New author Groe creates instant fans with her epic debut of one woman's struggle for independence in a world where women are only valuable as trade goods and slaves. When her father, a renowned skald (storyteller), is killed in the same Viking raid that results in the enslavement to Bjorn the Black of her and her brother, Rika must learn a new way to survive.

Bjorn, a younger brother, owns nothing but what his older sibling deeds him, and this time, he wants Rika. But by choosing her as his reward, Bjorn unleashes his brother's hidden hatred.

As Rika and Bjorn are drawn to one another, they are both forced to look at their past and realize they've been betrayed. They are further tested when the jarl tricks Rika into agreeing to marry his Byzantine trading partner.

From the ice-swept plains of Scandinavia to the blistering heat of the Byzantine slave markets, this steamy "she's his slave, then he becomes her slave" love story calls to mind the great mistresses of the genre: Small, Henley and Mason. Filled with forbidden love, betrayal, redemption and hope, Groe's strong start will leave readers eager for more. SENSUAL (May, 336 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Anne Black