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When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate. Includes: Canines, Crosshairs & Corps When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate. Includes: Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1 No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2 Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3 Please note: The stories in this omnibus have been reedited, and expanded by about 18K (total.)


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When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate. Includes: Canines, Crosshairs & Corps When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate. Includes: Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1 No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2 Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3 Please note: The stories in this omnibus have been reedited, and expanded by about 18K (total.)

30 review for Open for Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaje Harper

    This book contains three novellas in the series. I really enjoyed the imaginative world-building, where the gods and mythological characters from history, particularly the Greek pantheon but also Christian and other belief systems, have survived into modern day America. They are all caught up in building lives, with powers that are notable and yet not the kind of godhood that they once commanded. There are moments of laugh-aloud humor, but also some angst and adventure, and developing romances t This book contains three novellas in the series. I really enjoyed the imaginative world-building, where the gods and mythological characters from history, particularly the Greek pantheon but also Christian and other belief systems, have survived into modern day America. They are all caught up in building lives, with powers that are notable and yet not the kind of godhood that they once commanded. There are moments of laugh-aloud humor, but also some angst and adventure, and developing romances that have sweetness in them. Despite the light theme of the world-building, these are not pure fluff. In particular, the second story - No Enemy But Time - is darker and more painful, with Michael as a fallen angel, lost and vulnerable after falling in love with Zack, son of Hades. This is a story about sacrifice and dangerous and difficult choices. I'm normally more of a fan of long works, but each of these novellas had a satisfying arc, with enough time for the relationships to show a believable progression, and the conclusions worked. There are a few loose ends, as is perhaps inevitable with the transposition of such familiar and powerful beings into a modern world. But I was impressed by the success the author had in keeping the flavor of the old gods and stories, while crafting satisfying modern tales. The characters show up as secondaries across the stories, giving us a deeper feel for them over time. On to the next collection.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    It has been a while since I read the three original stories that make up this new, updated edition, and it was such a treat to return to this amazing world of Greek gods trying to survive in the modern world. But it turned out to be more than just a return to a world and characters I liked. The stories have all been expanded – mostly No Enemy But Time - with spectacular results. They are now more like one longer novel with parts that link really well, and the significant additions have answered It has been a while since I read the three original stories that make up this new, updated edition, and it was such a treat to return to this amazing world of Greek gods trying to survive in the modern world. But it turned out to be more than just a return to a world and characters I liked. The stories have all been expanded – mostly No Enemy But Time - with spectacular results. They are now more like one longer novel with parts that link really well, and the significant additions have answered more than one question I had. Canines, Crosshairs, and Corpses The idea behind this series is a look at what the old Greek gods would do if they were real, still around today, and forced to evolve with the times. At one point early on Hestia says to Hades that “Modern gods don’t simply sit about and eat ambrosia. That would be disgraceful.” – and that pretty much sums up the premise of the series as well as the tone. I love the idea of gods having to do what humans have been struggling with ever since we came down from the trees. Finding your own way in life is not easy, and if this first story is any indication, this series will not just be very cleverly designed but highly entertaining. Hades’s story fascinated me since I wanted to find out what he would decide, how he would deal with modern life, but it also made me laugh because much of what he goes through is so true and so “human” – and that makes it really funny. Hades has a tough lesson to learn in this first installment, and from the moment he begins his journey into thinking for himself rather than accepting the role he was given, he discovers a side to himself he was never aware of. For a Lord of the Dead, finding out he may have feelings is a revelation. Figuring out a job is easy for him, and seeing him becoming a badass PI is pretty funny. He has a way to “speak to the dead” that gives him an advantage, and his problem-solving skills are excellent, so he’s pretty good at solving cases. It’s the more human side of things he struggles with, but Ti is there to guide him, even though neither of them realize that it’s happening. I did though, and I loved watching them. Ti, short for Tiberius, has fallen on hard times, pretty much due to making some stupid decisions and a few idiotic mistakes. He ends up an alcoholic and homeless, and that’s when his life becomes endangered without him even realizing it. Hades figures it out and rescues him, and Ti cannot believe his luck. But then Hades tells him the truth of who he is, and Ti thinks he’s crazy – at least until Hades shows him a few things. That’s when Ti begins a journey to a different world view and becoming more mature. His emotional involvement may sneak up on him, but when he gets the message, he will do anything to protect Hades. If you like stories with a great supernatural component, if you want to see not just an old Greek god deal with modern life, but watch him fall in love, and if you’re looking for a story that is as fantastical as it is funny and romantic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. I loved the characters, the way they deal with their relationship (once they notice they have one!), and the whole setup. No Enemy But Time Just like the first story in this collection, ‘No Enemy But Time’ had a profound effect on me – both times I read it. Yet its tone and the emotions it made me feel could not be more different. Yes, the sense of humor is the same, with the gods of old trying to deal with modern life, even some of the characters return for an encore. But the essence of the story is far more serious and darker. I guess that is what happens when a fallen angel and a son of Hades get together, trying to make a life for themselves. With the added material, the context becomes clearer and the additional information made everything more poignant. And despite the fact that it lacks an explicit happy ending, something I am a huge fan of, I have to say it is an outstanding story. Probably because the ending is so in line with the story’s theme. Zack and Michael must be one of the oddest couples ever. Zack may be the son of Hades, but he moved out of the Underworld to make a life for himself. He doesn’t go around torturing small children or killing anything, he gets involved in animal rescue. In short, he is a really nice guy. Michael being around must have something to do with that, so when sinister events begin to happen, and even his father begins to worry, Zack is understandably perturbed. Worry changes into iron determination when he figures out that Michael is threatened yet again. What Zack ends up having to do to save Michael almost destroys both of them. I hate to admit it, but sometimes love really is not enough. What Angel Martinez has shown in this story is actually far more powerful. In Zack and Michael’s case, love requires Zack to do something horrible and painful, and while it is the only way to save Michael, it is a heavy price to have to pay. But nothing other than love could have made him do it and then live with the consequences. A very powerful message indeed! If you like stories that challenge accepted wisdom about what a love story should look like, if you believe it is always darkest before the sun rises once again, and if you’re looking for a read that will put you through an emotional roller coaster before spitting you out and making you wonder what just happened, then you will probably like this one. I certainly won’t forget it anytime soon! Dragons, Diamonds, and Discord ‘Dragons, Diamonds, and Discord’ is yet another fantastic story in the ‘Brandywine Investigations’ series with its Greek and other gods, supernatural beings from various myths and legends, and amorous problems set in today’s world. One of its most fun elements is the sense of humor around the gods of old trying to deal with modern life and having adapted rather well to the needs of the 21st century. But the aspects that attract me even more are the unusual pairings, deeply emotional love stories, and uniquely creative elements of the Brandywine universe. In this third story the focus is on Hermes, the god of commerce, communications, and thieves (among others) – who is, of course, the CEO of a vast international corporation and a few jewelry stores. The second main character is Fafnir, a centuries-old dragon with a lot of secrets and a deep desire to be left alone. Combine those two men, and you can be assured the sparks will fly. Hermes, once he has drafted several family members to help solve the mystery of who is stealing from him, is stunned. But he is equally fascinated by Fafnir, and is determined to figure out what is going on. He does not believe in fate, and will not rest before he solves the mystery. In that way he is a lot like his Uncle Hades – who now lives as a PI and, I am happy to report, is back in several wonderful scenes of “the Greek gods” versus “assorted bad guys”. Hermes is exactly as I imagine he would be in today’s world. Fast, stubborn, scheming, always full of ideas, and talking like there is no tomorrow (god of communication, remember?). Luckily for everyone involved he is also loyal and doesn’t scare easily. Fafnir is a dragon who has been killed countless times, but keeps returning to life as long as even one piece of his body is big enough for him to come back. He hates the eternal cycle; every time the hoarding fever starts, humans notice and subsequently kill him. And something is setting him off now, which is strange since he’s had the longest cycle ever and everything seems to be under control. He is also the complete opposite of Hermes: he likes solitude, is gruff and grumpy, and hates talking. You can imagine how much Hermes irritates him. But there is also a considerable attraction between the two men, and Fafnir is curious. If you like stories with creative interpretations of the mythological world, if you enjoy opposite characters feeling attracted and figuring out how to deal with each other, and if you’re looking for a read that is as funny as it is emotional and romantic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. The characters are fascinating, the mystery around what’s happening kept me interested, and the solution to Fafnir’s issue is brilliant and a wonderfully romantic interpretation of dragon lore. Bravo, Angel! Please keep these books coming! NOTE: This book was provided by the author for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ulysses Dietz

    Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business By Angel Martinez Mischief Corner Books, 2016 Cover by Mila May ASIN: B01EPCX32U 395 pages Four stars Imagine that, after thousands of years, Persephone has decided to divorce Hades (who kidnapped her, after all); forcing him to move out of the Underworld and get a job. Hades, feeling lost and disoriented, decides to establish a private detective agency on the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware. He is aided by his boatman on the River Styx, Charon, who Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business By Angel Martinez Mischief Corner Books, 2016 Cover by Mila May ASIN: B01EPCX32U 395 pages Four stars Imagine that, after thousands of years, Persephone has decided to divorce Hades (who kidnapped her, after all); forcing him to move out of the Underworld and get a job. Hades, feeling lost and disoriented, decides to establish a private detective agency on the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware. He is aided by his boatman on the River Styx, Charon, who takes on the role of sidekick to droll effect. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books built a young adult franchise on the premise that the ancient Greco-Roman gods are still very much alive and involved in the day-to-day affairs of humankind. Angel Martinez’s Brandywine Investigations triad takes this intriguing jumping off point two steps further. First, she posits the notion that ALL the gods of ALL human religions are still alive and active—in varying degrees, based on how well they’re remembered. All of these gods, goddesses and related creatures are still out there, trying to cope in a world that in some cases barely believes in them. On a darker note is the notion that it is the meddling of the less, um, warm-hearted of these beings that causes much of the ugliness in the world today. That’s a little disturbing, but Hernandez plays this out thoughtfully and I give her credit for the attempt. This hefty book is comprised of three closely-interconnected novellas previously published individually: “Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses,” “No Enemy But Time,” and “Dragons, Diamonds & Discord.” To be honest, each of these books needs the other two to feel complete, and thus bundling them into a single substantial volume was a great idea. Within these three tales of life in modern America (yes!) we find not only Hades, but his nephews Dionysus and Hermes, his nieces Aphrodite and Artemis, his son Zagreus, the dragon Fafnir from Nordic myth, and a fallen angel named Michael, who is Zagreus’s boyfriend. Which leads to the second step that Martinez has taken: she presumes that the Greco-Roman gods of western antiquity were by-and-large bisexual. Clearly, with a gay-romance audience in mind, this was sort of a no-brainer. Indeed, I wouldn’t have read these without that twist on tradition. And I’m glad I did. There are all sorts of variant themes of paranormal/human interaction on the e-book shelves these days; but I love what Martinez has done with the premise here. Seeing these mythical beings in the context of the modern world, presented as akin to corporate executives or elected officials, is to be reminded of what a massive soap-opera the world of Olympus was. I didn’t give this series five stars because Martinez can’t quite resolve all of the complicated issues she raises in a way that has the kind of moral heft I’d like to see. There are some really loose ends that are never resolved by the end of the book, and while I loved the romantic plotlines, I wish the overall premise had been kept a little tighter.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I love Greek mythology, and I especially love stories about the gods like are like Brandywine: fun, unique, a little outlandish, and with different takes on the gods and goddesses from the personalities we typically see from them. I rather enjoy Hades as a detective and learning how to live among humans rather than in the Underworld. The mysteries in each story were intriguing, but not particularly hard to figure out. Honestly, what shined for me in this omnibus were the relationships between al I love Greek mythology, and I especially love stories about the gods like are like Brandywine: fun, unique, a little outlandish, and with different takes on the gods and goddesses from the personalities we typically see from them. I rather enjoy Hades as a detective and learning how to live among humans rather than in the Underworld. The mysteries in each story were intriguing, but not particularly hard to figure out. Honestly, what shined for me in this omnibus were the relationships between all of the characters, both romantic and otherwise. Overall, this is a fun trio of stories and I am looking forward to continuing with Brandywine Investigations: Family Matters!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Saphirablue

