me say that I enjoy a love story with a quest and where “love conquers
all”. The fact is, if you are reading a romance novel, you are reading
for entertainment. What would not be acceptable in another genre
– the suspension of reality – is acceptable in a romance novel.
Even so, I found some story events hard to accept. Ms. VanNuys presented
a story that shows the variety of lifestyles during 1012 AD. The
Norse culture in this time period is a cross between settled family farmers
and violent conquerors.
Melby’s life is typical and she is a bit spoiled as the pampered daughter
of the house. Her Norse family is prosperous, with customs, family
and survival the major directives of life. Her father watches and
worries about her unusual beauty. When she delays too long in choosing
a groom, he chooses for her. Once his word is given, it cannot
be changed much to Sunni’s dismay.
had always considered Raven, her brother’s best friend, as a family member,
but when he comes back from his Viking travels, they see each other with
adult eyes. Sunni realizes she has always loved Raven and wants no
other. While she and Raven plan to thwart her father’s marriage plans,
the proposed groom disappears. Now there seems to be no hindrance
to their wedding plans.
a kidnapping attempt, Sunni is sent to the convent for her protection until
the wedding. The morning of the wedding, Viking Rolf Gunnarson kidnaps
her. He did not accept her refusal of his marriage proposal and he
wants her for himself. Rolf’s lifestyle presents the darker aspects
of Viking life during this time period. (Now, here is where you have
to suspend belief.) Sunni convinces him not to bed her until they
are wed. After reaching his holding, she receives aid to escape
from another thrall. Unfortunately, although she escapes Rolf and
finds Raven, she ends up in the hands of another Chieftain who desires
her for his wife.
book does have a HEA (Happily Ever After) ending for Raven and Sunni but
you have to suspend reality more than I usually prefer, even for a romance
novel. Except for those points, the characters are true to
form and to the time period. The story reads smoothly with interesting
plot twists and action.
Cy Korte /
© 1999 for Book