She’s the wife he doesn’t want…
…and the woman he needs!
Desperate to escape her murderous brother-in-law and protect her young sister, Ragnhild agrees to marry an unknown warrior, and arrives penniless at his remote island. Only Gunnar Olafson’s belief in love died with his family―he does not want a bride! But as yuletide approaches Ragnhild transforms his isolated existence. Can she melt her Viking warrior’s frozen heart?
Now this is how a Viking romance is done, this is absolutely fabulous! Michelle Styles really is one of my go-to authors for Viking romances, this brings together everything I love Vikings, history and Christmas romances. What’s not to love? And I love this so much, it is a truly magical, seasonal read, that will be pulled of the keeper shelf to be read and re-read over and over again.
Gunnar has hung up his warriors sword to make a new life for himself on is new farm on a remote island, where he can have the peace and sanctuary he has been desperately wanting for most of his adult life. He life of going to war, drinking himself into oblivion and bedding any female he finds with a pulse all so alleviate the pain he has to endure daily over what happened to his family, is now becoming wearisome. Even he knows that the way he was living is no good, so when he gets the opportunity to start afresh Gunnar takes it with both hands. He has set his heart against anything to do with romance and love, that idea died to him long ago.
Gunnar is a complex man, he appears all brooding, monosyllabic and actually rather rude and a tad arrogant, but that is just a mask of the real man beneath. He is actually quite sensitive, lonely, he feels guilt ridden over what happened to his family and because of that he has closed of his heart to love, he thinks that if he allows someone in they will leave him in one way or another. He thinks all he is good for is fighting, which is far, far from the truth. He is a wonderful, passionate, stubborn, kind, sympathetic, loyal, sexy – and oh, my goodness is he sexy, or what? I was definitly swooning especially when he was chopping wood 😉 – but apart from sending me into a dithering mess, he just needs some love and kindness. (Me, me, me!! I’ll love him)
Which is where Ragnhild comes in, she and her sister are fleeing her brother-in-law who is all set on murdering both the sisters. To save herself and her sister from an unthinkable fate, she accepts the position to be the wife of a warrior who has now set himself up on a deserted island. She doesn’t know what to expect as she has never even laid eyes on the man, but she knows that this is their only chance. Their first meeting doesn’t exactly go well to begin with, he is so damn rude but she senses there is something beneath all that grumbling.
What I love about Ragnhild is that she isn’t what would be classed as beautiful, she’s not this frozen goddess with flowing blonde hair, she is a very an ordinary woman with scars and flaws. She is feisty, protective, loyal, strong, kind, caring, nurturing and has so much love bottled up just waiting to be unleashed on someone. But she has been through a lot, and because of her past she is highly self conscious, fragile, frightened and unaware just how remarkable she is. She is just a wonderfully real and relatable character, who I instantly connected with.
Reading this is like a feature length episode of Viking’s, all those glorious Viking warriors, history and superstition and they really were a superstitious lot, weren’t they? Intriguing, romantic, entertaining, alluring, enchanting, beautifully written and engaging are just a few terms to describes just how magical this book is. I love the how detailed it is from the traditional Viking Yule season to all the superstitions from lucky charms to catching the Nissar – you have to read the book to find out about that one. The character’s are beautifully created, the journey to their happily ever after is fraught with distrust, having to over come personal misgivings’ and learning to open their hearts to love. They are a compelling and courageous couple who really are the backbone of the story.
This is the perfect festive Viking romance, one which I cannot recommended enough.
This was a ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Michelle!
Sent as the Viking’s Bride is to be released on 27 December and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.