• Story
  • Heat

THE BEAR
AND THE BRIDE
Viking Warriors, Book 1
By Jianne Carlo
Story Rating: 3.5/5
Heat Level: 3/5

Jarl Torsten glimpses Ainslin of Durham, a recent widow with two sons, and immediately covets her for his wife. He outmaneuvers his rival, Ainslin’s neighbor Earl Sigrid, and receives the king’s blessing to marry her.

Ainslin fears Torsten reaction when he discovers she’s a virgin. How to explain her maidenhead and twin sons?
Her worst nightmares are realized when Earl Sigrid arrives in Norway for King Cnut’s coronation. What does he suspect? Will Torsten cast Ainslin and the boys aside when he discovers the truth?

 

Being the Jarl of Stjórardiar, Torsten was known simply as The Bear to his enemies, someone to fear on a battlefield and an imposing force in all other matters. But having a simple woman bring him to his knees is something that he didn’t expect. When Torsten agreed to the arranged marriage of a widow with 2 children he didn’t know what he was getting himself into, other than he wanted the woman and was willing to do whatever it took to have her. But getting to know Ainslin only makes it more obvious that she has complete control of his heart, but when a foe from Ainslin’s past comes to take her happiness away just how far is Torsten willing to go to save the family he now has? For once being a warrior has its definite benefits.

Ainslin knows that this marriage must happen if she is ever to be safe again, being a widow with children is about the same as being a sitting duck during hunting season. When the opportunity to marry a warrior from the Northern country was presented to her, she jumped at the chance since a warrior would never let anything happen to her while under his protection. What Ainslin doesn’t expect is the kindness that feels when Torsten gazes upon her, or how much at easy he can make her feel. Falling for this warrior was not something she had planned on but her heart has chosen it’s match and now all she has to do is make Torsten feel the same way. Can Ainslin ever truly possess the heart of a warrior or will she be doomed to a marriage of convenience for one?

This was a great story that was also a wonderful opener to this trio of books about gorgeous warriors who one by one lose their hearts to the women they didn’t expect at all. While reading about the Norse Vikings was definitely a new genre for me, Jianne Carlo really made this just a pleasant read that even the different terminology flowed well and wasn’t intimidating in the least. The story of Torsten and Ainslin was a wonderful story, and while I was sad to see the last page that only meant that the next tale would be starting soon with another host of characters to meet. Being a new author to me, I instantly feel in love with her writing style and couldn’t wait to get started on the rest of this series, Jianne Carlo has definitely made a place for herself on my re-read shelf with this story, and she would make a great addition to anyone’s collection.

Reviewed By: Ashleigh

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THE DRAGON SLAYER
Viking Warriors, Book 2
By Jianne Carlo
Story Rating: 4/5
Heat Level: 3/5

Ruard, the Viking warrior known as The Dragon Slayer, has no great hopes for the wife he’s to take as the lord of Dunnsmuir Castle, so long as she’s a biddable wife, with all her teeth, who doesn’t drool;a plain, humble woman. He has no use for the flame-haired nymph with breasts as ripe as melons and whose supple hips beckon a man’s hands. Nor for a maiden with a stubborn chin and flashing eyes that speak of naught but trouble.

Catriona hopes for a husband ’twill be easy to poison. Lord Ulfric holds her sister captive and demands Catriona do his bidding: poison his Viking rival, the man they call the Dragon Slayer. Catriona hopes for a cruel warrior, a man easy to hate, not this Thor god come to life with golden hair, sky blue eyes, and a laughing smile. Her sister’s life depends on it, but how can she slay this Ruard, her new husband, who makes her heart pound with joy?

 

For the brother of Torsten, Ruard always expected to have an arranged marriage when he was seen as worthy in King Cnut’s eyes. When the castle of Dunsmuir was offered to him along with Catriona the Pure, Ruard was less than pleased. Not only was the castle in near shambled but any woman with pure as her salutation was not a woman for him. But after actually laying his eyes on Catriona all of his perceptions changed on a dime. She looked more like a siren than a pure woman and look in her eyes was one of pure lust than the terror he expected. The group that escorted her to him was a different matter altogether, one of his rival knights lays a bomb shell on him about the wedding night and the façade that Catriona has been trying to project falls enough for Ruard to see her fear of this man. How is Ruard supposed to protect this woman when she can’t even show her true emotions to him, let alone open her heart to love him?

