2.5 stars, not quite a 3 A Viking romance book…hmm…until I joined Goodreads, I didn’t know such a thing even existed. Then I signed up for a book challenge and I needed to read a book about Vikings. Fires of Winter fit the category, so I sat down to read it.Fires of Winter is a fascinating glimpse of Viking life. I mean, when I think of Vikings, I always thought of tall, blond, fierce warriors pillaging the lands around them. This book paints a very different Viking society. Sure, there is the raping and pillaging, but there is a very organized society. Vikings were merchants, farmers, and more. Lady Brenna Carmarham has been raised like a son by her doting father. After a few too many close calls with Vikings, her father decides that his best recourse would be to marry his daughter to the son of a Viking chieftan. Brenna is not too pleased with her situation. Needless to say, this plan backfires, and the Vikings attack her village and take Brenna, her kin and a few other women back to the North as slaves. Instead of going North to meet her husband, Brenna becomes his slave. Brenna does not accept this situation and defies her master Garrick at every opportunity.I really liked Brenna, but after a few hundred pages I did want to smack her. Brenna’s stubbornness, defiance, and insolence did get old after a while. I did like that she was an unconventional woman for her time period – that she was a capable hunter, a good fighter with a sword, and an excellent horseback rider. Her interactions with Garrick went from mature negotiation, funny banter, tense impasses to outright rudeness. I liked Garrick at first. He was very patient with Brenna, yet you felt how perplexed and confused she made him. When some of the back story is revealed, you understand why it is difficult for Garrick to open himself up to a woman. He has severe trust issues. Garrick also behaves like your stereotypical clueless male (with apologies to any male out there who is not clueless). All Brenna wanted was to become his wife, which was not allowed as long as she was a slave. After all, the deal her father made was that she was to be brought to him to be his wife, not as a slave. Garrick tries hard to understand Brenna. He seeks information from her family members. He starts with Cordelia, Brenna’s half sister. Cordelia is quite the shrew, spreading disinformation every which way she goes. I feel that this book could have been a little shorter. There were parts that dragged, and at one point I just didn’t care anymore if the hero and heroine ever resolved their issues. I may look at the next book in the series – Hearts Aflame – the next time I need a book about Vikings for a book challenge.