This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Carina Press
Released on January 27, 2014
A Viking Immortal…and yeah, that was all I needed to read before I was sold on reading this one. Okay, yes, I noticed that he is now a Special Forces warrior fighting in Afghanistan while he tries to duck the persistent lady doctor who notices his healing abilities and wants answers. But there is also the hidden enemies that hunt them both making this not just an interesting paranormal romance, but a thriller too. It’s passionate, brutal and exciting and leaves me eager for more from this author and this series.
Wulf Wardsen, Viking warrior who fought alongside the legendary Beowulf, now hides his identity doing what he does best. He has made a family of the guys in his unit and they protect his secret, but all that goes on the line when by the book Captain Theresa Chiesa refuses to give up on finding answers about him. At the same time, the both of them fight an attraction toward each other. Theresa has a life plan that doesn’t involve getting in trouble fraternizing with the enlisteds and Wulf knows not to get close to anyone because he always loses them when he lives on after they die.
Eventually, Theresa stumbles across irrefutable proof that his body heals mortal wounds and he has to figure out how to keep her from running with this information at the same time his unit is tagged for a mission to figure out what is being smuggled through army transportation and who is doing it. An old enemy arises when Wulf gets too close to answers putting him and Theresa on the run and the danger just keep pursuing them hard taking all Wulf’s skill just to keep them alive.
This story felt almost like it was two stories. There is the first half when the setting is the base and army operations in Afghanistan and the thriller stuff in Italy that all has more a contemporary feel then there is the latter half when the paranormal Immortal Viking stuff comes more into play along with more thriller stuff. I enjoyed both halves of the plot, but it also made the story stretch out long. This is not a bad thing necessarily, but I admit there were a couple of times when I thought it was wrapping up and then another curve was thrown and then another extending the story each time. I’m struggling to explain. I didn’t hate the plot or feel like it dragged so maybe it could have been two books? I don’t know. Let’s just say the reader will definitely get a lot of bang for their buck.
As to background, I give kudos for the authentic feel to the military and medical aspect and the author did some good research into the Beowulf saga to bring that into play. I loved the refreshing offering this one is to the paranormal genre. There was definitely room for more to come out and be introduced with further stories in the series. The hunt for the Viking artifacts, other Viking Immortals and the test labs definitely leave room for more.
The characters were well written. Wulf was a nice job of imagining what a Viking would be like if he survived all those centuries and existed in the modern age. I could totally see him as a Special Forces guy who was lonely for human companionship, but afraid to reach out to it because of his secret and because everyone around him is mortal. It was nice to see that he hadn’t lost the feel of what it was to be mortal because he still wants to be among people and do what he can to help them. His longing for Theresa even though she acted like a prickly pear much of the time was almost cute and funny. Only a former Viking would see that woman as adorable.
Theresa was a hard gal for me to accept and not because she was independent and tough. She’s a dedicated doctor and won’t take her rich step-dad’s handouts. Those things I admired in her actually. It was her constant need to argue and lash out at the dumbest moments that got my eyes rolling and my foot twitching to boot her in the rump. Here, she has a special forces guy beside her and a bunch of unsavory types on their tail and she has to jump in and stop them for a bit of arguing. After a while her argumentative nature and need to prove herself just got old. She lashes out at Wulf about lying when she had her own pretty big secrets. She doesn’t tend to give the poor guy the benefit of the doubt even though he saves her butt several times. And I know that in a way, it was probably all supposed to be funny and it is a little. She was definitely strong-willed enough to grab the attention of a Viking and keep him from steamrolling her with his forceful personality. I’ll definitely give her that. Her quirks are only part of who she is and there are the admirable traits too.
Their romance took a while to develop mostly because their situation didn’t allow for much fraternization time, but the build up of tension and removal of barriers had me as impatient as Wulf and Theresa for them to get their chance. Loved that final scene in the book that had me smiling from ear to ear. After all they had gone through and knowing their personalities, it was perfect.
In the end, I was left impressed with this big opener to a new series and the creative new paranormal world the author wrote. If Immortal Vikings, military heroes, strong heroines, thrilling chases, passionate love scenes and evil villains do it for you then you should grab this one up.
My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.