Reviewed by Carrie
Vikings are a hot commodity these days with the success of the History channel show, Vikings. They seem like the perfect romance heroes – brutal and primal with a whole mythology of their own. Honestly, I picked this book because the cover was super hot and I loved the title. This was my first experience with a category romance. I was hoping for some sexy Viking loving, but didn’t know what to expect beyond that.
Styr Hardrata sets sail from his homeland in an effort to restart his life. He was stifled by his brother, the Jarl, and his marriage was circling the drain after years of infertility. Styr decides to pick up his life with a group of fellow tribesmen and resettle in Ireland.
Caragh Ó Brannon’s small tribe is starving to death. When Styr’s longboat comes ashore, the Irishmen surprise the Vikings by overtaking the ship, including Styr’s wife, Elena. To save her brother, Caragh manages to capture Styr and holds him captive.
While captive, Styr observes Caragh. Her survival instincts and quiet strength speak to him as he reflects on his marital woes. Caragh’s innate kindness makes her care for Styr as a kinsman even while chaining him. Eventually they come to an agreement and Styr helps her to find food. During these foraging forays, they learn more about each other and affection deepens.
Much to my dismay, there really isn’t any hot Viking loving. The book claims there isn’t adultery, but one scene treads a very fine line without even mentioning all the emotional aspects. Styr’s internal dialog does a good job of making the reader more comfortable with his attraction to Caragh. This is where the book length really inhibits the story. I feel that had the author had another 50 or so pages more the story might have been able to develop more naturally. As it is, everything just happens all too fast.
There were many things in the book that felt anachronistic – from speech to customs to actions. When I pick up a supposed historical novel, I do feel like the author should have done some historical homework. I don’t know if that’s the case with all category romances, but this one had issues.
The novel is good for those looking for a fast read with lots of tension. As for me, the shorter length is really not my style, but I’m hoping more authors will try their hand at writing Vikings.
*ARC Provided by Harlequin
Click to purchase: Amazon
To Sin With a Viking
by Michelle Willingham
Release Date: July 23, 3013