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Wed to the Barbarian (Barbarian Duet Book 1) Kindle Edition
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 read before The Barbarian’s Vow.
~ LZ, Gay Romance Reviews
"This fabulous fantasy breeches-ripper is everything you could want: fresh-yet-old-skool romance, sexy, fun. Pick it up and get swept away!"
~ Leta Blake, author of Slow Heat and Smoky Mountain Dreams
"[A] masterpiece. Keira Andrews is playing on the old bodice rippers of the 80s, but Wed to the Barbarian is complex, nuanced, and beautifully crafted."
~ Daniela, Gay Romance Reviews
"I love a good forced-proximity, opposites attract, size difference story!.... Lots of great world-building here too in this fantasy setting. There were some super steamy times and plenty of drama too."
~ @queer_book_recs, TikTok
"Wed To The Barbarian ticked all my boxes! It has royal intrigue. It has a sweet, virgin who's strong at the same time. It has age gap. It has enemies to lovers. It has hurt and comfort. All my tropes with incredible writing and wonderful characters!"
~ MM Book, Goodreads
"I love that Andrews went with a full on, old-school, bodice-ripper style and used it for a gay romance.... Things are a fairly slow burn here for Jem and Cador, though when they finally heat up, it is super intense. It's all the lusty, young virgin and his barbarian lover that you could possibly want and I was all in. Of course, it works because we know that Cador is not truly barbaric; he is gentle and kind and cares about Jem, even before he wants to admit it."
~ Joyfully Jay LGBTQ Romance Reviews
"This is everything I want from a joyfully tropey queer fantasy: beautifully developed characters, great world-building, suspenseful plot, political scheming, delicious angst, lots of raunchy-yet-feelsy smut and ONLY ONE BED."
~ Aldi, Goodreads
"This story is so good, just like the Harlequin romances I used to addictively read as a teenager. I enjoyed the diversity of skin tones & genders & sexualities & how very simple, common, normal & not focused on they all were in this book.... It felt so perfect to be able to live in that world for a little while."
~ Tanya Wade, Goodreads
"I was hooked! So much fun! Intrigue. Fantasy. Adventure. Angst. Heart! I loved this adventure and cannot wait for more!"
~ Rose, Goodreads
"Whoa! This is Keira Andrews at her best. I'm in awe, I'm in love and I'm in lust. This has everything. Arranged marriage, enemies to lovers, a white collar/blue collar or nerd/jock equivalent...forced proximity, one bed.... It was SO wonderful. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel."
~ Claudia, Goodreads
- ASIN : B09HJBKRQ2
- Publisher : KA Books (October 21, 2021)
- Publication date : October 21, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1471 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,399 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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First off, this story really leaned hard on all of the historical romance tropes and cliché. During the course of my reading Wed to the Barbarian, I was transported back to the times I was gobbling up a lot of bodice ripping MF romances. This certainly had that same feel.
Arranged marriage trope? Check!
Forced proximity? Check!
Opposites Attract? Check!
A delicate, innocent, virgin lead with a spine of steel and hidden passions? Check!
A tough, worldly, warrior barbarian with a gentle and soft heart of gold? Check!
Utterly steamy sexy times? Check!
Keira Andrews did such a great job in using all the clichés and tropes to craft such a wonderful tale. The world building is excellent and the characters were engaging while the interactions and dialogue were fun, spicy and enjoyable to read. It was very easy to fall in love with the timid, small statured and innocent prince Jem while it took a while for me to warm up to the big brute of a barbarian that is Cador.
Rooting for Jem throughout the story is just quite easy. Being sheltered and wrapped up in his world of books, taking care of birds - he yearns for so much more including finding true love. But duty calls and he had to leave it all behind to travel alone in an unknown land married to a man who thinks him weak and an attractive.
