"Action-packed, sexy, and fun! Reminiscent of J.R. Wardbut with Vikings!"Illona Andrews, New York Times bestselling author on Viking Warrior Rebel
A double 2016 RITA Finalist for Best First Book and Paranormal Romance!
When Loki's forces descend
Immortal Vikings are humanity's only protection against the dark
Under attack from Loki's minions, immortal warlord Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif's warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn't find her fast, he's going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.
But Naya doesn't want to be found...and they're both running out of time.
2016 HOLT Medallion Winner for Best Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy!
Viking Warriors Series
Viking Warrior Rising (Book 1)
Viking Warrior Rebel (Book 2)
Praise for Viking Warrior Rising:
"Strong world-building, and a hero that will make you want a Viking of your very own!" -Paige Tyler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the X-Ops and SWAT series
"Move over Highlanders...the Vikings are coming!"-Rebecca Zanetti, New York Times bestselling author of the Dark Protector series
About the Author
2016 double RITA finalist Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Vikings and Valkyries in her paranormal romances. She arrived in the U.S. as a high school exchange student and quickly became addicted to ranch dressing and cop shows. Asa currently resides on a lake deep in the pine forests of the Pacific Northwest with a British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. She graduated from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers program at Eastern Washington University with an MFA in creative writing and also holds an MS in Medical Physics from University of Colorado. Visit her at www.AsaMariaBradley.com, or follow her on Twitter @AsaMariaBradley.
Read an Excerpt
Viking Warrior Rising
By Asa Maria Bradley
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Asa Maria Bradley
All rights reserved.
Naya's hands shook as she clipped the last alligator clamp over the electrical wires, short-circuiting the power and the security alarm.
"Get it together," she muttered to herself.
As she crouched and peered down the darkened corridor, her infrared goggles helped her see the contours of the barred doors. Her brother was behind one of those. Alone.
She jogged down the hallway to the only cell giving off a heat signature.
"Scott," she whispered through the bars of the cell door, but the man lying on the cot didn't move. Her fingers recoiled when she touched the cold metal, remembering how often she'd been trapped in a cell just like this. She had to get her brother out. He'd suffered enough at the hands of Dr. Trousil and the rest of the lab's scientists. They both had.
The door swung open silently and she entered the cell. She shook her brother's shoulder, keeping her hand hovering over his mouth in case he woke up screaming. He remained lying limply on his side. When she turned him onto his back, his arm flopped over and dangled down the side of the cot.
Holding her breath, she leaned closer to his mouth. A weak puff of air fluttered against her cheek. Relief flooded her body. She joggled him again. "Scott, you need to wake up."
He still didn't react.
Naya hoisted him in a fireman's carry so that her much smaller frame could transport his six-foot body. Another five minutes and the security guards would return to patrol this end of the building. She'd figure out how to wake him later.
Her brother had weighed almost two hundred pounds when she last saw him. It had taken her eleven months and six days to return. Hanging across her shoulder now, his body barely slowed her down. She headed for the closest exit. The door closed softly behind her and she jogged across the field. When she reached the perimeter fence, Naya carefully lowered her brother to the ground and slid the bolt cutters out of her backpack.
"Hold on, Scott. Just a few snips and I'll have you out of here." She glanced down, trying for a hopeful smile, but her lips quivered. She remembered his nervous, yet excited, laugh as they raced toward this same fence that night almost a year ago. They had been so close to getting out together. He'd boosted her up on top of the fence, smacking her behind. "Let's finally get the hell out of here," he'd shouted.
She'd just reached down to help up Scott when the first shot rang out. The second pierced her brother's thigh and he fell screaming to the ground.
She blinked. Can't think about the past now. She couldn't fuck this up. There might never be another chance. Her sharp cutters snipped the wires like they were string instead of high-grade reinforced steel. A normal human wouldn't be able to bend back the serrated wire, but Naya was not normal. Ten years in the lab and weekly serum injections had created a super-soldier out of the twelve-year-old girl she had once been. Now she was the ultimate weapon. The ultimate freak.
She doubled over the folded metal to keep her brother from getting caught on any rough edges. Her baby brother. The only family she had left.
