Brothers of the Wild North Sea by Harper Fox 5*
BLURB: His deadliest enemy will become his heart’s desire.
Caius doesn’t feel like much of a Christian. He loves his life of learning as a monk in the far-flung stronghold of Fara, but the hot warrior blood of his chieftain father flows in his veins. Heat soothed only in the arms of his sweet-natured friend and lover, Leof.
When Leof is killed during a Viking raid, Cai’s grieving heart thirsts for vengeance—and he has his chance with Fenrir, a wounded young Viking warrior left for dead. But instead of reaching for a weapon, Cai finds himself defying his abbot’s orders and using his healing skills to save Fen’s life.
At first, Fen repays Cai’s kindness by attacking every Christian within reach. But as time passes, Cai’s persistent goodness touches his heart. And Cai, who had thought he would never love again, feels the stirring of a profound new attraction.
Yet old loyalties call Fen back to his tribe and a relentless quest to find the ancient secret of Fara—a powerful talisman that could render the Vikings indestructible, and tear the two lovers’ bonds beyond healing.
Warning: contains battles, bloodshed, explicit M/M sex, and the proper Latin term for what lies beneath those cassocks.
My Review: I am not one to read books about religion or monks as a rule but there was something about the blurb on this one that made me try and win it. Lucky me I won and I am ever so glad I did as it was so good. The religion was there but in such a way as to give the reader a sense of the history and birth of the Christian belief alongside the pagan beliefs of the time. The actions of the Vikings as they raided the monasteries is well known but this story brought it to life and made it seem so very real. I felt as if I was living through all the turmoil that the main character endured and I was moved to tears (so naturally this gets a 5* for that emotional pull)but I was also amazed at the accuracy and intensity that came over in every word. I believe that people should read this even if they aren't very religious as it's one of those stories that will stay with you and influence how you think in the future.