*BOOK BLITZ* – Valkyrie by Kitty Thomas

Valkyrie by: Kitty Thomas

Dark-ish Standalone/Norse Gods 

Tropes: enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, fated mates, strong heroine, growly alpha male, shifters, berserkers, witches, dark elements



On the day I met the witch, she prophesied my death.

She said it was fate and couldn’t be changed.

I’ve gathered my warriors. I’ve laid my traps. I’ve moved my pieces across the board.

She is the piece that unlocks everything, I know she is.

And she’s wrong. Everything can be changed.


A powerful god seeks to destroy my people unless I go live with him.

“You don’t have to marry him. You don’t even have to sleep with him. He just needs a witch.”

I’ve been told this multiple times, but I don’t trust this man.

He’s keeping something very important from me… and he’s such a charmer.

I may allow him into my bed, but I can never let him into my heart.

NOTE: This is a standalone. 


Valkyrie (c) Copyright 2022 by Kitty Thomas. All rights reserved. Excerpt used with permission of the author.

“I want to talk about the mark,” I say, skimming right past all of that. If he thinks he can distract me or pacify me with ice cream and cherries like a small child, he’s crazy.

“We don’t need to talk about it. It doesn’t concern you,” Odin says.

My spoon makes a loud clanking sound against the bowl. “Excuse me, but a glowing magical handprint on my throat one hundred percent does concern me.”

“No it doesn’t. You don’t have to worry about it. It’ll go away on its own.”

“I thought you said it couldn’t be undone and that it’s beyond you,” I say, mocking his overly serious tone of only moments ago.

“It can’t be undone and it is beyond me. I have no control over that mark, but I do know it will fade on its own as long as no further steps are taken.”

“But what does it mean? And steps for what?” He’s not going to slither off the hook that easily.

“I have control of the berserker. You don’t have to worry.”

“The berserker? Is that the name of that thing I saw you shift into?”

He levels me with a hard, serious look. “You haven’t met the berserker.”

“Oh Odin, teach me to be scary like you,” I singsong.

“Little girl, you have no idea the fire you play with.”

“I am fire.”

He considers me for a moment and nods. “I think that’s a fair description. You’re also a valkyrie. And it’s clear you didn’t know that before today.”

“What’s a valkyrie? Or does that not concern me, either?”

He just stares at me for a long time. Only this time it’s not lust, it’s a power move. I bet all his little underlings look away. I bet he thinks I’m about to look away. I don’t. I just hold his gaze.

“Can you tell me the rules? Is blinking allowed or do I lose if I blink?”

“You are the most infuriating…”

“I don’t have to be here. You could have chosen to leave the Vanir alone. I don’t even know why I’m here. What do you need me for, Odin? Besides the obvious.”

The one thing I’ve been able to ascertain that he wants from me is the same thing every man wants from me, and Odin hasn’t disguised his desire to have me in his bed.

He leans closer, speaking each word slowly, clearly, and precisely as if I need this all spelled out again. “You signed a contract… with your blood… and if you think I’m letting you out of it or that you can annoy me to death…”

“I may have to stay in Asgard with you, but I don’t have to stay at this table. And since dinner is over and you seem to have no intention of telling me anything worth hearing, I’ll take my leave.”

I stand and turn to go, but his hand wraps around my wrist, stopping me. Just this simple touch sends a harsh bolt of desire spiraling through me.

His voice is low and calm when he speaks. “The mark is a partial mating claim. My berserker thinks you’re his fated mate.”

I whirl back around at this news. “I’m sorry… what? Oh, no, absolutely not… I am not going to be mated to… that thing… or to you for that matter.”

“That’s right. You’re not. I have control of the berserker. I don’t know how long it will take for the mark to fade but it will fade if the mating remains incomplete. I’ve never marked anyone, but with most berserkers it’s two or three weeks.”

I realize he’s still holding my wrist, his thumb softly stroking the back of my hand.

“Why does the berserker think I’m his mate?”

“Because you’re a valkyrie.”

“I’m not going to ask you again what a valkyrie is.” I’m tired of his childish games.

He sighs. “Valkyries work for me. They collect the bravest fallen warriors in the human world for an army I’m building.”

“The army the Vanir fought?”

“There were a few berserkers in that fight, but no, it’s a different army, for a different purpose.”

He’s still stroking the back of my hand. I’m not even sure if he realizes he’s doing it. But I can think of nothing else.

“I don’t work for you,” I say.

“Oh really? You signed a contract… in blood…”

He seems prepared to pull this speech out at my every protest. “I meant, in my capacity as a valkyrie… I don’t exist to serve you.” I don’t even know that I believe his valkyrie line. And it does sound like a line, probably just more of his seduction tactics.

He chuckles. “I’ve never met a valkyrie that was also a goddess. Maybe you’re supposed to lead the valkyries, the way I command the berserkers.”

“I think you should let go of me, now,” I say, holding his gaze.

He jerks his hand away as if burned. His shocked expression tells me he didn’t even realize he was stroking me like that for so long.

“Sure, you’ve got control of the berserker. No need to worry.”


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KITTY THOMAS writes dark stories that play with power and have unconventional HEAs. She began publishing in early 2010 with her bestselling COMFORT FOOD and is considered one of the original authors of the dark romance subgenre.

