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  • Wed to the Barbarian

  • Barbarian Duet, Book 1
  • By: Keira Andrews
  • Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Wed to the Barbarian cover art

Wed to the Barbarian

By: Keira Andrews
Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
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Summary

Will an innocent prince forced into marriage choose passion?

Sheltered in the palace with his books, Jem’s life is peaceful. Even if he’s lonely and yearning for romance, the big, strong men he wants don’t crave small, timid princes.

Then he’s forced to marry a mysterious barbarian.

Jem must do his duty—even if it means being stuck with Cador, a brute who dismisses him as weak. Even if it means a fake marriage in name only for the sake of their homelands. Even if he must leave behind everything and everyone to journey to a forbidding island of ice and stone.

Even if there’s only one bed.

Alone with this wild—yet tender?—man, Jem discovers desire that burns hotter than he ever imagined. Can two strangers learn to trust, or will dangerous lies tear them apart?

Wed to the Barbarian by Keira Andrews is a gay romance fantasy featuring enemies to lovers, an age gap, forced proximity, first times, and of course a happy ending (eventually). This is the first action-adventure romance in the Barbarian Duet and must be listened to before The Barbarian’s Vow.

©2021 Keira Andrews (P)2022 Keira Andrews

What listeners say about Wed to the Barbarian

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jem the Prince and Cador the Barbarian

As with many Keira Andrews books, I had no clue what to expect when I picked up this audio. Keira writes gay romances across a huge spectrum of subgenres – from historical, to dystopic, to comedy, and more. I have to admit, having a barbarian fantasy story intrigued me.

I empathized with Jem – preferring to raise little baby birds who’d fallen from the nest and read his books rather than engage in the political wranglings his mother, the Queen, was involved with. Wanting to perhaps eventually have a lover, but never expecting to be thrust into marriage with a wild man and then sent to live with him in his homeland.

I also empathized with Cador – he’s been alone a long time. He’s had lovers, but doesn’t have that one special person. Now he’s wed to a child for the sake of his people. Okay, maybe Prince Jem isn’t a child - but he sure acts like one. Whiny, yet also kind and considerate. Soon those nights alone lead to more.

But everything is not as it seems and when Jem discovers the truth, he’s ready to bolt. Only, sometimes, going home is impossible. There’s another book in the duet and I’m going to snap it up because I’m curious to see how this all plays out.

Love, love, love Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration of this story – he was perfect. Can’t wait for the conclusion.

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Mixed feelings and split decision

I have really two reviews for this audiobook. The first half was a 5 hour exercise in ridicule, mocking and degradation that I found unpleasant to listen to. I understand the point was to show how little the barbarians thought of Jem (and pretty much the rest of the world), but that point came across quickly. It didn't need to go on and on for half of the story. It was slow and boring and I almost stopped listening several times. After the boat reached Cador's homeland, however, the pace and action picked up and the story became compelling. It's a story of finding one's way alone in an unfamiliar land amidst secrets, schemes, and betrayal. I loved the way Jem learned, grew, and adapted to his new environment, becoming less of a victim. I especially appreciated the way he took control in the end and withheld his forgiveness. Trust betrayed should not be easily overlooked, and it wasn't. So for me, the first half merits two stars, while I would give the second half 5 stars. Still, taken as a whole, I thought it was interesting and worth 4 stars.

This ends in a cliffhanger, which I wasn't aware of when I requested it, but it ended in a good place for me. An eventual HEA has been promised, and I am looking forward to seeing the ultimate end, but I hope there is some massive groveling and atonement, or I will be severely disappointed.

The narration was good, but I am more used to hearing Michael Ferraiuolo voice lighter, funnier stories, so it just seemed a bit jarring to me. That's all on me and my expectations, not the narration. I confess that the rather cheesy cover made me think this would be a comedy. It's really not. It's a serious story with hardship, illness of children, death, and threats of maiming. Their are some funny bits and thoughts, but mostly it's quite serious,

I received a free copy of this audiobook via Gay Romance Reviews and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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  • C.
  • 14-11-22

Different setting

Beware: This is a dual and this story ends on a cliffhanger to be continued in the next part.

I really enjoyed this audio, the story is set in a different world and the author made me travel to that location while listening to it.
Although it starts with a forced marriage and Cador is rather unpleasant at first, we learn from his POV that he was also blindsided but he means well. Soon we start to care for him as much as we do Jem.

Michael's narration is perfect as always!