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oh, I like this one. It's been fun to read. I like all three stories and all three stories have been fun to read. I like how the Greek Gods live in the "today" and how they adapted - Hades opening a Private Investigation agency; Hermes having, among other things, a messenger services and Zagreus (Zack) having a catch & release animal control business. I also like that not just Greek Gods are living among us but Angels, Demons, other Gods and so on too. :) I liked all the love stories even though s Oh, I like this one. It's been fun to read. I like all three stories and all three stories have been fun to read. I like how the Greek Gods live in the "today" and how they adapted - Hades opening a Private Investigation agency; Hermes having, among other things, a messenger services and Zagreus (Zack) having a catch & release animal control business. I also like that not just Greek Gods are living among us but Angels, Demons, other Gods and so on too. :) I liked all the love stories even though some of them have been a bit too insta-love-y for me. My favourite one is probably the one between Zack and Michael with Hermes and Fafnir close second. I like all the characters and I like that the Greek Gods on Hades side are all a big family. Yep, they seem to squabble sometimes but all in all the love each other. :) But, there is one character I absolutely adore - Charon. This sarcastic, dry, wonderful Ferryman that shows up when the Gods need a little bit of saving or gets the bloodstains out of the carpet? Is one of the best things ever. <3 All in all, three wonderful stories. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa The Novel Approach

    When I started this omnibus edition, I was thrilled to find out there would be more coming. After all, this book—with three stories in it—was highly entertaining and I wasn’t ready to leave the world, even after 376 pages. Having read Angel Martinez before, I knew I was going to get quality writing. I didn’t expect to be swept away by the reimagined gods and goddesses of the world. In the first book, Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses, Hades is stunned when his wife, Persephone, files for divorce. Whe When I started this omnibus edition, I was thrilled to find out there would be more coming. After all, this book—with three stories in it—was highly entertaining and I wasn’t ready to leave the world, even after 376 pages. Having read Angel Martinez before, I knew I was going to get quality writing. I didn’t expect to be swept away by the reimagined gods and goddesses of the world. In the first book, Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses, Hades is stunned when his wife, Persephone, files for divorce. When his family suggests a change in careers to help establish himself in the modern world, Hades finds himself moving to Wilmington with Charon, and opening a private investigation agency. His first job is helping find the killer of homeless men in his adopted city. When he meets Tiberius, a human on death’s doorstep, he finds himself drawn to the fragile, sick human. Together, with his faithful ferryman, he must discovery who is after Ti and his friends, and prevent another murder from taking place. Before he falls in love with the human or ends up dead himself. Wow. Hades and Charon are such complex character in this reimagined world. In order to keep existing, the gods must have believers in the world, and to accomplish this, they run human businesses. Personality wise, Hades is different than the Greek myths have explained; however, there are reasons for it. Martinez does a wonderful job of having Hades explain to Ti just what is true and what isn’t about the Greek myths. Charon is also wonderful. I found his personality to be absolutely engaging and his loyalty to Hades was heartwarming. That might sound weird, considering he ferries the dead, but if you read the story, you’ll get it. While it might seem strange to have such a powerful god fall for a human, I liked it. After all, Zeus had several dozen human lovers, so why not Hades? Most of the gods and goddesses did, so seeing Hades vulnerable was a wonderful change of pace (in a teeny way, it reminded me of the Percy Jackson series… but only minutely. Just that it made me appreciate the Greek myths differently). There are other beings in this world, too. All the gods and goddesses from every religion coexist—or don’t—in the modern world, and there are rules that pertain to them. This kept me riveted, because I liked seeing how Hades reacted to other beings encroaching on his territory. The second book, No Enemy But Time, shifts focus from Hades to his son Zagreus and his fallen angel lover, Michael. Zagreus, or Zack, as he likes to be called, is ambivalent about his father’s relationship with a human. He doesn’t understand why a powerful god would fall for someone so weak, but he’s trying to deal with it. When his father calls him for help after being attacked, Zack and Michael travel to Wilmington to discover the local fallen angels are going mad and turning evil. Michael fell when he kissed Zack for the first time, and since then, the former Guardian Angel has been living with the knowledge that someday he might continue the fall into insanity. But with Zack at his side, he’s been fine. That is, until an unknown chaos lord pushes him too far. It’s up to Zack to save his angel, but can he? Again, I loved this book. Michael is a Christian angel, and yet he was the Guardian of a Greek demi-god due to a technicality from his human mother’s prayers. Such a fresh take, and I loved the adoring relationship the two have for each other. Also interesting was the way Zack struggled with his father’s new lover. Hades and Ti have been together awhile, so they are getting more comfortable, but Zack is unsure of how to accept it. Then to throw in a Sumerian chaos lord, a la Gilgamesh era, and Zack is in for some major trouble and shifts in his life. In the end, he has to make a very painful decision, and I cried. My heart utterly broke, and the ending is so beautiful. Finally, the third book, Dragons, Diamonds & Discord, focuses on Hermes. After his jewelry stores are targeted and his most expensive products are stolen by a mysterious figure, Hermes gets his entire family involved. What they discover is pretty shocking: a dragon has been targeting his stores and stealing his most expensive jewels for his hoard. Imagine the gall of someone stealing from the god of thieves?! After doing some research, Hermes discovers the dragon is the famous children’s author F.B. Dreki. Using his businesses as a cover, Hermes gets close to Dreki to find out exactly what is going on. And it’s not what he thought. Attracted to the dual-natured dragon and wanting to help him, Hermes enlists the help of Hades, Charon, Michael and Zagreus to try to uncover what exactly Charon’s sister Eris is doing to prompt the dragon to cycle again. And if they don’t stop her in time, all of New York City might be in danger from a rampaging dragon. Again, GAH with this series! I loved the characterizations and the introduction of even more gods from beyond Greek myths. They add so much to the story, seeing how they work together and plot. And Dreki with Hermes? Deliciously hot. Of course, Hermes has not forgotten Krokos and his memory is brought up frequently enough to add depth to his character. Dionysus also has a larger part in this story towards the end, and I look forward to someday seeing his story developed in this world. I want to know what drives him, besides the wine, and why he goes wild sometimes. Who would he fall for? And what about Charon? Such a mysterious presence, who is possibly the most important character in the series. He might always be in the background, but without him, much of what comes to fruition never would. I cannot wait to read what Angel Martinez has in store next for the Brandywine boys. If you like Greek mythology, or any mythology for that matter, you should definitely check out this series! Reviewed by Jennifer for The Novel Approach Reviews

