Book review, Buckley's Choice, Carolee Croft, Engaged to the Earl, Romance, The Viking and The Courtesan, Time travel books, Vikings
“‘Malice Mallender, the heroine of The Viking and the Courtesan, is not nearly as malicious as her name suggests. She is just trying to survive in the harsh world of 19th century London by running a business that breaks up people’s marriages. She’s also trying to distract herself from her unhappy personal life by obsessing about shoes. But one day, a lady enters her establishment who asks Malice to break up her own marriage.
Now, this is what I like about Malice: she quickly comes up with a plan not only to avoid the breakup of her marriage, but also to cement it for the future.
Just as she is about to seduce Cyril, her rakish husband, she is swept away to the Middle Ages, where she is abducted by the incredibly handsome viking Sin Gudrunsson.
The heroine is faced with some grim historic realities, such as being the property of a Viking, but she also eventually finds out that her captor is not as ruthless as he appears. Could he actually turn out to be the first man ever to find her attractive?
I really enjoyed reading about Malice’s adventures because she’s so wonderfully awkward. But then again, who wouldn’t act awkwardly when thrust into the midst of an unfamiliar Viking world? Only an idealized heroine, which Malice is not. Don’t get me wrong, she’s tough, and not in that token way that romance heroines sometimes have where they can take out eight desperadoes armed with nothing but a can opener.
Malice is tough because she has been forced to survive on her own in dire economic straits. She lives by her wits, whether in 19th century London or 8th century Norway.
Shehanne Moore portrays Malice’s personality so well that the reader unquestioningly accepts that the heroine will “swallow a crocodile” as she likes to say, if push comes to shove. Of course, she would rather use her guile and talk the crocodile into eating its Aunt Sally.
My overall impression of The Viking and the Courtesan is it’s like the Outlander on crack, and I mean that in a good way. While I enjoyed reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, I sometimes found the pacing a little slow.
In contrast, Viking and Courtesan moves the plot forward at a dizzying speed, and it kept me compulsively turning the pages wondering what will befall the unfortunate Malice next, and unexpectedly for such a dramatic tale, enjoying many laughs along the way. It’s a must-read for all fans of historical fiction.
The Viking and the Courtesan is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.
Well then, me a recovering geriatric, just finished my 12k, sweated buckets, took the necessary shower, then Ms S you make mention of ‘striped petticoats’…it’s getting late into the evening and now another (yet another) cold shower. Can’t cope. Best of all that is fine to both you and Ms Croft.
Carolee Croft said:
Thanks Mike! 🙂 I’ve been thinking of taking up running too, though perhaps will begin with 1k….
Go for it…it’s the only thing that keeps me half sane!
Mike you are at least three quarters sane x
Relax, these petticoats belong to Mrs Tiggywinkle. I am sure that will cool you down x
Marje @ Kyrosmagica said:
That Carolee Croft cover is going to keep me up at night!!
LOL!!!! I am away to start reading this one xx
Marje @ Kyrosmagica said:
Bloody Amazon had some prob last night. And I want to download it on my pc kindle so it is a verified purchase in terms of review and NOT my Mr’s. Will have to wait till tonight now HUH. But by hook or crook will get my mitts on this
Ann Fields said:
WOW! Two great covers in one post plus a reference to one of my favorite movies, “The Princess Bride,” feels like it’s my birthday. Congrats on the great book review for the Viking and the Courtesan. I totally concur; a great read.
Ann you were so kind with your review, just as you are with yoru comment . I couldn’t resist setting the dudes on this one cos of the Outlander on crack bit, so I very badly broke into the aspects of writing series of blogs the dudes are hard at (might as well add to my sins). Also how could I resist showing off Carolee’s cover again, seeing as I am away to read her book! I hope life is being good to you x
Kate Furnivall said:
Fabulous review. Malice would love it, that’s for sure. She is an amazing character and Carolee Croft has nailed her. Congrats! No wonder the Dudes are green with jealousy. Can’t wait for Noelle Clark to get here – the Dudes will turn purple!
