Viking Warrior Rebel (Viking Warriors #2) by Asa Maria Bradley #BookReview
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Astrid Irisdotter is a Valkyrie—an immortal female Viking warrior—in a band of males just as bloodthirsty and battle hardened as she is. Well, maybe not quite as bloodthirsty, since Astrid’s berserker spirit has a particular taste for the thrill of the hunt and of battle. She met Luke Holden in the first book in this series, but we don’t find out they slept together until Viking Warrior Rebel starts (that’s not really a spoiler: something was definitely going on between these two!). Which is when Luke’s unique skills are hinted at…
“Don’t get involved in this, human. It will only get you killed.”
Freaky bared his teeth in what was probably supposed to be a smile but looked more like an animal snarl. Luke forced himself to ignore all the creepy stuff and focus on kicking the freak’s ass. “We’ll see.”
He slowed down his breathing, and the dead calm that always flooded his body before a fight covered him like a familiar, favorite warm blanket. He offered a smile of his own. Something of Luke’s feral nature must have shone through, because the guy blanched and stepped back.
Luke has a secret past that, like Naya from Viking Warrior Rising, puts him on nearly equal footing with Astrid. And Astrid is one tough chick. Luke is an ideal match for her, not only sexually but in the depth of his complexity as a warrior, as a man, as a partner…
Luke tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear and placed a light kiss on her lips. “You’re so amazingly strong , both mentally and physically.” He paused and traced her lips with his thumb. “You’re a true warrior. I would have been honored to serve with you in my unit. I am honored to have fought with you.”
Tears welled up in Astrid’s eyes. She’d had many compliments in her life, but always about her looks. Luke’s words warmed corners of her heart that had been cold for a long time.
And of course the berserker was purring with pleasure, firing up Astrid’s libido.
I really like Astrid and Luke as a couple. They compliment each other perfectly as fighters—even respect and admire each other’s skills—and both share a dry humor that makes for some unexpectedly humorous moments on page. And the Viking warriors don’t let us down with their reactions to Astrid and Luke’s bond, making for some memorable (and entertaining) moments.
“Are the men always that disrespectful toward Astrid?”
Pekka frowned. “That was not disrespect. Astrid is one of the most respected warriors in the group.”
He sat back in his chair. “She’s one of them. They treat her exactly the way they treat one another.”
I did feel like the first part of the story was a tad slow, but it picks up as soon as the action starts and keeps barreling through from there. As a sophomore effort—the second in Ms. Bradley’s Viking Warriors series—this story stands out. It has believable and exciting action, strong connections between the characters (romantic and friendly), and strengthened the story foundation previously laid down in the first book.
Readers new to the series should start with Viking Warrior Rising (review | buy link* – nominated for two RITA awards!) in order to better understand the relationships between the characters and their history.
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