  7. 4 out of 5

    llv

    Rating: 4 stars I had this book on my wish list for awhile and luckily a friend lent me her copy. I liked the series as a whole. Some stories more than others. I really liked the first one with Hades and Ti. I like their dynamic and I really felt sorry for Hades. The second book was okay. I’m not a big fan of fallen angel stories. The ending just made me sad. The third book was my least favorite. Fafnir was such a grumpy obnoxious character that it was hard to like him. I sort of warmed up to him Rating: 4 stars I had this book on my wish list for awhile and luckily a friend lent me her copy. I liked the series as a whole. Some stories more than others. I really liked the first one with Hades and Ti. I like their dynamic and I really felt sorry for Hades. The second book was okay. I’m not a big fan of fallen angel stories. The ending just made me sad. The third book was my least favorite. Fafnir was such a grumpy obnoxious character that it was hard to like him. I sort of warmed up to him by the end, but not enough for me to really like him. It was good to read about Michael and Zach, but their relationship is still not giving me the warm and fuzzies. Overall, the series was good and I will definitely read the rest of the stories in the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Relly

    Good series 3.75 ⭐️ I enjoy this series - these are all re reads as I have already read them when they were single books, I only purchased this one to see what the additions were. Canines, crosshairs and corpses - Hades and Ti was the best book of this group. I enjoyed the re-read of this one. No enemy but time - Zack and Michael’s book has been expanded the most. It was better with the extra info but it still felt like it was missing something. It’s like there is a great story there, but it just Good series 3.75 ⭐️ I enjoy this series - these are all re reads as I have already read them when they were single books, I only purchased this one to see what the additions were. Canines, crosshairs and corpses - Hades and Ti was the best book of this group. I enjoyed the re-read of this one. No enemy but time - Zack and Michael’s book has been expanded the most. It was better with the extra info but it still felt like it was missing something. It’s like there is a great story there, but it just struggles to come across. Dragon, diamonds and discord - I had trouble with Fafnir. He just came across as a really unlikeable character. The grumpy dragon came across but I needed him to soften just a little Overall enjoyable series On to the next one

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenn (not Lily)

    4.75 stars What a fantastic cast! I love how she layers each new couple into the story of the previous MCs, building their relationships with both their lovers and family as the series progresses. Oh yeah, that's what I love about all her books -- I just forgot that's how she works! Hopefully I won't be waiting too long to devour the second set of stories... 4.75 stars What a fantastic cast! I love how she layers each new couple into the story of the previous MCs, building their relationships with both their lovers and family as the series progresses. Oh yeah, that's what I love about all her books -- I just forgot that's how she works! Hopefully I won't be waiting too long to devour the second set of stories...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I originally read the stories in this book a few years ago when they were released individually. Why did I wait so long to reread them? An interesting look into the lives of the Greek gods(and some from other pantheons) in the modern world. In this book we get to see Hades, his son Zagreus(Zack), and Hermes all find someone to love. Well written world and I like how all the gods know each other in the different pantheons. With so many different belief systems all being represented I was kind of s I originally read the stories in this book a few years ago when they were released individually. Why did I wait so long to reread them? An interesting look into the lives of the Greek gods(and some from other pantheons) in the modern world. In this book we get to see Hades, his son Zagreus(Zack), and Hermes all find someone to love. Well written world and I like how all the gods know each other in the different pantheons. With so many different belief systems all being represented I was kind of surprised that weren't some Nordic Gods involved in the stories so far. I'm looking forward to reading the next bundle Brandywine Investigations: Family Matters

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elayne

    Greek Gods, modern life, Hades as a good guy, kidnapping his wife came as a complete shock! Shapeshifter mates, murder, mayhem. I love a Dragon and we get one of those. I really really hope there are more to this series!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lilia Ford

