Author: Sian Ann Bessey
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2022
Publisher: Covenant Communications
On the eve of her betrothal to a nobleman she’s never met, Rhiannon seeks comfort on the shores of the sea she loves so well. But instead of offering peace to her uneasy heart, the ocean heralds doom with the arrival of dreaded Viking ships. A vicious raid leads to the death of her beloved father and leaves Rhiannon’s life in tatters. Heartbroken, she travels to Ynys Môn, where she takes up residence at the royal court of Owain Gwynedd.
Leif loves voyaging on the open water. As the son of a Viking chief, he’s accustomed to his people’s practice of plundering and looting. But when one of his companions ruthlessly kills an old man in front of the man’s beautiful daughter, Leif is haunted by the memory. Desperate to find forgiveness for the atrocity he allowed to occur, he’s offered a chance at redemption through the kindly teachings of an Irish priest and the unexpected arrival of a royal fugitive. Suddenly thrust into the midst of the Cymry’s political turmoil, Leif is reunited with the dead man’s daughter—Rhiannon. Forced to work side by side to uncover the truth behind the turmoil, they come to discover that love can grow from even the most tragic of beginnings. But with such incompatible backgrounds, surely a future together can never be theirs.
Reviewer: Nikita Wells
I loved this wonderful story! I have FINALLY found a clean Viking read with no gore or other unwanted issues, and I can easily pass this one on to my other siblings!
This is my first read by Sian Ann Bessey, and it definitely won't be my last! The scenery is beautiful, the different people and cultures are very realistic, and the story she weaves is filled with intrigue and secrets of royals from faraway lands.
I enjoyed this book so much that it's going on my "gotta buy a paperback" list!
Thank you, to the author, publisher, and Interviews & Reviews, for this complimentary e-book. A positive review was not required but was freely given, and the thoughts above are my own.
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
After reading this story, I firmly believe there are just not enough Viking romances out there. Beginning in 1141, we meet the hero and the heroine on a fateful night that will change both of their lives.
Rhiannon, a young noblewoman with ties to the king, lives a simple life with her father and their servants along the sea. The sea calls to her heart and soul, and she loves it. Then one night, a Viking raid happens upon their shore with dire consequences that Rhiannon must now learn to live with.
Leif is a Viking who enjoys pretty much everything about being a Viking except for the raids. After the fateful night he meets Rhiannon, Leif decides no more raiding for him. He will become a silversmith instead, much to his father's dismay.
This book took its time to tell the story and was not a love-at-first-sight romance either. This had depth to the characters' growth and meaning of what was precious for our characters as time passed for them.
In the history books, the Vikings eventually settled down, intermarried with those they raided, and stopped their raiding. I like how this delved into how that might have played out with a Viking and what the reasons for settling down might have been, especially as they would have been introduced to Christianity.
The author also does not shy away from the brutality of the Viking raids or their consequences. She also shows how the other people could be just as cruel as the Vikings were in their lust for power and revenge.
I enjoyed this story very much and all the machinations of the political powers, the friendship, and especially the deep seeded love that eventually conquers the prejudice and all the hurt and pain. The author has great information at the beginning, including a map, a glossary, and even a QR code for pronunciation. In the end, she gives historical information that was quite intriguing, with how much of the story was based on historical facts versus her imagination. This was a good story.
I was provided a copy of this novel by Covenant Communications, Inc. through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions were my own.
Reviewer: Juanita Varela
I loved this book. It was so entertaining. I loved the Viking scenery. Bessey created such a vivid picture, and I felt transported back to that time.
I liked that she included a page where she had all the definitions of words used back then to help myself and the readers understand more. This saved me so much time because I did not have to continuously look stuff up. Granted, I had to look back and forth between pages, but Bessey had already done the work. All that needed to be done was flip pages.
I also liked that she had a pronunciation video of all these definitions and Viking names used in the book to help the reader pronounce them right. And they were in alphabetical order. I liked all the extra effort Bessey went through to help readers better understand and appreciate the book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Covenant Communications through Interview and Reviews. All the opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Talented author and storyteller Sian Ann Bessey has penned a riveting story based on true happenings in Wales and Ireland in the 1100s. With Vikings based in various settlements in Ireland, the people of Wales were often terrorized by the Vikings’ raids.
The two main fictionalized characters, Rhiannon and Leif, were deeply affected by one of the raids, ending with the death of Rhiannon’s father. The Viking Leif witnessed the death and turned away from participating in the pillaging raids, becoming a skilled silversmith and a believer in Christ. When he reconnects with Rhiannon, the two become involved in finding a killer. Although they develop feelings for each other, with such diverse backgrounds, they feel they may never be able to be together.
Vivid imagery, rich historical details, masterfully-crafted characters, and obviously deep research combine to create a story that kept me totally engrossed. With lots of history, action, suspense, a dash of romance, and some redemption and forgiveness, this tale has something for everyone. I loved learning some fascinating history while enjoying a captivating romantic story. The addition of a genealogical outline, a glossary of terms, a map of the area, and even a QR code for a pronunciation guide for unfamiliar names and words were a great help. I also appreciated the author’s notes. The fact that she grew up in the area where her story occurred added authenticity and interest to her book.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Covenant Communications through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.
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