FicCentral received a free copy of this book from *the author*.
Publisher: Self-Published on September 28, 2016
Genre(s): Historical Romance (Adult)
Kindle Unlimited status is current at time of posting.
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A Twist of Fate… A Battle of Wills...
Aestrid Karisson, a Viking princess who lives by her own rules; fiercely free and independent – that is, whenever she can elude the watchful eyes of her overbearing father. When she escapes for an afternoon of adventure, she never suspected to forever alter her destiny.
Captured by a band of raiding Picts, Aestrid is adorned and bound for sacrifice. In the midst of their ritual of blood and fire, the Picts are ransacked by Veleif Kollsvein and his fearsome warriors. Reputed as the most brutal barbarian across all of the North Seas, Aestrid unwittingly trades one abductor for another. Journeying farther from her home across this unforgiving landscape; it isn’t until they reach Veleif’s stronghold that her true identity is discovered.
The oceans are cracking with ice, the mountains impassable, and Veleif refuses Aestrid’s pleas to be returned home. Determined to torment him until he complies, this vixen wages a personal war with the dark and dangerous Viking prince. But when Veleif’s high council decides the two must marry, and quickly, to unite their kingdoms – Veleif combats her with a campaign of his own. Seduction.
Can the wicked heat in Veleif’s game of delicious temptation melt Aestrid’s combative heart? Will the Viking prince tame this warrior princess and claim her as his willing bride? Or will she forever see him as nothing more than her heartless enemy?
His Viking Bride is a love story filled with folly and challenge, wit and passion… by two iron-willed characters who share more than their explosive traits… the ecstasy of all-consuming love.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
His Viking Bride by Olivia Norem
The Hook: It’s no secret that I love historical romances. My problem is simply finding the good ones. Too often I’ll start one, only to find myself picking apart the blatant discrepancies and inaccuracies for the period. Or the spineless heroine will bore me to no end. Or the so-called hero will be impossible to like, much less root for in the story. But His Viking Bride by Olivia Norem seemed like exactly the kind of story I’d enjoy. Æstrid, a Viking princess, finds her whole world turned upside down when her brother is killed, she’s abducted and nearly sacrified by Picts, and she’s ultimately taken as a Pict slave by another Viking king. But she’s too much herself to pass as a slave, and her fiery personality infuriates and fascinates the king who holds her now.
The Awesome: While Norem seemed to take some creative license when it came to sleeping arrangements, much of the detail of Viking society and daily life seemed spot-on, and it was easy to fall right into that time and that life. And let’s be honest — the typical common room sleeping with *maybe* a thin partition or closet-bed set-up for the master would have really dampened the romance! Veleif was easy to both love and hate, usually right alongside whatever Æstrid was feeling at the moment, and while some of her methods were a bit naive, it was all true to her age and relatively privileged upbringing.
The Verdict: Æstrid and Veleif went together like sparks and gasoline, and there was no telling from one moment to the next whether the resulting fire would be fury or lust, making this for a really fun read.
Æstrid was desperate to return home, a possibility that the ice of winter delayed. And Veleif, at the suggestion of his men, was determined to marry her, though he wasn’t at all forthcoming about it. The eventual wedding ceremony happened almost completely without Æstrid’s knowledge, much less willingness, but even though she was outraged to find herself bound to Veleif, she had already been falling for him for quite some time. A part of me really hated that he’d go to such lengths to keep her — essentially against her will — but it was also pretty clear that Æstrid was just too headstrong and proud for things to have worked out any other way.
Æstrid was so easy to like and understand, despite a life so completely different from our modern one, and as much as I wanted her to just fall head over heels for Veleif, I loved that she fought tooth and nail to stand up for herself. Veleif, likewise, wasn’t so far removed from modern man — he had no idea how to handle a woman like Æstrid, and when he wasn’t riling her up, he was confusing her with concern and tenderness. The secondary characters, particularly Veleif’s men, kept the laughs coming while advancing the story, and Æstrid’s easy camaraderie with the ladies in the kitchen and village just made it that much more clear that she was where she belonged. And don’t even get me started on the incredible passion between Veleif and Æstrid! It fueled plenty of arguments, but if ever there was a couple that knew how to make up…
His Viking Bride is certainly one of the more memorable historical romances I’ve read, both for its authenticity and its characters’ undeniable chemistry. And now I just want more! Seriously, I’d dive right into watching Veleif’s men meet their matches or just about anything else in this vein that Norem writes. This is historical romance at its most entertaining.
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