"She found herself unimpressed with him, having expected more of the legendary man - Brant. Lord Blackwell. Brant the Gladiator. Brant the Vigorous. Brant the Flame. Brant the Viking Hero. Della snorted in unladylike disgust. More like, Brant the Thorn in my Arse!"
Lady Della the Cold-Hearted
Lady Della despises all things Viking. They may rule the land, but they will never rule her. Unfortunately, her father doesn't seem to agree. To prove his continued allegiance to the Viking king, the Ealdorman of Strathfeld betroths his only daughter to a respected Viking Lord - a warrior whose legendary prowess isn't reserved for the battlefield. Fighting the newfound craving in her body and the unwelcome fire in her heart, Della must choose between everything she knows to be true and the one thing she never expected...
Lord Brant of Blackwell, the Fiery One
Lord Blackwell is as fiery on the battlefield as he is in his passions. He has fought valiantly for King Guthrum and has earned the respect of the nobles. When his overlord offers the hand of his beautiful daughter and the right to inherit his lands, Blackwell can hardly refuse. However, he soon discovers that his noble bride is anything but the meek and mild woman he envisioned for his wife. One minute she's kissing him back, the next she's swearing to do whatever it takes to dissuaded him from their marriage. Can his lust for life and his new bride melt the ice that surrounds her heart? Or will Lady Della the Cold be this warrior's undoing?
©2012 Michelle M. Pillow (P)2013 Michelle M. Pillow
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"Medieval: emotional and lush"
I’m a huge fan of those retro bodice-ripper stories: you know- the ones with Fabio on the cover and you can SO not judge me for that. They are escapist, they pull at your emotions and deliver some moments with characters where you wish to be able to reach out and shake them because they are being so contrary. I’m also in a huge Historic Romance kick of late, there is something so unique to the world and the conventions that give authors a way to ‘work around’ those, and further develop some depth in their characters to make up for an often rigid society. Well, Michelle M. Pillow has managed to blend all of the elements and return a story that pleases my need for an emotionally charged escapist read in a world built with lush historical details and a bit of angst as the characters fight traditional conventions.
Brant is a strong leader, competent and capable and well respected by his men. Fiery is his nature, passionate and determined, this is all signified with a shock of red hair that graces his locks. He is truly the Lord of Fire, and it only remains to be seen if he can melt the icy reserve of his wife and lady.
Della is cold, yet that is a shell to protect her heart and express her discomfort with her situation. While she appears to use her lack of emotion and reactions to embarrass Brant in the company of others, her utter dismissal of him during their private moments are akin to throwing ice on a burn.
Yet, the two need to learn to trust one another, and find the keys to share the passion that is buried within. And there is where I had a few moments of repetition in the story: there was often a rehashing of their issues, as if neither wanted to learn from the first time around. Those were moments that made me want to shake them. A few overused words that came up often, and a bit too much dithering in interior monologues about their undying concerns, passions or love: when it was abundantly clear to the reader that they were electric and attached to one another, they seemed to take a bit of time to get to that realization themselves. I did adore the fact that this was a veryearly historic romance, based in the middle of the Anglo-Saxon era of Vikings and Wars and Alfred the Great, king of the West Saxons.
Narration in this story is provided by Mason Lloyd, and his voice is unusual for most romances, yet a perfect adjunct to the story. Effortlessly modulating pitch, tone and even accent, his narration never distracts and often enhances the more emotional moments, adding in scorn, disbelief, anger and frustration with apparent ease. Even the softer moments are clearly defined with his voicing, and the rare moments of happiness and laughter are spoken as if he were smiling from within.
This isn’t a smooth run to the end, but the story rarely finds the reader without some sort of emotion from frustration to anger to worry to ultimate cheers as the two finally sort out their communication and manage to come together for a happy ending.
I received an audiobook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
"A MEDIEVAL CLASH OF THE TITANS!!!"
I was in the mood for something angsty, and since the Viking series on the History Channel, I've also been interested in reading/listening to something from that era. So, this book delivered on both fronts in this chemical romance through the melting together of Viking Hero, Brant (Lord Blackwell), the Flame, and his "lady-wife" Lady Della, the Cold-hearted.
As previous reviewers have indicated, you will feel a myriad of emotions on this medieval journey of love. It is an emotional, roller-coaster especially for the values of a 21st century listener! Yet, through the many tumultuous emotions that encompassed the experience of this book, overall, I was rooting for a fabulous HEA for both Brant and Della.
This book is about a very conflicted relationship between a couple from different cultures who go through many misunderstandings because they don't share all of their feelings, they speak too harshly and can't take things back due to pride. Della, herself has one of the most sharp-tongues I've witnessed from a heroine. She says awful things to Brant that come very close to fruition. And, even though, most of the time, Brant was the more patient of the pair, he was ruthless in his treatment of his wife (even though he felt remorseful). In this era, it was what was expected. In fact, with all of the brut power and force of the law on the husband's side, it's amazing how much influence and control Della actually held in her manor and with her husband. She is a very strong heroine, despite her shrewish flaws. But, there's always a reason behind the way people act, and Della definitely has a reason for her prejudice and hatred of Vikings. Brant understood this and seemed to really exert effort in making his marriage work.
