In 1008 AD, Dublin is just a small town, newly opened to trade now that Viking violence there has died down. A young woman named Asta runs away from her boring life in Britain on one of her father’s trading vessels bound for Dublin, hoping that she and the sailor she loves can find a new life together. But when shipwreck takes him from her, her whole world changes. She is helped up the rocky shores of eastern Ireland by handsome and enigmatic Brother Martinus, who takes her to the Monastery of St. Luran’s to recover. Despite his vows of silence and chastity, Brother Martinus is entranced by the beautiful maiden who seems delivered to him by Providence. Their unexpected relationship causes both of them to rethink their concepts of faith and love.
Asta is a young girl wanting adventure. By running away from home she sure found it. Unfortunately it was not the adventure she had dreamed of. Brother Martinus is a man running from his family and his past. He wants a quiet life but what happens when he meets Asta is anything but.
This book is a fast paced story and I finished it in one evening (and for those who know me know I never do that). Unfortunately the plot is a little farfetched, but I was willing to go along for the ride. I found the premise of Asta moving on from her grief of losing her fiancée and falling in love with Brother Martinus in just a day, a bit much.
I really wanted to connect with these characters, but unfortunately the situations they were put were unbelievable and unrealistic. It seemed that Anne E. Johnson just wanted them to be together too much to actually flush out their stories. I wanted to know more of their backgrounds and who they really were.
I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately I didn’t. I love romance novels (especially historical romance) but for me this book was forced. I think if the story was a bit longer Anne E. Johnson could have let us know who her characters really are and what they are about.
If you want a quick and easy escape this book is for you. Unfortunately I didn’t really like it and was left with a lot of questions after I was finished.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Stephanie