Book Review: OLYMPIC HEARTS by Madeline Kelly

I was browsing Tumblr yesterday when I came across a story called Olympic Hearts. Girls inolympichearts love! Goddesses! Seems right up my alley! Seriously. Give me a story about goddesses in love with each other (or even in love with mortal women) and you are speaking my language! I immediately purchased and read it. It’s a short story and took me probably less than an hour to read, and it was really fun.

Here’s the blurb (ganked from Goodreads):

I’ve had many love affairs in my time. As a goddess of love, it’s not my way to stay chaste. There was Hephaestus, my husband. A dear man, one who may even have loved me, but not an incredibly exciting sort. There was Ares, the affair of mine the world speaks of the most. A bold, strapping man. Certainly interesting, but I doubt he ever loved anything but himself. There were the mortals, endless and fleeting, but gloriously bright in the moments of life they had. The nymphs, ever so deferential and sweet. And then there was her.
Does it surprise you that one of my lovers was a woman? I am the goddess of all love, not just some. Sappho wrote of me because she had been with me. But this is not the story of Aphrodite and Sappho. This is the story of the Goddess of Love and the Goddess of the Hunt.

From what I can tell this is Madeline Kelly‘s debut story, and it was quite a fun little thing to read. I really like how she portrayed the various Greek deities. Their personalities seem very spot on with how the Greek deities would actually be. The story she came up with for Artemis being known as the Virgin Goddess is a creative one, and actually deals with some real world things that queer girls deal with (I’ll leave you to wonder what it is so that you have to read the book to find out ~_^).

In all honesty, this book could have used another editing pass, particularly for punctuation. This could just be the fact that I’m also an editor that makes me notice these little things, but they were noticeable enough to me that it drew me out of the story from time to time. I wound up taking off half of a star for it.

The other half star off came for the fact that early in the story Zeus refused to annul the marriage between Aphrodite and Hephaestus, and then a little bit later He had absolutely no qualms about doing it. However, there was nothing really to explain why He had a change of heart. The passage of time didn’t really seem like enough of a thing to make Him change His mind.

Overall, I give this little book 4 stars. I do think it is well worth the read. It’s a fun, uplifting story where being attracted to the same sex isn’t an issue AND it has a happy ending. I could make a whole other blog post (or two) on why happy endings in queer girl stories are so important, and a whole other one (or many) on why we need more than coming out stories in LGBTQ+ books. It was really refreshing to read a story that didn’t have either of those elements. We need so many more of those.

I give Olympic Hearts FOUR STARS.




Look for Raven’s forthcoming lesbian short story collection, Over The Rainbow, coming at the beginning of June! Until then, check out the FREE lesbian short stories she’s posted here to tide you over~!

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