Review: Her Fiery Viking by A.J. Tipton

23214922Reviewed by Toni

Of all the triggers that get me to read a book, viking is not one of them. The idea of a too-alpha, brute male protagonist just does not fly for me. So when this book came around, it wasn’t the attraction of a viking that caught my pupils. Two things: Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor. Riding off the adrenaline of seeing my favorite superhero onscreen, a viking with a paranormal twist sounded pretty entertaining.

A cursed immortal named Mikkel has been living his everlasting days as the CEO of a demolition company and screwing every  secretary that graces his office. He blows things up and gets to blow the minds of women sexually. Sounds pretty cool but Mikkel is bored. In walks Joanna, an engineer with a temper, who  is determined to do her job and not lose her cool. Eventually, Mikkel and Joanna can’t resist mutual temptation and so begins their sexy adventures.

Straight off, this was a short but fun story. It was definitely very cheesy but it was still upbeat. It felt like an overall late night adult movie: short on story, more focus on absurd but still darn hot sexy scenes. The story zipped on by ignoring plot holes but it was written well enough  that you can enjoy the ride. A brief joy ride of the mind. Until the mind begins to fixate on certain points. The book was enjoyable but not enough for me to immediately  obtain the next book.

It was a struggle to figure out the origins of Mikkel. This book makes it pretty hard to figure it out without resorting to the internet or re-reading the excerpt. It barely explains, more like a brief nod, the back story and that is not until the end of the novel. Even though I knew going in that this was part of a series, it should still be able to read as a stand alone book. I view series like a neighborhood: each book is like a house on the same street but each house contains their own stories and design. More background to who Mikkel was and how he came to be would have been nice. For instance, the scene in the anger management class where he tells his tale about the tragic ends of his family has no emotional weight without prior content. Those who are familiar with the story would have recognized the significant elements but for the uninitiated such as myself, I was questioning whether or not it was true.

Speaking of the anger management class, I was annoyed with how poorly that was all handled. For Mikkel and Joanna to continually mock the counselor really annoyed me. Our hero and heroine have the shortest fuses on earth and decide to mock someone who is genuinely trying to help? Not ok, not funny.

Both Mikkel and Joanna have a serious need to gain control of their emotions. Mikkel’s ability to suddenly erupt into a fireball is freaking dangerous. You would think that he would take those classes way more seriously. As for Joanna? Her lack of restraint has already resulted in someone being admitted to the hospital. Without any supernatural powers at all, she alarms me the most. There is no excuse for pushing anyone down an escalator. None. It’s not funny and makes it harder for me as the reader to relate to her whatsoever. This part of the story made me dislike both of these characters immensely.

This was on top of the rest of the stuff that made me dislike them. For instance, Joanna’s chip on her shoulder on being sexually harassed becomes less an issue that a fellow female could rally alongside and more like a repetitive excuse to place barriers up. Sexual harassment has been a hot trigger topic in the last few years and should be handled with care and thought. Being mistreated by the other gender can be a trigger for negative emotions of fear and distrust.  With time and therapy, there can be a mental acceptance that one can rise above that and be strong. According to this novel, Joanna is full of emotional outrage and uncontrollable fury. Her view of all men is immediately negative and reminiscent of the “Taming of the Shrew”. All of this was just to show that Joanna could have a temper to match Mikkel. Nothing comes out from this internal struggle of emotional tempest. Nothing is learned, nothing is challenged, nothing is evaluated. Even when she is kidnapped by the sleazebag, no monumental shift in Joanna happens.  Sexual harassment at a workplace is a legit thing but it doesn’t happen like this. Then again, I don’t work in construction site so if this does happen, please report it to the appropriate authorities.

Another sensitive point against Joanna comes from using her sibling’s death as an emotional crutch. Death of a family member can be crippling and shatter a person. The death is the reason that her rage has been so prominent recently. Everyone reacts in their own way to personal loss but this is just not right. To become so angry that you endanger the life of another is not forgivable when hearing that you are angry because your sibling passed. Everything about Joanna screams unresolved issues and pent-up emotions. She doesn’t strike pity or camaraderie in me, only annoyance at her behavior.

This is only less than half way through the story. By the time I got to the “kidnapping”, my hope for any sense of realism was lost. It helped immensely to pretend this story existed as a late night television show in the nineties. Coupled with some cheesy music in my head, the story became more interesting. Pushing aside the stuff from before, it was surprisingly fun.

As refreshing as sitting in a shallow inflatable pool in summer, Her Fiery Viking did it’s part in being an enjoyable paranormal read. Was it successful in continuing the adrenaline high after watching Thor in the Avengers movie? Not even close, but I do look upon the book with a fond smile.

Especially after checking out the authors website. Pretty thoroughly entertained that there is a Lola’s Cocktail (tee hee) section with drinks for each book. Clever and fun indeed.

For those who are going through the loss of a loved one, I offer this website as a starting guide to seeking support.

Length: novel
Genre: paranormal romance
Primary Book Format: e-format
Publisher/Imprint:  Amazon digital service
Blush Quotient: Biting your cheek pink
Smart Girls Rating:  3.5

Order it here: Amazon

Find out more info about the author and series here.

(Disclaimer: This book was given for review.)