    3.5 A clever variation on the paranormal detective subgenre, with the innovation of having the newly divorced Hades as a the main sleuth. Three stories and three couples, I enjoyed all of them but especially liked the third with the dragon shifter. Low-key, enjoyable read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    This. Was. Awesome! I loved every minute of it, but the third story was my favorite. There's just something about dragons, right? Sweet romances with magical adventures and happy endings all around. This. Was. Awesome! I loved every minute of it, but the third story was my favorite. There's just something about dragons, right? Sweet romances with magical adventures and happy endings all around.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Unique take on Greek gods, fallen angels, and more... I've enjoyed Angel Martinez' Offbeat Crimes series, but this is the first *other* title of hers I've read. The humorous yet emotional, and suspenseful, UF creativity, and of course M/M romance, is all here, too, but this time with a mythological foundation. The three novellas gathered here feature Hades (god of the underworld) and Ti (a homeless human graphic artist); Hades's son Zack (Zagreus, a lesser god of the hunt) and Michael (the forme Unique take on Greek gods, fallen angels, and more... I've enjoyed Angel Martinez' Offbeat Crimes series, but this is the first *other* title of hers I've read. The humorous yet emotional, and suspenseful, UF creativity, and of course M/M romance, is all here, too, but this time with a mythological foundation. The three novellas gathered here feature Hades (god of the underworld) and Ti (a homeless human graphic artist); Hades's son Zack (Zagreus, a lesser god of the hunt) and Michael (the former guardian angel cast down for falling in love with him); and finally Hermes (Hades's nephew, god of communication, thieves, commerce,...) and the dragon who's been manipulated into stealing from him. All the stories, though, involve family (also including creepy-looking ferryman-servitor Charon, unrestrained Dionysus, and comforting Hestia, among others), meddling, teasing, and helping. Some other tangled Olympian relationships are hurtful and avoided, but this group has each other's backs. There are charming touches, like the literal-minded Hades' frequent cluelessness now that he's been thrown into modern culture, and his love of dogs — not just 3-headed ones! Serious problems, like Ti's alcoholism, and Michael's recovery from //SPOILER// are not treated too lightly. Ordinary issues, like Zack's initial difficulty accepting Ti in his father's life, lend grounding realism. Nightclubs and computers and similar modern interactions and tools are more comfortable for some of the protagonists than others, based on their natures. The relationships each have a different dynamic, which grow as those involved face their fears and doubts, while battling the evil schemes of chaotic forces. While each story has a happy/hopeful ending, they build upon each other, and I look forward to seeing more. (The second set of stories is $8, though, so not right away. 😕) There is definitely explicit sexual content, but not gratuitous; it demonstrates and advances what lies between each couple. The Greek characters are generally bi in their romantic histories, and most are uninhibited. It's interesting to see this world's take re. Persephone, though she's only a minor character here. I'm not sure whether Hermes's past tragedy (the accidental death of Krokos) is original or in the myths. Some of the tales are said to be human-twisted nonsense, but not all. There are deities and demons from other world mythologies, including little-known ones, referenced or involved, too, for variety. The writing is smooth and often clever, as I expect from AM. I did catch a handful of minor errors, a missing comma or letter or that sort of thing (incuding one "your" s/b "you're" — oops!). There were also two possible internal consistency issues, unless I missed the clarification. 1) Are an evil fallen's wings black and "leathery" (like a bat's), or "black-feathered", or somehow both? and 2) What defines where Charon can teleport in and out of? Does the stone charmed to summon him get around the need for a place's owner(s) to "welcome" him? Regardless, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who finds the description appealing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ChaosMoondrawn

    This series features the Greek gods as living in the modern world with real jobs, love lives, and other complications of discord. I have to say I am a fan of this author so the chance to read these after edits and additional story was added was too good to pass up. Many people seem to forget that Persephone is the Queen of the Underworld--literally--so of course she would rule the Underworld in the absence of Hades. Good thing since she divorces Hades and leaves him surprised and floundering, wh This series features the Greek gods as living in the modern world with real jobs, love lives, and other complications of discord. I have to say I am a fan of this author so the chance to read these after edits and additional story was added was too good to pass up. Many people seem to forget that Persephone is the Queen of the Underworld--literally--so of course she would rule the Underworld in the absence of Hades. Good thing since she divorces Hades and leaves him surprised and floundering, whereupon he moves to Delaware and becomes a Private Detective. He meets a homeless man named Tiberius. Joking ensues but also: sex, murder, greed, alcoholism, dog fighting, and tackling various cosmological issues. There is also Charon, who is a loyal, charming, and creepy sidekick. That's just book one in this Omnibus. Book two revolves around Hades' son Zach and his former guardian angel and now lover, Michael. This book is not a light read and has a completely different tone to the first; it's about making hard choices when you love someone. In book three, Hermes shows up again to get his own story. This one has a dragon! Dionysus, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Hestia all pop up now and again but what really weaves these all together is the peek into different kinds of love and how the challenges and rewards are different for each couple--also chaos gods. There is not a lot of detailed worldbuilding here nor are the mysteries very complex or difficult to solve; they are something that give movement to the plots. I do like the paranormal crime investigation genre, but these are not meant to be step by step whodoneits. Honestly, I am not sure what to say. You either are intrigued by the blurbs or not. If you are then these are for you and you won't be disappointed. These books are fun and done with a tongue in cheek attitude, but added depth is there in the tough subject matters tackled between the nudge, nudge. There is not a lot of "dating" here but at least what's here is consensual unlike some of the Greek myths. All the gods are assumed bisexual although the focus here is obviously m/m. I liked how the different pantheons coexist and overlap in the human world. These are reimaginings for fun and as such are not meant to offend any practicing Hellenistics or other Pagans. Enjoy them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    This is the first three stories in the Brandywine Investigations series. The series is a funny, well written, fabulous retelling of mythology and the Gods that ruled in a wide variety of cultures. But they now live in the modern world. I loved the author’s imagination that she used to create her take on them. They are fun, quirky, snarky, sassy, sexy and downright fun to read. Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses Divorce among the Gods isn’t something you expect to hear about. And while he never really l This is the first three stories in the Brandywine Investigations series. The series is a funny, well written, fabulous retelling of mythology and the Gods that ruled in a wide variety of cultures. But they now live in the modern world. I loved the author’s imagination that she used to create her take on them. They are fun, quirky, snarky, sassy, sexy and downright fun to read. Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses Divorce among the Gods isn’t something you expect to hear about. And while he never really loved Persephone, he never expected to be served with divorce papers. And she’s keeping his domain. So, Hades moves to the human realm. And to keep himself busy, he starts a PI business. While investigating a series of murders, he meets Tiberius or Ti. Ti is human, down on his luck. And the next target of the murderer. There is a gentle building of the relationship between Hades and Ti. Hades gets to find out what real love feels like and what you’re willing to do to protect those you love. No Enemy but Time Hades son, Zagreus and his fallen angel, Michael are the focus of this story. Again, there is a beautiful blending of the mythology from various cultures. Guardian Angel Michael is fallen because he fell in love with his charge, Zack. And since his fall, they’ve had a happy life. But things are changing. Michael is no longer stable and he’s going down hill fast. What or who is accelerating the change in Michael? Of the three stories in this book, this one has the most angst. There is a bittersweet feel to it. You truly feel for both Michael and Zack. Dragons, Diamonds & Discord In this next story, we meet a dragon. And as most of us know, dragons are all about their treasures and hoarding of it. Hermes is a businessman with many interests, one of which is high end jewelry. When some of the most expensive pieces go missing, he gathers the clan and investigates. That investigation leads him to Fafnir, a dragon and an author of children’s books and someone Hermes finds smoking hot. Fafnir is going into a hoarding cycle and he’s not sure why. And now he has Hermes invading his space. And Hermes isn’t going away. The banter between these two was snarky and fun. The sex scenes were hot. And this story was fun.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Aelleah

    Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses Really neat setup, what with Persephone divorcing Hades and him moving to the mortal realm to open a private investigation firm - sole employee: Charon, boatmaster of the river Styx. While it starts off kind of funny and goofy, it does get a bit more serious over time, mostly with the character of Ti and everything he's been through. (Bonus points for a reference that leads me to believe Charon is asexual here.) **** No Enemy But Time Definitely my least favorite story Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses Really neat setup, what with Persephone divorcing Hades and him moving to the mortal realm to open a private investigation firm - sole employee: Charon, boatmaster of the river Styx. While it starts off kind of funny and goofy, it does get a bit more serious over time, mostly with the character of Ti and everything he's been through. (Bonus points for a reference that leads me to believe Charon is asexual here.) **** No Enemy But Time Definitely my least favorite story of the set. Focus shifts from Hades and Ti to Zack (Hades son) and Michael (the former angel Michael, now a fallen angel). While I like both guys, the plot itself was...a bit lacking. A lot of time passed in the story, and it feels like the pacing was a bit off. Also, not the biggest fan of established couples and that's what Zack and Michael are. *** Dragons, Diamonds & Discord Loved this story. Once again, focus shifts and by this time I've realized that each novella will likely focus on a different pairing. This time around the focus is on Hermes and Fafnir. (Yes, that Fafnir.) A few things made this my favorite of the trio and sets quite a high bar for any sequels: Hermes is one of my favorite Greek gods - that's not to say the mythological character, but I always love the way he's depicted in fiction. I also, self admittedly, have a bit of a thing for dragons. Not the ones that stay in dragon form all the time, but that can shapeshift to human. (Kind of agree with Hermes here 'lovely dragon.' And, when his control slipped a little, his fingers sprouting claws, a slight shimmer of scales on his hand. I love that stuff.) Also, this story is the culmination of the previous two books, plot lines getting their wrap up and everything ties up so wonderfully. ***** Side notes: Angel Martinez has just become one of my go to authors for fun, peculiar, gay contemporaries. In other words: when I need something mostly light and happy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura H

    While this is a book with three stories and relationships, they all connect and flow perfectly from one to the next. It was interesting how all intertwined especially in the finale which I adore, also the development of all the characters is fantastic and I'm a huge fan of the mythology so it was great to see it kept to some of the truth with some fun additions and alterations to make them fit into mortal realm. Hades and Ti are an adorable pair, I loved that they supported and helped each other While this is a book with three stories and relationships, they all connect and flow perfectly from one to the next. It was interesting how all intertwined especially in the finale which I adore, also the development of all the characters is fantastic and I'm a huge fan of the mythology so it was great to see it kept to some of the truth with some fun additions and alterations to make them fit into mortal realm. Hades and Ti are an adorable pair, I loved that they supported and helped each other with their situations. Both were struggling at the start and by the end find a happy ending together, I especially enjoyed the jokes and sarcasm that Hades just didn't understand - took things way too literally but by the end starts to get it. Admired Ti's growth and the comic books were such a sweet idea, Charon made be smile throughout with his comments. Zack and Michaels story is bittersweet, they've been together for years when we first meet them and can tell they love each other so much from their interactions - the affection and protecting is beautiful. I probably wouldn't have read this one on its own, but i enjoyed more then I thought I would although it didn't grab me as much as the first story. It could have done with more development, but I did enjoy the look at love and what you would do for someone you care for. How love is not always the answer, even if we wish it was and the ending is rather sweet with hope for the future. Hermes and Fafnir added a lot of fun with their story, their relationship is great and I liked how we looked at both their history a bit -more Fafnir and his life's which was so fascinating but also Hermes and Krokos. Their interactions always made me smile. I enjoyed the ending and the jewelery, the story telling and art is so sweet. I'm giving overall 4stars, as could have added a bit more in certain parts like with the chaos but also in particular with the 2nd story although I did appreciate Michael and Zachs part in the 3rd. I'm interested to read the next one soon!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katrin

    First: the description is a little bit off of this book. It is three books and if you ask me, only the first is really about "Brandywine Investigations". The others are in the same world, and the first main characters still occur, but it is not about them at all. So the books them-self... I loved book 1 and 3, two not some much but it was good, and I would recommend to read it if you are interested in the whole series. The story of Ti and Hades (book 1) is sweet and I wanted to read more about the First: the description is a little bit off of this book. It is three books and if you ask me, only the first is really about "Brandywine Investigations". The others are in the same world, and the first main characters still occur, but it is not about them at all. So the books them-self... I loved book 1 and 3, two not some much but it was good, and I would recommend to read it if you are interested in the whole series. The story of Ti and Hades (book 1) is sweet and I wanted to read more about them - obvious I was disappointed when I noticed that the next books will not follow them or the "Brandywine Investigations". Michael and Zack war sweet together and all, but the story was not as good developed as the other twos. I also loved Hermes and Fafnir - I still was sad that we didn't learn more about Ti and Hades. They had again a sweet story of getting to know each other and how they grew together.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Helen Kord

