. No matter what had or hadn't happened during the summer, I would have the chance to be with Henry now, and I wasn't going to waste a moment."Home sweet home," I said as I drove through the gate. I could do this. Henry would be waiting for me, and he'd be thrilled to see me. My mother would be there, too, and I wouldn't have to go another six months without seeing her again. Everything would be okay.James craned his neck to look at the brightly colored trees that lined the road. "All right?" he said to me."I should be asking you that," I said, eyeing the way he drummed his fingers on the armrest nervously. He stilled, and after a moment I added before I could stop myself, "He'll be happy to see me, right?"James blinked and said coolly, "Who? Henry? Couldn't say. I'm not him."That was the last answer I'd been expecting, but as soon as he said it, I realized I was an idiot for expecting anything else. James would have been the one to replace Henry as the ruler of the Underworld if I'd failed, and even though it hadn't come up on our trip, James was undoubtedly still sore about it."Could you at least try to pretend to be happy for me?" I said. "You can't spend your entire existence mad about that.""I'm not mad. I'm worried," he said. "You don't have to do this if you don't want to, you know. No one would blame you.""Do what? Not go back to Eden?" I'd already passed the tests. I'd told Henry I'd be back. We were married, for crying out loud."Everyone's acting like you're the be all and end all for Henry," said James. "It isn't fair to put you under that kind of pressure."Good lord, he really was talking about not going back. "Listen, James, I know you liked Greece—so did I—but if you think you can talk me into not going back—""I'm not trying to talk you into anything," said James with surprising firmness. "I'm trying to make sure no one else does. This is your life. No one's going to take your mother away from you now if you decide you don't want to do this after all.""That's not—that's not why I'm going back at all," I sputtered."Then why are you, Kate? Give me one good reason, and I'll drop it.""I can give you a dozen.""I only want one."I sniffed. It wasn't any of his business. I'd nearly died in my attempts to save Henry from fading; I wasn't going to walk away from him because of the possibility that I might not like the Underworld. "I don't know how you do things, but I love Henry, and I'm not going to leave him just because you don't think he's good for me.""Fair enough," said James. "But what are you going to do if Henry doesn't love you?"I slammed on the brakes and forced the car into park so violently that the handle on the parking brake snapped off. The car was a piece of shit anyway. "That's impossible. He said he loves me, and I trust him not to lie to me. Unlike someone else I know."I glared at him, but his expression didn't change. With a huff, I climbed out of the car, cursing as the seat belt caught on my jeans. After my few failed attempts to untangle myself, James reached over and gently undid it for me."Don't be mad," he said. "Please. After what happened to Persephone—I want to make sure you don't have to go through the same thing, all right? That's all."I wasn't an idiot. I knew part of Henry would always be in love with Persephone. After all, he'd lost the will to continue after she'd given up her immortality to die and spend eternity with a mortal, and he wouldn't have felt that way if his entire existence hadn't revolved around her. But I could give him the one thing she never had—loving him in return."If you really are happy and you two love each other equally, then great," said James. "Good luck to you both. But if you don't—if you wake up one day and realize you're forcing yourself to love him because you think it's the right thing to do, not because he makes you happier than you've ever been—then I want to make sure you know you have a choice. And if you ever want to leave, all you have to do is say the word, and I'll go with you."I stormed toward the front doors of the manor, yanking hard. "Great, so if I ever decide that Henry's life isn't worth it, I'll be sure to let you know. Help me with these, will you?"James didn't say a word as he joined me and opened the heavy doors as if they were made of feathers. I slipped inside and forced a smile, expecting to see Henry waiting for me in the magnificent entrance hall made of mirrors and marble. But the foyer was empty."Where is everyone?" I said, my smile fading."Waiting for you, I suspect." James stepped in after me, and the door slammed behind us, echoing through the hall. "You didn't think we were going to stay here, did you?""I didn't know there was anywhere else to stay."He draped his arm over my shoulders, but when I shrugged it off, he shoved his hands in his pockets instead. "Of course there's someplace else. Follow me."James led me to the center of the foyer, where amidst the white marble was a perfect circle. It was made of crystal that shimmered with a rainbow of colors in the sunlight that streamed in from the windows, and it was beautiful. When I tried to continue to the other side of the hall, he grabbed my hand and stopped me."This is our stop," he said, looking down.I stared at the crystal beneath my feet, and finally I saw it. A strange, shimmering aura seemed to emanate from where we stood, and I hastily jumped out of the circle. "What is that?""Henry didn't tell you?" said James, and I shook my head. "It's a portal between the surface and the Underworld. Totally safe, I promise. They're like shortcuts so we don't have to take the long way around."I wiped my palms nervously on my jeans. "The long way around?""If you know where to look, you can find an opening into the Underworld and travel through various caves and that kind of thing," he said. "Dark, gloomy, time-consuming, and trouble if you're skittish about having millions of pounds of rock pressing down on you.""There's nothing underneath the surface except lava and dirt," I said, ignoring the thought of being buried alive. "Every eight-year-old knows that.""We're gods. We're excellent at covering our tracks," said James with a boyish grin, and this time, when he offered me his hand, I took it and stepped back into the circle."What else are you good at?" I grumbled. "Turning water into wine?""That's Xander's specialty," he said. "I'm surprised he hasn't turned the Dead Sea into one big keg party by now. As for me, I can find anything or anyone or anyplace you want. Didn't you notice we never got lost in Greece?"I shrugged. "I thought you knew the area well.""I did, thousands of years ago. They've made some modifications since then. Close your eyes."A rush of electrifying power swirled around us, and a roar filled my ears. Without warning, the ground dropped from under us, and I shrieked.My heart leaped into my throat, and my eyes flew open as I tried to pull away from James, but his arm wrapped around me like steel. We were surrounded by rock—no, we were inside rock, and we went through it as if it weren't any more substantial than air. James's expression was as calm as ever, as if slicing through stone and earth and god only knew what else was perfectly normal.It seemed to last for ages, but only a few seconds later I felt solid ground underneath my feet once more. James loosened his grip on my shoulders, but my legs were trembling so badly that I clung to him even though all I wanted to do was thwack him upside the head."That wasn't so bad, was it?" he said cheerfully, and I glared."I will get you for that," I snarled. "You won't see it coming, but when it's over, you'll know what it was for."