She slid Scott's unconscious body through the hole, hoisted him over her shoulder again, and then headed to the rental car parked in the woods. The smell of fresh pine permeated the air as her combat boots pounded the needle-covered ground. The crisp forest cleared her mind of things she no longer wanted to remember.
Now that Scott was out, she could build a life and never think about the years in the lab.
Soon, the dark-green Jeep glittered in the moonlight filtering through the trees. Without slowing, she punched a button on the key remote. Behind her, a powerful boom of an explosion drowned out the double beep of the doors unlocking. A kaleidoscope of red and orange illuminated the night sky. She heard shouts and commands carry through the woods from the compound. A bitter smile stretched her lips. That would keep them occupied for a while.
Growing up in the compound, she'd spent countless hours honing her combat skills, but the government-sponsored black ops program had also trained her in electronics, cyber technology, and weaponry — including explosives. "I used everything you taught me," she whispered at the flames.
She cradled Scott's head as she slid him into the backseat. His eyelids fluttered. For an instant, indigo-blue eyes so like hers focused on her. A slow smile spread across her brother's face before his eyelids fluttered closed again. "I knew you'd come for me, Neyney."
The childhood nickname pierced her heart. "I told you I would," she whispered. She kissed his forehead and brushed back his ink-black curls — the same color as her own spit-straight hair.
He mumbled something incomprehensible before his body fell limp against the seat. She clicked his seat belt in place and allowed herself to touch his face once more before she slid into the driver's seat. A glance in the rearview mirror told her the lab security forces were too busy fighting fires to come after her — for now. But they would eventually. And when they did, she'd better be ready for them. No way she'd let them imprison her brother, or her, again.
She threw the Jeep into four-wheel drive, hit the accelerator, and pushed the car as hard as she could down the rutted old logging road. Scott's head bobbed back and forth in the rearview mirror, but he didn't wake up. She swallowed the lump in her throat and pressed harder on the gas. Once they reached the main arterial, she eased off the pedal. No reason to attract attention.
She tuned the radio to the classical music station. Getting to Dr. Rosen's clinic in Colorado was the most important thing now. The doctor and his team had been sampling her blood for the last six months. Hopefully whatever he had learned would help Scott. Dr. Rosen was the best in his field. More importantly, he was her only hope for curing her brother. She settled in for the fifteen-hour drive from North Dakota to the exclusive medical facility.
* * *
Two days later, Naya struggled to keep her expression neutral as Dr. Rosen leaned forward in his chair, concern glimmering in his emerald eyes. He pushed up the rimless glasses perched on his nose and addressed her by the alias she'd given when they first met. "Ms. Driscoll, I'm afraid there has been no improvement in your brother since his intake."
"Maybe we need to give it a little longer before the drugs will work." She resented how her voice sounded. Pleading. She hated not being strong.
Dr. Rosen paused, his eyes kind. "I don't think waiting will help. I'm afraid we're going to have to try a different approach."
Naya's gaze drifted from the doctor's as she allowed his words to sink in. A bank of windows behind his desk revealed breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains. The clinic's exclusive clientele included media-shy movie stars and foreign dignitaries. It was the perfect place to hide her brother. She also needed it to be the perfect place to cure him.
"You said the modified formula your team developed based on my blood looked promising." All that research for nothing, but she refused to give up. There had to be a way to save her brother.
Dr. Rosen pushed up his glasses. "We had some promising nerve reactions after the first doses, but Scott reverted back to his vegetative state —"
"Don't say that." Naya burst out of the chair. "He's not a vegetable. He holds himself up, supports his body without help." She clenched her fists. "He spoke to me, damn it."
He held up his hands, palms facing her. "That may have been a temporary reprieve from his condition."
She slowly sat down again. "Are you saying he's getting worse?"
"At this point, I don't have a clear diagnosis. However, unresponsive and bedridden patients run a higher risk of infection, which can lead to respiratory complications, even organ failures. I can remedy that with antibiotics, but I'm not sure I can repair the extensive neurological damage Scott has sustained."
