A businesswoman desperate to achieve her dream.
Wineseller Christina Alvarez Mancini told one little lie—to reassure wealthy clients, she invented a suave British boss. With her ultimate dream, a winery of her own, close to becoming reality, she can't allow irregularities at a high-end wine auction to jeopardize her reputation.
A conman in love with a good plan.
Stig needs money, fast. An immortal Viking thief who discovered the perfect role as a fictional wine merchant, he's days away from the big payoff. Even if the California woman who created his character realizes a real person is conducting business in London, he'll disappear. That's what he does best.
Secrets that turn deadly.
Stig has success in his sights when Christina walks into his auction preview, ready to ruin his plan. Experience tells Stig to cut and run; a thousand years of boredom compel him to flirt. And when deadly Vikings from Stig's past crash the party, Christina and Stig are forced to cooperate in order to escape. Yet everywhere they flee, it's these two rivals' own lies that set the greatest traps…
Book two of The Immortal Vikings
Richland attempts to mix Remington Steele, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Beowulf in her second Immortal Vikings romantic contemporary fantasy (after First to Burn), but it succeeds only in concept, though the protagonists' cat-and-mouse chemistry is never in question. California wine seller Christina Mancini invents a boss named Geoffrey Morrison to be taken seriously in a man's world. She arrives at an English auction house where her wines are featured, only to discover that someone posing as Morrison is in attendance. Immortal warrior Stig plans to use his cover as "Morrison" to replace the good stuff with counterfeits after the sale. Richland ably transforms Stig into believable hero material, but the story falters; he declares his immortality but only halfheartedly tries to prove it, and Christina's secrets, which Stig uses to blackmail her into helping him carry out misdeeds while they evade capture in three European countries, remain ambiguous for too long. Richland's attempt to build a setting around the epic poem often confuses, particularly in scenes where Stig recalls his past. This clumsy mash-up could have used fewer kitchen sinks.
the story is one romp to another.
Anna Richland returns with another installment in her Immortal Vikings series, where the Heroes are Immortals of Viking lineage. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this series, and love the premise of the heroes at some 1500 years old.
Here we focus on the world of expensive wines for the nouveau and not so rich, with Christina as the business ideas. Knowing the difficulties of breaking into the rather cloistered world as both an upstart and a woman, she invented a rich globe-trotting partner for her business.
Imagine her surprise when there are problems with an auction of some wine, and she comes face to face with the man she created from whole cloth.
Stig is that mystery man, a Viking and one possessed of questionable morals. A thief by trade, when Christina shows up at the auction house, his plans are foiled until he realizes that she has granted him a sort of entre. Charismatic, fast talking and even faster thinking, Stig is a little “too” slick at first, and has just the right touch of bad boy to make him not entirely dislikable.
When the story twists to encompass counterfeit wine that she has plans for, the story takes off and never stops with thrills, dangers and a solidly developed sense of sniping and bickering between Stig and Christina as they try to sort their way through the mysteries, dangers and history.
Between their chemistry with Stig never having met anyone quite as quick-witted or intriguing as Christina, and the slow reveal of his ‘immortal state’, the story is one romp to another. My only complaint is the frequent POV switches that were hard to grasp early on, as the character voices needed time to strengthen, and mixed with the action-packed events the story took some time to get everyone straight in my mind. Once I had some more background on the two, and some time to watch them interact, the story took off and was a wonderful ride.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.