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5 Stars / Harlequin / Mills & Boon / Historical / Review

Review: The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance by Lucy Morris

A challenging wife

For a warrior Viking

When Thorstein Bergson rescues a beautiful woman from a storm-tossed longship, he little expects to broker a powerful marriage alliance with her.

This high-status ice queen is not the comfortable wife the warrior chief is seeking. But maybe the bittersweet pain in Gyda’s eyes hides another woman beneath? The one he tasted that first night when she’d kissed him with such pent-up longing…?

Title:The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance
Author:Lucy Morris
Series:HMB Historical
Pages:368
Category / Genre(s):Harlequin / Mills & Boon
Historical
Trope(s):Viking Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Northumbria and Jorvik (York), England
Setting:880AD – Viking
HEA:✔️
Release Date:27th May, 2021
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Atmospheric and absorbing Viking romance

Sometimes you just need to get away to a different time and place so I was excited when I started to read this Viking romance. It’s set almost entirely in England and our Viking hero, Thorstein, has settled in Northumberland for a peaceful life. Gyda has made her escape to England and too, hopes to have a peaceful and settled life. What I’m trying to say is, there’s no raiding or pillaging in this book!

Gyda is a strong woman and every inch the Valkyrie that Thorstein sometimes likens her to. She’s composed and serene, often hiding her emotions behind a blank facade. While this fools Thorstein, we as readers see the hidden depths of Gyda and she never comes across as shallow or selfish to us. She also battles with her past mistakes and grief. Both are well written so that we feel for her and root for her, but we’re never bogged down in too much emotional angst. I really liked her and really wanted her to get her happily ever after.

Our hero, Thorstein, is a proud man and still every inch the warrior. He was wrong to continually judge Gyda and while I all but continually screamed at him throughout the book to give Gyda a chance, I could absolutely see how he came to those conclusions and why he thought the way he did. He’s big, bold and in charge yet he admitted and apologised when he was wrong and he was downright sweet when he wanted to be. I loved his teasing of Gyda and his protectiveness of her. The fact that he’s burly, muscular, hairy and tattooed had no effect on me at all. None. *fans self*

“…I wished I could read faster and I found myself continually thinking about it when I wasn’t reading…”

It was nice to watch the progression of the relationship between Thorstein and Gyda and how Thorstein especially, battled (or downright denied) his feelings. I got those delicious butterflies in the stomach when the pair teased, kissed or more. And while there is ‘more’, I would put it in the ‘just right’ range. It’s not too raunchy but also not too sweet. You get enough of the good stuff to see the couple becoming closer and it was a decent sizzle.

One thing that really stood out for me in the book was the world building. I could see the scenes clearly, hear the sounds and smell the smells. Ms Morris really built up the atmosphere of the settlement, Jorvik and Viking times as a whole. Equally, I feel I learnt a lot from the book. Viking traditions, beliefs and folklore was brought to life in a very organic way. The details were seamlessly intertwined in the story so as to give a richness to the tale.

I also really loved that the models on the book cover were very like as they were described in the book and also how I wanted them to be. Nothing worse than having models unlike their character descriptions or that aren’t what you would want the couple to look like!

This is Lucy Morris’s first published novel but she’s clearly a natural writer and storyteller. I loved the characters, the story and the world that she built. This was one of those books that I wished I could read faster and I found myself continually thinking about it when I wasn’t reading, wondering when I would be able to read more. A very enjoyable read and one I would highly recommend. I can’t wait to read Ms Morris’s next book and I can already see myself becoming a fan. 5 stars.

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!

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