Friday, April 12, 2019

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: Book Review – The Briton and the Dane (The Briton ...

Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots: Book Review – The Briton and the Dane (The Briton ...: The Briton and the Dane (The Briton and the Dane #1) By Mary Ann Bernal King Alfred the Great has thwarted the Viking th...

King Alfred the Great has thwarted the Viking threat against his kingdom of Wessex. Signing a treaty with the formidable Danish King Guthrum, he succeeds in pushing the heathen army back to the rolling fens of East Anglia.

An uneasy peace holds sway: The King establishes a standing army under Lord Richard, who takes command of the citadel at Wareham.

Richard and his army are accompanied by his daughter, Gwyneth, an impetuous and reckless young woman – at once striking, intellectually gifted, but dangerously vain and imprudent.

While Richard broods on the Viking threat, Gwyneth falls in love with an enemy prince - only to discover that she has been betrothed to a Saxon warrior twice her age.

Refusing to countenance her grim fate, she flees the fortress, but is soon kidnapped by a Viking warrior and taken to the camp of King Guthrum while Saxon search parties scour the land.

In captivity, a hostage to fortune, and the focus of political intrigue, Gwyneth is submerged in a world of expediency, betrayal and black treachery. Slowly, she realizes the truth is suspect, nothing is what it appears and her reality cannot be trusted.

And all the time, against this background, she desires nothing more than to be reunited with her dashing Danish prince.

“Do you not see the men and women who seek the protection and safety of these walls? Do you not see their fear? Does this not prove that the Norsemen are raiding again?”

It was only a matter of time before the Norseman once again began to raid the rich and fertile land of Britannia. However, such things, were of no concern to Gwyneth of Wareham as she listened to the sea crash upon the shore. However, that fateful night, which hinted not at the events that were to unfold, would change the course of her life forever.

When Gwyneth saw a shadowy figure stumbling towards the surf, she felt compelled to follow him — instantly dismissing any danger she might have found herself in. When this mystery man collapses in front of her, Gwyneth feels compelled to help. It was only then that Gwyneth saw the arrow sticking out of his shoulder.

Who was this stranger? What had he done? What did he intend to do? As Gwyneth nursed the warrior back to health, there was only one thing that she knew for sure — she could fall in love with a man like this.

Alas, this was a man’s world, and Gwyneth was her father’s daughter. She must marry where he tells her, even if her heart does belong to someone else.

Erik of Esbjerg had not expected to fall for his would-be rescuer, but he did, and now he has to fight if he wants to keep her. It is that, or watch her marry a man that is not him.

With a sweeping elegance, I soon found myself utterly enchanted with The Briton and the Dane by Mary Ann Bernal. Gwyneth was a character that I immediately loved. She is young, feisty, and something of a free spirit. She cannot be tamed. Her wilfulness, often bordering on defiance made her a fascinating protagonist and one I enjoyed reading about, although I did feel sorry for the monks, whose patience Gwyneth put to the test on more than one occasion! Gwyneth’s story was also a lovely reminder of the joyful experience of first love.

The Briton and the Dane has a large cast of characters. There is not one but three romance stories within the cover of this book. Gwyneth’s brothers, the lovable David and the serious Stephen all have rather complicated love interests — David in particular! I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these supporting characters, and they helped to give the story depth. I especially enjoyed Stephen and Elizabeth’s story.

Bernal has a very engaging narrative and style, which held my attention throughout the course of this book. The political intrigue and the threat of war between King Guthrum and King Alfred (later to be known as The Great) gave this novel a sense of urgency. Peace was fragile, and war was on the horizon, add to that the complicated romance plot of our young intrepid protagonists, made The Briton and the Dane unputdownable.

I have read three books in The Briton and the Dane saga, and I have enjoyed them all. Bernal is a natural storyteller and writes fabulous escapism fiction.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of 
The Briton and the Dane

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Red Headed Book Lover review of Scribbler Tales Volumes One-Five by Mary Ann Bernal

Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five, Mary Ann Bernal

Volume One
Desperate Measures; Forbidden Lore; Forever Lost; The Hourglass; Sail with Me
Volume Two
Broken Promises; Deception; Endgame; Malice; The Portrait
Volume Three
Hidden Lies; Nightmare; Payback; The Night Stalker; Turning Point
Volume Four
Abducted; Cunning; Enamored; Reckless; Safeguard
Volume Five
Bloodlust; Illusion; Manhunt; Pandemic; Revenge
Anthologies are soon becoming my favorite type of reads, why? They are the perfect books to pick up and get lost in if ever you are having a busy day. I adore anthologies but only if they are written flawlessly with each story being supremely well developed with a wealth of information. Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five is just this; a perfect anthology book that has flawlessly written stories written throughout it that will compel, intrigue and excite you from beginning to end! Mary Ann Bernal, the talented author of Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five, is an incredible writer whose work needs to be recognized and read by all readers so, please book lovers, if you adore anthologies and books with brilliant stories then you will love this! If you are not entirely convinced just yet then read the rest of my review to learn more about this exceptional book!
Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five is, of course, an anthology (a collection of short stories) and so the readers get to experience many different stories and witness many different lives and circumstances. Each story in this excellent collection is unique and different from the other one. They never once sound similar, and that is a hard quality to achieve with an anthology, so already I have to applaud Bernal for her talent to write original, creative stories!
Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five is a composition of five volumes of stories, and they will all compel you to read and get lost in fully. Of course, I am not able to write about each story as they are short and will spoil the book but what I will write is that each story is utterly brilliant and the majority of them feature excellent and unique themes. My particular favorites in volume one were called Desperate Measures, Forbidden Lore, and Sail with Me. Sail with Me was my personal favorite thanks to the military theme at the heart of the story as the protagonist Aaron looks back on his time as a military brat. However, Forbidden Lore for me was thrilling thanks to the theme of witches, and Desperate Measures fulfilled my need for science fiction with its story based around cloning experiment! These are just three of the many stories featured in these five volumes, and I guarantee that every reader will find a story they love!
Mary Ann Bernal is an incredibly talented author; there is no doubt about this as she has proved this in her different short stories. I adored how she managed to set the scene up for the story quickly and make me able to invest in the characters in the matter of a few pages. Her stories may be short, and her anthology, in general, is short as it is only roughly 170 pages, but each tale is well-developed with an excellent plot, rich characterization and compelling components that will make you fall madly in love with Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five!
As I love Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five so much, I have no choice but to award Scribbler Tales Volumes One – Five a dazzling five stars! It is a unique, chilling, thrilling, exceptional book that will have you turning the pages with haste. The stunning literature courtesy of Mary Ann Bernal will excite as well as enthrall you from the first page with her well-formed stories. So please book lovers, read this excellent book, you will not be disappointed!
Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much, I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre? Please let me know your brilliant thoughts below and I will be sure to comment back. Thank you so much again for reading!
Aimee Ann Red Headed Book Lover