Series: Victorious Vikings #3
Published by Harlequin Historical on 17 September 2013
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Consumed by revenge—and desire!
Captured by his enemy and chained like a dog, Leif Egilsson has one thought in his mind: revenge. He'll no longer be beguiled by the treacherous beauty of Lady Astrid, and her innocence, which he so craved, will finally be his.
On his escape, this fierce, proud Viking is bent on making her pay the price of her betrayal—in his bed! Only, Astrid has the heart of a warrior, and she will not be tamed as easily as he believes….
*I received a free ARC of Defiant in the Viking’s Bed from Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Defiant in the Viking’s Bed is very slow-paced, at least for a little over the first half of the story. Both Astrid and Leif are pretty strong-minded, but I really didn’t get to know either of them very well. There is a lot of information shared, but not all of it felt necessary in order to follow the story and the plot. I also thought the syntax was strange in places, as if changing the word order would somehow make it sound more viking-like. And while the word order in Old Norse or even Old English is quite different from modern English, it just made it difficult to read in my opinion.
Astrid was defiant at times, but other times, she was ‘feeling angry, but with no means to act on it’ and after reading that more than once, it was repetitive. And I think she could have acted on some counts, however she chose not to. Going from hot to cold and back again, Astrid’s reactions confused me more often than not, and Leif was more of the same. He was supposed to be this strong, hard viking, but little Astrid was able to hurt him with her words. Defiant in the Viking’s bed didn’t live up to my expectations, however, it did pick up in the second half.
As the pace quickened, Defiant in the Viking’s Bed became more interesting, and I enjoyed it when Astrid finally took her destiny into her own hands, and made Leif realize that he had to act differently if he wanted her in his life at all. It just took so long to get there I couldn’t feel the joy when it happened. The final resolution also was a little too easy, and I did not enjoy Defiant in the Viking’s bed as much as I hoped I would.
His contact with women in recent years was about money for favours rendered. Astrid fell outside that category which made things potentially tricky.
Her husband could be old, or ugly or cruel, or all three, and it would make no difference to Jarl Einar. He would see her wedded and bedded regardless, and by force if necessary.
The only bright spot in the gloom was Dalla. The servant woman had looked after her when first she was brought to her uncle’s hall six years earlier, prior to her attendance on Ragnhild, and was the only person to have shown her any kindness there. Apart from the addition of a few more wrinkles, Dalla was unchanged, greeting Astrid with unfeigned pleasure and helping her settle in.
She wasn’t entirely sure why it had returned now, except perhaps that, like her marriage, it had involved coercion.
A touch that was both skilled and seductive and arousing. No one had ever touched her like that before and it kindled something inside her that she hadn’t known existed.