VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 25, 2012
This is very well-written and started right in the middle of the action: a Viking 'capturing' one of the young females of a (man-free/man-less, pretty much) Celt village, in Cumbria, in 9th Century AD, only for her to turn the tables on him and injure him, possibly mortally...before nursing him back to health, and allowing him into her heart.
The tale was pretty much non-stop, not that I mean that there was a lot of fighting/raiding/pillaging as you might expect with a Viking tale, but that the visitors brought change, and showed the tired and dejected women that Viking men could be decent, kind, without expecting or demanding anything in return, that the feared enemy could have more in common with them than their long-held beliefs that all Vikings were cavemen and killers. It was a feel-good tale, with human decency and love at the core of it.
I liked that the tale was not only a romance (with a secondary romance and HEA in the background), but that it depicted the hardships of life at those times. I enjoyed the romance between a Viking who wasn't the marauder his ancestors were, and that he and his chosen bride had more in common than they realised, which gave their romance a good start. I liked that he was not typical of his race, and that he understood that he had to give love, patience and understanding to get the woman he'd loved for years, and that he didn't simply grab and carry her off, like his ancestors and clansmen would normally have done. He was a pretty modern-thinking Viking! I liked that it wasn't all about lust and falling into bed, though there were some sweet, old-fashioned love scenes (as opposed to sex scenes). I liked that one abused character's life so changed for the better, despite it being a 'feared enemy' who dispersed her trauma and let her learn to live and to love again. This tale felt as if a new community, a new race was being created, leaving behind poverty, fear, hardship for love, friendship and looking out for each other.
The only gripe that I do have, is that despite this being a historical novel, some of the dialogue was more on a par with contemp books, but then again, I got a ARC edition (which also had a few typos), and the final version may have fixed the dialogue issue.
Overall, a very good read, and the first time that I've actually been pleased with an Amazon Montlake Romance novel, as true to its word, it did combine a decent tale, a great lead, a romance I could believe in, and that I was rooting for, as well as danger, in a very nice little historical package.