4 December 2014

Rover Defiant by Anna Markland

Hey everyone,

I know, I know I'm an awful person who totally didn't post yesterday! In my slight defence I was in bed all day with flu but I realise this is a pitiful excuse so you have my full and humble apology. Today I'm reviewing The Rover Defiant by Anna Markland, a romance between a Viking noblewoman and a former Thrall or slave.

The book:

Torstein is a free man, but the Viking nobility will never forgive or forget he was once a slave. The high-born woman he loves has too much pride to give herself to a former thrall.

My thoughts:

I brought this because firstly I love viking romances and secondly all the reviews were highly positive and raved about its excellence. So despite my misgivings about the covers (too much flesh/mascara) and the shortness of the blurb I decided to give it a go. I can’t say this is a decision I regret but I also doubt this is a book I will re-reading or recommending. The plot of The Rover Defiant revolves around Torstein’s and Sonya’s forbidden love due to differing social class. I love forbidden love stories, it is one of my favourite tropes and this book had it in spades. Torstein in particular had a lot of insecurities due to his former position as a slave.

What lunacy had prompted him to hope he and this woman might ever have anything in common? He desired her, but their worlds were too far apart.

I feel like this was book with so much potential, Anna Markland had all the ideas for a great forbidden love story. All the characters were interesting, although I would have liked to see less of the secondary characters as I felt they took over from the hero and heroines love story. The reason I say this had the potential is the author committed one of my major pet-peeves. Insta-love. I hate it. I don’t believe in it and I don’t read romance to have the hero and heroine fall in love after one glance. Torsten apparently loves Sonya from afar for many years despite never having spoken to her and Sonya falls in love with Torstein after seeing him at church. I can cope with insta-lust. I can tolerate instal-love if the character then spend considerable time together, however, these two spent the majority of the book apart and fall in love after one brief meeting together.

Her warrior was home, her amulet displayed proudly on his chest, his tattoos proclaiming his bravery.

Although these two clearly loved each other, choosing to defy social conventions and her family to be together, I felt the author skipped the falling in love part and moved straight into the conflict. I know for some people this is what they want, but for me it didn’t work.

Otherwise this was a very good book, the writing, world building and plot pace were all very good. I like how Anna Markland chose a more unusual setting for a viking romance, modern day France, when they were expanding and exploring. It was interesting reading how the Scandinavian culture merged with early French culture. Particularly Christianity verse the Norse Gods. Although I can’t speak for the historical accuracy because it isn’t a period I know well and frankly it isn’t something that bothers me in historical romances. I just wished we’d been allowed more time to watch Torstein and Sonya fall in love. 

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!

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