Title: The Barbarian and the Sacrifice
Author: Katty Wells
Published Date: 31st January 2022
Page Count: 170
Reviewer: Gwendoline SK Terry (2 May 2022)
Expecting to be married off to a wealthy landowner, innocent Ailith is instead gifted to Vikar, a handsome but stubborn barbarian. If she isn’t pregnant within six months she will be given to someone else.
Vikar thought it would be easy to stay away from his new match, but the more she tries to seduce him, the worse his lust gets. Soon he can’t keep his hands off her in private or in public.
Who will win the battle of the sex? The innocent virgin or the mighty barbarian warrior?
The Marriage Contract is a steamy barbarian romance intended for mature audiences.
It was a good book, your usual arranged marriage/enemies-to-lovers story. Lots of detailed, thrilling love scenes – and I mean LOTS. Extremely steamy and sexy. If you dislike graphic lovemaking scenes and prefer face to black, this is not the book for you.
I really enjoyed the dynamics between Vikar and Ailith, and was amused by their constant bickering and flirting, making it that much more satisfying when they broke and made love. When they finally quit playing their games with each other and admitted their feelings they meshed well as a couple and seemed like they would have a credible relationship.
I loved the Old English scattered throughout the book and appreciated the translation guide at the end.
Despite the build-up and the frequent reminders of how resolute Vikar was in rejecting any form of responsibility of a woman, including love or marriage (a decision he’d apparently been pretty good at keeping for a long time beforehand since some pretty traumatic events), it literally only took two or three days for him to cave to Ailith, then it was nonstop sex and declarations of everlasting love. I do bristle at such quick relationships – I usually like the couple to get to know each other for a while before they decide they’re going to love each other and be together forever and ever (I’m only being a little bit mocking, honest!), but this book was cute so I overlooked it.
At the end of the story, I thought it strange that Ailith didn’t seem too concerned by her sister going missing, and I was disappointed that the true nature of her parentage wasn’t revealed in this book, only briefly explained in the epilogue. I assume both of those mysteries will become bigger deals in the following novel. There were a few moments where the author used modern language or phrases that jarred me out of the story, but nothing overly irritating outside of that.
Honestly, out of everything, my biggest issue was the first chapter – it was weird. In one paragraph, the sisters are huddled up together under a blanket talking about sex, by the next paragraph, they’re masturbating next to each other. That was strange to me. Masturbating in the same room as your sisters, beneath your own blankets, in your own beds? Okay, I can imagine it. Beside them while sharing a blanket? Nope, absolutely not. That was weird.
All in all, this was an adorable romance with a sweet HEA. It was easy to pick up and put down throughout the day between work and chores, and works well as a standalone, though if you’re driven crazy by the missing sister or wonder about Ailith’s true parentage, I would recommend picking up the next book – I know I will.