Audio Book Review-A Viking For The Viscountess by Michelle Willingham

A Viking For The Viscountess was a whirlwind of surprises for me, I don’t get a chance to read this author very often, but I always have a good time when I do. I had been on the search for a good time travel romance so when I came across this story, I knew that I needed to pick it up. Plus…VIKINGS….GIMME GIMME NOW!! Yep I have a weakness and its vikings.  I really found the set up of the story very unique and when I saw that this book was narrated by BRAD WILLS…I might have freaked out a bit, because I love his narrations and I was curious to see how he would do with this author’s style of writing…which was excellent like always. I don’t think there is a book out there he couldn’t narrate.

This wonderful story begins with ourhero, Arik, who is a Viking and upon learning that his betrothed was sleeping with another man, a bit furious when to confront them and ended up with a ax in his spine and he passed away. So thinking that he would be on his way to Valhalla on the sea. But then on his ship searching for Valhalla, he sees a young woman and thinking her his fiancée rescues her.

Our heroine, Juliana, The Viscountess of Hawthorne is looking for a way to get herself out of this mess. Seven years ago, she thought she fell in love during her first season, they married in Gretna Green and then he disappeared for six years leaving her to raise their son all alone. But then his brother six months ago had to force them out since there was proof that their marriage wasn’t legal and her son had no inheritance. So now they are living in her father’s fishing cottage and barely making it through the winter. When her son’s nursemaid tells her to go on a walk she does, and fixes something on her father’s little fishing boat and finds herself on the sea and unable to get back to shore and then she is rescued by a tall stranger. Who touches her in certain ways that she never knew could be pleasurable. She wakes up to realize she just made love to a stranger, on his boat and this stranger wants to be her protector and keep her safe. At first she is appalled at the notion, he has certain attitudes that she isn’t used to and he comes up with a strange story that could never be true…or could it be?

This was such a different time travel romance that I am ever used to seeing. I rarely see a hero time traveling forward from viking era times to a regency era period. So It was a bit different but I really enjoyed it. First off, what I liked and wasn’t quite expecting was the full consent when it comes to sex between the pair here. Viking heroes have a very alpha male vibe, and yeah Arik does have that, but he is also a man who doesn’t force a woman. Their first meeting is a bit unusual, but both are VERY willing. Our heroine is new to discovering pleasure with a man sexually, her husband was very cruel and demeaned her all the time and with Arik the experience is the exact opposite. I love how he just lets her “use his body for her pleasure” that he wants her to explore her sexuality and discover what she likes for herself.

We see Arik in a bind though, he is a time that is a thousand years in the future, and seeing him react to certain things like a grandfather clock and trying to take his ax to it was HILARIOUS!! I mean the simple things that even though in the 1800’s took for granted was pretty fun at times. We also have a mixed plot line with the fact that Arik resembled a Duke’s son and that they have switched bodies somehow. We see reconnect with the man who could be his father in another life. We see the charming way he is with Juliana’s six year old son who is a charmer. I loved how endearing this little boy is and how he takes to Arik pretty quickly…he is such in need of some male guidance and Arik is just perfect.

I found the romance that develops between Arik and Juliana to be sensual and strong yet have it sweet moments too. There is so much that divides the both of them, the fact that they know Arik’s time is small and that he will die soon. We see they just try to live in the moment as much as possible and enjoy what they have while they can. I found this element to be very curious and really added to the bit of mystery to the plot. We don’t know what is in their future, but I did like how devoted Arik is to Juliana and the way he treats her is so tender at times.

Overall I found A Viking For The Vicountess to be a love tale that shows the true power of real love….the sacrifices, the desire, and the loyalty that it encircles….BEAUTIFULLY CAPTURED!!


About Michelle Willingham

Rita Award Finalist Michelle Willingham has published over twenty books and novellas. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her husband and children and is working on more historical romance novels. When she's not writing, Michelle enjoys baking, playing the piano, and avoiding exercise at all costs.

Book Review-Fighting For Everything by Laura Kaye

Fighting For Everything is the first book in a new series by Laura Kaye. I was very intrigued about this book, I was sent this book by the author a while ago, and then totally forgot about it and when i realized I had this, I knew I needed to read this especially since I have been in the mood for a story just like this one. I always get a kick out of Laura Kaye’s book and even though I wouldn’t say that this book would be my favorite from Kaye, I did enjoy it quite a bit and it was such a heart wrenching romance that really tugged at my emotions.

Fighting For Everything begins its story when our hero Noah, has returned from his tour and has been medically discharged after getting a TBI, losing partial hearing and eyesight. He lost all the members of his team and barely survived on his own. Noah still bears the physical and emotional after effects of the trauma that he suffered. Even though he has returned home, he is not the same man he was when he left. He has changed and he doesn’t know if he will ever be back to who he used to be. While at a BBQ that his family is hosting, he sees his best friend Kristina come to him and seeing her causes a severe panick attack, he sees the energy and the beautiful smile and he doesn’t feel worthy of her and tries to flee away from her. But Kristina, knows that Noah is in a load of pain and the last thing he needs is solitude. He needs her, just in the way she has needed him in the past. So she goes in search of him and what begins as a act of comfort, turns into something she never expected….a HOT and passionate kiss that she never saw coming but one she was more than willing to participate in. But then Noah turns her away and practically pushes her out the door.

