Mills & Boon, £4.99, ISBN 978-0-263-92554-8
Historical Romance, 2016
Our hero, a Danes, comes to consciousness amidst a pile of corpses. Oh dear, his clothes and gears had been stripped by scavengers, and he has to get out before the winning side of the battle comes back and discovers him to be still alive. But he has no memory of who or what he is! Well, someone he meets along the way calls him Magnus, so maybe that’s his name? Anyway, Magnus soon finds his way into the TLC of our heroine, Aisly. And that’s where the fun begins… at least for everyone else. I’m not having fun myself, sadly.
You see, Aisly is besieged by problems. Her late husband was awful, and now her father-in-law, a thuggish lout who sneers and leers, is about to throw him out when he learns that she’s not pregnant with his grandkid. But our heroine is too amazing to be confined to one single problem. No, she also makes it a point to tend to her charges, stupidly defies her father-in-law in public to stand up for thieves and what not, and generally courts more trouble by taking Magnus in. She is supposed to be trained by her brother to protect herself, but Aisly has zero self-sufficiency or sense of self preservation. This is one wretch who is so desperate to be a heroine that she never stops to think before shouldering one more responsibility for someone else.
This lack of thinking skills leads Aisly to do many dumb things. Try not to cringe too hard when she insists that Magnus can’t be a Dane like her brother says, because she feels that he is “too gentle” to be a bad guy, and try not to groan when she insists on driving him away after she learns that he is indeed a Dane… even if she hates her father-in-law and is constantly being victimized by him, and Magnus is her best hope of having a better life elsewhere. And try not to want to flush this book down the toilet when Magnus’s departure puts Aisly in even greater distress.
In Bed with a Viking Warrior is, in simpler terms, the story of a professional victim who can’t stop digging her own grave with every action of hers, enabled by a guy who is too gentlemanly not to just club her and drag her along with him. Romance here isn’t something sweet as much as it is a lifeline to save a heroine from herself. It’s definitely not my thing, so I’m out.