A Viking Romance
Two lives collide when Helena, a captive Frankish woman, finds herself in desperate need. Hakan, the Viking chieftain who takes her, has plans…to lay down his sword and live a quiet farmer’s life.
Trouble brews when Helena, not born a slave, longs for freedom, and the chieftain who bought her longs for peace. They discover one surprise after another that hot Viking summer. But, will deceit and old loyalties destroy what is their greatest discovery…each other?
FTC: This review was requested by the publicist. We were not paid for the review
Norse Jewel by Gina Conkle is set in Europe in the early 11th century. A Europe of Franks, Castillians, Bretons, Saxons, Anglo Saxons and Danes.
Frankish Helena is taken from her village after a Danish raid;not knowing if her family is alive or dead she is to be sold as a thrall (slave). That is if she survives the night after withstanding an attack from one of her captors who is now bent on revenge. She takes refuge in the handsome face and kind eyes of Hakan, Norse chieftain of Svea. He needs a thrall who can speak Frankish and she begs him to buy her. Wanting an older woman (as they are less trouble) Hakan finally relents and buys her, enjoying her spirit.
This is a story of stolen looks and touches, a growing romance developing out of the need to protect and defend. All anchored in mutual attraction and respect. But he is divorced and been burned by his wife who is withholding access to his son, wanting more and more jewels and finery from him.
Helena longs to return to her home and her fiancé, a fiancé who locked himself in his tower during the Dane attack and made no effort to rescue her- as Hakan dutifully reminds her.
This is an enjoyable tale which includes historical description of Norse and Viking traditions and the struggle they has as European Christian influences are adopted in their culture. This creates conflict and betrayal which becomes an underlying theme in the novel and adds a twist to the ending.
A true romance, this story is gentle and plot driven as it follows their growing relationship, admiration, support, attraction and love. The characters are engaging and interesting, Helena is a strong woman, full of life and humour, but is she willing to give up her old life and as for Hakan… Can a warlord really be a farmer?
If you like historical novels and romance, this could be for you. If you read it wanting lots of sex scenes you will be disappointed- as I said earlier this is a true romance- but don’t let that put you off what really is a very enjoyable read.
The ending does suggest there could be more and I would be happy to read the next installment I give Norse Jewel 3 stars.