Thursday, August 22, 2013

To Sin With a Viking - Michelle Willingham (HH #1150 - Aug 2013)

Series: Forbidden Vikings (Book 1)


Caragh O Brannon defended herself bravely when the enemy landed -- only, now she finds herself alone with one very angry Viking….

Styr Hardrata sailed to Ireland intending to trade, never expecting to find himself held captive in chains by a beautiful Irish maiden.

The fiercely handsome warrior both terrifies and allures Caragh, but he is forbidden territory. He is the enemy…and he is married. Yet Styr harbors a secret that just might set them both free…. 

Very good book with a different sort of theme.  Caragh and her people are slowly starving to death.  She has been left in charge of her younger brother while her two older brothers go trade for supplies.  One day a Viking ship is spotted landing.  Her brother and his friends decide to attack the ship and take its supplies.  Styr and his wife and men have come to Ireland for a fresh start.  Theirs is an arranged marriage that is not doing well.  They have no children and Elena is withdrawing more from him every day.  When they are attacked the Irish take Elena and his men captive and sail away and Styr is taken prisoner by Caragh. 

I really liked both Caragh and Styr.  Caragh was doing her best to keep herself and her brother fed,  but finding food had become increasingly difficult.  During the fight when Brenden and his friends attacked the Viking ship she used all the strength she could summon to stop Styr from attacking her brother.  When she took him prisoner she felt bad about chaining him but not for protecting her brother.  She has a soft heart and cares for the people of her tribe.  She also treated Styr's injuries and made sure he had food, such as it was.  She was attracted to him but fought it because of who he was, and even more when she found out he was married.  Her fiance had cheated on her and she has a hard time trusting men now, but finds herself trusting him.  I liked the way that she worked with him over getting food and then making sure that he takes her along to find Brenden and Elena.  She had a pretty good understanding of what makes men like Styr the way they are and was able to use it to get what she needed.  I liked the way that she respected his vows even as she fell in love with him.  Their love grows slowly, but always with the knowledge that nothing can come of it.  I also enjoyed her ability to get the men in her life to behave around her.  She broke up several altercations between the various male characters.  Her heartbreak was obvious when they finally caught up with Elena, but she had the strength to do what had to be done.  I enjoyed the ending and look forward to Elena's story to see how it all turns out.

Styr was an interesting hero.  He and Elena had married young.  It was an arranged marriage where they had been friends but there was no love between them.  In the five years they had been married she had never gotten pregnant and was growing to resent Styr because of it.  He was determined to do whatever necessary to save their marriage and planned to start a new life with her away from the bad memories.  Styr was frustrated because no matter what he did for Elena nothing seemed to help.  It had gotten to where what little affection they had for each other was gone.  When they were attacked and Elena was kidnapped, Styr was furious that he hadn't been able to protect her.  When he regained consciousness he was stunned to find himself chained and captive of Caragh.  Her care of him was something completely outside his experience.  He found himself intrigued by her and wanting to help her.  I liked the way that he tried to help her without her being aware of it.  Her kindness to him touched something in him that he hadn't even been aware he was missing.  As they worked together to find his wife and her brother, Styr found himself caring for her more than was wise.  He fought very hard to resist his feelings as he refused to dishonor his vows to his wife.  I really liked that sense of honor that caused him to fight against his own happiness.  I loved seeing his protectiveness toward Caragh.  He really wanted to find a way for them to be together.  It hurt to see how unhappy he was once he found Elena and that he had to give Caragh up.  I loved his surprise at Elena's actions and the difference it made to his life.  Also loved the way that he still had to make things right with Caragh and that her brothers weren't pushovers. 

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