    I finished the first story and putting this aside for now. I'm not feeling the romance at all, there is no reason for these two to be in love apart from some initial attraction. The book doesn't show any actual development in their feelings, going from 'yeah he's hot' to 'we're super in love' with zero in-between?? Also Hades showed some very unpleasant possessive jealously, which was extra creepy in context of him having all the power in the relationship, given the fact that he's a literal god I finished the first story and putting this aside for now. I'm not feeling the romance at all, there is no reason for these two to be in love apart from some initial attraction. The book doesn't show any actual development in their feelings, going from 'yeah he's hot' to 'we're super in love' with zero in-between?? Also Hades showed some very unpleasant possessive jealously, which was extra creepy in context of him having all the power in the relationship, given the fact that he's a literal god and his boyfriend is still pretty much homeless and alcoholic. I just didn't enjoy the power dynamics there. All in all the world building was solid and I will probably go back to it eventually, but I'm letting it go for now

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Overall Rating: 4 Hearts If you like all things paranormal and all things Gods and monsters then this series is totally for you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the delicious Gods and all the crazy things they get up to. I really enjoyed the writing and the full rich characters this author seems to make come to life. She was able to take things that should be frightening and make them endearing and sweet. Absolutely recommend…this was a lot of fun! Book 1: 4 Hearts My very first Angel Martinez boo Overall Rating: 4 Hearts If you like all things paranormal and all things Gods and monsters then this series is totally for you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the delicious Gods and all the crazy things they get up to. I really enjoyed the writing and the full rich characters this author seems to make come to life. She was able to take things that should be frightening and make them endearing and sweet. Absolutely recommend…this was a lot of fun! Book 1: 4 Hearts My very first Angel Martinez book!!! WOOHOO!!! I’ve heard so many wonderful and glorious things about this author so I knew I just had to read something of hers so I could understand all the hoopla!! Let me tell you…the hype is ALL true!!! I’m a huge fan of Greek Mythology so taking that and combining it with M/M romance, I was SOLD!! This book was so creative and so well written that I really couldn’t stop reading it once I started. I absolutely adored Hades. He was so different in this book then what I’ve conjured up in my head. Angel Martinez totally has me believing Hades is just misunderstood and not at all the big bad guy legend has us believing. Hades is a big ole’ softy with a crazy soft spot for animals and children. Life has thrown him a pretty big curveball so he’s left floundering trying to decide what to do with his time. Murders in the city have caught his attention. He decides to open an investigations company to right the wrongs of society. While out investigating he stumbles upon a man who has just witnessed a murder. Tiberius Snyder knows all about life’s disappointments. Drowning his sorrow in the bottom of a bottle hasn’t helped him any. So, it’s no wonder he still feels drunk when he wakes up in a fancy condo being taken care of by Gods and Ferryman. Ti and Hades start working closely together to try and figure out who is murdering homeless men in the city, and why. Both men start feeling a connection that they can’t ignore. I think if I had a complaint it would be that I really wish Ti and Hades attraction would have started earlier. I understand why it didn’t considering Ti circumstances but it was almost like I blinked and they were attracted. There wasn’t really that much of a buildup and I love the buildup, so much. Needless to say, this book was great!! Such an awesome start to a series…..can’t wait to dive into book 2!!! Book 2: 3 Hearts So, the positives…I really liked Zach and Michael. They’re very likeable and the back and forth protectiveness is incredibly endearing. I knew without a doubt that they would lay down their life for the other if need be. I think that’s a testament to how talented this author is. Without much of a background she was able to show just how much love Michael and Zach had for each other. But, that also leads up to the biggest issue I had with the story and that was feeling lost at times because it did feel to me that I was just dropped into a story mid way through. I would have loved to have read Zach and Michael’s initial meeting, the buildup, them trying to stay away from each other, then finally giving in and that first kiss sounds EPIC, I would have loved all of that!! Not to mention the big fall while Zach and Michael try to build their lives together. Those things might have made this one a little less murky for me. I just felt like I was wading through mud trying to figure out these characters and the big mystery. All in all I did enjoy the story just certain things I had issues with but that doesn’t take away from how unique and creative this writer is. Not to give too much away but essentially Michael (a fallen angel) and Zach (Hades son) have been together for years. Choosing to live in the human world their life is picturesque until Hades calls on Zach to come into the city and help him with a case. Fallen angels are being targeted and there is crazy magic at play. Zach and Michael find their beautiful life together on the line. This ending was very bittersweet. I’m not really sure how I feel about it. There’s still a lot to process but I’m going to dive into book 3 and see where that take me… Book 3: 4 Hearts Well, apparently I love dragon shifters. Like absolutely LOVE dragon shifters…Fafnir was so angry sweet and damn endearing. I don’t think there could have been a better match up than Hermes and Fafnir. They complimented each other quite perfectly. The God Hermes lives his life filled with the things he loves. Having lost his longtime love to accident of his doing he prefers things uncomplicated and unattached. Until he meets Fafnir, the dragon shifter and all he really wants is to complicate things. There are a lot of machinations at work in this story plus several answers to some of the mysteries in the earlier books. We found out what’s really been going on in the city and who’s to blame. All while the mysteries are being solved Fafnir and Hermes find themselves very much attracted and very much involved. These two are so hot together…like spread open on top of kitchen counters and bar stools HOT!!! Wheww…!! This last book was incredibly enjoyable. I really liked the characters and did I mention that I LOVE dragon shifters?? Recommend, for sure!! This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Skye Blue ☆*~゚ლ(´ڡ`ლ)~*☆

