First to Burn
The Immortal Vikings #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 27th January 2014
What a story! When I read the blurb on Goodreads I was very intrigued by the possibility of an immortal Viking in a modern day setting and First to Burn certainly does not disappoint.
Immortal Viking Wulf Warsden is now Sargent Warsden, serving in Afghanistan alongside his elite and entirely human Special Operations team. When injured in a blast Wulf comes to in a medevac helicopter on route to hospital but the minute he's transferred he walks away fully healed as he's done many times before to ensure the secret of his immortality is not discovered. Captain Theresa Chiesa a doctor at Camp Cadwalader's combat hospital, is determined to find out how Sargent Warsden who was called in by the flight medic as having a serious leg wound is now fighting fit with no sign of ever having any kind of serious wound. On the trail of missing paperwork Theresa comes up against the impenetrable wall of Wulf's loyal team who will do anything to protect his secret. When Theresa finally meets the elusive Wulf there's an instant attraction burning between them.
I really loved the slow burn between Theresa and Wulf, their path to love is incredibly rocky but deliciously good. With their difference in rank Theresa knows that Wulf is off limits despite his heartthrob good looks. Equally, Wulf knows that he can never really have Theresa despite their obvious attraction to each other, if she were to discover and reveal his secret Wulf knows he would be forced to disappear again and leave what has become his band of brothers, his special ops team. Despite this there's a real flirty tension between them until Theresa witnesses first hand Wulf's body repairing itself in a matter of minutes after an almost fatal attack on their helicopter.
As the pieces begin to connect for Theresa Wulf cannot allow her to tell anyone his secret even if it means he has to lie to her and follow her to her mid tour leave in Rome. For Theresa, her leave could not have come at a better time she needs time and space to figure out what she saw and what her next move will be and more importantly, get Wulf and his lies finally out of her head. For Wulf, Rome gives him an opportunity to get closer to Theresa, despite being sworn off any form of relationship he finds it impossible to stay away her. But with his team investigating corrupt military contractors and Afghan heroin Wulf and Theresa soon find themselves on the run from some seriously dangerous old enemies.
When I said that First to Burn is some story I really meant it! From the army base in Afghanistan to the sewers and tunnels of Rome, to Wulf's stunning Italian castle, to the intensive care unit in Germany and finally on to suburban New Jersey, First to Burn is a real adventure and a half and full to the brim of action packed twists and turns. With an imaginative mixture of myth and legend, modern day military setting and good old fashioned romantic suspense I almost had to remind myself to breathe at times reading it. At one point I was forced to put First to Burn down to cry my eyes out (no spoilers here but be assured you will need your hankies) and although I was thoroughly shocked I thought the aftermath was handled incredibly sensitively and realistically by Anna Richland. Interestingly when I checked out Anna Richland's website (I just had to find out who's book is next!) I saw that she herself has a military background which explains the very authentic feeling military scenes. Equally, A-MAZ-ING and well worthy of a final special mention were the hot and steamy scenes between Wulf and Theresa, let me tell you that immortal Viking is a keeper!
First to Burn is the start of what looks to me to be a fantastic paranormal romance series, with thirteen immortal Vikings and an ancient immortal enemy I can't wait to see what the next book The Sinner has in store. 5 out of 5.
"He lifted Theresa's hand to his lips. "You know the seats recline almost flat in first class? And there's a privacy partition."
With her chin tucked to her chest and her eyebrows raised, she glanced left and right and then shot him a dubious look. "You can't be serious."
He adopted a puppy face. "We could just cuddle?"
Her lips twitched and her nose flared, as if she was fighting to hold in laughter. "Right."
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