A Sons of the North Romance
A stunning historical romance from debut author Sandra Lake transports readers to 12th century Sweden, where a powerful Viking lord will discover a fierce heart cannot be taken by mere force.
Lida was married to the love of her life for just two months when she became a widow. Pregnant and disowned by her late husband’s family for suspected infidelity, she was forced to return to her family in shame. Eight years later, uninterested in the prospect of finding another husband, she finds herself the unwilling object of a marriage contract with a powerful warlord. In a day, she is wed, bed, and put on a ship headed for Tronscar; an unknown icy stone and steel fortress.
Jarl Magnus is pleased to have taken a strong wife who, however stubborn she may be, will surely produce sons. However, he is less pleased with his wife’s additional baggage—a young daughter. But despite himself, Magnus falls for the daughter just as hard as the mother, and Lida’s heart is warmed to see the cold, serious Jarl move surprisingly fast into the role of stepfather.
When enemies attack Tronscar, Jarl Magnus’s nerves of steel waver, as the warrior fears his love for Lida will weaken him. But when his family is threatened, he’ll go to war to protect them, discovering along the way that they have the strength to protect themselves.
A story of a woman who has suffered through loss and picked herself back up. That same woman being faced with being uprooted from her home, her family, to become a warlord’s wife. Something that she doesn’t want or need in her life, but is willing to make the sacrifice if it means giving her child a name. And the hidden treachery of ones around them who will do anything to gain power.
Lida was a strong character at such a young age. But she was forced to be that way. She lost her husband at such a young age, found herself pregnant, then accused of adultery by her late husband’s parents. But she kept going. She gave all of her love and devotion to her child to give her a life. And even when she’s faced with essentially being forced to marry the warlord, she still holds her head up high, and she speaks her mind. Something no one ever does around the Jarl, but she can’t hold back. She questions, she argues, she puts effort into struggling. But over time she softens, she submits.
“Life is a collection of torturous moments with a sprinkling of joy mixed in.”
Magnus was raised to not believe in love. In the day and ages he lives, a woman is truly only good for one thing: making boys. So on his quest to find a strong woman who can do just that, he meets Lida who is working in the fields. Her annoyance with him instantly attracts him. She’s the first to not jump on him to sleep with him to get his riches. She he must have her. Even if he has the one purpose out of Lida, she ends up changing him. Slowly, but surely, he sees things in color instead of black and white. And even though there are setbacks in between, she still always enraptures him.
“In any event, what want did she have of love? Her life had taught her that true love burns bright, attracting one to its warmth and light. But, as any flame, it is quickly and easily extinguished, leaving wounds and scars to be borne for years to come.”
For a debut novel, I thought the bones of this story were good. I enjoyed the purpose of it, where it was going, and how they got there. I would have liked more from how the main characters fell in love. We got snippets of how they fell, but I wanted more conversation, more touches, more of that connection that you just feel reading it. The story ran slow in areas, but with most historicals, that can be expected. Some of the things probably weren’t necessary overall, but it did add to the story. I loved how Magnus grew to care for Katia, Lida’s daughter. If anything, I wanted the way you see him fall for the little girl to also be how he fell for Lida. That sort of sweet, openly loving type of falling in love. Overall, I thought this was a good debut. The blurb lured me in, and I kept reading to find out the entire story.
♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦
Sandra Lake was born somewhere in the wilds of Sweden. Surrounded by shirtless, blond men, she learned to sail, swing a sword and skin a bear when she was only three– wait no, that sounds more like Davy Crockett…
The real Sandra was raised in rural Canada. She married her childhood sweetheart (who is blond and on occasion shirtless). They are currently living happily-ever-after along with their kids and unruly husky in eastern Canada.