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Posted October 10, 2014
This romance leans heavily on historical detail. Evocative and atmospheric, the sensual tension builds over time. Not a super hot read, but if you like to read the cat and mouse chase of hero and heroine, this one's for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 26, 2014
The book of missed opportunities. I had great expectations for this story but it fell flat. The writing was good but she never developed or expanded on any conflict which would have made the story much more interesting. I felt the writer focused too much on helena's life as a thrall and her desire to return home and didnt take advantage of the opportunity to have any real romance or action. It was disappointing when hakan and helena only got together in the last few pages. I really enjoyed hakan but helena was selfish and i really didnt care for her. I dont know if there is a sequal with these characters but the story really needs one, too many unresolved conflicts and questions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2014
Helena was stolen from her home by the Danes and sold as a slave, she begged Hakan the Norse Chieftain that she could help him with his farmstead. I love a strong Heroine and a strong but compassionate Hero. Excellent read, no explicit love scene, Highly Recommend!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 3, 2014
Posted September 3, 2013
This book was so awesome mostly because it felt like a breath of fresh air after all the heavy, dark stuff I've been reading of late. I totally fell for Hakan. *swoon* He's definitely alpha, but always has a way of conveying his protectiveness without being a brute. And I definitely appreciated the newness of the setting and the very unique way Ms. Conkle has with her prose. There were so many passages I found myself going back to just for the sheer pleasure of the way the words rolled together.
One thing I was surprised about was the "sweetness" of this book. All the sex is behind closed doors, which was a little disappointing, but only because I was expecting otherwise. When Hakan and Helena finally get hot and heavy - ooooo, it's so yummy - the tension and description are amazing! - but then the doors close, and I'm like...wha??? So anyway, just know going in that this book has fabulous sexual tension, but ultimately it's "sweet."
I also enjoyed the secondary characters and very much look forward to reading more from Ms. Conkle.
Posted August 13, 2013
I don't normally read historical romances that go back so far in history, but I have a soft spot for Vikings as there is much talk about my heritage being linked to vikings.
Helena is a Frank captured by the Danes when they raid her small village. He betrothed ran the other way instead of trying to help her get away. When one of the raiders tried to take the pouch around her neck she fought him and in the process she got a huge cut on the side of her face.
Now Helena is in a cage waiting for someone to buy her as a slave, but she is worried that the one who marred her might come back and finish her off. So when she sees Hakan she sees it as her chance to get out of the place with her life. Not that she want's to be a Nor'man's thrall but she doesn't want to die either.
Helena thinks that she can gain her freedom and go right back to homeland and everything will be just fine. She doesn't realize that she is a slave and slaves don't have much say. Though Hakan treats her nicer than she would probably had with anyone else who have bought her.
Everyone thinks that all Nor'man's are vile beast, but Hakan is a kind man. He use to go a-viking at one time but now he just wants to settle down and be a farmer. He was betrayed by the woman he married and has vowed never to marry again. He just wants his son Erik as by Norse laws the boy is to live with his father as soon as he is old enough. Astrid, refuses to give him up to Hakan.
Hakan is taken by his Frankish thrall and he allows her to run his farmstead with a lot more lenience than he would any other thrall. He even buys another thrall to do the cooking because she isn't very good at it and it allows her more time to work on her weaving. He hauls water for her and a lot of other heavy things. He treats her better than just a thrall. All those around him can see how taken he is by this woman.
He grew up with the idea that Nor'man's don't ever marry their thralls and he vows not to marry any one any way but he wants Helena. Helena wants her freedom and she conducts as skim to win her freedom if this Nor'man will keep his word. Helena would stay if Hakan would marry her but since he refuses she is determined to go back to her homeland but it's been a while and not all will be as she thinks.
