Book Reviews

A Viking for Yule by Jaime Fessenden

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 01-January-2018

Book Blurb

AFTER SAM'S GRANDFATHER nearly died in a blizzard one year ago, Sam has panic attacks in snow storms. So where does his friend Jackie propose they spend the holidays, as the last stop on their trip around the world? 

Iceland. Of course.

But there's more in Iceland than snow. When Arnar, a handsome Icelandic man, offers to escort Sam on a several-day tour of the beautiful countryside, they soon find themselves drawn to each other. But Arnar is firmly rooted in his native soil, and Sam has to return to the US in a week to care for his ailing grandfather. 

Suddenly, yule can’t last nearly long enough.




Author's Note: Though this novel includes characters from "A Cop for Christmas," it is a standalone adventure. It isn’t necessary to read "A Cop for Christmas" first.

Book Review

“How magnificently you were born, under brilliant Northern lights rising above the sea, with black beaches, electric blue waters, and forever cascading waterfalls. Great Danes of long ago, with ancient wisdom, mightier than Gods of old, brought to your shores...Surrendering to your beauty, they named you Land of Ice.” ~ Rosy Kay (Iceland)

Sam, from 'A Viking for Yule' by Jamie Fessenden, is on a trip with his very persuasive family friend, “Aunt” Jackie. They have been all over the world since Jackie decided that Sam needed to expand his horizons. After almost losing his grandfather last year, Sam had been spending too much time hovering over him to the point that even his grandad feels relief when Jackie offers to take Sam on a trip. Being away doesn't cure Sam of his worrying; but it does give him and his grandfather some much needed space.  So far, the trip has been wonderful, filled with many exotic experiences, but when Jackie decides to go to Iceland for Christmas, to visit an old friend, Sam balks. Iceland is the last place he wants to be in the middle of winter.

Finally off the plane and on Icelandic soil, a handsome but gruff man appears – Arnar, their driver. One look at this hunk of a man and Sam understands why Jackie glows when she proclaims how gorgeous Icelandic men are. What she didn't mention was how blunt and matter-of-fact they can be. Arnar turns out to be a take-charge man of few words who tries to do everything, including carrying Sam's luggage. Sam does not need help with his luggage and does not appreciate being bossed around. When they arrive at Jackie's friend's house, Sam discovers that she is Arnar's mother. The house is small and Sam is not particularly happy that he has to share the loft bedroom with the unapproachable Arnar. While catching up on the family news, Sam discovers that Arnar is gay and has recently broken up with his boyfriend, explaining, at least partially, why Anar is being so distant. It wasn't an easy parting and Arnar doesn't want to talk about it. This, at least, explains part of his dismal mood.

When Arnar finds out that Jackie and Sam aren't there to visit with him and his mom but are going on a driving tour, he's unhappy. Arnar loves Jackie and wanted to spend time with her even if it meant spending time with Sam as well. He decides to make different plans. That changes when Jackie and his mom decide to go visit an old friend instead of taking the tour she's planned. Cancelling it would mean losing a lot of money on reservations and tours and such. Sam insists that he is capable of taking the tour by himself. Arnar thinks Sam is cute, but he's a tourist, more of a nuisance than anything else, not a world traveler like Jackie. Still, he's drawn to Sam making him uncomfortable considering he's still nursing a broken heart. Although it irks him that he cares, Arnar doesn't want to see Sam get hurt or worse, in what can be the treacherous terrain of Iceland, so he surprises Sam by proclaiming that he's going with him, even demanding on driving.

The trip is awe inspiring and enlightening, but, also turns out to be dangerous at times. Soon, Sam changes his mind about not wanting Arnar there. Arnar fights with himself about how he feels for Sam. He's gained a lot of admiration for this brave American tourist who, unlike others, is not afraid to explore new things. Finally, they both decide rather than holding back from a relationship that may break their hearts, to make the most of the time they have.

Jamie's descriptions of Iceland made me feel like I was there having experiences alongside of Sam and Arnar. Unfortunately, for me, being in the cold and snow lessened my enthusiasm considerably. The unfamiliar words had me wracking my brain trying to pronounce them and, for me, it took away from the story itself. Although the places and people and the culture were exquisitely described, I felt like I was reading a travel manual instead of a love story; but, after all, Sam and Arnar were traveling. I could feel the chemistry between Sam and Arnar and was happy for them, but even with that, the ending was unexpected. Thanks, Jamie, for giving me the experience of the beauty and magnificence of Iceland through Arnar and Sam's eyes.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 256 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-November-2017
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link