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
Review: Kaireen has two sisters that married before her and she has decided she would rather avoid the same fate. When her father arranges a marriage to a Viking of all people, Kaireen is livid. Bram doesn’t understand her stubborn refusal to marry and thinks that in time she will come around. Unfortunately, there are more pressing matters to think about when a battle breaks out .
Kaireen doesn’t want to marry Bram because he is a Viking and a sworn enemy, but I think the real problem she had wasn’t so much with Bram but with the idea of being forced to marry someone that she didn’t love and who didn’t love her either. She does her duty the best she can and is punished for it by her father. She still remains loyal to her family and even sees to it that Bram is taken care of when she could have easily let him die and gotten out the marriage. Bram is a gentle soul that thinks his intended is just playing hard to get. He can tell she feels something for him, at least from a physical standpoint, but she refuses to acknowledge that as well. This back and forth between Bram and Kaireen is charming in the beginning but it begins to wear thin after awhile. There is plenty of action in the book, but it wasn’t happening between Kaireen and Bram. A few stolen kisses and then they were back to the tug of war. I think perhaps Historical Fiction would best describe this book since the romance seems to be placed second to the battles and politics and scheming of those that surround Kaireen. Also, the side story about Kaireen’s sister is realistic, but depressing and I’m not sure what purpose it served by being included in the book.
As for the individual characters, I like Bram because he is so patient and sincere. He would never hurt Kaireen or force her into something she didn’t want. Kaireen is a very strong willed woman that refuses to sacrifice her convictions despite the punishment she will no doubt endure as a result. Faithful and loyal even when she is not being treated fairly, Kaireen is a fine example.
This was an enjoyable read, I just wish the romance part had been more of a part of the story and I wish Kiareen had not spent so much time refusing to consider Bram as a mate because when she does finally concede she has fallen for him, the book is nearly over and then things felt a little rushed.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I would like to check out more of her work. Her writing is very easy to read and the historical details are very authentic. I would recommend this to all lovers of historical fiction.