I really enjoyed this Norse tale, but I had a problem with some of the storyline. Svea the place where Hakan lives is under attack by someone who is wanting to overthrow the Old King. King Olof is Hakan's friend and person who raised him since he was young. He would do almost anything for him...but then there is some betrayals...and somethings just don't get resolved in the book about this stuff and well you just can't put it in there and then have the couple live happily ever after..I want to know what happens..will Hakan go and fight, etc. :( So that is why it got 3.5 instead of 4.
Posted July 24, 2013
Norse Jewel is set during a unique time period which adds an extra element of exotic intrigue to a surprisingly romantic and suspenseful story. The author has created a story that flows at a nice pace allowing the main couple plenty of time to form their relationship while allowing the suspense of who's the real enemy to take many twists and turns. While the conclusion is satisfying it does end on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more and guarantees your return visit to this vividly depicted Viking world.
Helena has been stolen from her home and the future that was planned out for her. Forced into the role of thrall her life is now in the hands of whoever's the highest bidder. Fearing for her life she chooses the one man who shows her kindness and subtly begs him to buy her. Lord Hakan brings her to a new world where she's fully accepted by his family and slowly starts making a place for herself where she's treated more kindly than she ever expected. She soon starts harboring feelings for Hakan though she still plans on returning home and will use his honor to get her there. Her mind can't ignore what her heart and soul feels for him and she soon must decide which future she really wants, her old life or her new one. From the very start Helena shows a smart and lively spirit. She doesn't act like you'd expect a prisoner to as she tends to speak her mind and shows subtle flashes of rebellion. I enjoyed her spirit and was rooting for her to get whatever she wanted. She was a kind-hearted soul who asked for very little in life and made the best of a bad situation but never lost focus of reuniting with her family. Her affection for Hakan confused her but she never compromised her principles in her dealings with him.
Hakan's parents were killed when he was young and from that moment on he was taken under King Olaf's wing. Even though he knew who killed his parents he was barred from getting revenge. He moved on by marrying a beautiful woman who betrayed him and uses their son as a bargaining tool to continue to make him pay. This betrayal has left him doubting the concept of love and leads to a vow of never marrying again. He can't help his immediate attraction to Helena though as he longs to protect her by bringing her to his homeland. She brings him happiness and speaks with an honesty that he appreciates for its uniqueness. He longs for the succor she provides but a lifetime of honor won't let him have her since she's a thrall. As their relationship progresses though it seems that they're getting further apart as his promise to return her to her home gets closer. After waging many wars to gain riches, this is the one war he longs to win. Hakan is an honorable man who, even after being hurt by his ex-wife, still shows compassion towards women. He's a strong-willed man who shows an unexpected romantic side in trying to win Helena over as he'll do anything to keep her close. As more betrayals towards Hakan come to light he'll need the support of Helena as she seems to be the only person he can truly trust as his enemies are closer than he thinks.
From start to finish I found myself completely immersed in this vividly depicted story and its storyline of love, war, and betrayal. The ending is a bit rushed and the subtle cliffhanger is a bit frustrating, but I still found this a delightful read that has me counting down the days until the story continues.
Posted July 22, 2013
Norse Jewel is a riveting story of love, betrayal, and second chances. Helena longs to escape the life that she has been forced into, when she is rescued by the fierce Hakan, a Norse Chieftan, she is intrigued by the stubborn giant. Hakan is tried of fighting and just wants to settle down, but his heart is cold to love, or so he thought. Helena is a clever vixen that chips aware at the ice surrounding his heart.
When war erupts and Hakan is called to lift his sword once again will he be able to do his duty and keep Helena as well? The accuracy and description in this story makes the reader feel like they are freezing their tushes off in the cold north with Helena and Hakan, or fighting for their life in a war that is meant to decimate a nation. The tenderness and beauty of the love that comes softly between Hakan and Helena is sigh worthy and quite breath taking.
Get caught up in this stunning story of courage, loyalty, love, and honor.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted July 19, 2013
Who doesn’t love a bit of Viking? I’ve been mildly obsessed since History Channel did their show, and finding a story that manages to incorporate that alpha-dominated sexiness with a new perspective is a great treat!
