by Lori Soard

April 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61124-086-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Amber Quill Press

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Rök Erikson had a transforming encounter during a raid, an encounter that has left him questioning his father’s faith. His recent introduction to Christianity has upset the tradition of his upbringing. Battle is the way of life for a Viking. Yet, now as Rök is on his way to avenge the attempted murder on his father’s life a different kind of battle is taking place inside his heart. A warrior is respected for being merciless. But now, Rök sees the slaying of peaceful monks as unnecessary cruelty and it bothers his soul. He refuses to take part in terrorizing villages. Killing the man who tried to murder his father is necessary, but knowing it doesn’t make it any easier for him. In addition, his father and brothers are beginning to question his loyalty because Rök prefers peace to violence. So, it is he and his brother Thorson who are sent to kill Jarl Van of Colby before he can kill their father.

Leani vowed never to take another life, but when an evil Viking kills her father and rapes her sister, her rage knew no bounds. She stabs the Viking as he is doing his victory dance outside her home. The killing is witnessed by the monster’s brother and she is taken captive. Leani is forced to leave her ravaged sister to fend for herself. Aboard the ship taking her to stand trial, Leani learns the man she killed was a vile Erikson. Her peace-loving father had taken his family and fled from the Eriksons when Leani was younger. Egil Erikson hated her father obviously so much that fleeing wasn’t enough, he wanted Jarl Van dead. Leani became a Christian when she was just a little girl and her father preached in the village she called home. There was no just cause for his death. But the Eriksons wouldn’t care. She knew they would put her to death. Leani hoped God would forgive her for taking the life of another.

As she waits in her prison until the next Thing, Leani begins to spend more time with Rök and she can see that he is different from the rest of his family. Still, the attraction she has for him feels like a betrayal to her family. How can she love her enemy? Rök is suffering from the same dilemma. Will love heal their wounds or has too much occurred for Rök to become her own Dear Viking?

Meanwhile, more attempts are made on the Erikson men which brings to light new information. Was Leani’s father killed in vain and how will that affect the developing relationship between Leani and Rök?

Dear Viking by Lori Soard is a well-written inspirational romance that definitely has that satisfied sigh factor readers want at the end of their books. Faith is a big part of this story. Some may feel it is a bit preachy, but I feel it is necessary since Dear Viking takes place during the time Christianity is first introduced to the Viking world. We are given a glimpse into how families may have been affected as a result.

Reviewed in June 2011 by Rho.

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