A Dark Viking Romance
Size: 5.00 x 8.00 in
Murder. Passion. Two worlds colliding.
As the second son of a Viking earl, Alv Gunnulfsen wasn’t meant to inherit a throne or avenge a murder. But when his brother is slain during a raid and their father dies of grief, Alv is expected to take command and claim the killer’s death. In a world of ruthless retaliation and strict social codes, he must also maneuver cleverly to protect a troublesome secret: his attraction for men.
Roeland van Dijk, a wealthy Dutch merchant settled in Norway, has done the unthinkable to protect his family — hacked off the head of a Viking rapist. The wrath of the blond savages will cost him his freedom, and possibly his own head… Unless he’s willing to accept the love of another man.
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Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Class Differences, Criminals & Outlaws, Cultural Differences, Enemies to Lovers, First Time, Forbidden Love, Gay for You / Straight to Gay, Hurt / Comfort, Opposites Attract, Rescue, Villain to Hero
Word Count: 29000
Languages Available: English
After a moment, Alv looked up again and almost gasped from the erotic vision in front of him. While shaving Roeland, he’d only seen his wet, hairy chest and stomach, but the handsome man moved to a kneeling position in the basin and washed his lower body. His stunning maleness made Alv hot and bothered. They had discussed, argued, shared personal details, and apologized to each other, but now, the seriousness of their conversation faded. The sight of Roeland’s cock bathing in white foam between his legs had Alv’s own cock jolt and press painfully against his pants.
Oh, Roeland attracted him on several levels—mental, emotional, and physical—and Alv longed to discover and develop more of everything with him. Hedin was an exciting lover, but nothing like what Roeland had the potential to be.READ MORE
Speaking of Hedin, it’d been a surprise to see him again this morning, right after Elke left. He’d arrived in a terrible mood and refused to excuse his disappearance act. It was outrageous of a slave to come and go like that, but Alv had too much on his mind to think of punishing him.
For one, he worried about Roeland’s future. He’d inherited part of Father’s wealth, but not his title. After returning to Eðni, he’d claimed to be the only one who could decide of what to do with his brother’s murderer, but it wasn’t true. He had no standing, no support from his fellow citizens. They could choose to kill Roeland if they wanted to—all it took was a word from Mother. It made her idea to have Alv marry Elke and adopt the community’s natural heir that much more important to push through.
“There’s something we need to talk about,” he said, hoping Roeland wouldn’t oppose to the plan.
“Normally, I would ask you, but since you’re not in a position to make decisions, I’m just going to tell you.”
“About what?” Roeland frowned.
“I’m marrying your sister.”
Roeland stood so fast in the basin, water splashed to all sides. He stepped out and leaned into Alv’s face. “Don’t you dare to touch her!”
“But I’m not…”
“Hasn’t she suffered enough?” Roeland bellowed, his dark eyes slit with anger.
By Thor, he was insanely sexy, standing naked and wet, so near Alv could feel his damp bodily heat, water drippling from his hair and rolling alongside his tanned, chiseled cheeks. Alv couldn’t help hardening more, and needed to focus on the words that came out of Roeland’s luscious mouth to be able to answer. “She has already accepted.”
Copyright @ 2017 Lea BronsenCOLLAPSE
D.C. Stone wrote:
UTTERLY GRIPPING AND EMOTIONAL
If you’re a fan of Vikings and like your MM romance, then this is a must-read. Be warned it’s labelled a dark romance for a reason. There’s a fair amount of violence, grit, and tragedy, but then in Viking times, what do you expect?
From the first page, I was immersed in history, and I couldn’t put this story down. Utterly gripping storytelling, and so very emotional. There were times where I couldn’t see how this could possibly ever result in a happy outcome for the characters. Suffice to say the reader is in for a hell of a rollercoaster ride.
Kay on Love Bites and Silk Ties wrote:
Loved how Lea stepped out of her comfort zone with this one. Being a huge fan of the Vikings TV show, I was all in when reading this one. I love the twist and turns, the heat, the believable emotions. I felt every single one of them as I read through this. Couldn’t put it down!
