Lida was married to the love of her life for just two months when she became a widow. Pregnant and disowned by her late husband’s family for suspected infidelity, she was forced to return to her family in shame. Eight years later, uninterested in the prospect of finding another husband, she finds herself the unwilling object of a marriage contract with a powerful warlord. In a day, she is wed, bed, and put on a ship headed for Tronscar; an unknown icy stone and steel fortress.
Jarl Magnus is pleased to have taken a strong wife who, however stubborn she may be, will surely produce sons. However, he is less pleased with his wife’s additional baggage—a young daughter. But despite himself, Magnus falls for the daughter just as hard as the mother, and Lida’s heart is warmed to see the cold, serious Jarl move surprisingly fast into the role of stepfather.
When enemies attack Tronscar, Jarl Magnus’s nerves of steel waver, as the warrior fears his love for Lida will weaken him. But when his family is threatened, he’ll go to war to protect them, discovering along the way that they have the strength to protect themselves.
Worldbuilding: The Norrland world was interesting, with its power structures and diplomacy. I enjoyed it.
Characters: Lida was an interesting character, intelligent, and astute strategist for her world and position. She was a bit of a rebel, but a diplomatic one, and I admired her values.
Magnus was the alpha male we’d all expect him to be, and I loved the two of them together. They were fun, charismatic, had awesome chemistry and it was interesting to read about the little power struggle going on between them.
Plot: There was more to the story than the romance arc, but not a huge lot more. The reluctant bride trope was fun, it fit the time period and society and made it all the more interesting. The power struggle tangent wasn’t overly played on, but it came in nicely and rounded the overall story.
Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, his and her POV. The style read very “historic air”, the language given an air of old days. It was fun, but I confess I’m not one of those readers hoping for a “historical air” when reading historical fiction. Okay, don’t use “cool”, lol, but still. The style can make it tougher to get into the story and “feel” it.
Curb Appeal: Smexy cover, interesting blurb, but let’s face it – vikings 😀 I was all in, obviously!
All in all, I had fun reading this viking romance. The writing style tempered my enthusiasm, I’ll admit, but it’s a matter of personal preference and I think with reading more in the same vein I’d grow to enjoy it more. I’d love to read about Katia next 😀
If you’re into viking romance stories, historical romances by large, I think you should definitely give The Warlord’s Wife a try.