Review: Immortal Champion by Lisa Hendrix

Filed in 3 Stars , Lisa Hendrix , Review , The Geeky Lover Posted on January 3, 2011 @ 11:00 am 6 comments

Format Read: Ebook provided by the author
Number of Pages: 336 pages
Release Date: January 4th, 2011
Publisher: Berkley
Formats Available: Ebook, Paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon, Book Depository (UK), Book Depository (US)

Book Blurb:

He faces a future of cold uncertainty, until her warm embrace…

Part of a Viking crew of warriors cursed by an evil sorceress, Gunnar the Red must toil through eternity as half-man, half-beast, living out his days as a great bull, while his nights are spent in human form. And though he keeps mostly to the wilds, his heart yearns for the simple comforts of man—and the chance to redeem a tragic past…

Seeking refuge from a bitter winter in the welcoming hall of Richmond Castle, Gunnar rescues two maidens when a blaze erupts—and his destiny is forever altered. For one of the young women is Lady Eleanor de Neville, who is immediately entranced by her rescuer. Her kiss of gratitude—the brief touch of her lips against his cheek—awakens a longing in her soul. And even when she is betrothed to another, Eleanor never forgets her courageous knight.

When Gunnar rides back into Eleanor’s life, she is consumed by undeniable passion. And though his body surrenders to her every touch, Gunnar’s heart remains imprisoned by the curse—and only the magic of the truest love can save him…
My Thoughts:
I have to admit with reading this novel I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone. I love Paranormal Romance but Historicals aren’t just made for me. But I really enjoyed Kate Pearce‘s Kiss of the Rose so I thought perhaps the mix of these two genres could be something for me after all. I did have some struggles with this novel but they were all historical related and all in all it was a good read.
We meet Gunnar, one of a group of cursed Viking Warriors enduring their forsaken life, damned to be in his case a bull through the day, and free to roam as a human at night. He mostly lives a secluded life then with time the humans start to get suspicious with someone who doesn’t age and never shows himself in daylight. It’s a complicated life that makes hime more and more a loner. He bides his time and only  breaches society when he has no other choice and the possibility of being discovered is small. He’s a good man with rough edges and perhaps not enough soft skills. He has betrayal in his past and it shows in his actions but with time even his cold heart gets caught.
On the other hand we have Lady Eleanor. I won’t go into detail about her social standing because to be honest I can’t for the life of me keep track of those. It confused the hell out me, I managed to keep track of the most important characters but for me this part of the British history with all those siblings and different wifes makes keeping track near impossible. But back to Eleanor. She is a strong woman and not at all your typical lady. She is brave but even she can’t escape the obligations of her position. She is spirited and quite funny but knows what honor is. She won’t back down from a promise no matter how much she hates what it makes her do. I really liked her as a character.
The romance between these two builds up rather slow. The most time I was a bit disapointed that these two were apart so often. They romance itself didn’t have much time to get stronger or to grab my attention more. In the second half of the book this changed completely, the two of them got some screentime together and at some points it got way too cheesy for me. I think this mostly resulted in the missing connection I had to their romance. I like them both as individuals but I not could completely follow why they were in love. Yes I got the sexual attraction, not hard to do that with a smexy Viking hero but the love aspect deluded me a bit.
Another problem for me was the social pressure on the heroine. This part is nothing I should complain about in a book set in the era but I really hated what she had to endure. I would have never been able to survive living in this time and I’m so happy I don’t. I think perhaps I don’t like historicals as much as others do because I don’t enjoy reading about woman being forced to marry men they don’t love and see them being forced to become the “breeding”  thing everyone wants her to be. Even this word “breeding” angers  me so much I could really start a rant. I’m just not made to give up the freedom we have in our rather mondern society.
In contrast to the historical aspect I love the paranormal world Ms Hendrix sets her novel. I love the Nordic legends, thanks to BF and you can feel how  much time and love was spent researching the facts. Ms Hendrix has a way to draw you into her world without you noticing how much time she actually takes to explain the world- it’s mostly done through showing and not telling- so exactly the way it should be done.
The plot in Immortal Champion was captivating but every thing, like the romance moved at a slow pace. I could follow the whole plot even though I haven’t read the two previous novels. I loved how the rest of our Viking was woven into the story- it adds a wonderful diversity to the story without taking our actual attention off the main protagonists. The plot itself was intriguing and complex but the solution at the end was rather obvisious from the start- or I was just lucky about guessing right.
Immortal Champion was an entertaining read even though it has a big historical touch. I love the Vikings and the paranormal aspects they bring to this novel. It’s a story about love and honor- and how these two can stand in each other way. I know I want to know what kind of adventures our warriors will have in the future novels because a bird told me the main plot will move drastically into the future. Recommended read for all lovers historcials set in Kind Henry’s time.
I give Immortal Champion 3 out of 5 bookies.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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  • Marissa January 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Loved reading your review, I also read and reviewed it. I understand your problems with this story, if you don't like historical romances you will have some problems with this story. But I so loved Eleanor and Gunnar, great characters!

  • SusiSunshine {The Geeky Bookworm} January 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    @Marissa Yes they definitely are that. All her characters are great and I already have some favorites for future books.

  • Chelsea B. January 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Hmmmm….I think I'll try this series out. Thanks for the review! I always like reading them before buying a book.

  • Alexa January 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I rather like historical romance so I might have to give this one a shot. That is after I stop drooling over the cover. 😉

  • Lisa Hendrix January 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Susi—Thanks so much for taking the time to review Immortal Champion. I had a great time doing your interview.

    @Alexa—He is rather delicious, isn't he? IRL, he's a former soap opera actor named Timothy Adams. You can read more about him at (and see a pic of him in non-Gunnar mode)

  • SusiSunshine {The Geeky Bookworm} January 4, 2011 at 5:23 am

    @Chelsea My pleasure.

    @ALexa Oh yes…he is so gorgeous.

    @Lisa Anytime hon and thanks for that link. 😉

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