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review 2019-03-02 19:10
Early Medieval with ethereal tone
Embers - Helen Kirkman

I did a buddy read for this, for more thoughts, comments, and quotes:Embers Buddy Read

It was not ten paces of Northumbrian soil that separated him from her. It was a whole country. It was grief and loss and blood and the inescapable ties of other loyalties and other cares. 

You'll definitely want to read the first in this series as this one deals with Brand, the brother to the hero in the first, and follows the timeline immediately after. Brand running away with a woman, Alina, that was politically refused to him, started the fallout for both brothers. Here we have Brand meeting back up with Alina and dealing with the ending fallout. 

I liked the first better than this one, as I found the story with the author's style of ethereal writing/tone slowed down the middle too much and made characters' motivations too murky; I spent a good portion of the latter half confused. 

Still, if looking for different tone and style, Kirkman is vastly different from a lot of authors out there. I wish our main couple could have gotten more scenes simply enjoying being together or verbal interaction as an ending scene of them together had amazing chemistry, wit, and banter. 

Read the first before this one, enjoy the wonderfully set early medieval time period, and prepare for a slower ethereal tone.

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text 2019-03-01 18:17
Embers - Helen Kirkman

Her breath choked in her throat and then it was all right because he was holding her just the way he had touched her before, with such lightness, all the strength underneath hidden. But they both knew it was there.

More comments/quotes: Embers Buddy Read

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text 2019-02-28 16:21
Embers - Helen Kirkman

"He understood nothing of her and everything.

More comments & quotes: Embers Buddy Read

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text 2019-02-27 01:06
Reading Update: 20%
Embers - Helen Kirkman

He had seen the proof of her courage long ago, strong and high-hearted. Reckless, just like his.

More quotes and comments: Embers Buddy Read

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review 2018-06-27 14:34
Forbidden - Helen Kirkman

For more comments and quotes - Buddy Read Forbidden

"The marks that are on me will be there all my life, not to be hidden by overlong hair, or by clothing, so that no one asks any awkward questions. They will always be there and even if they were not, even if it were possible to be rid of them it would not matter. 
Because they are nothing to what is on the inside."

Written in a different tone, think languid, poetic, and atmospheric, and voice, think internal/emotional, this story felt quite unique and unlike a lot of romance books. I'm usually a fast reader but this story made me slow down and take breaks, instead of my read in one to three sittings. The tone can drag you down at times as a lot of the action takes place from our hero and heroine's internal thoughts but it ramps up the emotional aspects. The writing style won't be for everyone but if you can let the characters and setting seep into you, you'll enjoy and get lost in Rowena's struggle to survive as a woman in limited power and the thrall Wulf she buys to help her. 

The author did a good job with the power dynamics, Wulf is the slave but as a man and more strength than Rowena, he has his own sense of power. Their relationship was slow burning and sparking at different turns and as most the story depends on them together, their chemistry does not disappoint. Rowena was a great heroine who acknowledges and uses what powers she has and while I liked Wulf, I would have liked his backstory to have been revealed earlier, would have filled out his character more. 

You will definitely enjoy the historical aspect of the story. The author does an incredible job setting the time and place with harvest festivals mentioned, terminology, and even an inclusion of King Ines (who I think gets overshadowed by Alfred the Great too often). 

There's heat, passion, and betrayal in this one. I enjoyed going to a different time and place and while the tone and slower pace may not be for everyone, if you're looking to escape the typical romance, this one would fit the bill.

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