Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
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Caragh Ò Brannon has been surviving the hunger with difficulty since her parents both passed away, and her two oldest brothers had left her with her youngest brother to sell the few things they still had of value - in exchange of food. Styr Hardrata and his band of Norse vikings are emigrating to help Styr save his marriage. However, the people in Caragh's village think the vikings have come to pillage the little they have left, and kill them all. Caragh is able to capture Styr, while her brother and some of his friends capture Styr's wife, and later his crew.
*I received a free ARC of To Sin with a Viking from Harelquin via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Caragh is devastated when she figures out there is really no more food left in the whole village, and when the Norse vikings approach in their boat, she is almost ready to give up completely. That is, until her younger brother comes up with a foolish plan, and she will do anything to save him! Even take the Norse leader capture after hitting him on the head. As she brings him back to her family’s house, and binds him with chains he cannot escape, the village becomes quiet. When Styr regains consciousness, he is more surprised than angry, he has never been captured before, and seeing the malnourished woman who bested him makes him doubt a lot of things he is usually sure of. And so To Sin with a Viking begins.
I didn’t really connect with Caragh or Styr, and I thought the fact that they seemingly fall in love more or less instantly is not very believable at all! They both should be concerned with their own survival, and Styr really should be thinking about his wife, as well, even if there is no more love between them. To Sin with a Viking is supposed to be set in Ireland in around 1000AD, and yes, historically, some of the descriptions are correct, but the way the characters act is just very modern in my opinion.
To Sin with a Viking starts with capture, then unwilling feelings, a chase after Styr’s wife and Caragh’s brother, a little intrigue in the middle and then a very quick resolution. It was an enjoyable enough read, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. There isn’t really much sin, apart from the way Styr thinks about Caragh, but at the same time, his marriage has been in the name only for quite a while, and he has never really loved his wife, nor felt her love for him. Also, the way the finally do have sex is extremely strange, and I doubt there was truly much bondage going on back in those days…
I like reading about strong female characters, but it was a bit difficult to actually believe in Caragh. She was crying and wringing her hands one minute, the next, she clubs a Norse viking leader over the head and brings him unconscious to her home to make sure he can’t hurt her brother. Caragh lives more or less at the shore, but she has no idea how to fish or catch crabs and other seafood on her own, and thus she is still just a damsel in distress, needing a strong man to save her. This is not at all what I expected from the blurb, and I think that’s partly why I was a little disappointed in To Sin with a Viking. I love the medieval period, and would have liked to read about characters who interacted believably, that is not what I got. I think it is still a good start for a series, the way the village life is explained, and the strife between the Norse and other people making for a good plot start.