The Bride and the Barbarian by Naomi James
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Mistletoe
An unexpected gift…
After a fire destroyed her home and her fiancé abandoned her, Zora Austin did all she could to put her life back together and forget the Christmas wedding she’d always longed to have. More than a year later she is doing well. Then a day spent at a late Autumn festival takes a turn when a strange vendor lures her into a tent and gifts her with a crystal containing a tiny medieval warlord. Inexplicably compelled, she takes the figurine home with her. The moment her fingertips graze across the smooth top, she is pulled into the crystal and into the barbarian’s very real embrace.
An awaited reprieve…
Before the spirited beauty in the bridal gown tumbled into his arms and subsequently freed him, highland warlord, Thedan the Dark had known only a thirst for vengeance and a fierce longing for that which he’d been too long denied…his foretold bride. Convincing her that she is his might be difficult. Finding a way to keep the crystal from reclaiming him for all time may prove impossible. Still, if he can escape the power of the curse, will he choose long awaited vengeance or a new life with his bride in a world so different from all he’d known?
I had a feeling that this story was going to be good and I was not disappointed at all. Zora finds herself buying a crystal figurine of a barbarian and, upon taking it home, she wakes up to find it is a real live in-the-flesh man. As Zora learns just what she has really bought she finds herself falling for the big lug, but can it last and is it really love?
I was so engrossed in this story right from the start that I could not put it down and read it in one sitting. Zora is a great woman. She finds herself in some strange happenings but she follows her heart. Thedan is a wonderful man. After loosing so many years to the curse that confined him to the crystal you would think he would be surly but he proves again and again what a true hero he is. He shows Zora how much he loves her and keeps his word, making sure Zora never doubts him. The two are a cute and playful couple. I just loved the banter they share, neither being ashamed to show their love and lust for each other.
Naomi James writes a marvelous story about finding true love when you least expect it. The Bride and the Barbarian is well written and full of emotion. My only complaint came when I realized the story was over. I will certainly be on the look out for more books from this author and will be encouraging everyone to read this one.