I LOVED THIS BOOK. From beginning to end I could not put it down.
Kera Watson was killed defending a teen girl from her boyfriend/pimp and a loyal customer of the coffee shop she manages calls in a favor to a Nordic goddess to help Kera literally and figuratively get back on her feet. And that is how Kera ends up belonging to the Clan of Crows, loyal to her sister-Crows and Skuld the goodess. Kera was a wonderful heroine that is so hard to find in today's romance - the author really knew how to work Kera's military background into her personality.
That customer is Ludvig Rundstom, a strapping Swede who belongs to the Clan of Ravens, loyal to Odin, his sister Katja (a Valkeyrie) and his brother-Ravens. Vig is a beta most of the time; his Vikingness comes through mainly in his job and on the battlefield. Vig is a bad-ass teddy bear and is actually pretty comfortable with both of those personality traits. I like the fact that he didn't always agree with Odin and had no problem telling Odin to his face that he disagreed.
Because the Crows and Ravens are thinkers, when they go into battle, they don't do stupid shit that almost gets them killed....unlike the Giant Killers (clan that belongs to Thor, who in this situation is all brawn and little brains....and his clan is just like him). But they aren't Mary and Guy Stus; they have their good days and bad days and personality conflicts. I loved the women who made up the Clan of Crows - their friendships, their professional lives, their snarky attitudes. The Ravens are probably the only males who could handle such bad-ass women.
The story was action packed, although I had a little trouble in the beginning keeping the Norse mythology straight. It is rather violent for a romance genre book. The humor had me was great, sometimes from the snarky things Crows say and sometimes from the situation (like a Mara trying to scared Erin and ends up being terrified of Erin).
I have book two and three and can't wait to read them.
With a Transformers (well, Bumblebee anyway) backpack and a HTTYD water bottle and lunch box, my little guy went into first grade on Monday. It was a happy day for both of us. Plus he just started martial arts class (ju-jitsu), so I look forward to another 45 minutes of uninterrupted reading time while he burns off some energy and learns new skills every Monday.
Halloween Bingo begins! I am starting with my book choice for the free space square, The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston. As MR mentioned in the discussion forum, the free space square won't be called, so as soon as you read for that square you can mark it. The story includes the Clan of Crows and Clan of Ravens, so I think this is a pretty fitting book considering the icon used for the square. I started this book as my read ahead of time and am about 30% done.
Went to the library yesterday and picked up Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu for the diverse voices square. To round out my holiday weekend reading, I will probably start Brighton Belle (Mirabelle Mystery #1) by Sara Sheridan, a cozy mystery set in 1950s England.
Happy Labor Day weekend to all my fellow Americans.