Despite the tumult, I kept listening because I couldn't stop. Also, the steamy romances between the two was really good. I just wish there was more coverage of the blissful and light moments between the lovers because when they loved it was amazing…..they loved almost as passionately as they fought. Unfortunately, the end felt very rushed and it did not fully make up for the dramatic, violence that preceded it. For this reason there should have been an epilogue. On the positive side, thankfully, there is a resolution to their issues. This story may have a lot of emotionally, crushing moments, but it is very well written. Let me tell you Michelle Pillow really knows how to tell a story, no matter how steamy or chilling.
Lastly, I thought the narrator was excellent. Mason Loyd did a great job in narrating both the masculine, Viking voices as well as the ladies.
"Brilliant story full of fascinating characters."
Yes. Mason Lloyd's voice was very clear and resonated well with the characters. Plus the story was very entertaining.
How the characters interacted with each other. It was both realistic (in the sense that they never knew what the other was thinking) and dramatic. I went through a wide range of emotions right along with them.
The Lady of Ice. He really captured her refined but sassy attitude perfectly with his vocal inflections.
From the beginning to the end I was moved. The ease of slipping into the characters point of view was so smooth I didn't realize I had done it until I stopped listening. The range of emotions I experienced changed as fluidly as the characters emotions did. Sometimes I went from happy, to infuriated, to mildly smug, to utter surprise all within one brief moment. I laughed, teared up, and even found myself blushing. I am not naive but the Lady of Ice was.
Michelle M. Pillow wrote a wonderful book and Mason Lloyd did a marvelous job narrating it. When it was over I was sad that I wouldn't get to hear any more.
"A wonderful Historical Medieval romace"
I really enjoyed this story I thought it had a great plot with wonderful characters. As the story unfolds we find Lady Della has a horrible past which makes her dislike all Viking. She has her own plans of marriage but her father feels he is wiser than she. He picked the man he wanted her to marry and would not take no for answer. It seems the father has been hiding a secret and must have her wed at once. When she is told she isn’t very happy about it as she turns the tables on her soon to be husband. It does seem Lord Blackwell has met his match as Lady Della gives him a run for his money. Lord Blackwell will not be out done as he turns the tables back on her. I found this to be a highly entertaining read at times very funny. Other times I had my mouth in an O as the things they said or did to each other. Nothing good can come out of baiting each other and it normal backfires.
Mason Lloyd did an outstanding job with narration his male voices were as wonderful as his female ones. There are not any background noises or any high low levels, his voice is strong and smooth with no breaks in the audio that I could tell. You always know who is talking and just what emotion they are feeling. He gives a wonderful power listen with his strong male tones and his very smooth female ones. He has a voice you could listen to all day that really brings the story to life. He really puts his self into the characters when they are angry you know it. Lady Della is up one minute down the next so unsure of herself at times and others she is very much in power. Mr. Lloyd has not trouble playing her character as he shows you how emotional and unforgiving she can be. His Lord Blackwell is very touching as he gives compassion to his voice giving Lady Della time to adjust and find a common ground. This is the first time I have listen to this narrator and really look forward to listening to more from him.
I really liked these characters I understood where both Della and Brant were coming from and how they kept misunderstanding each other. There are many hurt feelings, must anger, misunderstandings, a whole lot of passion. Because of her past she has much to be afraid of in and out of the marriage bed and who can blame her. She doesn’t take to her upcoming marriage easy and make things very tough for those around her. When she finally gives in and marries she sticks to her word this is going to be a rocky marriage she won’t be taken in by his charm. I thought I would die laughing when she called Brant the Thorn in my Arse. I totally enjoyed this wonderful strong women who gives as good as she gets and doesn’t back down as she stands her ground.
Brant has got to be the most patient man alive as he gives her the time she needs. Oh he isn’t giving in all the way as she finds out when he puts her to shame at his request. It is driving him crazy as he sees the passion in her only have her turn cold. It doesn’t help when his friend bait him giving him a hard time. He will have her one way or the other. Just as she seems to becoming around her cousin shows up putting everything in a tail spin. Brant decides to turn the tables on her again only to fall into his own trap. I really liked this man who can be caring, protective, loving, giving but isn’t going to take too much as he stands proud only bending a little to get his way.
I totally love the baiting between these two and found them to be very humorous at times. When they tried to outdo each other on the name calling I just about laughed myself silly. The author gives you a very well written story along with the narrator giving you a very entertaining listen. For me I thought this was an outstanding book all the way around. I loved the plot, the characters along with the supporting characters who will keep you chuckling. You will find many twists and turns you will not see coming even a few that will shock you all the way to your soul. This is the first time I have picked up anything by this author but it will not be the last. I give this a big fat 5 stars all the way.
"The woman has no spine."
The only reason I kept listening because the man telling the story was so good.
I love Michelle M. Pillow, but this book really pi**ed me off. The hero was a major A hole to the lady. I know the lady was a bitch to him sometimes, but what she went through and what he allowed done to her had me really hating the story at one stage I felt sick. I know this is a historical story and I'm sure this is how woman were treated back then, but I wish I'd had a warning as I wouldn't have bought it.
The idea for the story itself is really good and is a pleasant read, it just didn't keep me completely enthralled with the story line.This is one of those books that is good, but a little too predictable.
I have not listened to Mason Lloyd before but I feel he was the saving grace for this book I really enjoyed his performance.
"No story, nothing of history"
Just an excuse to put sex on paper. Wishing I had more space to explain
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