Helena is captured during a raid when the man she believed loved her turned tail and ran – leaving her to the mercy of the Danes. Removed from the home and family she knows, unable to communicate, scared and traumatized and very much alone. When she makes a friend in Sestra, she is told that escape is impossible and the best treatment will be obtained if she uses her body to trade and gain favors.
Hakan is a chieftan and Helena’s intense gaze draw his attention, where he purchases her from the slave market the Danes are holding to care for his farm as he is off exploring, fighting and being chieftan. With Helena in his possession, word reaches him that trouble is afoot, and he must hasten to sort the problem and face his adulterous ex-wife in hope to see his son Erik.
The longer the two are in contact, the more their connection becomes apparent: from a simple physical tension and awareness to a true sense of companionship. As they learn to communicate with one another, and argue, the connection and regard between the two increases, even as Hakan won’t share his reasons for distancing himself.
What emerges from Conkle’s writing is a relationship between the two that could be quite contentious: but the underlying sadness that Hakan feels in his separation from his son will not allow him to treat Helena unkindly, as she too is missing home and family. To release her from servitude and bring her home, despite his inability to see life without her in it is both the most heart breaking and romantic passage I have read in a long time. To love someone enough to let them go, despite the pain you personally will feel makes a beautiful climax to the story arc, leaving only one question which you will have to read the book to get your answer – no spoilers here.
This was a smoothly written, highly entertaining and enjoyable sweeter romance with incredibly well-defined sexual tension, characters and world-building. With some steamy kisses and fondling, all of the graphic bits are left to reader’s imagination: and with characters as well defined in your imagination it will not be difficult to let imagination run wild. Fans of romance and alpha males will appreciate this story, and if you are testing the waters with historical romance: this is a great start.
I received an eBook from Entangled via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Posted July 7, 2013
Norse Jewel was fantastic.
Helena is a Frankish woman who was taken by the Danes.
Hakan is a Norse man whom buys and rescues her.
They travel to his homeland Seva. Helena is a thrall (which is a slave)
All she wants is her freedom & to go back home to her betrothed.
Hakan wishes his son to live with him instead of his ex & vows never to marry again
nor to get involved with a thrall.
This story has: love, betrayal, romance, humor and heartache. You will laugh & cry along with these two.
I recommend this author and story to all.
Posted June 26, 2013
Sweet Viking romance with sexual tension and chemistry
Norse Jewel is an entertaining, Viking/historical love story that will hold the reader’s attention. Gina Conkle weaves her magic as she writes a tale of romance between a Viking Chieftain and his Frankish slave.
Helena is a Frankish woman, who was captured by Danish marauders then sold as a thrall to a Viking Chieftain named Hakan. Taken across the sea to Svea, Hakan’s homeland, Helena finds her life as a thrall (slave) on Hakan’s farm is not as confining as she thought. But even though she finds Hakan to be an honorable man and a fair and lenient master, she still resents the fact that she’s his captive and is determined to gain her freedom to return to her homeland and family.
Hakan is a fierce Viking Chieftain, who has served his king for years, but whose only wish is to, now, live his life as a farmer and raise his son. Distrustful of all women, due to a conniving ex-wife, he finds himself attracted to his thrall, and that she has become an asset to his life. But even though Helena has proven herself to be a value and different from his ex-wife, Hakan still holds himself back.
The characters are engaging and likeable. The story line flows smoothly and is well-written. I found Hakan’s accommodating and considerate personality a little incongruent with a ruthless Viking warrior, but it made his character more personable and endearing.
This book is a sweet romance with lots of sexual tension and sizzling chemistry. It’s an enjoyable read that does not disappoint and will have the reader turning the pages to get to the HEA.
I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing
in exchange for my honest review.
