Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ARC Review: Connie Mason with Mia Marlowe – Lord of Fire and Ice

Lord of Fire and Ice: Brandr the Far Traveled and Katla the Black

From Netgalley:
Brandr the Far-Traveled is revered by his fellow Vikings: his bed skills are the stuff of steamy legend, his sword sings of death on the field of battle, and he can call up fire from thin air. Enslaved through trickery, he's determined to woo his new owner into freeing him. Too bad her heart's as icy as the frozen North. Katla is sworn to avenge her husband's death at the hands of Brandr's father. But she didn't count on Brandr's dangerous masculinity or the way he awakens her long forgotten desires. Can Brandr seduce his way free, or will love make slaves of them both?

I love Vikings! I mean who doesn’t; they are fierce, tall, proud and so deliciously arrogant. They command, you go, you might not be happy while they are ordering you there, but your happy with the end results.. wink wink… They also tend to be the fiercest of warriors, feared by all! So when I saw this title on Netgalley and our hero was not only a Viking but a fire wielder as well, I was SOLD! I have a fire wielder addiction, I think it’s because I’m a fire sign, we tend to like fire lol. Wrap it up; I’m taking Brandr home with me!

So, did this book live up to my fire and Viking expectations? Eh, it was good, but it was not great There were some good things and some things that were just kind of meh. (And yes meh, is a technical term, lol)

 Brandr was just so damn agreeable, not that is a bad thing necessarily, but where was the Viking rage damnit? He was poisoned and captured and thrown into Thrall (slavery), he is the son of a Jarl, one of the highest ranks of the Norse political system and he never once tried to escape. He was just kind of eh, serves me right for letting them get the drop on me. He agreed to not try to escape and he doesn’t, seriously?!?! Where is the fun in that if he doesn’t even once even try to escape? I mean he just found out his father is dead and his brother is dying, so he knows his Jarldom has got to be in serious turmoil and he’s content to chop some wood and seduce Katla (not that I minded the seducing), but man that’s kind of lame. He only really got mad at Katla once and it didn’t last very long.  He was just way too agreeable for a Viking, they aren’t supposed to be so “go with the flow”! Ok that being said, I did like Brandr. He was sexy in that Viking way, he may have been agreeable and easy going but he is still a Viking warrior and sexy as hell.  He does know how to take charge and hitch Katla over his shoulder and take her where he needs to go if he needs to and with Katla that skill will come in handy as she is pretty damn fiesty. Lol I just wanted him to be a little less agreeable, a little more aggressive Viking, I can get agreeable anywhere, but Vikings are Vikings!

Another thing which was kind of disappointment with this book was the fire welding.  It was mentioned a bit in the beginning with some flickering candles and then not again until about were almost 70% of the way through the book brieflywhen he set fire to a barn and then not again during the final fight scene when he finally brought out the big guns.  I never saw the point of authors giving their hero’s a super power and then basically ignoring it until the final fight scene, what’s the point?!? It’s basically a tease.   If you are going to go there, go there, go all in and not skirt around the edge. But that is my personal humble opinion; others might disagree and like the very light touch of paranormal.  I’m a paranormal junky so I like my paranormal to be paranormal.

Katla is what you expect from a Viking woman, fierce, protective, and stubborn as hell. She was used to her way and didn’t want a man coming in trying to take her freedom.  She was the head of her household and the one in charge and was good at it. Katla, was an interest mix of fierce and vulnerability, like any other woman she had her hopes, but as a woman and head of the household she had to be tougher then everyone and couldn’t show any cracks in her façade. But she so badly wanted children and a husband who loved her and feared that was something she would never get, and when Brandr fell into her lap she was scared that this man might be able to give that to her but he is a Thrall and would never do for a woman of her station, it is unheard of.  All hope seems lost, or does it until her hand is forced by her brothers.

The story itself didn’t seem to get off the ground for a while, finally maybe 25-30% of the way through we get direction of where this story is going and the “bad guy” reveals himself.  Once we had direction the story really started to develop and go somewhere, we had a destination in mind and a bad guy to book and hiss at.  We know how Brandr was brought to us, and kind of the why of it, but not really. I guess it’s not really all that important but I would have liked some of the back story as to why Katla was so intent on revenge. So we know Brandr’s father killed her husband, and there is a vague reference to that it may not have been murder, but that’s it. So what happened, I wanna know! I think Brandr at least deserved to know.  So whatever happened, it brought Brandr to Katla, which I can’t be mad at, because, I have to admit their chemistry was pretty explosive from the first glance. Two proud Norse Vikings sizing each other up, a battle of wills, and Brandr intent on seduction and Katla just as intent on avoiding it. Which always makes for a fun sizzling story to see who caves in first, and whose will is stronger, in this case, I think I may have to call it a tie; each was pretty formidable and could hold their own against each other. What I also liked about the book was how the author(s) really included Norse mythology; she/they did not shy away from using the gods in their plot line. The Norse really had some of the more interesting mythology so I am glad it was nicely included in our tale. 
*This title was provided to me through Netgalley for an honest review, no other compensation was given.


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