Her tempting enemy is a chink in her armour!
Viking shield maiden, Svea Ivarsson, would far rather face Saxon warriors than be on the run with the fiercely captivating Lord Ashford Stanton, protector to the Saxon King. Reaching Ash’s family castle, Svea must swap her chainmail for life as a Lady. She can wield a sword like an expert, but no training has prepared her for craving the touch of her greatest enemy…
What makes a compelling hero and heroine?
My new book, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is an enemies-to-lovers Viking romance. Viking shield maiden Svea Ivarsson would far rather face Saxon warriors than be on the run with the fiercely captivating Lord Ashford Stanton, protector to the Saxon king.
I wanted Svea to be a heroine to look up to and admire. She is a female warrior and her name of Scandinavian origin means ‘spear’. This was apt, as the shield maiden has a feisty personality and surprises those around her with how she looks and behaves. Whether or not shield-maidens ever existed has been debated time and again, as there is little evidence to prove it. I like to think they did, and a few years ago, archaeologists did discover the grave of an important Viking warrior Who turned out to be a female. I have taken inspiration from some of the Norse sagas, and of course, all-time shield maiden Lagertha from the TV series Vikings. To create Svea, I also took inspiration from some of the amazing women I know and love...
Reaching Ash’s family castle, Svea finds it difficult to swap her chainmail for life as a Lady. Her non-conformity in terms of how she dresses and how she acts, in addition to her prowess on the battlefield, and the fact her tongue is as sharp as her sword, makes her a fascinating character and one to aspire to. However, even though she can wield a sword like an expert, no training has prepared her for craving the touch of her greatest enemy… which means the truth about her past begins to unravel. What will happen when Ash finds out her secret? Can he break down the fortress of walls she has built up around her heart and her body?
As for my hero, Lord Ashford Stanton, I came up with his name after visiting Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, where a ship burial containing a hoard of Anglo-Saxon artefacts were discovered in 1939, which changed our understanding of early England. Whilst there, I saw a sign for an Ash tree. It had a list of attributes:
Resists the many attacks of men
It has endurance, perseverance and determination
And finally, it provides protection
It got me thinking that these were all qualities I’d want to see in a hero – so I settled on the name Ash.
And he is all the things listed above and more. He is both cool and controlled but hot and passionate when it comes to his feelings for Svea… I think he is everything you’d want a hero to be – strong yet gentle, handsome but doesn’t know it, but most of all, he helps Svea to heal and encourages her to be the woman she was born to be. I hope you fall in love with them both as much as I did.
Thank you, Sarah Rodi and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Sarah Rodi has always been a hopeless romantic. She grew up watching old, romantic movies recommended by her grandad, or devouring love stories from the local library. Sarah lives in the village of Cookham in Berkshire, where she enjoys walking along the River Thames with her husband, her two daughters and their dog. She has been a magazine journalist for over 20 years, but it has been her lifelong dream to write romance for Mills & Boon. Sarah believes everyone deserves to find their happy ever after.