Echoes of the Runes by Christina Courtenay
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: March 5th 2020 by Headline Review
Swathi’s Rating: 4.5/5
About the Book:
When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiance Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artefacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.
Whilst Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.
As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…
Two love stories – two different timelines – two beautiful, strong women – that’s what this gorgeous new historical fiction of Christina Courternay offers!
The storyline follows Mia and Haakon Berger in the present, two archeologists, who meet and connect as they dig the site near Mia’s grandmother’s cottage in Birch Thorpe for possible Viking Settlement. Mia’s romantic life is a mess as she struggles to keep up with her demanding boyfriend. So when she meets Haakon, there is an instant attraction and also a deep rooted connection that seems to come out of nowhere.
As they begin to start the excavation, they both experience recurring dreams about a Welsh Woman Ceri who is captured by Viking Norsemen in exchange for ransom. Ceri’s journey in the faraway land as a captive amongst strange people and love and attraction that slowly grows between her and her captor forms the rest of the story.
There is so much to say about the book, but I certainly do not want to spoil the fun for you. If you like dual timelines, you’ll love this book. Especially the romance. The characters are easily likeable and the author takes her time to lay their backgrounds, teleporting us to their journeys both in present and the Viking time! You’ll start to understand the connection between the two stories soon as you’re engrossed into the premise. It’s hard to put down as you might want to know what happens in the other story just when you’re reading one.
Easily one of my favorites of the year, I loved Christina’s writing which was smooth as a butter. A smile played on my lips all the time while reading the book, brownies to the author for that! Highly recommended by me. Many thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for having me on the official Blog Tour and thanks to Headline for my digital copy. All opinions are mine and in no way are they biased.
Meet the Author
Christina Courtenay lives in Herefordshire and is married with two children. Although born in England, she is half Swedish and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan and she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East and other parts of the world.
Christina is a former Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several of their prizes – the Elizabeth Goudge Trophy for a historical short story in 2001, the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2006 and the RoNA for Best Historical in 2012 and 2014 (see below).
Her debut novel Trade Winds, a historical romance and adventure story, was short-listed for the Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction 2011. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono, received the Best Historical Fiction prize for the Big Red Read 2011. Her novels Highland Storms and The Gilded Fan both won the RoNA (Romantic Novelists Association Award) for Best Historical Romantic Novel (Highland Storms in 2012 and The Gilded Fan in 2014), while The Silent Touch of Shadows (time slip) won the Festival of Romance award for Best Historical in 2013.
Christina also writes contemporary YA and New England Rocks was shortlisted for the RoNAs in the YA category in 2014. (The second book in the series, New England Crush, was published under a different name – Pia Fenton.)
As well as her novels, Christina has had four Regency novellas published, all available in Large Print and as ebooks.
Her hobbies include genealogy, archaeology (the armchair variety), listening to loud rock music and collecting things. She loves dogs, reading and chocolate.