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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 8 star ratings
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4.6 out of 5
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    Or should it be his Viking warrior

    The evening after a battle in Rouen, the Viking warriors were partaking in a feast at their jarl's, Will Longsword. Bjorn had noticed a beautiful woman in white sitting at his jarl's table; she was now at his side. Bjorn hadn't recognised his childhood friend Ilsa, it had been a long time since he had been banished from Vellefold. Ilsa has a proposition for him: Vellefold needs his warrior's skills for a short while. He is not interested, especially as he would take his orders from her. However, his jarl endorses Ilsa's idea, and Bjorn is off to Norway with the other Forgotten Sons before he knows what hit him. Gina Conkle's research and understanding of the Viking era is absolutely astonishing. From the first page, we are transported to AD 930, from Rouen - a Viking settlement - then sailing away to Norway on a longship. The author's knowledge extends to the mores and customs, the way of life of warriors, simple villagers, and nobility alike. And the things I learned on ivory, ravens, clothing, and the roles women played in that society. The Viking era atmosphere is so meticulously crafted and sustained that not one word took me out of the story for the duration. Bjorn and Ilsa are not the most loquacious, they're doers. They don't see the return to their native village the same way, but upon witnessing the devastation, Bjorn understands he is needed, and he has an ulterior motive as well. Things were cruising along just fine, lost as I was in mental contemplation of the lyrical descriptions of the vistas, the ship, the sea voyage, the feast, the decimated village, the despondent survivors, then Ilsa reveals a secret to Bjorn that severely complicates matters. Bjorn is a true Viking warrior, but Ilsa is a heroine for the ages! What can I say other than I think she is perfect. Not in the way that she has no flaws, but that she conquers them. She has goals and she will see them realised, however much it costs her; she is a heroine I believe in and admire. There are many secondary characters, including the other Forgotten Sons, of course, all beautifully defined. And while HER VIKING WARRIOR is book two in the Forgotten Sons series, it stands entirely on its own, Rurik not taking part in the adventure. Bjorn and Ilsa are two very strong people, their relationship is fraught with peril and it is all very realistic. The battle towards the end is a monument of highly descriptive and eloquent writing; it is like being there! Viking romance has found its own skald - poet - in Gina Conkle. Now, about Magnus...
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    Her Viking Warrior

    Enter the world of the Vikings as master wordsmith Gina Conkle takes you on an unforgettale adventure that does not stop until the last page. Her knowledge from extensive research makes this era come alive to the point you feel you are there and see how they lived and interacted with customs and the battles they fought. Bjorn and Isla had been childhood friends but years had pasted since they had seen each other when he had been banished from Velleford. In celebration after a battle Bjorn notice a beautiful woman at the table with the Jarl. Isla had come with a proposition for him because the village needed a warrior's skills. He of course does not want to return but since his leader endorses her request, he takes the other Forgotten Sons and sets out. But everything is not as Isla represented and he is torn on what to do and even though he is attracted to her. A tale of secrets, deception, betrayal and many twist and turns as these two try to find there happy ending.
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    Creative original with surprises!

    Her Viking Warrior by Gina Conkle. 4.5 Stars. I loved the creative and original plot of this series of “The Forgotten Sons”. Bjorn was left and abandoned in another land, to fend for himself at the age of 12 by his father the Jarl. Ilsa traveled far to fill her blood oath to find and return the long lost son of the Jarl and the next in line to become Jarl. Bjorn and Ilsa were once best friends as children and she knew he would not be inclined to offer his and that of his forgotten brothers help to save the settlement from being wiped out. This historical novel has a lot to recommend it. The story is a bit slow at the beginning with a lot of researched historical facts of the time, setting the stage for this creative and original storyline. The story continues with deep secrets, emotional and physical scars, intrigue, danger, honor, and strained once trusted relationships of old and new. I love the masterful plot twist and turns you won’t see coming especially the ending!!! Another thing I really liked is the author’s historical notes at the end of the book, separating the fact from the fiction. Note: There’s one hot steamy love scene towards the end that has 4 flame explicit notations. I can’t wait for the next book! Happy Reading!
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    Compelling story with strong-willed characters

    Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over I chose this title because I had a craving to return to my roots where reading romances is concerned, but what I’d expected to be a quick, candy-bar read turned out to be much more. The story speaks to the parts of me that are traditional, and those wanting to see growth and change. This is far from the “love blooms in reluctant couples” theme that many historical romances use. Rather, it’s a story of growing respect and understanding during dangerous, tumultuous times. Ilsa and Bjorn follow a path strewn with hard choices and unwanted losses. Their ways have never been easy, nor have they sat back and let fate make choices for them. This is especially true for Ilsa because she stretches the boundaries of her gender to address the needs of those who depend on her. She has many secrets, some of which she keeps even from the reader for a bit, but the small details add up so when Ilsa reveals the secret to us, it’s not a shock. Before you think this is the modern world crammed into Viking history, however, know the original understanding of Viking life had many flaws. More recent discoveries are changing those assumptions. The author includes a note at the end referencing a historical Viking woman whose life followed a similar pattern. Bjorn’s concerns are more personal. He fights a craving to reclaim the home that cast him out as a boy of twelve almost as strong as the one to punish those who remain for not stopping his father. It’s a measure of the man he has become that Bjorn can see and learn about the conditions in his old home despite the filters of his anger and confusion. Ilsa offers a different form of distraction and makes keeping to the rules of his brother warrior band harder than Bjorn would have thought possible. The parallels to modern times in this story are strong. Several themes, while true to the book’s period, echo strongly in the modern world with lessons to teach those willing to listen. Don’t expect a pause to educate, however. The themes are woven tight into the story, and cause trouble for Ilsa and Bjorn whether or not the reader sees a greater significance as I did. The rules of that time might be different, but the needs and weaknesses of the characters are relatable. They struggle between what is right, the promises they’ve made, and who they want to be. I was completely absorbed…so much so I forgot to make notes for this review a good part of the time. While I knew what I wanted to happen, the characters were just unpredictable enough to leave me startled a time or two, making the book stronger and more complicated. There is an open-door love scene and the passion burning between the main characters is tangible even before they’re willing to act on it. Passion is not the only strong emotion though. The story is far from simple and has darkness as well as light. The warring is not painted with a heroic sheen nor are the battles waged closer to home glossed over. This could easily have been a banished son returns a conquering hero to save the day. Instead, there’s a multi-layered tale full of challenges about personal and societal beliefs where the characters must face their own demons as well as ones imposed from others. There’s an important theme played out in the background, but the story of two childhood friends torn apart then reunited in the worse circumstances is enough to satisfy the romantic heart. I enjoyed the sharp and layered banter between two mature protagonists who had seen much of life and stayed strong despite it. Viking words are introduced with a skillful hand so the context makes the meaning clear while the writing itself is evocative. People develop distinct personalities (except for those mostly in the background where similar names sometimes tripped me up), and the Earth itself comes alive in its trees, land, and waters. The wind has a voice, but more than that, the variety of beliefs add another depth where who a person turns to for blessings shows in their outlook. I cannot say more without spoilers, so I’ll leave you with this: the ending is fascinating. It’s not what I’d come to expect, and yet it is appropriate for this book with all the questions it raises and explores. P.S. I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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    Viking Romance

    HER VIKING WARRIOR is the second installment in Gina Conkle’s historical FORGOTTEN SONS Viking romance series. I feel it can be read as a stand alone. This is Bjorn and Ilsa’s journey to finding their HEA. Set in Velleford. Well written and well excuted. Steady paced with an interesting  cast of characters. Secrets abound, dangerous romance, drama, female thralls, childhood friends, finding acceptance, surprises, twists and turns bring HER VIKING WARRIOR to a dramatic and climactic ending. Once again, Gina Conkle has written a story that will keep the reader turning pages. Ilsa is looking for justice for the female thralls in Velleford. Bjorn, a fierce warrior in his own rights is an outcast from Velleford, he's also looking for acceptance from his father. Will Bjorn and Ilsa find what they are seeking, or lose all? Ms. Conkle has once again written a Viking Romance that will keep readers turning pages. Fans of Viking Romance, secrets, adventurers, betrayal, with a HEA, will enjoy HER VIKING WARRIOR. "I voluntarily received a complimentary copy, however,  these are my honest opinions. I was in no way required nor compensated to write a review." Rating: 4.5 Heat rating: Hot Reviewer: AprilR
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