Review by Veronica

And then she was startled by another male voice, this one deep and unfamiliar, and with a distinct tone of underlying… Was it anger? Simple annoyance? Whatever it was, it caused a shiver to slip down her spine.

“You should not have called me, lady.”

Until Forever is a rich and wonderful time travel romance that you won’t forget. 

From the shadows of the past.

Prim and beautiful professor Roseleen White clutches her new prized possession – a thousand-year-old Scandinavian sword. And suddenly, a dream stands before her: a magnificent Viking warrior sworn to satisfy Roseleen’s every desire.

Until forever.

Accursed for untold centuries, mighty Thorn is now enslaved to a woman. Yet it is Roseleen who is the true prisoner, held willing captive by a handsome barbarian who sweeps her back to the ancient past on a journey of sensual discovery. But only by banishing him from her life forever can Roseleen free Thorn from immortality’s chains – forcing her to make a devastating choice that will either imperil their future or preserve a love more powerful than time. 

This book was another Fated Mates recommendation. Sarah MacLean talked about how bonkers and fabulous this book was, and I just fell in love with its premise. Roseleen, a professor and collector of swords, manages to acquire a beautiful broad sword that just so happens to be a time-travelling device. Every time she touches it, she summons Thorn, a gorgeous Viking. Come on, how freaking amazing does that sound? I really enjoyed this book. It was this fabulous blend of time-travelling shenanigans, romance, and a bit of action. It was a different kind of romance book to read. Now, you have to like your romances on the more ridiculous side if you are going to enjoy this book. First, I’m going to talk about the time-travelling element. Sometimes, with romances, world details or how certain things function in a world aren’t fully explained. Readers are often expected by authors to just accept that things are the way they are and not to think too much about certain world aspects. In this case, Johanna includes a lot of detail regarding the time-travelling element in her story. Roseleen and Thorn discuss the rules and effects of time-travelling in a rather extensive manner. The readers are given this complete view of how it works. One of the main story drivers is that Roseleen and Thorn accidentally change the course history and have to set out to return the world to normal. Johanna blends actual factual historical events and figures with this magical element and does so smartly and interestingly. Now, I will say that there are moments when the historical details feel like they are dragging on. If you aren’t a fan of history, then you might find those parts a tad boring. But you can just skim over them and read the romantic bits. 

I liked the characters in this book. Roseleen was a delight to hang out with. I loved the first part of the book when she began to realize that her sword had these magical properties. It was a lot of fun watching her trying to figure out what was going on. Roseleen is a historical professor, and her love for history just leaps from the pages. Her character is like a kid in a candy store when she realizes that Thorn can take her back in time. She wants to experience the things that she has been studying. Thorn is that typical broody alpha male that you find in your Viking romance novels. His character and mannerisms might turn some readers off. His behaviour is how men would act during the Viking’s reign. He is bossy and sometimes might say things that some would find offensive. It should also be noted that this book was written in 1995, so some things might feel a bit dated. Nothing stood out to me, but others might notice things. 

The romance surprised me. I thought it would be a lot steamier than it actually was. I have an older version of this book with an almost naked man in the inner jacket, so my expectations regarding the spice level were kind of high. This book is this weird in-between closed- and open-door romance. This book had a lot of lusty build-up, but then that steamy scene would fade. So, if you like your book with a lot of spice, this story might not be for you. The romance itself is more of a lusty/physical attraction between Roseleen and Thorn. There are only few moments when these two connect on an emotional level, on page. The main conflict between these two has to deal with the fact that they come from two different time periods. Roseleen doesn’t appreciate the way Thorn treats her or talks to her at times. She spends a lot of the book trying to teach him how much women’s rights have progressed and how those women (for the most part) are treated equally. I like the romance; they aren’t my favourite couple, and the chemistry between them wasn’t as believable as I would have liked it to be. But it was an enjoyable book to read. 

If you are looking for a unique historical romance, then you should give Until Forever a try.