To avoid the pity in the doctor's eyes, Naya looked out over the mountains again. "Why are the drugs in Scott's blood shutting him down when I'm functioning just fine?" Better than fine, but the doctor didn't need to know that. He lived in the normal human world, blissfully ignorant of monsters and freaks like her.
"What do you propose?" Naya gripped the armrest of the chair and eased up when she heard the wood creaking. She had to rein in her emotions or she'd treat the doctor to a full freak show.
"We can continue to tweak the formula and hope for better results. I'd also like to explore your brother's vascular system and test how it differs from yours." He put his hands on the desk. "At this point, I must caution you about the high cost of therapy that may ultimately not produce the outcome you want."
"Let me worry about the money." Nothing was too costly if it helped Scott. Besides, she earned enough. As one of the best cybersecurity experts in the world, her services did not come cheap.
She stood. "I'd like to visit with my brother again before I leave."
The doctor rose as well. "Of course. He'll be well cared for until you come back."
"Until then, please keep me updated."
Dr. Rosen nodded. "I will personally send you a weekly report."
Naya thanked him before leaving the office.
She didn't want to leave her brother, but living near Scott in Colorado was too risky. If the handlers found her, they might also find him. Naya harbored no illusions about their outcome if the handlers caught them. They would be neutralized, or worse, returned to the lab for more experiments.
Naya wouldn't let that happen.
Her heavy boots beat a dull staccato as she strode down the hallway. Smells of antiseptics and disinfectant wafted through the air. Naya shivered. Those same scents had permeated the lab in which she had spent most of her life.
Taking a deep breath, she opened the door to her brother's room. He sat unmoving in a wheelchair, staring into space with empty eyes. "Scotty, it's me, Naya." She crouched before him, taking his limp hands in hers. His skin was dry and warm. He had spent the last two days sitting or lying, depending on which position the nurses put him, and always unnaturally still. He hadn't spoken to her again.
"I know you can hear me." She paused, waiting for a response. Naya touched her brother's cheek and hair, but he didn't react. She stood and averted her face to hide the tears about to spill. "Shall I read to you a little? How far did we get this morning?" She crossed the room and picked up the astronomy book she'd bought, his favorite subject. At least it had been when he still talked and walked and laughed.
She wouldn't let her thoughts continue down that depressing path, as if he was already beyond saving. Instead, she began reading to her brother about distant nebulas and galaxies. For another hour, she would pretend they were back in their childhood home, their parents still alive and watching TV while she read her little brother a bedtime story.CHAPTER 2
Two months later
Leif Skarsganger strode across the pockmarked asphalt of the alley, his footsteps echoing against the brick walls. His berserker paced, clawing at the mental cage Leif had created to stop it from taking control over his body. The fierce warrior spirit lived inside each of the einherjar, Odin's elite Viking warriors. Calling forth the berserker made them undefeatable in battle, but the inner warrior required a steady supply of human energy or it got out of control. Leif should have left the fortress before his berserker got this restless. The berserker lunged and growled, resembling its namesake animal, the bear, forcing Leif to stop. Breathing heavily, Leif rubbed his chest then continued walking.
At the back door of the nightclub Desire, Leif opened his senses to the energy created by the people dancing inside. Outside the walls, he couldn't see their gyrating bodies or sweat-soaked skin. He didn't need to. The frenzy of their sexual arousal as they ground against each other washed over him. His berserker howled in hunger. Leif's nostrils flared as the humans' energy swirled around him in an invisible maelstrom that he pulled deep within himself. Wave after wave washed through Leif's body, and the berserker gulped it down, absorbing it all.
The human energy from inside the club worked like the frenzy that arose from battle, and since the twenty-first century's warfare didn't include large-scale battle, the Vikings and Valkyries had found new ways of feeding the berserkers or feberandas.
Leif sighed deeply when his warrior spirit was finally sated and lay down in slumber. Hopefully it would remain dormant for a while. He pulled his cell phone from the back pocket of his jeans and checked the time. Two hours past midnight and plenty of time to sneak home before any of his warriors noticed him gone. If his second-in-command knew where he was and what he was doing, Harald would haul his ass home, king or no king. As the ruler of a band of Vikings and Valkyries, Leif broke a number of rules by leaving the fortress without backup in the middle of the night, but with his berserker growing more and more restless each day, he had no choice. This was the only way he could remain in control of his warrior spirit.
