Title: The Bastard of Brittany
Series: World of de Wolfe Pack; The Wolves of Brittany #3
Author: Victoria Vane
Format: Kindle, 111 pages
Published: January 26th 2018 by Kindle Worlds
ISBN: ASIN: B079829X23
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 Wine Glasses
IT TAKES MORE THAN A KINGDOM TO MEND A HEART...
As the daughter of the king who vanquished Vikings from Brittany, Gwened of Poher has a legacy to protect but doing her duty has left her in a loveless childless marriage. Aside from the artistry of her needlework, her life feels meaningless.
A hardened warrior, Bjorn Vargrsson was impervious to pain, until the tragic loss of his wife and son left a gaping wound that refuses to heal. With prayers and sacrifices unheeded by the gods, he lives an empty existence
“I would very much like to have my bed back.”
“It is a large bed,” he remarked, adding with a grin, “there is room for two.”
The Bastard of Brittany by Victoria Vane is a lovely, novella-length, historical romance – perfect to cozy up with on a cold afternoon. It is the story of Lady Gwened of Poher and Norseman Bjorn Vargrson, the last of the three half-brothers to have his story told in the author’s World of de Wolfe Pack; Wolves of Brittany series. I found it easy to jump right into the story even though I’d not read the previous two novellas and I had no issue whatsoever picking up the story and connecting with both main characters.
The author writes that many of the characters and events in this series are either true or inspired by actual people or historical events. She was stoked to pen this particular jewel by The Baueax Tapestry, a fascinating 220-foot-long example of Norman embroidery which depicts the events in this tale. After reading this, I was motivated to search for pictures of the stunning tapestry which can easily be found online.
This story takes place about one hundred and fifty years before the Norman conquest of England. As the story opens, our heroine is suffering from the loss of her husband-to-be just before their wedding, and then being forced to marry a scholarly man who believes sexual relations are distasteful. She is unhappy and unfulfilled. Our hero is a widower who still mourns the loss of his family and blames himself for their deaths even though he wasn’t present. He’s done his share of raiding in the past, and has been instrumental in putting his brother on the throne of Brittany, but, he is level-headed and ready to settle down. Gwened and Bjorn are both likable and I thoroughly enjoyed the slow build-up of their romance.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from The Bastard of Brittany:
“Hearts do not break,” her mother corrected with an arched brow. “Whether we like it or not, they continue to beat until we die.”
“Wickedness?” He laughed. “Pleasure is the greatest gift the gods ever gave us. There are many means beyond copulation to achieve release. If I am willing to share this gift, why would you reject it?”
He gazed down at her tambour and the sketch she had just completed of him battling the boar. Gwened fought the urge to snatch it from view.
“’Tis a good likeness,” he remarked. “But perhaps you could make me bigger?” he added with a grin.
I savored this trip back to ninth century Brittany. As with all of Victoria’s books, The Bastard of Brittany is a well-written, pleasurable read. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys well-researched and steadily-paced historical romances. I relished it so much that I am now determined to go back and catch up with this series soon!
Suggested Reading Order:
Breton Wolfe (Book #1)
Ivar the Red (Book #2)
The Bastard of Brittany (Book #3)