Grade: D The author has a thesaurus, and she knows how to use it.Grappling with savage urgency in a riot of tumbled cushions, she plunged headlong into rapture in the arms of her wrathful angel.Status Updates: Read With Me VicariouslyYou can tell by the dates that I avoided writing this review.09/12 - 40%:"...the curving shell of secrets nestled between her thighs" o.009/13 - 42%:This book is much more Bodice Ripper than I anticipated....09/13 - 58%:The metaphors. EVERYTHING is a water, fire, weather or war metaphor. And the interjections. By Odin's smelly underpants, the INTERJECTIONS! Lots of references to Odin and Thor, but no Loki yet. Heroine prefers to invoke St. Cuthbert and St. Wilfrid.09/14 - 65%:The book that will never end. I made it this far, but this is taking WAY too long to finish.09/15 - 78%:Still not done... *whimper*09/17 – 100%:Finally finished, and I still haven't quite distilled why this didn't work for me.When I finally started the distillation process, I had to put the crankypants on.The writing style....I can’t really call it the author’s “voice,” because I never really heard one. Instead, I felt bombarded with every literary device we learned in junior high language arts class. Action verbs. Adjectives. Metaphors. Interjections. Euphemisms. Rinse. Repeat.As he fitted himself against her, an epiphany burst within....She opened herself to the storm of sensation, reached for him with both arms as he surged inside to fill her. Their joining brought him toppling down on her, in the blazing splendor of the archbishop’s bed. He gripped her in the same desperate clutch, eld her moored against his rapid thrusts. Her tight channel stretched to accept him, ripples of pleasure pulsing through her. Blindly, she struggled toward the conflagration.Without warning, it ignited her. She dug her nails into his sinewed back and clung with all her strength. The cataclysm flung her high, outside herself, as he went rigid in her arms.The hundreds (literally) of other examples can be grouped into thematic categories, including:Fire, Heat & Light:...He was ice and yet her burned her....For an instant, she burned in the dark flames that kindled in his glaze....Once she’d kindled like dry wood beneath his ravening flame.View more...Earth, Wind & Water:...She cried out, heedless of anything except the waves of pleasure surging over her. They left her beached against him, gasping, as the tide ebbed....They’d be lucky to weather this tempest without foundering on the shoals of disaster....In his wake, a sea of whispers foamed.View more...Military Manuevers:...She waged a desperate rearguard action against the impulse to burrow into his arms and hide her face against his chest.View more...Reverse Anthropomorphism:...Without warning a serpent of acid and flame uncoiled in her belly. It struck at her womb with savage fangs, making her cry out....The savage teeth of anguish tore at her heart....The subject of her tortured thoughts had followed her scent to ground.View more...Religious Interjections:...Shaking his head, he said roughly, “Odin’s pain, we’re lost in this,” and dragged her into his arms....“By Odin’s lost eye, Katrin.” He panted. “I can’t – it must be now.”View more...Weird & Wonderful:...A fey voice was singing in her blood, a siren’s song luring her to ruin. Like Odysseus, she saw her doom but strained toward it all the same....She scrambled for purchase along the slippery slope of truth....In the moment of blinding fire before darkness fell like a hammerblow, the night disgorged a dark shadow.View more...Hair on Fire:...Firelight blazed in his gold-bright hair...Riveted, she stared up at him, the fire burning in his golden hair...The shreds fell away, leaving her clad in naught but a tangle of firelit hairView more... LOTS more. It’s a bona fide Hair Fetish. I'm not kidding.And, of course, lots more Simile Sex:...He swallowed her desperate noises like wine as he flooded her with his essence. Then the waves closed over her head and she was drowning, spinning downward like a cork, like the plummet of her soul as she fell from grace. Katrin surfaced slowly from the dark sea of passion....All the way along her crevasse he stroked her to find that pulsing heart, the eye of the storm sweeping through her....His fingers slid between her moist folds to find the beating heart of her pleasure....The molten heat of hellfire pooled at her center.View more...I can’t even count the number of times I was kicked out of my reading trance. In a 274-page book, I had a total of 108 Kindle notes and highlights. Only a handful of those were dialogue excerpts – and that’s not a good thing for a character-driven reader like me.Speaking of characters...The romances....Yes, plural. Three – count ‘em, THREE (3) – “heroes” (and I use that word loosely) are at least one too many.Love Interest #1: Eomond, the Large & Tawny Half-Viking EscortHe lasts about halfway through the book until the inevitable Big Misunderstanding that compels her to complete her journey to…Love Interest #2: Rafael, the Enigmatic BetrothedUnfortunately, he stays enigmatic even after Katrin arrives at his castle, because he’s suddenly sent off to…somewhere…, leaving her with…Love Interest #3: Borovic, the Sinister Future Brother-In-LawHe’s the ultimate alpha male who decides he wants Katrin for himself – can Katrin resist his seductions???Meh. By that time, I really didn’t care who she wound up with, because Katrin seemed like nothing more than a shallow prop. She wasn’t kick-ass, she wasn’t a doormat. She was just there, reacting to everything that happened around her, which made it very difficult to connect with her as the main character.The pacing....The storyline and storytelling also suffered from the “way too much” syndrome of the whole book. Between the three love interests and the Evil Uncle King and all the random “insert action sequence here” filler moments, the lack of cohesion and focus killed it for me by about halfway through.I’m still wondering why I didn’t DNF this. It wasn’t horribly written and it wasn’t actively pissing me off, so I guess “distracted and bored” wasn’t enough of a reason to stop reading.NOTE: I read a digital advance review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.