Hee hee. Noelle is so busy right now selling up her house Kate and hopefully moving soon, I am just gonna turn her book over to the dudes to chew on. Now they got the claws and paws out for Carolee they might either a) go apoplectic or b) stop fighting with her, It is lovely to see you as always. And so kind of you to say that about Malice. did love that in addition to the crack bit I totally felt Carolee nailed her. I remember Alison Lodge sent me this wonderful image of this woman in a veil looking very awkward and what am I doing here and where are my shoes, after she read it and it was just so Malice, I loved it. I also loved what a certain lady said about her being like a moth teetering on the verge of self destruction….
Kate Furnivall said:
It is always great fun to come visit you and the Dudes! Thanks for the mental image of Silv bursting buns – which I cannot get out of my head.
Hee hee. The dudes love having you all over. Yep poor Silv, this is her new saying. x
I love the ‘like Outlander on crack’ comment – and it is spot on! i loved the pace of The Viking and the Courtesan. As for Mrs Tiggywinkle’s petticoats…now that’s another story. Entirely. Glad to see I have been replaced at the top of the hammies’ blacklist. Sorry, Carolee!
I love that comment too Cat. Of course the pace was meant to be slower but that didn’t quite happen. I think you and Noelle can fight over second place but you do know the dudes. They take some strange things into their furry heads. Mrs Tiggy’s striped petticoat for example. Hope you are feeling better. It is lovely to see you x
Carolee Croft said:
Thanks so much for posting this, Shey! Even if it does cost me the hamsters’ affection. I feel kind of cool, being blacklisted like some kind of famous rebel 😀
Listen, you will now get a ton of free publicity from these dudes on a regular basis. They will whine and moan and groan and just wait till you come on the aspects of writing posts…. THANK YOU for the review. I did say the dudes would get to do it. I was just letting Mike’s post sit for a few days. It is a great post. xxx (PS I think kindle app is working again on amazon UK, so I can get your book. Mr has already said he can get it ….and he will read it too… lol, but I just wanted it to be a verified purchaser review. I binned my kindle app from amazon us as it was messing up my orders and I was not getting them. Whatever, I will get onto the ear OOh, this week
Carolee Croft said:
Thanks so much for looking at Engaged to the Earl, Shey, and even getting your Mr. on it! If it’s not working for you, I could get my publisher to email you a copy. Let me know if you’re unable to download it. Now I can look forward to competing with the great Hamstah Dickens for the spotlight! 😀
My Mr ses he will read it! There has been a prob with the signal for the last few days here. We are by the river and Mr has not been able to get his photos or music to load. It is just one of these things you accept living where we do. Yesterday I got the welcome to amazon kindle email but it would only load like 10 percent before sticking Will try again tonight and if the prob persists, will get him to download to his kindle no bother. I
got it!! Yes x
Beautiful review! Your heroine Malice seems to be a very interesting character..
Aw, thank you my darling. I was so gobsmacked to see it come up in my reader from a reblog I felt I had to share it. it was so nice of Carolee to do that. Of course I could have just reblogged but the dudes had to get in on it. Malice is…well.. above all else she is a survivor. I should add so are her shoes.
You did the right thing Sheh. We are so used to seeing the dudes in your posts that we can’t not have them butting in. Excellent post. Thanks to Carolee as well for reviewing my favorite author.
AW hugs SKD. You are right. Folks are now used to seeing the dudes and I really didn’t want it looking like I was being ‘blabby big mouthed!’ I would never normally do this but it was also my way of thanking Carolee for putting it on her blog and showing her off too. xxx
Great interview! Malice is a gentle soul in a tough shell who has found her love in the 8th century, and is ready to travel in time whatever it takes. The power of kisses shouldn’t be underestimated 🙂 Love the book, and look forward to the sequel.
AW Inese, my special lady, you are right re the power of kisses and you are so very sweet and kind. The sequel is well and truly with my lovely ed Sam, so I wait for her red pen! It’s where this whole time travel lark starts. Let me give you a sneaky at the blurb. The only other folks to have seen this are my ed and also my very spesh writer pal Incy Black, cos she helped me get it right when my brain was mush…..(the first line will be in bold.)
He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.
When it comes to doing it all, hard coated ‘wild child’ writer, Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé, and herself transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame, and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?
Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute and he needs Brittany as his obedient, country mouse wife. Or rather he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed he’s never known a woman like her. A woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.
And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and stay there, does he break or has she underestimated him…and herself?
I know I will love the book, because I believe in time travels, and I know that it is not for the weak and mundane 🙂 Your heroines are amazing! xxxx
Inese, you’re a darling. I also love the thought of time travel! Yay! And although my back was against the wall in that I had to deliver this book within a set time and I got bronchitis in the middle of it all for weeks, I still had a blast exploring the business of taking a fast living woman from this time and shoving her into Georgian England AND taking this seen and done it all Georgian guy who has never come across a woman like this. You’re very kind about my heroines. Thank you, that means a lot to me xxxx
Couldn’t figure out how to reply to your last reply 🙂 WordPress can be very complicated at times. Just to let you know that I have read it. Sorry for the bronchitis, it is a shame to get it in the middle of this beautiful summer! Hope you feel better by now. Many hugs, and take care! xx
WordPress has been torture this week. Lots of folks saying so xxxx
Hi Shey 😀
Your time travelling story reminds me of so much when I was a boy who used to ring the bells and pump the organ in my hamlet church, St Olaves, Gatcombe, Isle of Wight, England. There is a story about a local village girl, Lucy Lightfoot, who disappeared in the church in the 1800s during a thunderstorm. Documents of the Crusades in the 1300s talked about a beautiful girl, Lucy Lightfoot, with a gallant Knight. Spooky or what ? The story, not me ringing the bells ! 😀 ❤
WOW, Ralpha, that is some tale. I just wish I’d known it when I was blog touring this story. TO quote the song Shanghai Lil, I was looking high and I was looking low for a story just like this. But I have bookmarked it. The best I could come up with was the Jourdain Moberly incident but this is far better cos you’re right, my story is kind of like that. Malice literally vamooshes under her hubby’s nose. Of course as he later tells her when she goes titz with him for setting the law on her for not rendering paid for services, he didn’t know it was her or he’d never have done it . (Much) And how could he report her missing either? I was trying to get at the holes in people’s lives if you suspend disbelief and actually allow that a time slip can happen, that this person–Malice is actually a time traveller, she just doesn’t know it — can zing back and forward, crash landing in various awful situations in both worlds. They get out of that situation, they try and continue on in that world, then wham, they are back in the other world. But your story is great oh mighty bell ringer and organist. xxxxxx
Wow, your story is better Shey. So I didn’t drop a clanger then.
BTW a couple of miles away from where I lived as a boy is where the death of a little chimney sweep boy, who climbed chimneys to clean them, caused a new Act of Parliament banning such practices. Of course, if the dudes are really naughty the threat of cleaning your chimney should make them behave 😀 ❤
You most certainly did not drop a clanger ha ha. Yir a kind man, Ralpha. I have always been fascinated by the idea of time travel. SO many aspects for a story, the clash of cultures, personalities shaped by their own time, the fact you could land anywhere, how you would be regarded by people from the past so you would have to hide the fact you were from another time, how you would only have what you stood up in, although I never ever set out to write a time travel. It just happened in chapter 2. The chimney sweep is fascinating too. My great great grandfather was born in a workhouse. He was a chimney sweep as a boy. Awful lives people had in these days
Kate McClelland said:
Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.
Kate you are an angel especially as you reblogged from Carolee. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. (I am whispering in case the dudes hear, then you will b up there in poll position with Carolee)
Kate McClelland said:
Gosh I would be in esteemed company indeed! (whispering back – despite the exclamation mark ) :0)
(Okay, I think we got away with it till Kev came in and commented. But hey..who knows whisper whisper x
Pingback: Like the Outlander on Crack – Kate McClelland
Oh wow, I’m thinking The Viking and the Courtesan is sounding better than ever… mm! Er, sorry litl’ dudes! 😀
Throw a blanket on that sound Kev, or you will be up there wi Carolee xxxxx
Don’t tempt me… Lol
DILKASH SHAYARI said:
Lovely Sharing Again.
Dilkash my friend, thank you. Enjoy your weekend x
Advo. R.R.'SAGAR' said:
Always Ur Welcome Ma’am Ur Too.