He took a step toward the alley entry, but feet scuffing on pavement made him slowly turn around. Behind him, four creatures were lined up for attack. Their faces were narrow and pointed, vaguely resembling wolverines. They could pass for human, except their eyes were black voids and sharp claws extended from the ends of their fingers. Through his connection with the resting berserker, Leif recognized them for what they were — Loki's minions. So far, Leif and his warriors hadn't been able to gather the proof Odin and Freya needed to outright prove that the half god was behind sending these creatures to the human realm, but they had an otherworldly glow only found in Asgard.
He'd been too preoccupied with feeding his berserker to notice these freaks sneaking up on him, but he wasn't worried. Four against one were odds he'd beaten before. Still holding the cell phone, Leif widened his stance and relaxed his shoulders.
Bring it on, you bastards.
A good fight would help calm his warrior spirit even more. So far, none of his soldiers had noticed how much more of an effort it took Leif to control his warrior spirit. He meant to keep it that way. But he should take a picture of this new threat so his warriors knew what to look for when out on patrol.
"What can I do for you ... men?" He curled his lips on the last word.
"Greetings, king," wheezed one of the creatures. "Such a coincidence to run into you tonight." He leered at Leif and all four took a step forward.
Leif remained still. "What do you want?" he challenged.
He snapped a picture with his cell phone to show his warriors this new tasteless creation of Loki's.
The minions hissed and snarled as the flash went off. One of them fiddled with something behind his back and brought out a long pipe and a shorter black cylinder. The creature's satisfied smirk indicated he'd armed himself.
Leif snapped another picture, earning another snarl. Not that he cared.
"We want so much from you, king," answered the apparent leader, his smirk broadening into a nasty smile.
Leif grinned back. He'd remained largely undefeated through the centuries. This was one of the reasons why Odin had appointed him as the leader of one of the Norse warrior bands sent back to Midgard, the human realm. The Wise One also believed Leif was the king predicted on ancient rune stones to prevent the final battle, Ragnarök.
Leif sighed. He was awful at strategic planning and diplomacy, never mind saving the world. But he was a damned good warrior, which these monsters would soon find out.
Slipping the phone into his back pocket, he tilted his head from side to side, loosening the kinks in his neck and shoulders. "Let's get this over with." He faked a step forward and then tripped the two creatures that lunged at him. A duo of swift kicks sent them careening across the asphalt, shrieking.
"Who's next?" Leif asked and couldn't keep a satisfied grin off his face.
The wolverine with the tube glared at him.
"Put down your toy and face me like a man," Leif taunted him.
An odd smile graced the creature's face as he lifted the weapon to his lips.
Leif frowned. Misgivings prickled at the back of his neck. He tapped the connection to his berserker.
Immediately alert, the warrior spirit roared a battle cry. Leif willed it to stand down, but remain prepared should he need it. His gaze focused on the pipe at the wolverine's mouth.
Excerpted from Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley. Copyright © 2015 Asa Maria Bradley. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was hooked from the words,”Immortal Vikings are among us.” Mythology and government experiments are the backdrop for a new series that will pit the wills and hearts of immortal warriors against “mere” humans in contemporary times. Leif is the warrior King, his men have been with him for thousands of years, fighting alongside him, protecting him, yet one tiny woman not only saves his life, but teaches him to feel and trust his heart after centuries of burying it deep within the hardened shell of loss. It took one semi-conscious kiss to begin a bond that even the feisty and unique Naya has trouble fighting. Naya is not a normal human, she is altered and within her body beats the heart, soul and strength of a warrior. But she is on a mission to free someone she loves and she firmly plans on doing it alone. Can the huge Viking King tame the beast within Naya? Can she keep her secrets from Leif or will she tell all, risking losing him forever? Naya has never felt the love and companionship that Leif offers, and she certainly isn’t going to become a meek and timid damsel. The only thing hotter than their tempers is the smoldering heat they create between the sheets. Loki be damned, this Viking King is determined Naya will be his Queen. Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie Bradley is filled with great banter between characters, a sense of fierce loyalty between the Vikings and one bitter female unwilling to take what is offered. She gives as good as she gets when arguing, she can stand with the best of them in battle and her secrets are tearing her up. Asa Marie Bradley has created a richly detailed world, filled with snippets from Norse mythology, the brutal government experimentation destroying lives. What’s not to like? Sensual tension runs high and taut as two beings form different worlds collide in passion and desire. They say, the bigger they are, the harder they fall and this Viking is down for the count! I received this copy from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for my honest review.
