In close quarters… with the Viking she’d loved and lost
With her family fallen on hard times, Valda’s forced to join the crew on Halfdan Ulfsson’s merchant ship as he sets sail on the treacherous silk route. But this handsome jarl’s son is the man she’d planned to wed, until his bitter betrayal. Knowing she can never trust him, she must focus on saving her sisters…and not the intense connection that still burns between them!
|Title:||The Viking She Would Have Married|
The Shieldmaiden Sisters (Book 1)
|Category / Genre(s):||Harlequin / Mills & Boon|
|Point of View:||Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Jorvik and at sea (present day York, England)|
|Setting:||913 AD – Viking|
|Release Date:||26th May, 2022|
Another delightful Viking love story
This is Ms Morris’s third book and the start of a brand new series. With that said, our heroine, Valda, did appear as a minor character in the previous book (A Nun for the Viking Warrior). While I’ve been looking forward to her story, you really don’t need to have read that story to understand and enjoy this one.
Valda now finds herself in Jorvik and the circumstances she, her sister and her mother find themselves in, are pretty dire. She needs to find employment that will bring in enough funds that they can buy a small farm and out from under the thumb of a nasty overlord. Unfortunately, there is only one boat taking on crew – and that’s the boat of Halfdan, her first love and the man she thought she would spend her life with before he betrayed her.
I find it’s often hard for authors to write a strong, confident female character while still making them both relatable and likeable. Luckily, I liked Valda from the start. She was all of the above but there was definitely a vulnerability about her and her inner voice showed that she was often uncertain and at odds about her future – especially where Halfdan was concerned.
I loved Halfdan from the first, too. He was a big man – strong and kind. He had principles and honour to the hilt and he was impossible not to like. But it was his almost unintentional love and devotion for Valda that had me sighing in delight while also falling forever in love with him. Halfdan sees her again after all these years and we don’t even get to hear his protestations that he was over her before he’s smitten once again. Yay for big, hulking men being floored by the women that they adore.
We’ve got quite a lot of animosity, anger and hurt to work through on our way to Halfdan and Valda’s happily ever after – but they still have a spark between them and the chemistry is delightful to watch. Even when they’re ignoring each other, there’s still a delicious tension that speaks to their excellent chemistry.
One of the many things that fascinates me about the Vikings is that they seemed to be much more ‘modern’ in their attitudes towards sex and relationships. This obviously works in our favour as readers as it means we get lots of sexy times. Since Halfdan and Valda were lovers previously, the sex has a lot of emotion from the very first and it really deepened the connection between the pair.
Something that I’ve come to associate with Lucy Morris’s writing is her innate ability to weave the history of the time period into her story in a really organic way. She paints such a vivid picture with her words that you can imagine every single detail of the world where the characters live. But it’s done with such a light touch that the characters always remain at the forefront of the story.
This is another fantastic story from Lucy Morris and one that I enjoyed from the first word to the last. What makes it even better is that it’s the first book in a new series and I’m already giddy with excitement about Valda’s sisters getting their own stories. But this story of second chances and putting love above all things left me with happiness in my heart. I hope Ms Morris never stops writing Viking romances as I’ll never stop reading them. 5 stars.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review*
Lucy Morris lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two young children, and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves gin, bubbly and Irn-Bru. A member of the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association, she was delighted to accept a two-book deal with Harlequin after submitting her story to the Warriors Wanted submission blitz for Viking, Medieval, and Highlander romances.
Writing for Harlequin Historical is a dream come true for her and she hopes you enjoy her books!