Although a prince of one of Onan's three kingdoms, “Jem” leads a quiet life, reading erotic fantasies and caring for sick birds. He carries out few public duties and knows little of the world outside his family's palace. On one of his rare outings to attend an annual religious festival with his family, Jem is quite bored until the cleric announces that he is to wed the son of a chieftain from the estranged territory of Ergh. In some ways, the “barbarian” Cador is like a man right out of Jem's wet dream, but he can't think of anything worse than being wed to the crude hunter. Cador is equally put off by the little prince. He can't think of anything worse than the seemingly lazy young man who can't even ride a horse, but he can put up with the man for a few months until his father's dire plan for Jem can be implemented.
This is one of those fantasy romances where there's almost no doubt where the story will be going within the first few chapters. The two opposites are clearly going to get together at some point, and Jem will somehow find out about the evil plan Cador's father had for him, causing the main dramatic turn. The fun part is how they get there.
Jem and Cador are classic romantic characters, exactly what you're expecting from the title of the book. Jem is quite the interesting young man. Shy and introverted when we first meet him, he, not surprisingly, turns into a real tiger once he lets himself go. He might be pure fantasy, but Jem is still a sympathetic person who is quite believable.
Cador is also an off-the-rack character — all muscle and brawn. Very intimidating but turns into a pussycat when he falls for the “wrong” man. He frequent picks up Jem one-handed and hauls him around. I'll never quite understand why this massive size difference and caveman antics holds such a powerful sway in romance.
Be warned that this first book of a (at least) two part series ends on something of a down note. You'll have to read the second book to find out how things turn out.
“Wed to the Barbarian” is available from Amazon.