But Kristina refuses to give up on her best friend, and even though circumstances have changed between them, she knows that she has to give in and see what they can become and help Noah adjust to his new life here. Kristina starts to force Noah to face up to some of his fears and his feelings for her, they start to slowly reconnect but when things get too serious between them Noah can’t handle it and pushes Kristina completely out of his life and breaks her heart in the process. He begins to unravel emotionally and mentally, and only when a least expected friend he finds at a recovery art class which brings him to the Warrior Fight Club, where he works out his frustations on the mat and finds some real friends that understand what its like, he finds his center and is able to focus on living again and fighting for Kristina and proving to her that he does love her….no matter how long it takes him.

This tattoo is about me, because I had to fix myself before I could do or have or be anything else. But this tattoo is also about you, because you were my reason, my inspirations, my hope against hope.

There was something so emotionally raw about this book. Now Laura Kaye does put me in a emotional swirl quite often, but this book was really different. I didn’t know what I was quite expecting, but it wasn’t this. These two characters really worked me in this book. From the beginning we see the strong chemistry that builds between them. I liked seeing the whole friends to lovers trope and this was done very differently. We get hints that the attraction had always been there but the friendship put the attraction on hold. But when Noah returns home, emotionally and physcially scarred, something shifts between them. Kristina knows that he is troubled, and being with him in the sense of a romantic long term relationship is going to be rough, she also would do anything for Noah. I loved seeing how committed Kristina is to Noah, and how she never truly gives up on him no matter how many times he tries to push her away.

You own every part of me. Everything I am or will be. Everything is yours.

We get to see the Warrior Fight Club and seeing Noah connect with other veterans and ex soldiers that have their own challenges and seeing him make a family with these men. Learning to spar, build up his strength and realize how much damage he is doing to himself and those that he loves. One of my favorite side characters was MO, he was AWESOME and brilliant and really helped Noah get his head on straight and didn’t tell him nonsense, he really gave the truth to him straight and is such a solid friend to Noah. We see Noah go through quite a bit of growth and change and seeing him overcome the emotional tolls of PTSD and this is what I liked most about this story. Is seeing someone so damaged and hurting and at the bottom literally and then being able to rise above everything and make a good decent life for himself.

I want to stay right here, in your arms. Because this is right where I’m supposed to be.

Fighting For Everything was a story of growth, of change, of finding love when you least expect it and a courageous fight to live and to love with a fierce devotion….


About Laura Kaye

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Heroes, and Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura's hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Quickie Romance Review-Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

*Contains Some Spoilers*

Magic Triumphs is the final installment in the Kate Daniels series (as far as I know) but after reading it there was more finality to it than in previous books so this saddens my heart because I have had such a blast going through Kate and Curran’s journey and finding their own place together and in their world that they have created with all the good and the bad and their beautiful son.  I will make this a shorter review, because quite frankly if I go long I will reveal details I probably shouldn’t and would ruin the book. This review I just want to share my impressions of the story overall.

In Magic Triumphs, Kate and Curran have given birth to a bouncing baby boy and boy does he have the energy that his parents have plus tenfold. We see Curran and Kate as parents, and trying to juggle everything including finding time for themselves. We see danger is escalating and they are trying to figure out the new threat including a way to bring down Kate’s father who is more dangerous than ever. I really adore seeing how the plot escalates and all the SUSPENSE….I almost felt like I was going to have a heart attack because the intensity just about killed me. I loved trying to solve the mystery along side Kate and Curran and all their friends and family and their hyper active powerful boy. Their son is eighteen months and seeing him into a baby lion was so CUTE and he drives his mama a bit crazy.

We see the way Kate juggles everything she has to handle wife, mother, niece, daughter, kick ass fighter and defender of the city of Atlanta and more. We see how the strain that everyone puts on her and what I truly loved is that with everything she has going on….the love her “kitty cat” has for her is what keeps her going strong and stable, she relies on him more than she realizes because he accepts her as she is and loves her fully and wholly. Their isn’t a super strong focus on their relationship, but when we get glimpses of it in these small moments, my emotions just break because you see how strong and well balanced they are together on and off the battle field. The story weaves its way through passion, the challenges of parenthood, killings and intrigue, and fighting off near unbeatable enemies to bring a better future for those you love….its kick ass in every way you can imagine and this final installment was a PHENOMENAL journey that I am so grateful to be a part of!!

a little more of the old technological world died, and the new world and its powers and monsters grew a little stronger. Being one of the monsters, I supposed I shouldn’t complain.

 

Behold, the Immortal One, the In Shinar, the Blood Blade of Atlanta” I spent the whole ceremony trying to kill him with my brain. When I chewed him out afterward, he asked who I would rather risk my life for, The Blood Blade of Atlanta or Kate Lennart, small business owner. I shouldn’t told him to stuff it, I had only myself to blame.

 

Conlan cooed, looking like the most adorable child, all innocence and light. The kind of child who would never turn into a monster and eat raw mice in the woods with his father. My son was a con man.

 

The dove? Kate Daniels, the Dove? Just when exactly had I ever done anything remotely dovelike?

About Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.