TO SIN WITH A VIKING (Forbidden Vikings #1) by Michelle Willingham-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 23, 2013
Playing With Fire!
Caragh Ó 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…
Resist them if you can!
REVIEW: TO SIN WITH A VIKING is the first storyline in Michelle Willingham’s Forbidden Vikings historical romance series. The opening statements from the author ‘warn’ of trespassing into the realm of infidelity and I wondered at the time ‘why’ the warning to her readers. This is after all –A FICTIONAL STORYLINE – with fictional characters and is NOT an actual account of infidelity and betrayal and yet, many reviewers were taken aback by the storyline’s ‘touch’ on infidelity.
In My Humble Opinion-readers would not have questioned Styr’s desire for Caragh and potential betrayal to his wife without the author’s opening remarks. And for those who have objected to the hero’s supposed wandering heart-it appears that his wife was not necessarily faithful in all aspects of her marriage as well.
The storyline focuses on the capture of Styr Hardrata and his fight to find his wife and missing crewmates. Landing in what would now be known as Ireland, Styr finds himself chained in Caragh’s home and oddly attracted to the woman who holds him prisoner: and Caragh in return begins to fall for her captive. The pair begin a search for Caragh’s brother and Styr’s wife but what they discover is that the heart knows no boundary when the soul finds its’ mate.
As I read the storyline it becomes readily apparent that our hero Styr Hardrata is in a loveless marriage, arranged when he was seventeen, that has yet to produce an heir. Saying this, Styr’s attraction to Caragh is a major theme running throughout the story band Styr tries to remain faithful to his missing wife albeit with little help from Caragh. Their attraction to one another is palpable as Caragh pushes Styr to the limits of his patience and sexual desire. Styr is in a constant battle with his conscience and his guilt over his developing feelings for Caragh.
The characters are old world but the language is not as ‘old world styled’ as I would have thought. There are several secondary characters with potential storylines including Styr’s wife Elena and his friend Ragnar. The storyline is well paced with just enough background information about the leading characters so as not to overwhelm the premise.
But I want to point out that most of what can be perceived as infidelity is that of the mind-thoughts, desires and wants. Some people/readers believe that even thinking about/ having feeling for someone other than their mate is betrayal, but there is a fine line between truth and dishonor. And how many other fictional storylines have all of us read that contain a similar premise or plot? Rape and Torture? Murder and Abuse? And yet, I don’t see readers readying an army of morality judges. After all, the title says it all -To Sin-and that should be enough to let the reader know this isn’t all hearts and flowers.
To Sin With A Viking is a well written, compelling storyline that will make some people think and others will take it for what it is-a fictional storyline about two people who fall in love with each other under extenuating circumstances.
Copy supplied by the publisher/Harlequin
Reviewed by Sandy