Author of Fair Play
Posted June 25, 2013
A stolen woman of rare qualities…
Seized by marauders and taken to the icy northlands by the wolf-eyed Viking warrior, Helena will do whatever it takes to earn her freedom and return to France.
A mighty Viking Chieftain…
Betrayal has turned Hakan’s heart to ice, but the spirited Frankish maid warms him in a way he’s never known. The spell she weaves leaves them both breathless, but can he keep his promise to return her home even if it means he’ll lose his precious jewel forever?
It's been a few years since I've read a Viking-era historical and I'm glad to say it was nice to see the return of such a colorful time period. Gina Conkle's vivid detail and command of the language and terms were a delight. Her characterization of a Viking chieftan who longs for the simple life of a farmer rather than a life of pillaging and war was wonderfully done. It was easy to see why the talented and self-sufficient heroine stole the warrior's heart. A hint of betrayal from one of the supporting characters was very well paced and, even though you suspected it, the details were a surprise! If you like Vikings (and who wouldn't when they're this hunky), you'll enjoy Norse Jewel from author Gina Conkle and Entangled's Scandalous line.
Posted June 22, 2013
NORSE JEWEL by Gina Conkle is an exciting Viking/Medieval Historical Romance set in AD 1022. A quick read with engaging characters and an interesting plot. A Fresh look at the Vikings marauders and their captives. Filled with adventure,betrayal,healing,forgiveness, and the power of love with sweet romance. Join Hakan,a Viking marauder and Norse Chieftain and his Frankish captive(Thrall), Helena, on a journey of love and secrets. Some long secrets finally come to life. What happens when a heathen and a God fearing captive/maid find each other,watch out for the sparks. Very limited sexual conquest,but they do have powerful sensual tension between them,that did not bother me in the least. I thought Hakan a bit to lenient with his captive slave,Helena,considering he was reputed to be a ruthless and cold hearted raider,as compared to other slave owners. Helena basically ruled the roost,sorta of speaking. An overall good read and an author I will follow,for I would love to see what happens next in Hakan and Helena's lives and the lives of the other Norse raiders. Hakan's ,best friend,and second in command betrays him and his family. While I enjoyed this story you are left with many unanswered questions about Hakan's family,his King, and his country. I see another installment coming,or I hope so anyway. I felt the ending was a bit rushed,but an overall great read! Received for an honest review from the publisher.
HEAT RATING: MILD
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Posted June 17, 2013
This book is utterly unputdownable (yes, it merits the creation of its own word!). I was enthralled by the world Ms. Conkle created and the very distinct personalities of the characters. Helena is a smart, caring, beautiful woman in a situation that was out of her control. She kept true to herself throughout the book despite facing several situations that could have easily broken her down. Hakan was a pleasant surprise for although he is very authoritative and sexy, he was tempered with care and a great sense of honor. It’s easy to see in their interaction how Hakan and Helena fall in love. Ms. Conkle does a great job of weaving an intricate story with vivid imagery that is both new to us readers, yet easy to follow. I am impressed by this debut writer and can absolutely not wait to pick up the next book. There HAS to be a next book. She’s got me hooked! Read it and trust that you won’t be disappointed! I guarantee it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 17, 2013
Helena was captured by the Danes and sold as a slave to a Norse chieftain, Hakan. All Helena wants is her freedom and to return to her small Frankish village but she is attracted to the tall, good looking Hakan and finds her treatment on his farm is not so slavish. Hakan is tired of the viking raiding he has done most of his life and wants nothing more than to retire to his farm and spend time with his son. Gina Conkle weaves an intriguing tale that combines the daily viking working life with rich character development. I enjoyed this story which was not set in a typical historical time period or with the usual premise for a romance.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 17, 2013
With the feisty and determined Helena and the hulking Hakan, with a heart of gold, this is an absolutely brilliant read that keeps you on tender hooks and keeps you captivated as to will they or not? In order for you to know the answer to this, you just have to read this excellent book....
A highly recommended read