Heart of Honor by Kat Martin (Heart #1)

Synopsis:

500980Krista Hart, publisher of the weekly London ladies’ gazette Heart to Heart, is not afraid to speak her mind. Even on such unpopular issues as social reform – risking her reputation and her very safety – Krista will not be intimidated, although she knows full well she is the target of angry opposition for her outspoken views.

When she encounters a powerful Viking descendant imprisoned as a local sideshow attraction, Krista angrily demands his release. Although she tells herself that freeing Leif Draugr is simply the right thing to do, she can’t deny being attracted to the fierce Nordic chieftain, especially after her father transforms him into a “proper” English gentleman.

But as anonymous threats against Krista become more and more aggressive, it is Leif who must face the unseen enemies desperate to silence her, even as they push her closer into the embrace of a warrior prepared to do whatever it takes to make her his.

Review:

As an American living abroad and a person that married into a different culture I was looking forward to seeing how Martin dealt with culture shock and the mixing of different worlds in a relationship. The answer: horribly.

Our hero Leif doesn’t speak a lick of English but is fluent in the matter of months. After he learns he apparently never speaks his native language to Krista again, even though she is one of the few people that can converse in it. Or maybe he does – there were several times in the text we are told Leif is speaking Norse when I thought he was still rambling on in English. And the times he does speak in Norse his expressions are simpler and less nuanced, even though it’s his mother tongue. What?

I’ve had a run of Alpha Assholes lately, and Leif is right up there. The gods have determined that we need to be together, so I’m going to kidnap you and put you through hell, because love… even though I never really think about love, oddly enough.

The plot sags, characters’ motivation is muddied or nonexistent, and too many times I was left thinking, “Wait, what? Why?!” I was hoping for much more.

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