Catriona is desperate for this wedding night to be over. All she has heard is that once a warrior ruts away and gets what he wants than she can have her castle and be in peace under the protection of a man known to others as the “Dragon Slayer”. Ruard is feared by most men and lusted after by almost all women, and yet for some reason he wants her, and Catriona is willing to sacrifice herself to make this man happy so he will save her. Once her heart starts to thaw towards him, how is she supposed to do the one thing that will save the rest of her family? Will loving this man really be able to save her or will she regret ever setting her eyes on this Thor like god who so easily stole her heart with just a smile?

As the second installment of the Viking Warriors series, Jianne Carlo hit another one out of the park. The story of Ruard and Catriona was another one that really just told itself without making the Norse undercurrents too hard to digest. Ms. Carlo really knows how to write about this time period while still making the reader feel at ease with the language changes and letting the story flow so easily that when the book ended it felt complete yet left an opening for the third story as well. If the first book in this series, The Bear and the Bride, didn’t make me love this author The Dragon Slayer really brought it all home. This is another book that would make a great addition to anyone’s collection of books.

Reviewed By: Ashleigh

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THE PEACEMAKER
By Jianne Carlo
Viking Warriors, Book 3
Story Rating: 4/5
Heat Level: 3/5

When Njal the Peacemaker meets his bride-to-be, she’s dressed in breeches, flaunting a crossbow, and covered in boar’s blood. What he needs is a woman skilled with words, a woman with exquisite manners, a cunning woman capable of maneuvering the political intrigue of a king’s court. Not this rough country lass whose skill with a crossbow rivals his.

Bettina has no desire to wed a peacemaker. She needs a Viking warrior who’ll strike fear into the hearts of her enemies, a man of strength who can thwart her step-uncle’s theft of her castle’s treasures. But Nyal the Peacemaker wields words, not weapons – until their wedding night proves he’s also a man of passion. Neither can resist the heat of their coupling, but can a man who values peace be enough for a warrior bride?

 

Bettina has no desire to be married, but knows that it is her duty if she wants to protect not only herself and her mother but for her castle and all the people it provides for as well. When she was told that she was going to be marrying a Viking warrior, fears naturally arose but she tampered them down with the knowledge that she was sacrificing herself for her people. What she wasn’t expecting was Njal to be the one at the end of the aisle on her wedding day. He wasn’t at all what she was expecting, and now she doesn’t know if she can handle this gentle giant at all. When her emotions get involved just how well can Bettina survive if Njal ever wants to walk away from her?

Njal is known to other warriors as “The Peacemaker” and because of it others tend to not see his other skills, but Njal is not a push over in the least. When he comes head-to-head with his new wife Bettina, Njal knows that he will have his work cut out for him taming his warrior bride. If only Bettina would understand that she can trust him to understand and help to take care of her than things would go a lot smoother in their new home. When a problem from Bettina’s past threatens to take away not only her happiness but the woman that Njal has fallen for, he promises to stop at nothing to make this enemy pay. Just how far is Njal willing to go to protect not only the woman he loves but also the home that he is calling his own?

The final installment of the Viking Warrior series, by Jianne Carlo was a wonderful way to wrap up the tale of these three Vikings and how they all found love in the most unlikely places. The story of Bettina and Njal was another great example of Jianne Carlo’s writing style, allowing the characters to tell their own stories without forcing an ending sooner than needed. While this book was longer than the two previous any questions that were in readers minds from the previous books were all answered and it left this reader with a real sense of completion. I will definitely have to look at other books by Jianne Carlo, because if any of her other works are as good as this series than they will be fantastic also. This series would make a great addition for a reader looking to get a glimpse into the historical romance genre as well as a seasoned romance reader.

Reviewed By: Ashleigh