Aw, thank you xxx
Fantastic reviews, and congrats Shey. You know I love coming here for the Hamster chat, lol. ‘Gobbler Gub’ ? LOL xoxo
Thank you my darling.(Just keep your voice low so Gobbler Gub and his mates don’t hear. ) I was fair tickled and I wanted to thank Carolee but I didn’t want to just reblog so I gave it over to th4e dudes. Glad you got a giggle xxxx
I always do. 🙂 Excellent post as always. ❤
Aw, a giggle? That makes my day xxx
Reblogged this on wwwpalfitness.
Paul you are so kind thank you xxxxxxxxxx
You’re quite welcome:)
Well I am glad to be welcome when you have so many worries and problems of your own right now x
Great to get to know Carolee Croft, who has been already featured on your blog… I think it is so fair and well deserved, in spite of what certain hamstah might say… ha 😉
Loved her review for your book, dear She… Huge congrats…. love and best wishes for your new week. Aquileana 😀
Lol… You took the words right out the dudes mouths. It is SO fair. Lovely to see you. I have had Carolee here before. Hoping to have her here again soon too…well sort of…well, not said to the dudes YET. I loved her review, it fair made my week. I just won’t tell the wee guys that.
DG MARYOGA said:
Oh, that Black Velvet Seductions in the “Engaged to the Earl” romantic story!Carolee Croft must be another gem like you,sweetheart Shey!Thanks for the presentation of her book,but at the moment I have to go through yours;yeah,I got the two copies of the …. Courtesan a couple of days ago.Sorry my sweet dudes that I don’t have the time to go through your thoughts,I can manage without them since the book is in my hands now 🙂 Love & “priceless kisses” to you darling Shey 🙂
PRICELESS kisses to you my darling Doda. Never mind the dudes! Their paws and whiskers can be further out of joint. I just wanted to thank Carolee for her kindness by showing off her work. I got her book. I have not read Carolee before but I am liking her writing. Nice touches of whimsy. Enjoy your break/ We are heading off this weekend to Glencoe. SO looking forward. xxxx
DG MARYOGA said:
Thank you dearest Shey!I always appreciate the authors you present in your posts.I bet you’ll enjoy her book since you like her writing style.Glad you are soon off to the Scottish Highlands;I’ll post something from Santorini and will be away from WP for a while again.Enjoy your time in Glencoe my lovely one xxxx
Enjoy Santorini. I am pretty sure you will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And thank you, thank you for everything my darling. I think I have the Glencoe trip planned. Sure to be brilliant even if it rains x
I was writting a book about Venus and Viking a few years ago, got so into it that the characters became real to me (I’d be a terrific actress!) that i even dreamt about them while asleep. So much fun! However, for reasons no not quite clear to me I gave up on finishing the novel, who knows, one day I may well finish it.
Congrats on your new book! 🙂
Genie, you write such beautiful poetry, GET BACK AND FINISH THE BOOK! Lol, listen to bossy me–but you’ve got me hooked. Venus and Viking? Oh yes. I sometimes find I can’t get to sleep. My characters start rowing and I have to put a pillow on my head and tell them to shut up and go away so I’m having a giggle at you actually dreaming of yours. A book is hard going. It’s often got nothing to do with creativity so much as slogging on. I hope you can get back into yours though. Thank you for your kind congrats. Lovely to speak. xxx
Haha! It’s funny that thing about losing sleep because the characters are up to new escapades! I just may well finish the book; it’s written in poetry format.
I’ve got one of the poems that I’ve saved (the other ones are much longer, this is just a tease! literally! lol)
Venus and Viking
Venus memorized every crease in Viking’s jeans,
She said it was for her Salsa dance class lessons.
Every inch of him needed to be recalled, including
It’d glide fire—
They’d smoulder the dance floor.
OOH…. That is smokin’ hot. Love it. I hope you can go back to this. A great idea to do it in poetry format. You know sometimes a break is good and you see things with fresh eyes as well as where and how to move forward too. Oh I do lose sleep. I need a mallet to hit them or me with x
Oh, my poem about Venus and Viking vanished? Maybe it’s in your spam? It had a link to a photo in it, perhaps that’s why?
