Viking Fire by Andrea R. Cooper: Review

August 8, 2013 Reviews 1

roses2In 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.

I must confess that in the past, I would have probably walked right on by Viking Fire. It wouldn’t have been for any reason other than this particular period of history hasn’t always captured my interest. However when I was approached to review this, I decided to leap into the unknown and I was very pleasantly surprised. There was plenty of action, mystery and intrigue, as well as wonderful chemistry between the hero and heroine.

Kaireen is not excited at the prospect of being joined in marriage to Bram, a Viking raider. Being married off to a sworn enemy with no indication of a love match? “No, thank you” is her reaction. She vows to do whatever is in her power to prevent him becoming her husband.

Bram is a younger son, and as a result, he has no defined future and no lands to inherit. He has agreed to marry the daughter of an Irish laird in exchange for land and loyalty. Despite Kaireen’s utter reluctance to become his bride, he is drawn to her and does all he can to convince her otherwise.

The chemistry between Kaireen and Bram is electric. Their opposing personalities bounce well against each other. Kaireen is headstrong and feisty, with absolutely no qualms about voicing her distaste for the situation. However Bram is calm and patient with Kaireen, and takes great joy in teasing and answering back (in other words, he’s a real flirt).

It was a lot of fun watching Kaireen battle against herself in regard to her feelings for Bram. Here’s this man she wants so desperately to dislike, but he gets under her skin to the point where she finds resistance is harder to maintain than she expects.

When Bram is wounded in a battle with other Lochlann raiders, Kaireen steps in to help him. You’d think she’d be lauded for this – oh, no…she gets punished. I thought the punishment she was dealt seemed a tad extreme, but hey, my knowledge of 850s-era punishment is pretty weak. Can’t say I’d be that keen to scrub arm-deep in lye soap.

The other characters in this story were brilliant, adding much drama and intrigue. Feoras, of the rival O’Neills – wow, is he a misogynistic piece of work? His thirst for vengeance is pretty extreme. There was a rat in the ranks at the Liannon keep, aiding Feoras in his evil plans – it took me a while to work out who that was. I like not being able to work out the bad guy straight away.

Being set in the first millenium, there were plenty of battle scenes. On occasion, they went a little long, however they were really well-done.

The quest for revenge by Feoras and the “mole” comes to quite a dramatic conclusion. I won’t spoil the fun and tell you exactly what happens. However, I will say this: “Go you, Elva!”.

As I said at the start, I’ve never been one much for Viking-era romance, but if you can find me others like Viking Fire, I may just be a convert.

My rating: 4 out of 5

Release Date: 29 July 2013

Purchase Links: Crimson Romance eBooks – Amazon

Note: I was generously provided with an advanced reader copy by the author, Andrea R. Cooper, in exchange for an honest review.

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