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Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite
"Stone Kisses" by Tessa Stokes is a gentle yet very sensual paranormal romance. Stella makes a trip to the garden centre, and takes a fancy not only to a stone statue of the handsome Mercury but also to the assistant there, Justin. However, Mercury is well out of her price range but Justin sees how struck she is with the statue and so delivers it to her. An act of incredible kindness? Yes, and no. There is an ulterior motive and a bet which involves Greek and Roman gods winning the hearts of mortals. Stella is caught up in this, but not unfavorably. She loves both the men who enter her life, even though one is a garden ornament. Little by little Mercury becomes more than that, and the fun and adventure really begins. Mercury goes missing and it is surprisingly tricky to find a large, lost statue.
This is a quirky and very imaginative story. Tessa Stokes has a rather understated style, so the whole story appears simpler than it is. It develops slowly but surely and the reader is pulled into this modern fantasy. We gradually learn more about our sympathetic characters and become very involved in their lives, mortal and immortal. There is plenty of fun at the heart of this story, but there is sadness, seriousness and real tension too at times. It is entertaining, unique and far from predictable, thanks to the author’s bright creativity. A highly enjoyable novella that is hard to put down.