Cador on the other hand is a huge jerk at the start being mean to Jem for a good deal of the early parts of the story. Later on we see his softer side and the reason behind his gruff and unfriendly behavior. Once they reached Cador's home, both begin to understand each other and see the good in them despite coming from two different worlds. The attraction that Jem and Cador had slowly turned into so much more and the build up to that was a joy to watch as it unfolded. The sex scenes are hot and top notch. The overall plot of the story is intriguing and the pacing quite good.
This book was a lot of fun with one heck of a cliffhanger. A solid 4.5 stars out of 5 for me and I am looking forward to the conclusion of the story in the next book.
I received an ARC of this book via GRR and I have chosen to publish my fair and honest review.
So we have a prince that is basically just taking up space. We have a “barbarian” although to be honest, he was basically just a hunter. The plot is good, it’s solid, it’s everything else that did not work for me. I’m not into degradation kink, and this had some. I’m a firm believe that pr*ck a solid curse word, but a poor name for it, especially as the ONLY name used in a book. So many hard ons, so many pr*cks. I was over it really fast. Then there’s the absolutely unnecessary overuse of exclamation marks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a boom with so many of them.
Will I read the next book? Idk, to be honest i want to know how it ends, because as I said, the plot is pretty good, but man, the writing style is straight up painful to read.
Top reviews from other countries
“Despite everything, he loved this man with a savage affection.”
Set in a world with four kingdoms with four different rulers and how they must work together to work in harmony but where poverty vs wealth and power plays come into it, it makes for difficult times and bubbling tensions. A political move to try and keep the harmony and essentially gain control of the tensions beneath the surface is an arranged marriage between Cador and Jem. Neither are pleased. Although there's more moves being played here that not everybody is privy to. It's also the kind of fantasy book that has a feel of both historical and modern.
Jem is stricken he has to marry Cador and Cador is angry also. This is an enemies to lovers arranged marriage.
Cador is mean though. In the beginning anyway. He's cruel. I wanted to punch him. so much. But I think this adds to the real feel of enemies to lovers vibe. And look, the reader knows the plan even when the other character doesn't, although I didn't believe it was actually going to happen so I could be forgiven for the reason me being so mad at Cador was what he done to Jem's books! Like, I literally gasped out loud. It wasn't just because naturally I'm a lover of books but it felt like such a cruel betrayal. It felt like Jem is being made to uproot his whole life and his books are everything to him. They're his safe space. I was so angry on his behalf! Listen, all I'm saying is that in book 2, Cador better get building a whole library for Jem, thank you very much. In general, there better be some great groveling.
There's political plays here. There's greed and power as driving forces as well as fear and desperation. Religion and faith are present also and how people relate and use this. This is a slow building story with so much weaved into it, so much depth. Even though for me personally, it dragged a little in places it still had so much to keep me hooked. We see both MC's finding comfort in each other and finding new growth within themselves. There's looking after animals (well most animals, same can't be said for the boars), reading stories for children and parents alike, there's new realizations and jealousy, grumpiness and vulnerability.
This is a slow burning romance, it's character development driven and we see that with both MC's from indifference and fear to tenderness and romance, sweetness and hella steam. To friendships being forged. To understanding each other. And yes, knowing this is first in a duet and from about 70% on getting more and more tense waiting for the other shoe to drop!
For me I thought the casual cruelty was a bit much especially where two of Jem's brother's (loved Santo though!) were concerned and where it was given the impression that people were constantly cruelly laughing at Jem. Also I'm not sure that some of the "humor" was supposed to land. Or if the point was to see it as jarring. It didn't land with me as humorous anyway.
But I really enjoyed this book and pretty anxious / excited to see how the next book is going to go!
Really enjoyable read and I'm eager to read the second part!
The characters are multi faceted and very well developed. Cador was a cold blooded brute initially, and Jem was totally out of his depth, my heart bled for him. His character was the one which developed the most. I was so proud of him at the end of the story, and what an ending it was?!
A well written book by Keira, and one I very much enjoyed. Need the follow up ASAP.
A great fast paced read that has you wanting to know how both Cador and Jem survive the betrayal and move forward. I can’t wait to read the second book!