The Viking She Loves to Hate by Lucy Morris
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Her rival is her most dangerous temptation!
Astrid Viggosdottir’s father has ordered a competition between her and new arrival Viking Ulrik to prove who is the better boat-builder! If she loses, Princess Astrid will be duty-bound to marry a Jarl. If Ulrik loses, he will be banished, leaving his motherless daughter homeless. With the stakes so high, Astrid should hate this man―but during the long hot summer their rivalry turns to a heated passion that neither can ignore!
King Viggo is determined to marry his daughter off despite his rebellious daughter, Astrid, wanting to be a master boat-builder for his kingdom. Enter Ulrik and his daughter Frida. Ulrik saved the King’s life in battle and was badly wounded in the process. King Viggo offered Ulrik a position as his master boat-builder, but looking at the King’s ships, it seems he already has a skilled craftsman. So why would he need another and what has Ulrik gotten himself into?
I didn’t particularly like Astrid and her childish behavior toward Ulrik, but her father is a tyrant and has never approved of her. She is so mischievous and defiant and she creates beautiful ships for her unappreciative father. In addition, Astrid is kind to the people of the village and she has many friends. Astrid does grow as she realizes Ulrik refuses to pander to her immature pranks and that he is an honorable and kind father. Not to mention she feels guilty for having to send him and his daughter away if she wins. Ulrik is dependable and respectable and will do anything to win the competition in order to provide for his daughter, Frida. Unfortunately, after learning of the King’s volatile relationship with his daughter and spending more time with the spirited Astrid, he feels an attraction that he could never act upon.
Astrid and Ulrik’s hate-to-love relationship is compelling and the boat-building process is interesting. Astrid is competitive and Ulrik is sensible and the more they work with each other, the more they start to enjoy each other’s company until true love claims their hearts. However, the danger of their stations is imminent as the winning ship is ready to be chosen and a twist causes havoc in the kingdom. Don’t worry. Love prevails and there is a HEA.
Ulrik’s teenage daughter, Frida, is wise beyond her years and she is supportive of her father and Astrid. Astrid’s family is unbearable. Her mother is okay as Astrid’s sole supporter, but at what price? Her sisters are cruel to not only Astrid but Frida and Ulrik, too. And King Viggo is a dishonest, despicable man and king as he goes back on his promise and does an unforgivable thing.
I am delighted to recommend this entertaining and engaging romance with a well-researched focus on Viking boat-building.
Thank you to Ms. Morris for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucy Morris has always been obsessed with myths and legends. Her books blend sweeping romance with vivid worldbuilding to whisk you away to another time and place filled with adventure. Expect passion, drama, and vibrant characters.
Lucy lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves Terry’s chocolate oranges and Irn-Bru. In her spare time, she likes to explore castles with her family, or drink bubbly with her friends.
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