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Book CoverGwen’s review of Immortal Outlaw (Immortal Brotherhood, Book 2) by Lisa Hendrix
Historical paranormal romance released by Berkley 2 Jun 09

I love it when I run across a paranormal historical that is not a time-travel and not anachronistic.  It lets me really sink into the story without fear of being jerked out of the ‘zone’ by some odd detail or mannerism.  I’m not saying I’m an expert on the period in which the story may be set, but most of us readers can tell when something just doesn’t belong, if you know what I mean. 

Luckily for you and I, this book delivers on all of these fronts – good romance, good storytelling, great characters, and a very engrossing tale with nary an anachronism to be found.  I was able to dig in and just let go.  Some terrific entertainment is packed between the covers of Hendrix’s Immortal Outlaw.

This is the second of the Immortal Brotherhood series.  A series about some Norse warriors who are cursed by a witch for killing her son – they are human either by day or night, depending on her whim at the time of the curse.  The rest of the time, they’re cursed to be an animal – a bear was the first book’s hero and this one is a lion.  You don’t need to read the first book to pick up the story in Book 2 – they standalone.  In fact, I was a little frustrated by the pace of Book 1, so perhaps you’re better off with starting with Book 2.

Immortal Outlaw is an adventure/quest romance set in late 13th century England (the first was set in 11th century England).   Through various misadventures and conniving, our hero and heroine, Steinarr and Marian, embark on a DaVinci Code-like quest to uncover the secret that will unlock the key to Marian’s brother’s inheritance and title.  Her brother’s name is Robin or Robert.

An innocent joke and story told by one of Steinarr’s animal/man compatriots “begins” the Robin Hood and Maid Marian legend, if you believe this book.  (And, truth be told, I tend to think that most legends of historical characters start this way – someone decides to retell and embellish relatively normal events and the story just grows and grows in the retelling.  I mean, do we really think there ever was a giant blue ox?)  This twist on the book’s romance and overall storyline was a fun element and lent a note of lightness to what could have otherwise been a rather dark tale.

I enjoyed the romance between Steinarr and Marian – it grows naturally and is believable. However, I would have liked it to have been explored or tested a bit more.  Their characters were nicely developed and believable.  Several of the secondary characters take on important, if convenient, roles, but that wasn’t too much of a detraction.  The overall story arc was nicely paced and had just enough spice to allow us to explore the bounds of the main characters and relationship.

In whole, this was a very fun book to read and I highly recommend it to any fans of historical romances or paranormal romances.  It appeals very much on both fronts.  Don’t miss it!

faye.jpgGrade: B+

Read more reviews of this series by following its tag here.

For centuries he’s hidden in the woods. Now a maid has come to lead him out…
It’s been four centuries since Steinarr the Proud was cursed by a wicked sorceress-along with the rest of his Viking crew-to live for eternity as half man, half beast. By day Steinarr is like any other man-by night he is a lion. He has taken refuge in the woods of Nottinghamshire, England, and there he encounters two young travelers, Robin and Marian.
Painfully aware of the danger he presents when the moon rises, Steinarr initially refuses to help them search for the key to Robin’s inheritance. Then a kiss from Marian awakens his desire. Driven to protect the maid he so desperately wants to possess, Steinarr joins their quest…while the sorceress Cwen gathers her dark magic to destroy them.
As a legend spreads of an outlaw in the woods, their band is joined by others. But it is Steinarr who has the most to gain and the most to lose-if he is ever to be free of the curse and free to love as a man…

Read an excerpt here.

Other books in the series:

Book Cover