Zebra, May 200, 6.50, 352 pp.
Almost three millenniums ago, the Fates punish skeptic Darius for interfering with Eros' task of firing arrows containing true love to the mortal plane. His sentencing is to match up one hundred soul mates in love, but he must do so in a shrimp short-tempered gnome body instead of his natural handsome hunk figure. After twenty-seven centuries of being the laughing stock of Mount Olympus, Darius has one couple to go.
Taking his annual one-week vacation in the Idaho Mountains in which he allowed to return to his normal body, Darius observes triathlete Ariel Summers calmly struggle to stay alive during a rock slide. He helps her and takes her to his cabin, a shocker because the last visitor was Hemingway over eight decades ago. As they fall in love, Darius worries that Cupid stealthily shot him. What will happen to true love when he returns to his gnome form?
Perhaps the reigning queen of romantic fantasy, Kristine Grayson provides her audience with her usual whimsical yet cute novel. Whether readers find the story line UTTERLY CHARMING depends on taste because for much of the book Darius is as anti a hero as a protagonist can be even if he saves Ariel's life. Instead he is a dumpy grumpy schlump. On the other hand, Ariel is a courageous soul who goes after what she wants without worrying about the outer wrappings. Thus the audience wonders just whom the human really is. Still the story line is amusing for those readers who enjoy a contemporary adult fairy tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner