Review for Viking Fire by Andrea R Cooper

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My Rating:  4/5

Author:  Andrea R Cooper
Title: Viking Fire

Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
856 Ce, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe – Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Opinions:

Kaireen is a headstrong lady who doesn’t shy away from challenges. In the beginning of the book, she is against marrying Bram – a Viking – because she doesn’t trust him or them. Vikings have been ravaging the coasts of Ireland. She believes the marriage is a rouse for the Vikings to take their land and enslave/kill the people. For the time period, Kaireen is outspoken – which gets her in trouble. When tragedies strike, she finds out what Bram is really up to.

A neighboring clan has sworn peace with Kaireen’s family. However, trouble begins to brew within the walls. The bad guy(s) in the book are just that bad. They are not too multi-dimensional. Within the story, something else is going on underneath everything: Elva does not always act as a servant should. But, what exactly is going on? In summary, the book has some mystery, adventure/fighting, and romance.

The romance in the book is fairly standard for this time period: The defiant girl doesn’t which to marry but cannot get out of an arranged marriage. Bram is not a bad person as the reader learns fairly quickly. However, there are times when he forces himself on Kaireen such as kissing her – despite her saying no. Granted, this was probably common for the time period, but I’m not a fan of making it seem romantic. It’s technically sexual harassment. Regardless, Kaireen doesn’t seem to be upset by it, so I let go.

If you like historical romances set in Ireland/Vikings, you might want to try this book.

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone

Review for Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown

beautiful wreck

My Rating:  3.5/5

Author: Larissa Brown
Title: Beautiful Wreck

Genre: Science Fiction/Historical Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland.

Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by the men and women who live on his land. But he is feared and isolated because of a terrible curse. Ginn and Heirik are two people who never thought they would find a home in someone else’s heart. When forces rise against them to keep them apart, Ginn is called on to decide—will she give up the brutal and beautiful reality of the past? Or will she have the courage to traverse time and become more of a Viking than she ever imagined?

 

Opinions:

Narration: First Person through Ginn

 

Character Development and Plot:  The story is told through Ginn’s eyes. Coming from the 22nd century, her world is vastly different than Iceland she ends up in. Ginn is not satisfied with the life she had in the future. When she ends up 1200 years in the past, she takes in everything she can – the voices and surroundings. She ends up in a wealthy farmland. The chief of the land is Heirik – who is considered cursed by his strange birthmarks along much of his face and body. Ginn ends up falling in love with Heirik, and he with her. However, superstition remains in the way. No one has ever touched Heirik at all. How does she show Heirik that everything is okay? That she will not be cursed if he touches her. How does she show the people of the farm that as well? In other matters, Ginn does not do well with most of the chores done around the farm. Her thread making is terrible, and she tries to fit in. However, she makes a friend in Betta which helps her through the days in Iceland. The characters slowly grow over time in their own way. I’m not that familiar with Viking history – especially in Iceland. I would have to say that the only thing that I imagine should have been a little different is the reaction of the few characters that eventually learn that Ginn is from the future.

 

The story tightly weaves Viking history into it. There is a lot of tradition and daily life in the book. The flow of the story is a little slow for my usually reading. I think that some more dialogue might have helped in spots of long descriptions. The book contains a lot of breaks within the chapters. I know some people really like this and others don’t. I don’t mind either way.

 

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone