by Diana Groe

May 2006
ISBN: 0-8439-5710-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

The attack was as brutal and barbaric as the Viking raiders who were the cause. Rika and her adopted brother, simple-minded Ketil, hid from the warriors who were herding the survivors into their long ships, reducing them into thralls! Rika needed to find her foster father, Magnus a renowned skald, and get away as quickly as possible without the Vikings seeing her or Ketil. Upon discovering Magnus’ butchered body in the stables, Rika knew her world was about to crumble. There in the doorway blocking the exit was the biggest Viking warrior Rika had ever seen. He possessed a chiseled handsome face, warrior’s honed body with an unusually dark complexion for a Viking, and he was carrying a blade dripping with the blood of the slain villagers. Admitting he was not the one responsible for their father’s death, but the leader of this cutthroat group non the less, Bjorn the Black took his most exquisite prize from this raid yet, the sharp tongued Rika who would make an excellent bed slave for him!

Renowned for his ruthlessness Bjorn the Black had led the raid on the defenseless village under direct orders from his jarl and older brother, Gunnar who Bjorn had sworn an oath of loyalty. Realizing after the fact that Rika spoke the truth that she was a skald, Bjorn could not bring himself to part with his new thrall and decided he would keep her and make her permanently his, one way or the other. Rika vowed she would not willingly let the man she blamed for her father’s death have her love, and Bjorn made a promise to Rika in return. Although Rika would continue to warm his cold bed at night, he would not force anything else on her unless she asked it of him. Moreover, so the sparring between two strong willed foes began.

From the icy fjords of the Netherlands to the mysterious exotic port of Constantinople, the dramatic romance of Rika Magnusdottir and Bjorn the Black unfolds in Maidensong. First time author Diana Groe takes Viking romance to an interesting level with the harsh realities of the lives of the people of that time. Warning Maidensong is not for the squeamish, as the depiction of several Byzantine as well as Viking rituals and customs are detailed throughout the book.

Reviewed in May 2006 by Bonnie.

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