Book Blurb :
Enslaved by a handsome Viking who believes in an ancient prophecy. Chained by hidden pleasures of of the flesh. Is Shannon strong enough to conquer the bonds of desire, or will she submit to the lust that lies within?
Shannon’s life is turned upside down after a band of Vikings kidnap her from her village. She is whisked away into a world of forbidden desire filled with danger and mystery. She decides to do whatever it takes to find her way back home–even sacrifice her virginity. After a handsome Viking beds her, she is torn between submitting to her enemy or finding a way to get back home.
Strange things start happening when Gunnar Ravenshield returns to Dublin with his new captive. After discovering she bears the mark of Freya, goddess of love and war, he is determined to unlock the meaning of an ancient prophecy that promises power and riches. He will not rest until Shannon, the Valkyrie of Fire, is his–body and soul.
The thing that makes “Conquered Shores” stand out from other novels of the same genre is that the author very creatively and skillfully succeeds in mixing the rich Norse mythology and some folklore to her story without ever overwhelming the reader with too many details. In my opinion, she reached here the perfect balance.
This adventure brings us to Ireland when the Vikings’ strength and power were at their apogee and where Dublin was one of their strongholds. The goal of these audacious and fearless miserable heathens was to accumulate wealth and destroy everything they could.
Despite these dangerous, uncertain times and ignoring the peril of the raiding season, Shannon decides to have a short time alone when everyone is still asleep, thus disobeying his uncle. She wants to see the ocean, needs to hear the sound of the waves and dream a little … just for a moment, but she should know better as her own parents were brutally killed during a raid when she was a little girl. After their death she has been plagued with haunting nightmares, later on she had visions during the day—different, more distinct and like a bad omen, she doesn’t think that it can be memories anymore; these are visions, uncontrollable and dark premonitions filled with flames, cinder, screams, Viking battle cries. She is petrified unable to move, helpless facing the Viking warrior …
“Submit to me.” His voice echoed through her brain.
“Never,” she whispered.
And this very morning, the nightmarish vision actually becomes reality and she flees trying to escape the bloody barbarian until she’s cornered; but even there she fights and she definitely doesn’t make it easy for him to capture her. As soon as Gunnar Ravenshield sees the strange birthmark on her body, resembling the head of a dragon, he knows he has to claim this young Irish maiden who fights like a Valkyrie!
Today, Shannon’s vision has come true, and Gunnar has seen the sign described in the prophecy:
“Whomever shall possess the one marked by Freya will achieve great wealth and fight by Thor’s side”.
He may take her body but he will never win her Celtic heart or spirit!
And this is only the beginning of Shannon and Gunnar’s tumultuous and perilous journey where they’ll have to deal with Ursa the Woodland Witch and her piercing mad eyes, Freya’s prophecy which seems impossible to decipher, and two wonderful villains—one gnawed by jealousy and the other obsessed with power. Shannon will have to rein her treacherous body that says one thing while her mind says exactly the opposite! Whoever said that life was simple and easy?
What a page-turner, there wasn’t a moment of rest in this book that opened with a very violent scene, continued with a lot of tension and finished with even more intensity.
The two protagonists are very likable—yes! even Gunnar. Shannon is courageous, strong and passionate but she has some trouble reconciling herself with unusual and disturbing feelings she experiences each time she comes in contact with the damned Viking and sadly this becomes worse as time passes. Gunnar is as bold, brash and determined as one would imagine a Viking warrior would be and this devil can even be charming when he wants. I really loved to see them battle and struggle with each other while their relationship was developing.
The only small criticism I’ll make is that I would have liked a little more background on Shannon’s early life, maybe because this singular birthmark has intrigued me from the start, why her? Had there been a similar mark on her female’s ancestors? Call me picky: as a matter of fact I am! It’s the reason why I didn’t give Conquered Shores 5 stars.
The Norse mythology which is the essence of this novel, the historical setting, the romantic conflict, all these elements are skillfully and intricately combined to showcase Ms. River’s talent as a wonderful and gifted storyteller. The rating system doesn’t allow half a point, so I give 4 stars but it’s more like 4.5.
Pubisher : Brooklynn Rivers
Source : Author provided copy for review
Released : November 24th 2012