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A mix of classic tropes

Jem is the classic innocent forced into marriage for political reasons to his total opposite Cador. Initially, Jem is neither respected nor treated well but forunately we get both POV and while not forgiving Cador we do come to understand him. As they both begin to understand the plots that have been swirling around them there is hope that their kingdoms and their relationship can be put right in book two. Very much looking forward to Cador's redemption and Jem's continued growth. I came to care about these two more and more as the story went on. I am a huge Michael Ferraiuolo fan and was very curious to hear his performance of Cador which is outside the type of character I know him for. He gives an amazing performance, finding the small moments where we see there may be more to Cador than we originally think.

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Absolutely amazing!

I thoroughly LOVED this story! Full of tension, magic, adventure, growth & love. The story takes the reader/listener on a journey thru kingdoms & politics, machinations & deceptions, power struggles & true love's triumph - eventually, a well-deserved, hard-fought HEA! The way part one ends, though - aaagh! - broke my heart and filled me with hope, all the same. Great job by author and narrator both, excellent performance!

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Warning - you’ll get hooked!

Like I’ve seen in several reviews I put this book off because of the cover art, however this was more because I thought I’d be hooked (unlike some of the reviews who got put off by the cover - but I read and listen to a lot of fantasy so this seemed right up my street). And I was right!

I adored Jem’s character - it might be my own love of books but I love a bookish main character. He’s sweet, and innocent and argh he’s just a great character!

Cador - what can I say about Cador?!?! Did I want to shake him many times? Yes I certainly did. Do I also hope that he and Jem get their HEA? Yes I certainly do.

Trying to decide if I break and read book 2, or wait till it comes out on Audible. Enjoyable narration too - definitely worth a listen!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Cliff-hanger, I need book two now.


I didn't think I was going to like this book/audio after the first chapter, but then all of a sudden, it clicked. The story does end on a cliffhanger, and I'm now desperate for book two, which will be consumed shortly.

The world-building was good, the scenic descriptions were on point, the characters were well-developed, and the story was well-written.

Michael Ferraiuolo does a clean and concise narration, which I always enjoy. I speed this narration up to 1.10 on Audible, which is usual for me.

Wed to the Barbarian
Barbarian Duet, Book 1
By: Keira Andrews
Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
Series: Barbarian Duet Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins

❤❤❤❤ Overall
🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration
📚📚📚📚 Story
Read at 1.10 speed on Audible

I received this audiobook for free from GRR at my request. My review is my opinion and an honest review - neither the author nor GRR influenced my opinion.

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  • XG
  • 08-11-22

A favorite of mine!

This is one of my favorite books ever! I have lost the count of how many time I have read and reread this wonderful story about a forced marriage that finished in one of the best love stories I read this year. Jem and Cador complemented each other in a perfect way, they were meant to be together in spite all the intrigue, lies and hate. Even if the story broke my heart and made me cry a lot, it was also an amazing tale full of intense emotions, desperation and above all love. It was a delight hearing how Mr. Ferraiuolo captured all the feelings and intensity in a wonderful narration with his smooth voice and great acting skills. An enjoyable book in any format! Loved it so much!

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Opposites

I over looked that this is the first part of a duel which is something I normally don’t do unless I have my hands on the whole story.
The author does a great job of describing the scenery and characters. Jem has led a sheltered life mostly spent with his aviary nursing wounded birds or he is entirely focused on his books. He doesn’t really fit in with his siblings because he is a small protected guy while they are more the guy’s guy. Then he is to wed Cador a total barbarian.
Cador life is totally different than Jem’s so when he is faced with caring for his husband he does a poor job of it. He is rough and not trying to make anything of this relationship. Then he finds Jem is tougher than he looks. He also finds himself being attracted to Jem.
There is a underlying story to the marriage. What all it involves is horrible for Jem but somehow things seem to work themselves out. It is in the middle of this solving the problems that ends the book. I have not read/listened to the second half of this story yet. I feel the narration by Michael Ferraiuolo made the characters visible. His portrayal of Jem is perfect and then his ability to completely change into Cador and others smoothly made me feel like it were actually different people talking.

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So Exciting, Excellent Performance by Ferraiuolo!

Wow, that was so exciting! I used to love those old bodice rippers where the plucky heroine wins over the coarse (but handsome) chap. And Keira Andrews has just elevated the whole thing with strong characters, political intrigue, and smoking-hot, steamy love making in Wed to the Barbarian.

I’d been meaning to read this book last year, but my procrastination TOTALLY paid off, because Michael Ferraiuolo’s performance in the audio version is simply spectacular! Mr. Ferraiuolo makes full use of his incredible variety of accents and voices, and keeps up the fast pace of the story.