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Unleashed by Kerrigan Byrne

UNLEASHED - eCover-001Unleashed by Kerrigan Byrne

Sensual Berserker Read

Kerrigan Byrne has a great ability to weave romantic tales with Celtic and Norse mythology. Unleashed is a collection of three novellas set in medieval Scotland, comprising Unspoken, Unwilling and Unwanted. The novellas feature alpha berserkers and their different paths to finding their mates. Although they can be read alone, they are interconnected and I certainly enjoyed reading them together. They warmed me up during the cold winter nights, being a very hot read, containing plenty of passion and drama!

In Unspoken Evelyn Woodhouse, who works in a Scottish inn, meets berserker Roderick Maclaughlan on the eve of a great battle between the Stewart and Donald Clans. Evelyn possesses ‘the sight’ and has foreseen Roderick’s death in the coming skirmish. Roderick, whilst defending her from the lecherous advances of Angus Mackay and his men invites her into his room at the inn, where they both succumb to their mutual attraction and spend a night of scorching hot berserker sex! During this marathon Roderick’s berserker, whom Roderick refers to as his ‘beast’ is tamed by Evelyn and, unbeknown to her, claims her as his mate. In the morning Roderick, who is mute due to a curse, leaves for battle. He is intent on resolving his relationship with Evelyn after the fight. Will Evelyn warn him of his impending demise in an attempt to prevent it? She has never been able to avert anyone’s fate before. What happens during the bloodletting determines if they have a future together or not.

In Unwilling Connor Mclaughlan, Roderick’s brother, is tasked by Rory Mackay to kill his own brother, Angus the Younger, for his evil sins. Angus is betrothed to Lindsay Stewart, the Regent’s niece. En route to her betrothed, Lindsay’s entourage is attacked by Connor in his berserker form. Normally nothing can stop a berserker when he is in full battle rage from killing all in his path. However, once Connor’s berserker spies Lindsay he marks her as his mate. Connor is stunned that his berserker has claimed a mate as he does not want one. However, he has no choice but to abduct her and take her back to his ancestral home, for once a berserker has claimed a mate no other will do. Lindsay learns that Connor cannot force her to marry him and that she must accept him first. What follows next is an amusing but passionate tale of how a lovesick berserker tries to woo a fiery independent minded woman, who vows to resist his charms. This leads to some very hot and unusual lovemaking scenes! There is also the small matter of what Angus the Younger will do when he realises that his betrothed has been abducted.

In Unwanted Finn, a berserker from the Northlands has come to the Highlands to prove his loyalty to the temple of Freya, tasked with assassinating Connor and Roderick McLaughlan. Finn comes across a baby abandoned in the snow and rescues it from a wolf attack. He takes the baby to the village of Strathlachlan, and he is directed to Rhona McEwan, a wet nurse, who has lost her own baby. Finn intended to leave the baby and continue on his way. However, he cannot leave and both man and berserker become fascinated with Rhona. After defending her from the local woodcutter who demands her favours as payment for his wood, Finn offers her gold if she will let him do what he wants with her for one night! What follows is an erotic love fest where it becomes clear to Rhona that Finn is no mortal man! Finn’s berserker aches to mark her as his mate, but Finn resists, being uncertain of his future. The following morning, resigned to his fate of certain death against the powerful Mclaughlan brothers, Finn takes Rhona to their abode, Lachlan castle, where Rhona has been offered employment. Here  he encounters the McLaughlans and we find out who will be victorious and whether or not Finn and Rhona will ever be mated and have a HEA.

All three heroes are striking men and even more impressive in their berserker form. Berserkers are blessed by the ancient Norse gods and filled with the power of Freya, the goddess of battle, so that their beast rises at the sight of blood. The author describes their superhuman powers which prove useful in battle, where they annihilate all within their sight. I liked the fact that despite the strength of these supernatural beings it is only a berserker’s fated mate who can tame the beast and the final decision on whether to mate or not rested with the women! All three couples also have very distinct personalities and back stories which makes each of the novellas stand out from one another in terms of the romance and evolving plot. They had all faced adversity in their lives and had strived to overcome it. Also the couples were drawn to each other as if by fate and I therefore found the immediate attraction between them believable. My favourite couple was that of Rhona and Finn in Unwanted, as both their trials in life had been particularly grim. The evolving romance between them was also very sweet as both felt unworthy of the other and were so deserving of love!

Kerrigan Byrne’s vivid writing style immediately drew me in to the world she painted. All the characters came alive for me and the love scenes were hot and playful at times and boy did those men have stamina! I particularly liked her descriptions of them in berserker form, not only in their battle rage but also when faced with their fated mates. I would definitely like to see more authors feature berserkers in their novels.

If you are looking for in depth historical narrative to accompany your paranormal romance, you may wish to look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for an original and entertaining sensual read for adults, containing reference to myth and magic then you will enjoy this trilogy. I shall definitely be reading the author’s next book, Released, an excerpt from which is given at the end of Unleashed and features a Banshee. As the trilogy Unleashed is sensual in content I recommend it for readers aged 18 and above.

Author’s website http://www.kerriganbyrne.com/

Cover art by kind permission of artist Kelli Ann Morgan http://www.inspirecreativeservices.com/default.htm