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At last! A heroine who is everything I’d want to be!! Marion of Ravenhill may find herself on the brink of marrying a savage and uncivilized Viking, but she’s not taking anything for granted. Well armed, skilled with bow and sword, Marion awaits the arrival of the marauders and deals with treachery within her holding with fiery resolve and an amazing inner strength!
However, Wyborn the Indomitable is more than a match for Marion. Kate Hill has created one of the all-time splendid heroes – a man for war, women and wonder! His fighting skills are second to none, his intelligence under-rated, and his skilful handling of Marion will take your breath away. One step ahead of her tricky maneuvers, Wyborn gently leads her to exactly where he wants her – his bed! Yet not once does he treat her with disrespect or brutality! This is one wonderful Viking – if there’d been more like him, they could have ruled the world!!!
The deepening of the relationship between Wyborn and Marion is really the crux of this book, although the dangerous battle for survival against both nature and the treachery of man is a constant counterpoint to their love. Old enemies resurface and new enemies appear, both with different motivations, but with one goal – to bring down Wyborn! These threats, however, serve to strengthen the bonds that are growing between the Chieftain and his Bride. Both possessed of brilliant and inventive minds, when one fails, the other is there to fill in the slack. What develops between these two amazing protagonists is a partnership unlike any other I’ve read about recently. It transcends simple romance and enters into the territory of a true partnership of the souls. Wonderful and extraordinary, Marion and Wyborn are everything lovers should be!
The secondary characters are perfectly drawn – especially Derek, the wild and kilted Scottish warrior, who catches the attention of Sonja, Wyborn’s Viking sister. Another fascinating addition is the really unpleasant Sir William Blackridge, who is everything a villain should be, or is he? Once again Kate Hill challenges our perceptions of good and evil.... you’ll have to read this book and make your own decision about him, I’m not going to spoil it any further.
In all honesty, I must admit that some Viking romances have left me unimpressed, and although I really enjoyed Ms. Hill’s vampire novels, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began this story. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that this is a thrilling and spellbinding glimpse into a past long gone. Details of life in the 11th century are slipped naturally into the story – no lectures or long informative passages. We’re seduced by an environment that is no more, and a love that will be forever! Truly a splendid book, and I’m happy to give it my highest rating! I can’t wait for the next two in the series.