What a fantastic story. I worried about how to write this review to give this book its due justice and in this end I’m going to do a kind of analysis and I hope you see where I’m going with this.
First let me start by saying this story is marked as a dark Viking romance. In my opinion, dark romances are gritty and shocking, with heroes/heroines that push the boundaries of expectations in romance novels. With that in mind I would consider Torn Avenger to be on the mild end of the dark romance spectrum.
Are there gritty scenes? Sure. But that is more down to the fact that it is a Viking story and therefore brutality, gore and Viking warriors kind of go hand in hand. It is to be expected.
Do the heroes push the boundaries? Are they dark enough? Alv certainly pushes the boundaries. His character is described as half-man and half-woman, and regarded with amusement by his fellow Norsemen. In 11th century Norway when his fellow men were fearless Vikings, macho and brutal, ready to strike first and talk later, Alv was the opposite, gentle and kind. He wanted to heal people instead of kill them. How much more subversive can one get?
As for Roeland, when a Viking raiding party invades his village to pillage and plunder, he does what needs to be done to protect his family and kills one of them. Unfortunately the man he kills is the first son of an earl and his death has to be avenged, which is the crux of the story. Roeland tries to keep his family safe in hiding but he is eventually captured by Alv who takes him captive.
I’ll admit I expected some savagery in the form of revenge from Alv. But aside from taking Roeland as a captive, he continues to wrangle with his conscience about what had gone on and what to do. In the end Alv falls in love with Roeland. So the question becomes, how does he keep Roeland alive when everyone else in his clan seems to want him dead.
This story has layers. Suspense as we wonder if and how Roeland will get his freedom. Mystery as we try to unravel a poisoning. And of course romance as we watch Alv and Roeland develop feelings for each other.
Do I believe that Roeland, a man who had been in love with his late wife could be attracted to Alv? Yes. We know that people who have been through an intensely stressful experience can come out of it with different perspectives than they had previously.
Considering the upheaval and distress he’d been through, it is quite plausible that Roeland would fall in love with the man who saved his life and took such care of him, especially when said man was effeminate.
I’m also intrigued by Elke and Torsten’s storyline and hope the author will write a companion novella of sort. I would love to read about Elke’s ordeal from her perspective and having to marrying into a tribe of the person who assaulted her and having a child. How does a woman in that era cope with that kind of trauma?
Overall, this is a fantastic, sensual and emotional M/M historical romance. The characters are well drawn and the storyline had me hooked right from the first page to the last. I would’ve loved more on the page interactions between Alv and Roeland, but that’s just me wanting more steam.
Seriously, if you enjoy M/M historicals, you have to read this and don’t be put off by the ‘dark’ label. Alv and Roeland are too good to ever have the ‘dark hero’ label on them.
AT TIMES DARK, “BARBARIC,” AND INTENSE LOVE STORY
Loved it! Deserves a sequel to this new life for this passionate, brave, nurturing Viking and his warrior lover. Will answer once again what makes a family, and what more are we willing to sacrifice?
Janis Frisch wrote:
“BY THOR, YES!”
The beginning sucked me right in that I didn’t even realize I was already on Chapter 4 when I decided I needed to began taking notes.
Roeland van Dijk and Alv Gunnulfsen are amazing characters.
Alv is the second son of Norse earl Gunnulf Haraldsen, so he’s able to live how he wants. His older brother Joar is next in line and also the village champion. Life seems to be perfect for Alv until a war ship returns to deliver life altering news
“Joar died a courageous warrior.”
In this moment both Roeland and Alv’s lives will collide together in a series of tests and decisions both never thought they would have to make.
Roeland is a second-generation Dutch merchant settled in the peaceful creek of Bjorgvin on the coast of Norway. When the Vikings raided his village he got his pregnant wife to safety then headed out to find his sister. This is where his life will forever change starting an epic tale towards Alv Gunnulfsen, a Viking Roeland never expected to meet.
