Thursday, December 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: Heart of Honor by Kat Martin

Series:     Heart Trilogy #1
Pub. Date:Nov. 22, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Beverley Crick
Length:12 Hrs 1 Min

The Heart Trilogy by Kat Martin takes place in Victorian era London at the Heart to Heart gazette run by Krista Hart and her father. While Heart to Heart is a ladies magazine, it also publishes editorials addressing political and social issues of the day.  During this particular time period, one of the big social issues of the day was conditions for mine workers, particularly regarding child labor. 

Krista Hart is a modern woman for the times - she flouts convention by having an occupation, as a writer at the gazette. Her livelihood earns her enemies because she writes the aforementioned editorials on important social issues. So when we meet Krista, she has a lot going on between work and her personal life... with threats from men angered by her editorials, and pressure to get married from her grandfather, the last thing Krista needs is to bring home a handsome and aggravating Norse barbarian. I liked that Krista was her own person and had a purpose beyond balls and beauty routines. She was brave to write about social issues that were unpopular with her peers, but she was also a bit foolhardy when it came to her safety and the reality of her situation. Leif was an irritating addition to her life and she treated him as such most of the time, so I found myself wishing she was softer in her treatment of him.

Leif Draugr is a Nordic beast of a man. He is destined to be the chief of his clan, but he yearns to travel and see the world outside of the remote Draugr Island. When Lief is shipwrecked off the coast of England, he is taken captive by English ne'er-do-wells and put into a circus sideshow. With his unkempt appearance and strange language, its not hard for people to believe him to be the barbarian advertised. I really liked Leif and the way he said whatever he was thinking... it definitely generated some laugh out loud moments. He was a true viking in appearance, speech and mannerisms... but he also cleaned up as an English gentleman quite well. I liked that Leif brushed off Krista's prickly behavior and didn't give up despite her saying that they could never be together. He was definitely the more favored character for me in this first installment of the series.

The romance between Krista and Leif was somewhat slow building, and it was more one-sided on Leif's part while Krista denied what was between them for the longest time. It was fun to watch Leif pursue Krista and not take no for an answer... not in a rapey way, but just an "I will win you over" way. This story requires you to suspend your disbelief quite a bit. For starters, this is pretty late (historically speaking) for a Viking to be shipwrecked from an undiscovered island where the people still live like they did in medieval times. Leif appears to be some kind of super genius that goes from captivity to polished Englishman (with exceptional grasp of the language) in less than two months time. But if you can ignore the unlikelihood of these aspects, then the story was entertaining.

The mystery of the threats against Krista was a nice addition to the story that gave us something to focus on while the romance was building. It did seem like the resolution for the enemies and saboteurs was anti-climactic, so I wish there would have been a little more to get my adrenaline going and really feel a sense of danger to Krista's person. However, this was not a romantic suspense so I won't complain too much about the lack of action. Overall the story was a nice diversion and held my attention well enough as I drove from Louisiana to Tennessee.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio. Stay tuned for my review of the next book in the series, Heart of Fire, which is on the calendar for next month.