If you like hot alphas....this one's for you. If you like females that let that alpha know they aren't always in charge..... this one's for you. Like those sexy, suspenseful, don't - let - it - end books.....yep, this one's for you.
Loved this debut. It is obvious why she was nominated for a RITA. Kept me reading late into the night !
Great story. I want to read more about the other characters. Sexy love story
The plot was interesting, and kept a good pace. I didn't get bored and enjoyed the characters. Can't wait for a sequel?
I enjoyed the book and can't wait for more
I read the sample and was intrigued, but like some books it can turn "ugh" so i was hesitant. I bit the bullet because i could not get it out of my head for days. I definatly was surprised and could not put this book down. A strong woman in every way, desperate to save her brother. I just love her spirit. A Viking berserker immortal king, desperate to keep his warriors (valkyries included!) and self alive and win the fight tasked by odin, to keep midgard(earth) safe from prophecy of ragnarok. He threw me for loops and grew on me! Yeah sorry, loki and government medical wtv agents are the bad guys. Characters i can not forget! Can't wait to read their books!!!! Read others reviews, i found them helpful! Sorry for the typos and spekling and all, new device lol.
Enjoyed every page
The bigger they are, the harder they fall... This Viking warrior is down for the count! “Can’t a girl wear something pretty without you getting ideas of bedding her?” Naya reached up, putting her hand behind his neck to pull him down for a kiss. She’d never get enough of touching him. Of trusting him. Wow! VIKING WARRIOR RISING by Asa Maria Bradley is an exciting Viking-themed paranormal urban fantasy romance! If you are into Norse mythology, you will absolutely love this book! I've been mesmerized by mythology for as long as I can remember. Leif Skarsganger, our hero, is an immortal Viking warrior king tasked with protecting humanity. His crew of warriors have been with him for thousands of years, fighting alongside him and protecting him. Naya Brisbane, our heroine, has been shaped by government-scientific-experimentation-gone-wrong. She has escaped their evil clutches for the time being, but her brother is still being held by them. As the story begins, Leif is in a dark alley, when he is attacked by demons. Naya Brisbane, a tiny, dark-haired beauty who can pack a punch, saves his life. Leif impulsively kisses her unknowingly triggering an ancient Norse bond. Now he must find her and complete the bond before he loses himself to permanent battle fury. This story is a fast-paced, action-packed, suspenseful, romantic tale teeming with mythological characters and elements set against a backdrop of political intrigue. Leif and Naya were both strong, stubborn, passionate characters. Each had issues that seemed to doom their relationship from the get-go. But... I refused to give up on them as they seemed so perfect together! Fate brought them together; Could it also somehow finagle to keep them that way? I listened to VIKING WARRIOR RISING and was wholly mesmerized. Lisa Flanagan is a new narrator to me and she delivered an utterly solid performance. She has a pleasing voice and performed both female and male genuine-sounding voices, differentiating between each with the perfect inflection. She did such a great job that I would not hesitate to pick up another audio that Lisa has voiced. I feel that her narration undoubtedly increased my enjoyment of the story as I found myself alternately yelling at parts, swooning at others and laughing-out-loud at still others. Asa Maria Bradley is a new author to me too. I'm definitely hooked with the pairing of Asa Maria Bradley and Lisa Flanagan and can't wait to enjoy the next audio in this series! This tale was captivating from the first chapter all the way through to the end. The next installment can't come soon enough! Thank goodness, VIKING WARRIOR REBEL is coming this October - so I don't have long to wait! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal urban fantasy reads with great characterization, a solid plot, plenty of action, romance, and humor galore!
