Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: Sons of Sigurd, #5
Release Date: November 1, 2020
Warning! Might be a bit spoilerish!
After years of running; hiding and being branded an outlaw, Brandt Sigurdsson, the eldest son and his father’s heir, believes he will finally have justice for the murder of not only his father Sigurd, King of Maerr, but also his beloved wife and unborn son, along with countless others. In the years since that fatal night the brothers have searched for answers, from their home in Norway to England, Ireland and Scotland. All the information they have each gathered have led Brandt to Castle Wik in Alba (Scotland) to confront his father’s friend and his Aunt’s husband – Thornfinn Bjornsson. Brandt challenges Thornfinn and is gravely wounded and taken prisoner – surprised that his life spared by Thornfinn.
Thornfinn sends his widowed daughter, Katla to tend Brandt, telling her he wants him alive to be taken to King Harald once the winter passes. His injuries are serious and due to a beating she endured for disobeying her father – Brandt was left untended for days. She is not sure she can save him, but refuses to give up without a fight and even in her own injured state, she works diligently to save him. After days of care and many prayers offered to the gods – Brandt shows signs of surviving. He slowly heals and comes to respect the quiet, caring woman who tends him. Katla and Brandt form a friendship and when her father announces she will be remarried to her step-mother’s commander, she asks Brandt to help her escape, he agrees but plans to return to enact his vengeance on her father – but when he realizes his quest may cost him a second chance at happiness, will he give up his desire for justice?
This was a very well written, smoothly paced novel that neatly ends the series. Set in ancient Scotland, the book is filled with emotion, warm love scenes, action, betrayal, surprising revelations, twists and turns that lead to more revelations, closure for Brandt and his brothers and HEAs for all. I really felt Brandt pain, but the ongoing reminders of his deep love for his dead wife Ingrid – including a detailed dream of making love to her and memories of her during love scenes with Katla was a bit off-putting in a romance. I am not a huge fan of second romances, I did feel that he loved both women dearly and in the end was able to devote himself to Katla – but I wish it was done with less detail of his love life with Ingrid. This is the fifth and final book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title with no issues. I enjoyed this story and would happily recommend.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested from NetGalley and the Publisher. All opinions are my own.*