If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: The Second Lie by Anna Richland / @BipBopBooks

Title: The Immortal Vikings #2: The Second Lie
Author: Anna Richland
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: January 26, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
ARC Received From: Bippity Boppity Book

 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…

Other books in this series

I haven't read First to Burn but didn't need to to understand this story. Characters from Book 1 were introduced throughout Book 2, but it still read as a stand-alone.

Stig was one hell of an interesting character. His willingness to laugh at himself, step way beyond what I considered any man's normal comfort zone, and unplanned plans contradicted the warrior he was at heart. He fought for what he believed in, gave no quarter when it came to protecting those he loved, including those who were gone. And while all that devotion and love was awesome, they didn't appeal to me as much as 1)his honesty with Christina, and 2)his profession.

I don't think I've ever read a story about a male thief before. That was in and of itself a reason for me to keep reading. Most thief stories I've read are about women so this was a refreshing take on the whole burglar trope. The things Stig has stolen over the centuries is impressive, and the fact that his fingers are still attached to his person is even more impressive.

Christina wasn't nearly as entertaining but she was a likeable character nonetheless. I couldn't fault her determination to succeed as a wineseller and desire to own her own vineyard. Truthfully, someone as devoted to the trade as she was deserved both. However, it was hard for me to accept that she would so easily accept a conman posing as her boss after all the time and effort she put into creating her company. It struck me as odd that she didn't fight Stig harder on this topic. Maybe she did, but it didn't come across that way to me.

The chemistry between Stig and Christina wasn't fireworks or TNT equivalent. It was...mild, I guess. The sex scenes were well-written and it was in those scenes that desire, lust, want, and need really showed up. Everywhere else though seemed a little less obvious.

I did enjoy Stig and Christina's journey around Europe as they struggled to stay alive, stay ahead of the game, and help Stig's leader stop a madman Viking. Along the way, there was plenty of laughter, insight, hopefulness, fear, and determination. What started as a simple con ended up being the story of a lifetime for Christina and the ultimate theft for Stig. She wound up with a man who was honorable, a hero, and timeless. He found a woman who filled the emptiness in his heart that thieving hadn't accomplished.

Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. She writes paranormal romantic suspense and military romance in the spaces left after dealing with kids, laundry, crazy volunteer commitments and internet distractions.

Her lifelong passion for new places (and a need to pay tuition) led her to become an army officer en route to visiting four continents and twenty-two countries. Now the places she goes are more likely to be field trips than trips to the field, but it's still fun.

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