Redeeming Her Viking Warrior by Jenni Fletcher
Though this is a part of the multi-author Sons of Sigurd series, I don’t think you have to have read the rest to enjoy this (I haven’t, and I had no trouble following what was going on). Although there’s an overarching plot as the five sons of a Viking chieftain follow clues to solve his suspicious death, this book is focussed on Danr and his romance with Sissa, a reclusive healer who lives alone in the forest on the Isle of Skye, accompanied by her two pet wolves. Sissa finds Danr seriously injured and nurses him back to health before leaving him to fend for himself, but he follows her home, much to her horror. While she would prefer to turn him out, to do so would mean his death until he is fully healed from his injury, so she allows him to stay, and of course (this is a romance!) they start to fall in love.
It’s a Viking-era version of the old standby trope Trapped In A Cabin With Only One Bed, and it’s done with the fantastic twist that Danr has taken a vow of celibacy until his father’s death is avenged. It forces the author to explore a different kind of intimacy growing between the two, to explore what makes them a good match for each other with a slow reveal of their backstories and personalities. It’s beautifully done, against a richly detailed backdrop of the Isle of Skye in the 9th century.
The only question I had, and it was a fairly minor niggle, was that Sissa was either younger than I’m entirely comfortable with reading in a romance or something was off with the timelines, because she was too naive. By her account, it was five years since her village was razed and her family killed, yet she had no idea that a man seeing her naked might provoke an adult sort of reaction? If she was eighteen at the time of the story (about as young as I’d feel comfortable with even in a historical romance) then she was thirteen when her mother was killed, and I don’t think a thirteen-year-old girl in this era - frankly any era! - would be that ignorant of men and their lusts. Extending the timeline out doesn’t work since her pet wolf, who she already had at the time of the raid, would be too old - though the wolf and her mate should already have previously had pups, so that timeline is a bit off anyway, so maybe it would be better to have Sissa find the wolf pup later. It’s a minor niggle which bugs me because I’m picky, but didn’t really detract from the overall romance or story arc. I’m still happy to give this excellent story five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via the author.