When I first put my hands on Forbidden Passion I thought it was a piping hot love story in a Viking setting. Given my past experiences with the accuracy level of other Viking romances, I gritted my teeth in advance, but they quickly unclenched. This is one romance that gets the facts mostly right, and deserves praise for that. The story itself is fairly average, but you can’t win them all, can you?
Forbidden Passion takes us on a journey from Greenland to Ireland. Half Norse, half Irish Thomas Lachlan travels to Iceland to bring back Yngveld, the betrothed of his commander Ivar. After a series of misadventures, including a shipwreck and a mutiny, Thomas manages to set sail back to Ireland with Yngveld on board. For her part, Yngveld has dodged an unwanted suitor back home and does not feel like marrying a complete stranger, especially since Thomas himself both annoys and intrigues her. The only way out seems to be escaping and catching a passage to her kin in Norway. But Thomas is oathbound to deliver her to Ivar, however much he wants her for himself.
Yngveld is a clueless heroine. Period. Not only is she remarkably ignorant of the world she lives in, she is incapable of most everything and regularly holds interior monologues where she comments things with Oh, ja and Oh, nej. This is probably intended to give flavor, but after a while I was ready to scream Yes, I got the point. Get on with it. When the heroine is weak, you might hope for a memorable hero. No such luck here. Thomas is a reasonably nice guy, and there are some reasons for the reader to feel sympathy for him, but he is unable to make this an outstanding pairing.
The book displays a fairly good handling of the setting. It is obvious that Ms. Scott has done her homework and is able to make use of her knowledge. The only quibble relates to the meld of information. There are several instances where Norse persons tell each other things they should be highly aware of for the benefit of the readers. An example is Yngveld’s semi-ignorance of her own Gods.
While I have nothing against a romance with less graphic lovemaking, having one measly love scene in a romance called Forbidden Passion strikes me as unethical marketing. Overall, it is an acceptable romance, considering the heroine, and worth trying for readers who want their accuracy light on the surface but deep underneath. Whether those readers will like the actual story is another question.