Viking Warrior Rising is book one in the Viking Warriors series. This book focuses on Naya Brisbane, a woman that is on the run from people (possibly government) that ran a compound that experimented upon her. She's made it on her own for awhile now, and runs a successful cyber security business. Outside one of her client's business's one evening, Naya sees a man being attacked by some weird looking beasts. Not able to let a struggling man get killed, Naya steps in. This is where we find out that Naya is pretty much like a lady superhero. She has stronger senses and strength all thanks to the experiments on her from the compound. She takes out the beasts then checks on the hottie, only to have him kiss her. She hides when his buddies come to pick him up and thinks she'll continue on her way. After being drugged, beaten up then rescued by a pretty lady, Leif Skarsganger gets picked up by his fellow Viking warriors and taken back to the mansion. You see, Leif is their King, so everyone is worried that he's been drugged with something that appears to be poisonous. While he's healing, Leif can't get the woman that saved him out of his head. So naturally he does the thing anyone would do, have his people track her down and bring her back to his mansion. He figures out that she's his soulmate via a magical tattoo that completed itself when he kissed her while drugged. Naya is not so quick to agree to the soulmate thing though and that lead to issues with one or both of them listening to the other throughout the book. It's basically alpha male and a strong independent female bashing heads to get their way. It was entertaining to say the least. I think the thing I found most fascinating is that all of the Viking warriors have a berserker inside them. Basically a warrior being that is ready to kick some butt. There's a delicate balance and the berserker can rise if a warrior gets too emotional. I don't think I've read a Viking book before, so I was intrigued from the start. There wasn't face time with Loki, but he was mentioned, so hopefully the next book we get to see him. I really enjoyed Viking Warrior Rising but I did notice a few things that I didn't love while reading. Things just happened to fall in place a little bit too conveniently. I like my hero/heroine to work for it. And the second being the narrator's tone on the audiobook occasionally will change, almost as if there was an error in the original recording and a sentence was rerecorded. It wasn't a huge deal, but I noticed it several times. All in all this was a really good listen and if you're a fan of Vikings, mythology, or are just looking for some hunky men to read about I think you'd love this book!
Not a bad read but not all that memorable either.
I really liked the charactors and mix of Norse with modern.
Viking Warrior Rising is the first book of a new series that follows the Viking King, Leif, and his fellow warriors. They’ve been sent to Midgard (human realm) by Odin and Freya to fight against Loki’s creatures. While trying to control his berserker (his inner warrior spirit), Leif is attacked by Loki’s wolverine creatures, and a woman comes to his rescue, Naya. Naya is no ordinary woman; she and her brother were imprisoned and experimented on since childhood to become super soldiers by some unknown organization. She’s managed to escape and rescue her brother, but is trying to find a way to cure the effects the experimentation has had on her brother. When she stumbles upon Leif’s attack, her interactions with the king inadvertently start a soulmate bond between each other. Leif knows what the bond means, but convincing Naya of who he and his people are, and how important the bond is seems almost impossible. The bond involves trust, but just how much can Leif and Naya confide in each other about where they came from. While figuring out their “relationship”, there’s still the wolverines to destroy, along with the lab/organization and its handlers looking to find Naya and take her back. I’m in such a depression now that I’ve finished this book. This is the first Viking themed PN/Urban romance I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be my last – I’m definitely stalking this author and series! Leif and Naya are perfect as the lead male and female hero. They both know what they want and are stubborn about attaining it. Their chemistry was hot, but coming together as a couple was not easy due to misunderstandings, each person’s beliefs, history, etc. I was on pins and needles as their relationship was drawn out, but in an agonizingly good way (I listened to it on Audible, and I was literally screaming in the car at characters and situations). The author was able to weave so much action, intrigue, and suspense that I was never bored. Leif and Naya were also supported by a very interesting supporting set of characters by way of Leif’s warriors. Each played very different roles with their own distinct personalities; it appears future books of the series will feature these warriors, and I hope we go through all of them because that would mean a long term series of awesomeness! I cannot say enough great things about this book, and it (as well as the author) deserves all the attention, praise, and awards it receives.
