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 very early 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.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 4
Title: Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice
Author: Michelle M. Pillow
Genre: Historical Romance
Narrator: Mason Lloyd
Published by: The Raven Books
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 46 minutes
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"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 who's 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?
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.