    I loved this. I really enjoyed Hades, and would love to have a follow up book with him. The second story had a little bit of kink. I wasn't expecting the sounding scene, but I liked it. The dragon story was nice also. I liked getting the update on how Michael was doing in it. The trauma he experienced in the second story wasn't forgotten or dismissed. The angst was low...except maybe were Michael's trauma occurred. That was a little brutal and heartbreaking. I see there is one more book in the serie I loved this. I really enjoyed Hades, and would love to have a follow up book with him. The second story had a little bit of kink. I wasn't expecting the sounding scene, but I liked it. The dragon story was nice also. I liked getting the update on how Michael was doing in it. The trauma he experienced in the second story wasn't forgotten or dismissed. The angst was low...except maybe were Michael's trauma occurred. That was a little brutal and heartbreaking. I see there is one more book in the series, I'll be jumping on that. I hope it's not the end of the series. I would love a few more books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tj

    These are good reads. I quite enjoyed the storylines and the characters. The situations and drama in the stories are very well put together. My only issues with the stories, and it happened in each, was the lack of the relationship building involved. I didn't see how these men fell in love. I wouldn't necessarily call it insta-love but, the first story you really don't even see the attraction then they are together, the second they are already together, and the third it is...well odd but there r These are good reads. I quite enjoyed the storylines and the characters. The situations and drama in the stories are very well put together. My only issues with the stories, and it happened in each, was the lack of the relationship building involved. I didn't see how these men fell in love. I wouldn't necessarily call it insta-love but, the first story you really don't even see the attraction then they are together, the second they are already together, and the third it is...well odd but there really wasn't any growth to it either. Still I enjoy the stories and seeing what the "gods" are up to today;)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katrin Davidson

    This was so good. I haven't read Angel Martinez before but after finishing this I really wondered, Why the hell not? I loved the twisting of greek fairytales. I thought I was a bit of a buff but when it got down to it, I had forgotten whole chunks/stories.Oopsie thank you, Wikipedia. I must note that to a certain level Martinez expects you to just "know" the story but mentions quite intricate big fairy story stuff that not all readers might be familiar with! The format is three large novellas th This was so good. I haven't read Angel Martinez before but after finishing this I really wondered, Why the hell not? I loved the twisting of greek fairytales. I thought I was a bit of a buff but when it got down to it, I had forgotten whole chunks/stories.Oopsie thank you, Wikipedia. I must note that to a certain level Martinez expects you to just "know" the story but mentions quite intricate big fairy story stuff that not all readers might be familiar with! The format is three large novellas that can be read separately but within the same volume with the same world, it naturally flows into another. 1st Novella- Ti and Hades- Really enjoyed this opening Novella. Ti and Hades were really nice and I would love more from these two! 2nd Novella- Zack and Micheal. This was a hell of a lot sadder than what I was expecting. We do get an HFN/HEA but it is sad and brutal. 3rd Novella- Hermes and his Dragon- I think these two were my favourite. I adored Hermes and I thought Martinez did an ok wrap-up of the three novellas, I noticed a couple of plot holes but the raw material was so strong all is forgiven. I hope she writes more in this world as it was really worth reading. 4 stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Esther Alayeto

    Awesome series that I really enjoyed. It's a spin on mythology and the gods in the modern world. There's lots of humor especially seeing how they adjust to the modern world, most of all Hades had me laughing out loud! All three books have wonderful characters as you transition from one to the other seamlessly. It's filled with action, mystery and just enough naughtiness to keep you captivated. I voluntary reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. Awesome series that I really enjoyed. It's a spin on mythology and the gods in the modern world. There's lots of humor especially seeing how they adjust to the modern world, most of all Hades had me laughing out loud! All three books have wonderful characters as you transition from one to the other seamlessly. It's filled with action, mystery and just enough naughtiness to keep you captivated. I voluntary reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Manlove

    Mmmm, gods, angels ANd dragons. How could I resist? Shoving these three stories which were initially published separately together almost worked. Almost. Expect that the second part felt really out of place with the tone of the first and third. Fortunately, the third part did its thing to tie them all together - and featured a lovely dragon, to boot - so I was able to overlook the outlier-ness of the second part.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shymsal

    A light, mostly fun mystery paranormal collection with Greek and Egyptian Gods and other supernatural creatures. The central story of the three is a bit on the heartbreaking side - how do you handle it when the angel who Fell for you goes bad? Definitely worth a read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    pauliree

    This book makes up the first 3 books in the currently 4 books series. Lighthearted, it was an enjoyable read but didn't really engage my emotions too much. Actually a perfect read after the 10 tissue sobfest that was the TJ Klune book I just finished. This book makes up the first 3 books in the currently 4 books series. Lighthearted, it was an enjoyable read but didn't really engage my emotions too much. Actually a perfect read after the 10 tissue sobfest that was the TJ Klune book I just finished.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Teeny

    So this was, funny, sad, angsty, romantic... frankly all the feels and although I really like Angel Martinez's writing style sometimes it feels a bit long. This omnibus has 3 stories that revolve around the ancient Greek Gods and their lovers, some to be, some already were. The first one was Hades and Ti, 2nd was Zagreus and Michael, the 3rd was Hermes and Fafnir. All 3 were in linear timeline of one another (one following the other) with the lovely secondary cahracters of Charon (who is a deligh So this was, funny, sad, angsty, romantic... frankly all the feels and although I really like Angel Martinez's writing style sometimes it feels a bit long. This omnibus has 3 stories that revolve around the ancient Greek Gods and their lovers, some to be, some already were. The first one was Hades and Ti, 2nd was Zagreus and Michael, the 3rd was Hermes and Fafnir. All 3 were in linear timeline of one another (one following the other) with the lovely secondary cahracters of Charon (who is a delight and gets the more page time of all secondary characters), Dionysus, Hestia and even Hephaestus and Aphrodite , along other deities from other Pantheons. Will I read more if Angel ever wrote: HECK YEAH!! Will I ever revisit: mmm nope! I don't think so!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mstay1985

    Very entertaining I was absolutely absorbed in Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business. It was great to read about what mythological creatures do when stuck in the current world with nothing to do every day.

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