I wasn’t aware that Wed to the Barbarian ended in a cliffhanger. Thank goodness the audio version of The Barbarian's Vow is already available. Onward to the happily ever after!

an audiobook copy of Wed to the Barbarian was provided to me for the purpose of my honest review, all opinions are my own

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  • echolocation345
  • 21-01-23

Ridiculously entertaining

I knew Andrews is that rare mix of steamy sex writer and genuinely talented storyteller, but this one shows she is equally adept at world-building. Her stories are just flat out addictive. Wonderful writer

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  • Andy D
  • 14-01-23

Unlikeable protagonists

I have enjoyed this author's other works, and I certainly came in expecting a story heavily reliant on tropes and cliché. My problem with the story is how dull and unlikeable both protagonists are. I've listened to 3 hours of this book and Jem has not done, said or thought anything interesting whatsoever. He's just a useless, milquetoast dweeb. His new husband is exactly as tiresome, just in the opposite direction. I will not be finishing this book as I believe I've given it much more of my time than it is due. I would have finished it if i had found a single likeable quality in either of them, but after 3 excruciating hours I'm now convinced that isn't in the cards.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-23

It gave everything I needed it give

It delivered. All the other girlies wish it could be like this story. Keira Andrews understood the assignment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • IVONNE RANGEL
  • 06-01-23

Love it

I don’t love all the direction choices they have the voice actor some bits were the tiniest bit cringy but overall I loved it, bought the sequel right away

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Carey kelley
  • 05-01-23

better descriptions of each man's make parts, chst

more detailed description of males bodies including chest pits biceps erroneous zones pecs attitude

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tosha Moyer
  • 12-12-22

Spectacular

I read this book earlier this year and was so excited to reread while listening to the audio. I love the book just as much as the first time and the narration was on point.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Samantha Cato
  • 01-12-22

Fantastic!!

This is one of my absolute favorite books from Keira Andrews and the audio of it just shines with Michael Ferraiuolo's performance! It is compelling, super fun and a throwback to the old romance novels we read back in the 80's! Loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh Dutton
  • 24-11-22

Really good! similar to Kidnapped by the Pirate

Loved this book! It took some time but it definitely grew on me in the end. I was looking for something similar to Kidnapped by the Pirate (my favorite!) and this delivered.

The narrator is really great and sounds EXACTLY like Brynjolf from Skyrim (seriously) when he voices Cador. his voicing for Gem wasn't my particular favorite but it's nice he had some variety in his narration.

*spoilers*
I'll admit I was a little frustrated with Gem and his progression arc. It took longer than I was hoping for for him to quit being so whiny, fortunately there's a sequel though so I hope to see him rise to the occasion!

While I know it was a forced marriage and there's the grim subplot, it gets frustrating having two FULLY MARRIED MEN that live together 24/7 constantly having a back and forth regarding their attraction to each other. I get we need development, but this took ages, and they're already married for crying out loud.

All in all a pretty great listen. The characters are interesting and believable, and Andrews manages to build a wonderful fantasy world without focusing too much in the world-building details which I always appreciate. I'm excited to listen to the sequel!

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  • Tricia Flowers
  • 18-11-22

So good!!!

I loved both the story by Kiera Andrews and the narration by Michael Ferraiuolo. His voices for Jem and Cador were perfection.
As much as I loved these two together, Jem was the standout character for me. I loved how much he grew throughout the story, at first seeming meek and nervous but he’s actually very strong with a heart of gold. Jem also learns more about his fantasies and what he likes in bed, and it was so fun to be on this journey with him!
Cador does his own growing too. He starts out cold and uncaring, focused on the goals of his people. But how can you not fall for Jem?! Jem really melts Cador’s icy exterior and Cador discovers that disappointed Jem is quite possibly the hardest thing he’s ever been through.
I also love med the casual queerness in this book. People just like who and what they like. It was really beautifully written and refreshing.
I really loved this story and will definitely grab the next one!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lexi Zieve
  • 18-11-22

Slow burn

I enjoy a good slow burn enemies to lovers story. And arraigned forced marriage is a fun trope to explore. Cador and Jem were very interesting complex characters. I had a lot of fun seeing their relationship grow and develop as the story progressed. There were some really great twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. This was a good mm take on a bodice ripper and there were definitely some steamy scenes. I’m in need of that next book and can’t wait to se what’ll happen next.