It is not in spam now my darling x
Thanks for the encouragement, I think I’ll get back to writing about Venus and Viking, I found it to be fasinating writing with the intention of having the poems be a part of a book; it’s complex though, to remember each character and their way of speaking (every person has a linguistic footprint), which adds to the fun because I have to leave my own linguistic footprint to become the characters.
I think I left it off because I had a person who I was working on the book with who did the songs for the movie soundtrack! I know, that’s getting ahead of the book — but why not think big! The songs were really fantastic and added tremendously to the book, however, the writer had some health issues and needed time to deal with them, so when it ended up without a soundtrack, I stopped writing, but! why go for a movie? sure, it is something that would be sooooo much fun to do a script from the book, however, start with finishing the book! I figure once the book is done another songwriter will be interested in a soundtrack for a movie. I love working with songwriters, songs are good when they tell a strory, which comes down to poetry, so it’s super interesting to me.
I’m heading over to check out your books and see about buying one, you’re a terrific writer, very creative and talented.
My darling, you are so creative…I actually got worried for a while you had no like button on your blog…I have my favs I always visit..anyway, you got it back so I stopped sweating re that although there was a few days the other week where the sodding LIKE button was not working for me or hardly anyone else on wordpress. Please get back to Venus and Viking. Firstly you say such truths re characters and linguistic footprint, yours are bound to be huge that way. I loved the snippet you shared AND the idea of writing the story as a poem is brilliant. As for why you left off, there is nothing–and I mean that — NOTHING wrong with thinking big. Those who don’t see the sky are missing the universe that way. I once stopped writing too. It was after a pretty brutal experience involving a writing partner. I’m certainly glad I got going again. Your experience sounds very different but I think a writer is a writer and once we unfold our wings again we want to fly however that may be. The hell with the fact our wings may be broken. So I hope you can go again cos there’s a ton of song writers would be glad to take that journey with you. Don’t worry about anything to do with me. You’re so kind to say that xxxx
That’s great advice! Why not think big?! I love it! Wow, I’m going to do it — finish the book, here is another small snippet:
I was Venus, you, Viking,
We rode wild stallions
Chased the dawn before it arose
We may never catch the dawn
But I don’t care, you’re all the colour
I’ll ever need.
Fade into me, Venus,
My one who is of the stars.
I was Venus, you, Viking.
We ran into eternity,
Eternity may pass, but never,
This moment with you.
How did you know?
Eternity is this moment
Is this the afterlife?
I love this, especially the line, we may never catch the dawn. I’m doing a wee happy dance here that you are gonna do this, just go for it. Never let anyone or anything hold you back. At the end of the day I absolutely believe we are the only ones who can hold ourselves back SO fear nothing x
Advo. R.R.'SAGAR' said:
When U Post New Article.
Probably tomorrow. I have an interview with a very nice writer for then. I just ned to get the hamster dudes on it !
Advo. R.R.'SAGAR' said:
Okay All The Best.
You too xxx
Gah, how did I get here so late? Well, no matter. The hamsters are going to have to swallow this one, because the review is amazing and awesome and I dig it and and and….and so on. 😉 Oh! I’m hoping to FINALLY answer to my Respect Award next month, maybe even next week. Much love to you, O Lovely Lady Shey! xxxx
I hope you whispered all that my darling, these dudes are very difficult you know …..They might savage us both…. You answer your award when you have time and not before, oh busy and special lady. xxxx
Oh yes, I whispered…after I dropped off a giant basket of lettuce and carrot cake for them… 😉
You wioll be in their good books whisper whisper
Christy Birmingham said:
Ohhhhh that Carolee Croft cover! I love how you feature authors, tell us updates, and have us laughing re the hampsters!! xxoo
AW Christy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx for that. So long as we can get a laugh, that is the main thing. Hope you are doing well my dear AND getting set for the dancing!!! OOOH!
Christy Birmingham said:
You are so sweet, Shey! Hehe, you are right that it’s important to keep laughing 🙂 YES, dancing later this week – my first lesson. I will try to blog about it somehow I think! Love to you xo
I can’t wait to read about your dancing. I want to know it all. Lots of love to you special lady xxxxxx