*Review originally posted on A Bibliophile's Reverie* A romance story inspired by Norse Mythology, Bradley does a great job connecting readers to her Swedish homeland. You can tell how much it inspired her to write this story and how much love she has for Nordic myths. I found the main character Naya to be quite interesting and Leif to be sort of a typical alpha male. I wished we got to know a little more about the characters and had them connect more than just sexually. I thought Leif also shouldn’t have assumed so much of Naya and actually explained things. I don’t want to give away the plot, but I think he should have been a little more relatable instead of all high and mighty and thinking he would get everything he wanted without explaining the situation. Naya, on the other hand, could have waited and listened a bit more and I wished we got to know a little bit more of her back story. The plot itself was mostly romance-based (duh, it’s a romance novel) so if you are looking for a good romance with Norse Mythology and Vikings, this is your novel. Although Leif wasn’t the type of male I would go after, I found it to be quite enjoyable and read it all in one sitting. Bradley is a great writer leaving me wanting more. I give this book a 4/5, as it was a really good story, but I felt the characters could have been a little more detailed and diverse. If you love Nordic myths, alpha males, and great writing, pick this book up. You will not regret it.
4 out of 5 for this reader folks! Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley is the first book in a new paranormal romance called “Viking Warriors” Following the common formula of a team of warriors vs villains, with a big dash of yummy romance, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. Leif Skarsganger is the king of an elite crew of viking warriors that are constantly in battle with the evil god Loki. Each warrior has been specially selected and enhanced by the good god Odin. Always ready to fight, these warriors are lethal and mean business. Leif’s inner beserker is constantly restless and fighting to get out. Knowing his grip of control is slipping, Leif goes out to feed off human energy. While feeding, Leif is severely attacked. His time is almost up when a small female warrior comes out of no where and saves his life. Naya Brisbane has been on the run for quite some time. Having been imprisoned in a lab that has altered her strength among other things, it is her instincts and need to survive that keep her thriving. When she happens upon a man getting his butt kicked she reluctantly decides to intervene. Little does she know that this intervention is about to change her entire future. It starts with one brief kiss. Having launched a mating bond, Leif decides that he is going to claim his mate. Naya admits her attraction but she knows she is in no position to surrender to Leif. Both are completely stubborn, keep secrets and seem to always require to save the other. Despite giving in to the attraction, Naya feels that a major secret she is keeping will destroy any bond between her and Leif. Trying to protect herself and her brother from the lab that created them, it is suddenly her heart that can bring everything crashing down. Leif’s beserker is getting more violent and it appears that Naya is the only way to calm it. All Leif has to do is properly seduce Naya to make her his queen. I love the introduction of new group of warriors. Similar to the gritty BDB series it is clear to see that her next books will be full of love, battle and adventure. I love the twist of the viking gods that is the baseline of this entire story. Asa’s use of mythology really adds dimension. Full of fighting, attraction, good and evil, and a splash of humour, I will most definitely be looking forward to the next in this awesome series. HAPPY READING! :) Copy supplied by Netgalley
Bradley seamlessly melds Norse legends with modern day life to create a fantastic backdrop for her new series. The intricate development of the world, history, and current developments enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of the interesting plot that Bradley has created. I enjoyed the combination of mythology and science throughout. The natural flow to the writing and dialogue added a great deal of realism to the novel, in all its supernatural glory. The action interspersed with romance and a bit of a clash of cultures was a lot of fun. Getting to know the warriors in this close knit band really made the story for me. I enjoyed getting to know them all, in different ways and in varying degrees of development. Topped off by Leif, the warrior to do all warriors proud, and one with a heart of gold, this band of brothers is one that I definitely can’t wait to get more of. And let’s not forget the fantastic women in this story as well. Naya’s strength is echoed in the Valkyries around her, rounding out the cast nicely. This was a great start to a new series and an intriguing introduction for me into this author’s work. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Leif is a Viking King who fights with stands by his immortal warriors to protect the humans from evil. When he is saved by a beautiful woman who fights like a warrior herself, he can’t help but kiss her. When she disappears, he knows he must find her, no matter what it takes. Naya may have enjoyed the warrior’s kiss, but she has to stay hidden at all costs. She needs to protect her brother and can’t let anything get in the way. That kiss may have just sealed the deal though. Ms. Bradley creates a unique romantic plot with Viking Warrior Rising that takes you deep into the viking world, with plenty of twists and turns to peak your interest and rachet your libido. The characters are all strong-willed, fiercely loyal, and extremely protective of each other. Add in a romantic interest and Leif’s inner Berserker pumps it up a notch or two. The sexual tension added spark to the story, along with the powerful, full of life hero and heroine’s antics. There was never a dull moment as the story quickly progressed. There was plenty of action and romance with a paranormal twist. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Viking Warrior Rising and very much look forward to more from Ms. Bradley! 4 Stars!
Asa Maria Bradley is a new and strong talent to emerge on the paranormal romance scene. In her debut work, Viking Warrior Rising, her audience is introduced to an enticing cast of formidable characters. Set in an immortal protector universe with its foundation built on Norse folklore and battling the evil machinations of Loki, this promises to be a memorable and action filled series. Book one sets the tone for the Viking Warrior series with a magnetic and sexually charged bond between the Hero and heroine and a fast moving story. Fun and engaging Ms. Bradley's Vikings are sure to make a long and lasting impression! *I received this ARC via Netgalley.*
Immortal Vikings are among us. Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki. Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury. But Naya doesn’t want to be found...and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time. Review: I have to say I stalked this book on Netgalley, they had it under the "Previously on Netgalley" even though it had not come out yet. I kept my eye on it and as soon as I saw it was up to be requested, I hit that "Send Request" button. First thing I was attracted to was the cover, it is hot! Then I read the blurb and was totally intrigued. I was delightfully surprised that this was not a pure historical but a blend of the Norse mythology and contemporary times. I really was into the whole genetics aspect of the story and I am really curious to see how that all plays out over the series. As far as I can tell this is a new Author and I thought she did an excellent job with the world building and bringing me into the story. The blend of sexy and geeky was first rate in my book and will be looking for the next book in the series. 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
VIKING WARRIOR RISING is a brilliantly crafted story that has this reader desperate for more! I loved, loved, LOVED this book! The characters are incredibly dynamic and there is so much heart and spirituality in the writing that it’s easy to connect with. I loved how Norse mythology was the cornerstone of the story and how beautifully it was intertwined throughout. I literally wanted to get lost in the pages of this magical world full of excitement and danger, honor and tradition, loyalty and fierce pride and family and love. Leif and Naya have unbelievable chemistry together and I loved every ounce of their page time together. The couple’s attraction is palpable and their love scenes are seductively sensual. No words I could write would ever do the story justice. Asa Maria Bradley brings a fresh, new voice to the romance world. I highly recommend this book to any romance reader. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read…ever. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book, Ms. Bradley. I’m greatly anticipating the next story! ***I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
Was a good story with lots of interesting characters.
This had good promise and I really liked the concept but it was a little disappointing. I loved Naya. Thought she was a great female lead. She was strong, smart and could kick some serious butt. I was sorely disappointed in Leif tho. He is a hypocritical big who borders on misogynistic tendencies. Oh don't get me wrong he works with two women already and seems to trust them completely but yet that doesn't extend to Naya even tho she's his queen?? He binds her to him without any consideration to her. Says it's the way of the gods and that's the end of the story. Like it doesn't matter of free will. He seems like he could care for her but she can't battle, she can't go anywhere without telling him, etc... I'm goin crazy just reading it! If I had been her I would have been like F**k this I'm gone. I wouldn't have stood around for that. Especially since they've only known each other for less than a week. Then says they are handfasting and it's their duty, that they have no choice. Yeah well that's just so romantic...why wouldn't any girl not want just jump on that offer. I'm not even sure if I care to finish