Redeeming Her Viking Warrior by Jenni Fletcher – a Scottish island as the setting for an unusual relationship

Redeeming Her Viking Warrior (Mills & Boon Historical) (Sons of Sigurd,  Book 4) eBook: Fletcher, Jenni: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Redeeming Her Viking Warrior by Jenni Fletcher

 

This is a slightly unusual historical romance, in that it is set in the time of frequent invasions of the Scottish islands, and the ninth century was a time of turmoil on the Isle of Skye where much of this exciting novel is set. Not that much historical knowledge is required to enjoy this book; as with other novels by Jenni Fletcher the characters and their relationship with each other is far more important. It features a neat reversal of roles, where the physically huge Danr is physically dependent on a slight woman who has the knowledge to save him. He is talkative, busy and dramatic, whereas Sissa is reluctant to speak, and even more reluctant to reveal her name to this man who disturbs her peaceful way of life. Both have suffered trauma that will take time to recover from, if ever, and neither are eager to find a new relationship. 

 

The setting is lyrically described, as the weather challenges even the prepared with much rain and dropping temperatures. This is an enjoyable novel with lively writing, some humour and fascinating dialogue. While technically part of a collection featuring some slight overlapping of characters and situation, as this is Fletcher’s only contribution to it, this novel is definitely one that can be read as a standalone. I was so pleased to have the opportunity to read and review it.

 

The novel opens with a badly injured Danr lying amongst the roots of a large oak tree, unable to move owing to severe loss of blood. In the haze of his pain he believes he sees a young woman, armed with a spear, accompanied by two wolves and considers his past obsession with the attractiveness of women. Hints of his oath to his brothers, and that Hilda was involved in what will probably be his fatal injuries, flash through his mind. Many things about Hilda are soon revealed, including her possible involvement in his father’s death and his anger at her longer term dislike of himself and his twin brother. Sissa meanwhile prepares to help the strange man who she has discovered apparently on the point of death, as she is a silent healer whose own experience of death has overwhelmed her in the past. She cleverly constructs a shelter from the elements which threaten them both, and as he gradually recovers he begins to talk, and does not really stop. 

 

This is a book which goes into a little of the way that politics was personal at the time; that survival and ability would guarantee a place of power rather than legal inheritance. Danr is influenced by his family background and more. Sissa has been well taught but bases her survival on her own skills and understanding of the natural world. Her relationship with Tove is special as she has little or no experience of human relationships, leaving her with some innocent confusion. Altogether it is a sometimes surprising, always fascinating and well written novel, depicting the relationship between Danr and Sissa with all its ups and downs, misunderstanding and stubbornness. This is a lovely read which comes from a keen imagination and a real talent for constructing a story around a relationship which defies expectations and is really enjoyable. 

 

  So this is September, and there has been a lot of fuss about the number of books being published this month, some of which were delayed from earlier in the year. I have certainly got a lot of books to review in the coming weeks, so I hope the variety will be interesting- they are certainly keeping me busy! Have you got exciting reading plans? 

Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher – an enthralling historical romance

 

This is a novel that manages to combine big historical questions of politics and royal personalities with the intimate beginnings of  a marriage actually contracted years before the novel begins. It shows a world of inheritance, arranged marriages and secrets in castles. Romance is a slow built thing, just as a more normal relationship may begin, even though it technically began with a wedding ceremony five years before. Constance is a straightforward young woman, who was married at fourteen when she suddenly inherited a sizable estate and her relatives worried that one of her many suitors would force her into an unsuitable match. Even worse, as King John had a history of taking into wardship rich underage heirs, she may have disappeared completely. The husband selected was thought to be strong enough to guard her, but he disappeared immediately after the ceremony. Matthew Wintour had returned to the battlefield for reasons unspecified, and Constance has been waiting to meet her husband for five years. This is a historical romance in which Constance must find out about her husband who she has barely met, yet he has so many secrets.  His family, his motive for fighting, his loyalty or otherwise to the king. With a frank attitude to the attraction Matthew feels for his wife, whether they truly fall in love as they discover each other remains the question. This intense novel written with a sure eye for detail of rooms, clothes and human feelings is an involving read, and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

The book begins in 1214 with Constance and her cousins trying to pick out her newly returned husband from a group of young men gathered in the hall below. It is obvious that there is some great secret between them, and this is the first stirrings of a plot that will come to importance later in the novel. Even when the self conscious Constance is formally reunited with her husband, it is obvious that he has many secrets. Though on one level he is frank and friendly, they are both aware of the slight absurdity of their situation. Constance’s desire is to return to her childhood home of Lacelby, and it is travelling there that they discover many secrets about themselves and the family which Matthew seemingly abandoned. A building which of itself holds secrets proves to be an even more powerful obsession for Sir Ralph Wintour, and Constance soon discovers that her affection for her own house is small in comparison. As passion, long held grief and other emotions develop, even luxurious accommodation cannot compensate for the challenges Constance and Matthew must face.

 

As an absorbing historical novel, this is an enjoyable read with enough excitement and passion to maintain the reader’s interest throughout. As a keen reader of historical fiction, I know there is a lot of research which goes into a novel where politics is not the main story, as even the clothes, rooms and food must be correct not to jar. I was convinced that the author definitely “knew her stuff” and I was kept enthralled not only by a story of two people exploring their relationship, but also how Constance as a woman asserted herself as more than her appearance and legal role would suggest. A confidently written novel, this book offers a lot of enjoyment.