*courtesy of an Advanced Reader’s Copy from Asa Maria Bradley, my dear friend and fellow writer, who chose to launch her first novel at Auntie’s Bookstore.
You know how, when you get done with an awesome series, you feel that kind of hollowness? A longing to re-enter the fantastic world you’ve been living in for 3 or 6 or 9 or 12 books, but you can’t, because you have read the words The End…?
And then you find another writer, with a similar but unique world and style, and you are sooooooooooooooooo excited?
If you love the paranormal romances of Christine Feehan and J.R.Ward, Asa’s Vikings and Valkyries series is your next find. And what a fun find it is!
Love in the Snow = Steaming
While I love the “Dark Warrior” series by Feehan, it drives me crazy that she can’t seem to grasp the ethnicity of Carpathian names. And while I love J.R. Ward’s “Black Daggerhood” series, I have to admit they are a bit “rape-y.”
Well, Asa’s series doesn’t have either of those flaws. Asa is Swedish herself, so she grew up with the legends of the Vikings and Valkyries, and tales of Ragnarok. She’s authentic as it gets, and she doesn’t make careless mistakes. (She once objected to a description of a scene in a Russian café by informing our friend John that there was no way, given the number of matchsticks he had used, to make the shape he had mentioned.) And, she is a strong woman, and dare I say, a feminist.
The only comparable writer I can think of, as far as having strong female heroines, is new writer Joanna Brodsky, whose main character is a non-human Greek goddess fallen from grace, who patrols Manhattan. (Check out her book The Immortals, just published January 2016 .)
Now, back to the Norse. Asa’s background as a physics teacher lends her unique blend of science and magic a compelling, and believable twist.
Naya is a fierce computer expert whose upbringing was a bit different…and involved a laboratory. A lab and a government from whom she is still trying to rescue her brother, Scott.
One night, while heading to her car, she sees a large man getting his butt kicked in an alley by some little rat-faced creatures and against her better judgment, and her habit, she steps in to help.
As it turns out, the man is Leif, the leader of a band of warrior Vikings and Valkyries, sent to Earth by Odin to foil the plans of Loki to bring about Ragnarok. Oh, and it seems she is Leif’s intended mate–by kissing her, an ancient Norse bond and prophecy is triggered. If they don’t complete it, Leif will lose himself permanently to battle fury and become a berserker. So time is running out for them, and for Earth as well.
But in the meantime, there are still are feuds over sandwiches, chauvinism, campy dialogue and misunderstandings aplenty. Also a motorcycle chase. This is not a super-serious, dark novel. It is a light-hearted, sexy and fun read.
I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series! Yes, Asa is my friend, but even if I didn’t know her from Freya, I would still love this book.