BEGUILED, by Alice Borchardt
Well, one man: the ruthless Viking chief Hakon, who has taken the widow of his dead rival to wife (she loves it) and vows to subdue the region to his will. Pitted against him is Owen and his Forest People-wife Elin. The challenges Own face mount and mount, nothing goes right, everything conceivable goes wrong, there's no space to take a decent breath before another earth-shattering apocalypse occurs, even things that never should have happened go pear-shaped, everyone betrays everyone and everything, Hakon has all the cards...and I said no, can't put myself through any more of these contrived catastrophes.
"Relentless" says Kirkus Reviews, and that's my problem. It's too relentless. At some point the challenges Owen faces become ludicrous, there's just too many. It's like the author said, well, let's see how many earth-shattering setbacks I can cram into one book. Waaay too many.
I'll make it a 3. Faint praise for this well-reviewed book. Sorry, Alice. It's just not for me.