*Warning* Go further into this review only if you like a heady amount of sex in your fiction.
.Still here? Let’s go!
I was thoroughly delighted to be involved in this blogtour run by Anne Cater of #RandomThingsBookTours to promote the quite special ‘‘A Torch In His Heart’ by Anna Belfrage‘
My aim, as a book reader and bookblogger for 2018 was to read outside my comfort zone. This was so that I could rationalise why I read what I do, where I could be a little close minded and what I just can’t read at all(50 Shades and Twilight..sorry but a big fat nope from me!)
When this opportunity presented itself and I read Anne’s description of historical, time travelling romance I thought that here was my chance-comfort zone, prepare to be abandoned!
The story spans 3 centuries, from a time where Troy was history not yet myth, to the present and is Book 1 in The Wanderer series.
Helle Madsen is an freelance analyst hired to crunch numbers for Sam Woolf, an investments manager-I will be honest, I didn’t really understand the jobs both were doing beyond the relation to the plot, my poor description is on me not the author.
Sam immediately sets her on guard, she has a strange feeling they have met before and is both repulsed by his overtly sexual harassment and bullying tactics-no spoiling but he has her trapped in an inescapable situation.
Thankfully, a smaller investment manager, Jason Morris, who is staging a takeover of one of Sam’s properties, intercedes and again,Helle is strangely drawn to him with memories that she cannot possibly have.
Bewildered and naturally upset by being caught between 2 men, neither of which she has met before, Jason reveals that he has been looking for her for 3000 years.
They first met as the daughter of a king and the son of a ‘Wanderer’, a healer who travels the islands of Greece bringing their ancient knowledge in herbs and sickness remedies to bear on the ills of the people they meet.
Helle, named for Helios because of her bright golden hair, has been promised by her father to the son of the king of Kolchis, Samion. A brutal, cruel man who is resentful of Helle’s father’s wealth, he is determined to marry her. But Helle and Jason have promised themselves to each other for life and even when Samion tears them apart, they are destined to find, and then lose each other for the rest of time until one of them can work out how to break this curse.
Helle, Jason and Samion have been reborn, died and killed themselves over and over throughout the centuries, Jason and Samion retaining their memories which leads to them constantly finding Helle in her reincarnations.
This might make it appear that Helle is a passive character in her own narrative, but far from it.
She is the one who initiates a sexual relationship with Jason, he wants to give her more time to understand how they are destined to be together. Her desires are easily the equal of his and she is determined and forceful in this regard-but always sex is always consensual.
Samion, however, is a dominant bully. Helle’s best friend,Aliaon steps in to Helle’s shoes when Helle tells her how he has chased, harassed and hurt her. She tells Helle that he just requires a more adult lover who can contend with the obvious ‘dom’ that Sam is. However, it is made abundantly clear that Sam’s behaviour is never acceptable and there is one scene in particular that completely captures how a predator can trap an unwilling woman and make them feel incapable of fighting back.
There is a lot of sex in the book between Jason and Helle, however, in comparison to most other books I have read where the sex scenes seem superfluous to the story, they make complete sense and are beautifully expressed. It’s not a Mills and Boon-esque affair where coy names for body parts are given, this is full on, breathless , steamy , ‘Whoa now!’ sex between a man and woman who deeply adore each other. This will steam up glasses, cause blushing and have you breathing a little harder.
The story is lovely , tragic and full of foreboding-is it as simple as Jason meeting Helle and her choosing him over Sam? Why do they keep dying and being reborn over and over , what is the missing element to their story?
As this is a planned trilogy , I expect there is much more to this story to be revealed, I loved the flashbacks to a time of history that I particularly fond of and love the way that Anna Belfrage writes. I would definitely want to know what happens to Sam, Jason and Helle next!