Series Name: Shieldmaiden Sisters, # 2
Get ready to get swept back into the Shieldmaiden series with Lucy’s latest book, Tempted by Her Outcast Viking.
They stared at one another, their breathing heavy and the tension between them thick in the silence. Their big bodies filled the space of the ally, making the wattle and daub buildings seem even more fragile and small, neither of them willing to back down, their bodies held in a tight balance of frustration and stubborn pride.
The dark pools of his eyes locked with hers and then dropped ever so slowly to her mouth. ‘There was a time when you liked me…’
Her face burned and she almost shoved him for a third time against the wall, not that it seemed to affect the big ox… which only irritated her further.
A passionate Viking romance
Tempted by the warrior…
But she’ll never wed!
Brynhild had once been close to Erik—until he’d betrayed her, and she’d hoped never to see him again. Now the fiercely independent shieldmaiden needs Erik’s skills to rescue her sister. Striking a truce with the tough, isolated loner, they reach a mutually beneficial deal: help her and, in return, she’ll help him in his quest to find a wife—by teaching him how to please a woman in bed!
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, so I was pumped to read its next installment. You can read this book as a stand-alone, but I wouldn’t recommend it. This is because the stories are connected, and the events in the first book dictate the book’s direction. Tempted by her, Outcast Viking picks up right after the first book. Brynhild, her sister Helga, and the broody Viking Erik are walking around in the market. While Brynhild and Erik are having a heated discussion about a past hurt between these two, Helga is kidnapped. They soon learn that Helga’s kidnapping is because of the failed marriage between Lord Rhys’ sister and Halfdan, Erik’s brother (which happened in the first book). Lord Rhys wants his sister returned in exchange for Helga. The problem is that no one knows where his sister is because she fled the town with her lover. Brynhild and Erik set off to find Lord Rhys’s sister and get Helga back.
I enjoyed this book. It was slower-paced than what I was expecting. The first book is action-packed and centred around this epic adventure. While this book did have that adventure aspect to it, it was much a slower-paced one. The story focused more on Brynhild and Erik’s tension and past hurt. Not to give too much away, but when Brynhild and Erik were younger, they had formed a friendship, but their friendship ended in hurtful words and a broken nose. As the story unfolds, we get to watch as these two slowly start to become friends and then do something more. I love watching them interact with each other. The sparks and romantic tension are there right from the beginning (no matter how hard they deny it). This book’s ending had so many unexpected twists, and the last page leaves readers on a major cliffhanger.
Brynhild is a strong, fierce warrior. She feels this sense of duty to protect and take care of her mother and younger sister. This duty and her desire to maintain her freedom have meant that she does not want to marry any man. I liked her character; it was this wonderful blend of strength and vulnerability. Brynhild guards her heart well and doesn’t want to get hurt by Erik again. Erik was this mysterious character in the first book, and I enjoyed seeing what he was thinking and his dreams for his future. I love how these two are equal in every aspect; they were both fierce warriors, smart, stubborn, and capable of taking care of themselves. This book has lots of steamy bits that will satisfy any romantic reader.
The overall story is this wonderful bridge leading readers to this grand finale that we know is coming in the third book. Lucy is pulling new pieces and sub-plots into the overall grand story, and I really love where she is taking us, and I cannot wait to read the next book.
Tempted by her Outcast Viking is a captivating historical romance.
Thank you, Harlequin Historical and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.