|Endre by S.T. Bende|
(The Elsker Saga #2)
July 17, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance (New Adult)
(Contains: some violence, clean romance)
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
Sometimes, finding your destiny means doing the exact opposite of what The Fates have planned.
Winning the heart of an immortal assassin was a dream come true for Kristia Tostenson. Now she’s knee deep in wedding plans, goddess lessons, and stolen kisses. But her decision to become immortal could end in heartbreak -- not only for Kristia, but for the god who loves her. Because while Ull would do anything to protect his bride, even the God of Winter is powerless against the Norse apocalypse. Ragnarok is coming. And the gods aren’t even close to ready.
Endre is the second book of The Elsker Saga. Elsker is the first book. There is also a prequel novella, Tur. This saga involves Norse mythology, taking place in both the world of the Norse gods as well as on Earth. Endre picks up right where Elsker left off, with Kristia knee deep in wedding plans (though she delegates well) and preparing to be a goddess herself. And that's just a part of what she's dealing with.
I have really enjoyed reading this series so far. I love the way Bende has combined the world of the Norse gods with the human world. Kristia's life has been turned upside-down, and watching her story unfold alongside Ull's is a pleasure to read. Their love story is not simple, and is only a small piece of what they are dealing with. They have many things up against them, and one particularly annoying elf trying to trip up Kristia, as well as the seemingly unavoidable Ragnarok, all vying for their attention when they really just want to be a couple in love.
Kristia and Ull continue to be wonderful characters. I love seeing their relationship continue to develop, and their romance deepen. They are just such a sweet couple! They put a big smile on my face. I also loved the way the personalities of the gods were developed, making them god-like and larger than life, but with hints of humanity and approachability. They felt real and I really liked that. Really great character casting, making me want to get to know each and every one of them (well, except for that elf guy). Kristia's roommates and best friend also added just the right touches to the story.
Oh, and the wedding! (And the wedding prepwork!) I loved it!! It was perfect. But on a side note, I'll confess I was a little frustrated with the ending of the book. I wanted more! I had a feeling that was how it would end, but it didn't make me any happier to be right. No, it's not a cliffhanger. Not really. Maybe I'm just being greedy. I'm now just left with the anticipation of things to come for my beloved Ull and Kristia. But what did happen with Ull and Kristia - so sweet and lovely and beautiful and romantic.
If you like a sweet, clean romance, combined with hot Norse gods and goddesses and an evil elf and dark forces trying to bring it all to an end, I recommend The Elsker Saga.
AMAZON * B&N * KOBO
When I came to, my chest heaved with sobs. Cold sweat cloaked my body from my forehead to the backs of my knees. My hair was damp, my pulse was racing, and my fingers gripped the sheets so tightly my knuckles ached. I was in my room at Ýdalir, the one place I had always felt safe. Only now I was absolutely terrified.
I ripped the covers off and wrapped my arms around my legs. My nose twitched at an unfamiliar smell. I pulled the cord on the bedside lamp, and looked around to see what might be burning. There was no smoke in the room; all of the furniture seemed to be intact. But when I glanced down, I saw the hems of my pajamas. They were black, singed from the fire I’d desperately hoped had been part of a dream.
This time things had gone too far. If my smoldering pant legs were any indication, being injured in a vision could have far-reaching worldly consequences. And if Elfie had come that close to killing me . . .
Ull had his rules, but I no longer cared. I jumped out of bed and raced down the hallway. When I reached his door I pounded on the distressed wood. Tears streamed down my face but I didn’t bother to wipe them away. The downpour was too intense; it wouldn’t have done any good anyway.
The door flew open and Ull stood on the other side. He wore a loose pair of grey sweatpants and nothing else. Oh hot bejeebus. There was no way this guy was for real. It just wasn’t humanly possible to look that good.
Oh, right. Ull wasn’t human.
Despite the agony coursing through my awakening consciousness, this was a moment of glory I’d remember forever—the first time I saw Ull’s naked torso. His sweats hung low on his hips, affording me a view of the cut just above the bone.
“Kristia?” Ull rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He took in my matted hair, tear-streaked face, and shaking hands. “Great Odin. What happened?”
He pulled me to him, crushing my face against the muscles of his chest. The knot in my stomach loosened infinitesimally. Just being near Ull gave me peace, but being this near Ull was like taking a sedative. Breathing in his woodsy smell made my panic subside. And when he pressed his hands against me—one to my hair, the other against the small of my back—my gut knew I was safe. Nothing bad could happen to me so long as I was in Ull’s arms. I inhaled again, letting his familiar scent fill me from the inside until my shaking stilled. Then I pressed my lips against his skin. Hard.
“Sweetheart?” he asked again.
“I had another vision and it freaked me out. Can I stay with you?” I didn’t take my lips off his chest as I spoke. I couldn’t. He tasted divine—like spruce and soap and home. There was a very real possibility my mouth might be permanently adhered to his flesh, like a kid who’d tried to lick a frozen railing.
Only this was far less unpleasant.
Tur: An Elsker Saga Novella (Prequel)
AMAZON - B&N - KOBO
Inga Andersson is the envy of every girl in Asgard. On the surface she has it all -- great friends, a job as Odin’s personal fight choreographer, and a happy ever after with her realm’s hottest assassin. But when evil invades Asgard, her perfect world comes crashing down. Someone is planning to kill off the gods, and Inga’s best friend Ull is first on their list. With the Norse apocalypse a nanosecond away, Inga has to decide how she’ll spend her final moments of freedom. Because from the moment this battle begins, Inga’s happily ever after will be nothing more than a memory.
Some things are worth fighting for.
Elsker: The Elsker Saga Book One
AMAZON - KOBO - MY REVIEW
You don't win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way. Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn't exactly what she was expecting. He's an honest to goodness Norse God - an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia's crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.
Her orderly life just got very messy.
About the Author:
Find ST on Twitter @stbende or her blog (http://stbende.blogspot.com). While you’re at it, introduce yourself to @UllMyhr -- when he’s not saving the cosmos from dark elves, he loves meeting new friends. Especially the human kind.