Alv raised his sword. “We’re not savages!”
“Well, the ones that raided Bjorgvin are. Were. I stopped one of them.”
I loved this book. I will say its probably a little dark for some people, for me I enjoyed it, but wished it was a little darker being a Viking story. This is a new author for me and I will definitely be reading more.
Character Development: 5
Truus on Love is Love Reviews wrote:
It’s no secret, I’m a big fan of Lea’s writing and once again this is a five star for me.
What’s not to love about sexy historical Vikings? Absolutely nothing. I love Lea’s style of writing, her characters and the heat she infuses in her books.
Grab this one up, it’s short, and will fill a cold afternoon very nicely.
Tammy Kay Rufo wrote:
INTRIGUING DARK ROMANCE
Picture: Norway anno 1031
I loved it from the first line.
Roeland was working when he heard screaming and yelling and when he looked outside the Vikings were ravish all around. He has to save his pregnant wife and his sister.
When he finally finds his sister she is overpowered by a big figure who is between her legs.
He has to save her.
Alv lies in bed with his beautiful slave Hedin, when he hears a lot of commotion, a boat, his brother will finally be home from war.
He is back… but not in one piece… and not alive. As heir he would lead the people and now….
Alv is not a warrior or a killer, he studies medicine, he is small and fragile with angelic features, but he has to find the killer of his brother..so there he goes.
When he finds the man it isn’t someone he expected, this is a kind family man, who will be soon devastated because there is a lot of blood and a crying baby hold by a young girl.
Alv heart beats faster for the man in front of him, Alv is no killer he is a lover, only he has to take him home.. to the people. He has to die.
When he finds out this man is a foreigner, Dutch, it getting complicating.. The Dutch have an impressive army…
That was a wonderful written story. Dark, strong and unpredictable. All personalities amazing put down. It was like a movie before my eyes.
It’s about family honor, jealousy, manipulation, justice, love and kindness and two man who can’t be together…or can they.
It has an intriguing plot, this all with raw and dark Norway anno 1031 as background, great done.
Ann A. wrote:
HOT HISTORICAL!!! LOVED THIS BOOK!!!
love Alv and Roe, both strong characters trying to survive and do the right thing. it’s not always easy. i love historical stories, especially vikings, they brutal and sexy! was very happy with this story and would love to read more. would def recommend Lea Bronsen.
Gina Burkart wrote:
A WELL WRITTEN AND GUTSY TALE OF MARAUDING VIKINGS WRAPPED UP IN A DARK LOVE STORY
Different to my usual read. This is well written and includes what I would expect from a tale of marauding vikings. Lots of blood, gore, raping and pillaging!
Candice Clark wrote:
I don’t even know what to say about this book other than I love Lea writing and this would be the first book that I’ve read by her. I was amazed by the story and just couldn’t get enough of the book. It doesn’t tell you of trigger warning.. but this is a must read book
Sandra Moreno wrote:
This is a slow burn but I was very satisfied with the ending! Alv is a sweet, beautiful Viking that loses his brother and swears to avenge him. Roeland is a merchant that is content with his life until the Vikings strike and he has to save his sister. He goes on the run with his sister and pregnant wife only to find devastating ends. When Alv finally has his brother’s murderer in his clutches his good nature shows threw and his heart stirs. He must learn to follow his heart or conform with society.
The author did great giving motive and distinguishing characters. I did appreciate that this was not instant love and only one sided on the instant lust, it wouldn’t have felt right if Roeland would of been so quick to find himself attracted to Alv.
The only suggestion I have would of been a finish to the final scene in the book but the story was still complete without this.
HEARTWARMING VIKING LOVE STORY!
This was a great historical romance with Vikings. Alv & Roeland are great characters you can’t help but to fall in love with. You will not be disappointed with this FANTASTIC story of sweet love & HEA!