Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book Tour for Viking's Prize by Tanya Anne Crosby (Review)

Today I'm bringing back Tanya Anne Crosby and her delectably wild Viking ride, Viking's Prize.  Keep reading to get a taste of this story and my impressions of it!

Cursed with the second sight, Elienor of Baume les Nonnesdares not reveal her prophetic dreams for fear of meeting her mother's fiery fate-- but in her dreams she spied the Norsemen who would storm Brouillard castle--and she she saw him, the fierce, golden-haired Viking who would claim her as his prize...
Revenge brought Alarik Trygvason to the shores of the River Seine. Destiny gave him a dark-haired beauty with violet eyes. Beguiled by Elienor's strange dreams and her fiery spirit he can barely control the passions she arouses, body and soul... but in a land full of strife, he risks everything to love the woman whose dreams hold their future in thrall.


He nodded, apparently satisfied with her explanation, and reached for a slice of soft white cheese, surprising her by bringing it to her lips.
Elienor’s brows lifted. “You would feed me?” she asked, resisting the urge to snatch it whole into her mouth—and bite off his fingers in the process.
Alarik’s brow rose at her question. Retrieving the cheese, he tore off a modest bite for himself, popping it in his mouth. “Unless, of course, you’re not hungry?”
Elienor was, but she wasn’t about to beg for her supper. Let him eat it all if he would. She watched him chew, fascinated by the strength in his jaw... his lips... the way they appeared... so soft... and yet so hard. Her fingers went to her own lips, her brows drawing together, and then catching herself, she startled.
Forsooth, what did he want of her? That she would forget all that had passed between them in the space of an afternoon? Hardly possible.
Seeing her chin jut forward stubbornly, Alarik decided to cease with the jesting lest she starve over her stubbornness—he had not missed the confusion in her face when she’d watched him eat. The way she’d touched her own lips as she’d contemplated his sent talons of desire clawing through him. He held the cheese out once more. “A peace offering,” he suggested.
“Peace?” Elienor retorted. “Betwixt us?” Just to make certain there was no confusion as to whom she meant, she gestured between the two of them, her expression clearly disbelieving.
“Aye. I would say it was in your best interest,” he apprised.
“Mine? Since when do you trouble yourself with my best interest, my lord?”
My lord.
Not my lord Viking?
Alarik grinned, feeling a small victory at the concession.
His pewter-gray eyes assessed her and a quiver swept down Elienor’s spine, though she managed an indifferent shrug though she was anything but unaffected. He had a way of looking at her that disconcerted at best. He offered the cheese again and she eyed the morsel malevolently.
“You feed all your captives this way?”
“All?” His gaze dropped from her eyes to her shoulders, to the cheese... or at least Elienor assumed it was the cheese. Something about the hunger in his eyes seemed more than just a bit carnal. “No.”
She crossed her arms, rubbing them as though to erase the gooseflesh that prickled her, and sensing that her stomach was about to betray her again, she indignantly swiped the cheese from his fingers and fought the urge to shove the tiny bite into her mouth.
“The truth is, Elienor, I keep no thralls.”
“Thralls?” Involuntarily her eyes returned to his lips. As she stared something fluttered deep within the pit of her belly.
His eyes glittered with amusement. “In your tongue… slaves.”
“I see,” Elienor said stiffly, her gaze affixed to his face as she nibbled from the cheese in her hand. “So then, what, pray tell, am I?”
Alarik’s half-grin faded, for he found himself suddenly at a loss.
What was she, indeed?


Right from the very start Ms. Crosby immerses readers into an action-packed story that involves discussions of religion, hints of the paranormal, and above all a steamy romance that evolves slowly.  Bits of real-life history are also successfully woven into the storyline with King Olav interacting with his half-brothers in a melodramatic way as past hurts make for a less than happy family at times (mostly between Olav and Bjorn).  To make even more drama is Alarik's spontaneous capturing of Elienor and bringing her to his home as he's drawn to her the moment he sees her.  Resentment and confusion fuels their relationship, as does sexual tension, as she's equally drawn to him but desperately wants to go home.  He's frustrated too by his feelings for her and the weakness he grew up believing it represents.  Thus the rocky road to a HEA commenced in a journey of rebellion, a questioning of faith, and forgiveness (with LOTS of steamy interludes along the way).

The main protagonists wage a war of words and emotions from the start of their harrowing ocean voyage home which very slowly morphs into affection.  During these early interactions I found myself disliking Elienor immensely.  She tended to jump to conclusions, screamed and acted like a shrew, and was ungrateful for all the kindness he showed her.  It's understandable that being taken from home would be upsetting but her reactions were over-the-top as he showed a lot of kindness to her and went against his own men to protect her.  Even when they reached his home she still cowered from him and fought their attraction even though she was the one initiating some of their interludes.  It wasn't until late in the story that I finally warmed up to her as she sacrificed her life to save him from treachery.  Alarik was appealing from the very start.  He's a true warrior not afraid to take what he wants but showed true kindness to Elienor in many subtle ways.  From solely caring for her when she's injured to giving her a puppy and the finest clothes he showed her how much she means to him.  He's extremely sexy too and in their quiet moments together he showed a very tender and loving nature.  He's always been the one who's had to take control and never allowed himself happiness, but with Elienor his playful and boyish side came out, so for that I'm grateful for her presence.

Amidst this hard-fought HEA comes a battle based on greed and revenge which leads to treachery from those close to home.  It's a battle that brings forth feelings long kept hidden between brothers and neighbors and made me ache for Alarik as he lost much with these betrayals.  It also showed Alarik as a very forgiving man towards those who hurt him and made me like him even more than I did before.  I enjoyed this book's blend of action and romance and Ms. Crosby's vivid depiction of Viking life with all its harshness.  While I found the heroine lacking, the hero more than made up for that and I still find myself dreaming of him.  There's a large cast of secondary characters who each play a big part in the overall storyline and they were nicely integrated into the story to give them complete endings too.  Overall this is another winner from Ms. Crosby and I look forward to what she has planned next.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

BUY LINKS:   AMAZON   |   iTUNES   |   BN   |   KOBO


Tanya has written seventeen novels, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including the New York Times and USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two dogs and two cats in northern Michigan.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring Viking's Prize and for the lovely, heartfelt review.