Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Warlord's Wife by Sandra Lake

The Warlord's Wife
Release date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Intermix
Genre: Historical (Viking) Romance
Series: Sons of the North #1

A stunning historical romance from debut author Sandra Lake transports readers to 12th century Sweden, where a powerful Viking lord will discover a fierce heart cannot be taken by mere force.

Lida was married to the love of her life for just two months when she became a widow. Pregnant and disowned by her late husband’s family for suspected infidelity, she was forced to return to her family in shame. Eight years later, uninterested in the prospect of finding another husband, she finds herself the unwilling object of a marriage contract with a powerful warlord. In a day, she is wed, bed, and put on a ship headed for Tronscar; an unknown icy stone and steel fortress.

Jarl Magnus is pleased to have taken a strong wife who, however stubborn she may be, will surely produce sons. However, he is less pleased with his wife’s additional baggage—a young daughter. But despite himself, Magnus falls for the daughter just as hard as the mother, and Lida’s heart is warmed to see the cold, serious Jarl move surprisingly fast into the role of stepfather.

When enemies attack Tronscar, Jarl Magnus’s nerves of steel waver, as the warrior fears his love for Lida will weaken him. But when his family is threatened, he’ll go to war to protect them, discovering along the way that they have the strength to protect themselves.

My Rating: 3 Roses

The Warlord's Wife was a good historical romance. It wasn't the best but I enjoyed it overall.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:
Magnus was amazing. Sweet, kinder than he let on, and always honorable. I loved how kind he was with Katria, Lida's daughter, and how protective he was of everyone under his care. He was wonderful and I totally adored him.

The second half of the book was great (we'll get to the first half later). It came with a few twists and thrills as a troublemaker continued to try to gain power. I could have done with some more build up of the secrets that came up, but that wasn't a big problem.

Katia was an adorable character. This little girl was vivacious and sweet and I really liked the addition of her character.

On the downside was mainly Lida. While, in the later half of the book, I appreciated her determination and strength, in the first half, I found myself constantly frustrated by her stubbornness. To start, she willingly agreed to marry Magnus, yet she constantly thought and acted like an unwilling bride. I didn't think she had any reason to, considering Magnus had specifically asked for her agreement to the marriage. And, I really didn't like how shrewish she was to Magnus. He was nothing but caring and kind and way more patient than he had reason to be. Yet, she constantly assumed the worst of him, even coming up with the stupidest accusations out of nothing. For example, within two minutes at arriving at his fortress, she meets two maids who were friendly with Magnus and she immediately came to the conclusion that they must be part of a whole harem that Magnus kept and painted herself as the martyr wife. I mean, even if he had been with them (which he hadn't) it would have been before their marriage and, consequently, none of her business to get upset about. And, when Magnus later got jealous about her clinging to her first husband's memory, she got upset about it, as if she hadn't done the same thing with less cause. I just felt like she created all these problems in her own mind and that was basically the entire conflict of the first half of the book. So, I wasn't happy with that.

In the second half, she did figure herself out and got a little better in my eyes. She still wasn't my favorite heroine, but I didn't openly dislike her anymore.

The fact that I didn't like the first half of the book but really liked the second half made this an overall okay book. In the end, I did like the story and Magnus's character made up for Lida. So, while not a great book, I thought The Warlord's Wife was a good read.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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