11 July 2013

Tour + Review: Norse Jewel by Gina Conkle

What they say (book info):

Historical Romance (Viking Romance)
Date Published:  June 10, 2013 by Entangled Publishing

A stolen woman of rare qualities… 
AD 1022…Helena longs for freedom. The Frankish maid wasn’t born a slave but marauding Danes have taken her. She’s desperate to escape their camp. Her savior comes as a fierce Norse chieftain, Hakan, who  takes her to the far, icy north.
A powerful warrior who’s lived by the sword…
Hakan wants to lay down his sword and live a peaceful farmer’s life. Betrayal has left him cold to other women, yet his heart thaws to clever Helena. Her tender ways lure him, weaving kindness into his hard life. But, happiness is short lived. Old loyalties and deceit vex the warrior, calling upon his sword arm. A clash of cultures amidst a kingdom in transition…
War erupts…a kingdom’s in the balance. Can Hakan defend his homeland and keep the woman he loves.

Norse Jewel Excerpt:

“Why the tether? What harm can one woman do?”
s eyes widened at her show of courage, or so she guessed from the way he tipped his head in acknowledgment.
“Aye, one woman.” His mouth made a grim line and bitterness threaded his voice. “I have seen the destruction one woman can do.” He knotted the leather. “The bindings stay.”
Helena licked her lips, choosing silence. The chieftain’s nostrils flared like some predatory beast scenting prey. Was this anger barely restrained? Or something else?
He touched the wet rope of hair that hung over her shoulder, letting his fingers slip between tangled strands. His thumb and forefinger found a single lock and stroked the hair down to the curling tip. Goose bumps skittered across her flesh from the intimate touch.
“What is your name, thrall?” He asked in the gentlest voice.
“Helena,” she whispered.
“Helena.” He repeated her name softly. The corner of his mouth twitched. He seemed pleased to know her name, but the pleasure was fleeting, replaced by fierceness. “I care not about trust, but I require obedience.”
Helena swallowed the hard lump in her throat.
“Serve me, as well as Agnar—” His teeth gleamed wolf-like in the darkness. “—and you’ll be rewarded.” Rising, he towered over her. “Fail in your purpose, and you will suffer the consequences.”

What I say (my review): Norse Jewel is a fun work of historical fiction, which is both informative and interesting. It is the love story between Helena (a Frankish woman who is abducted by the Danes and forced into slavery) and Hakan  (a Viking Chieftain). If you look at the cover I'm sure you'll understand why I was expecting a somewhat smutty story, but instead Gina Conkle focuses on building tension (both dramatic and sexual) and developing the love story.

Helena realises her only way to escape the cruel Danes is to be sold as a thrall and she convinces Hakan to buy her. Hakan turns out to be a kind master, who after serving as a fierce warrior chief for many years wants to live a simple life on his farm in Svae with his young son. The main problems in their potential love story are Helena's wish to return home and Hakan's resolve to never remarry (his ex-wife is money grabbing and manipulative).

The information Conkle provides about Vikings and life at that time is really interesting and once I got my head round the characters names, I enjoyed the story.
I was expecting your typical demanding Alpha-male type Viking, but even though Hakan is a strong warrior, he shows great kindness and never imposes on Helena (even though he would have been well within his rights to do so at that time). Norse Jewel is a sweet romance with a hot cover and a complicated hero!

 Where to buy Norse Jewel: AmazonB&NKoboiTunes

4 Stars in my Sky!
I received a copy of Norse Jewel in exchange for an honest review!

Author Bio: A lover of history, books and romance makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer.  Gina’s passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations.  Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll.  When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.

If you’re meandering the cyber world, Gina welcomes your visits at www.ginaconkle.com, on twitter @ginaconkle, or Facebook 

Gina is hosting a GIVEAWAY to win:

$25 Starbucks gift card and $25 B&N gift card


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