by Marissa CampbellPublication Date: September 8, 2015
St. Martin’s Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut.Marissa Campbell’s debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon.
It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn’t yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed.
Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it’s more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart.
As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?
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Avelynn is the headstrong daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset in 869. Her father has raised her to read, write and be able to rule in his place. Before she died, her mother taught Avelynn of the ancient pagan ways. Now, at eighteen, Avelynn’s world falls apart when her father forces her betrothal to Demas, a man who wants Avelynn for no reason but her land and expects her to stay silent and obedient. When Avelynn seeks answers in a pagan ritual, she is found by Viking warriors. As soon as Avelynn and Alrik lay eyes on one another, a passionate love affair is born. When the Vikings and Saxons go to war Avelynn and Alrik must find a way to stay true to their people and themselves.
I am always interested in the female characters in medieval fiction, and Avelynn was amazing. She was not only intelligent, but strong willed and brave. The trials she is put through would deter most women, but Avelynn proves herself a warrior time and time again. The romance in the story was incredibly steamy, and may not be for anyone not comfortable with more than a light romance. Alric and Avelynn had a serious case of love at first sight, but Alric is by far the better choice over Demas. Most of all, Avelynn is steeped in passion and for fighting for what is right. Avelynn’s character definitely develops throughout the story, but she is not without her faults and mistakes. There are many surprises, twists and turns. The pagan rituals and rights add a bit of mysticism and supernatural that adds another element to the story. Overall, a steamy, historical adventure and romance set in Medieval England.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day.
Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7.
When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun!
For more information visit http://marissacampbell.com. You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.