Erryn reviews Wed to the Barbarian by Keira Andrews, published October 21, 2021 by KA Books, 340 pages. The audiobook was released on October 17, 2022, is 10hrs and 27mins and is narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read the book: I’m a huge Keira Andrews fan and I’ll listen to anything performed by Michael Ferraiuolo.
Will an innocent prince forced into marriage choose passion?
Sheltered in the palace with his books, Jem’s life is peaceful. Even if he’s lonely and yearning for romance, the big, strong men he wants don’t crave small, timid princes.
Then he’s forced to marry a mysterious barbarian.
Jem must do his duty—even if it means being stuck with Cador, a brute who dismisses him as weak. Even if it means a fake marriage in name only for the sake of their homelands. Even if he must leave behind everything and everyone to journey to a forbidding island of ice and stone.
Even if there’s only one bed.
Alone with this wild—yet tender?—man, Jem discovers desire that burns hotter than he ever imagined. Can two strangers learn to trust, or will dangerous lies tear them apart?
Wed to the Barbarian by Keira Andrews is a gay romance fantasy featuring enemies to lovers, an age gap, forced proximity, first times, and of course a happy ending (eventually). This is the first action-adventure romance in the Barbarian Duet and must be listened to before The Barbarian’s Vow.
As with many Keira Andrews books, I had no clue what to expect when I picked up this audio. Keira writes gay romances across a huge spectrum of subgenres – from historical, to dystopic, to comedy, and more. I have to admit, having a barbarian fantasy story intrigued me.
I empathized with Jem – preferring to raise little baby birds who’d fallen from the nest and read his books rather than engage in the political wranglings his mother, the Queen, was involved with. Wanting to perhaps eventually have a lover, but never expecting to be thrust into marriage with a wild man and then sent to live with him in his homeland.
I also empathized with Cador – he’s been alone a long time. He’s had lovers, but doesn’t have that one special person. Now he’s wed to a child for the sake of his people. Okay, maybe Prince Jem isn’t a child – but he sure acts like one. Whiny, yet also kind and considerate. Soon those nights alone lead to more.
But everything is not as it seems and when Jem discovers the truth, he’s ready to bolt. Only, sometimes, going home is impossible. There’s another book in the duet and I’m going to snap it up because I’m curious to see how this all plays out.
Love, love, love Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration of this story – he was perfect. Can’t wait for the conclusion.
10/10 pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars