Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice by Michelle M. Pillow

Couldn't Finish It...

Book: Lord of Fire, Lady of Ice
Author: Michelle M. Pillow
Historical Romance


"She found herself unimpressed with him, having expected more of the legendary man--Brant. Lord Blackwell. Brant the Gladiator. Brant the Vigorous. Brant the Flame. Brant the Viking Hero. Della snorted in unladylike disgust. More like, Brant the Thorn in my Arse!"

Lady Della the Cold-Hearted
Lady Della despises all things Viking. They may rule the land, but they will never rule her. Unfortunately, her father doesn't seem to agree. To prove his continued allegiance to the Viking king, the Ealdorman of Strathfeld betroths his only daughter to a respected Viking Lord--a warrior who's legendary prowess isn't reserved for the battlefield. Fighting the newfound craving in her body and the unwelcome fire in her heart, Della must choose between everything she knows to be true and the one thing she never expected...

Lord Brant of Blackwell, the Fiery One
Lord Blackwell is as fiery on the battlefield as he is in his passions. He has fought valiantly for King Guthrum and has earned the respect of the nobles. When his overlord offers the hand of his beautiful daughter and the right to inherit his lands, Blackwell can hardly refuse. However, he soon discovers that his noble bride is anything but the meek and mild woman he envisioned for his wife. One minute she's kissing him back, the next she's swearing to do whatever it takes to dissuaded him from their marriage. Can his lust for life and his new bride melt the ice that surrounds her heart? Or will Lady Della the Cold be this warrior's undoing?

Length: Long Novel

Heat Level: Very Sensual

This novel contains adult content. Must
 be 18 years or older to read.

This book has been the big elephant on my Goodreads 'Currently Reading' list, because the more accurate way to describe what I was doing with this book was avoiding, and not reading. I got about halfway through it and I just can't see the finish line. I just can't finish it. I really, really wanted to like it and I really, really wanted to finish it, but, alas, I cannot and I have to just face the fact that it won't happen. Every time I come back to it, I just get this really anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach and have to put it down again. I don't know if I can write a fair review if I haven't finished the book. Then again, the fact that I can't get to the end might speak for itself.

When I first picked up the book I thought it was going to be a fun historical romance with a frustrating heroine who annoys the big bad Viking and gets foiled in her attempts at undermining him by her own desires and his prowess. I expected there to be some conflict. I expected there to be repercussions for some of the things that the heroine did. She wasn't exactly trying to be endearing and some of the things she said and did were not very well thought out. However, I felt that the punishments did not fit the crimes. I got through two such punishments, and they were both brutal and possibly emotionally damaging. Honestly, after the first one, I wasn't sure how the heroine was ever going to forgive the hero, especially considering her personal history and the fact that she said she wouldn't ever forgive him. The second punishment was publicly humiliating, physically painful, and hurtful, and it was all because of a misunderstanding. I just thought it was too much.

Also, I couldn't make the mental leap from feuding couple - emotionally draining and physically painful (not in a fun kind of way) - to making love. Fucking. Whatever. I couldn't. I needed them to take time to repair the damage first. Especially because there was existing damage that wasn't repaired from punishment number one. I just needed a little bit more here.

Another thing that turned me off was the back and forth between the hero and heroine. The "I love you, I love you not," and the "Does s/he love me, does s/he love me not?" I just felt like so much unpleasantness could have been avoided for them if only they just admitted their feelings for each other. I'm not saying it should have been super easy. I'm saying that it seemed to be super hard, maybe too hard. And maybe some people enjoy the suspense and the back and forth and the anxiety. But it is not to my taste, so I just had to put the book down and walk away.

Maybe I'm reading this through the eyes of a 21st century woman with a different concept of fair punishment as opposed to the medieval mindset that was a bit more brutal. But I am a 21st century woman, and this book was written for a 21st century audience.

The writing itself was good. The sex scenes that I read were hot. The style just wasn't to my taste and there were too many issues that I couldn't reconcile. Maybe other readers would enjoy this book, but, sadly, I didn't. 

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