Blurb:Sometimes, finding your destiny means doing the exact opposite of what The Fates have planned.
Winning the heart of an immortal assassin was a dream come true for Kristia Tostenson. Now she’s knee deep in wedding plans, goddess lessons, and stolen kisses. But her decision to become immortal could end in heartbreak -- not only for Kristia, but for the god who loves her. Because while Ull would do anything to protect his bride, even the God of Winter is powerless against the Norse apocalypse. Ragnarok is coming.
And the gods aren’t even close to ready.
When I came to, my chest heaved with sobs. Cold sweat cloaked my body from my forehead to the backs of my knees. My hair was damp, my pulse was racing, and my fingers gripped the sheets so tightly my knuckles ached. I was in my room at Ýdalir, the one place I had always felt safe. Only now I was absolutely terrified.
I ripped the covers off and wrapped my arms around my legs. My nose twitched at an unfamiliar smell. I pulled the cord on the bedside lamp, and looked around to see what might be burning. There was no smoke in the room; all of the furniture seemed to be intact. But when I glanced down, I saw the hems of my pajamas. They were black, singed from the fire I’d desperately hoped had been part of a dream.
This time things had gone too far. If my smoldering pant legs were any indication, being injured in a vision could have far-reaching worldly consequences. And if Elfie had come that close to killing me . . .
Ull had his rules, but I no longer cared. I jumped out of bed and raced down the hallway. When I reached his door I pounded on the distressed wood. Tears streamed down my face but I didn’t bother to wipe them away. The downpour was too intense; it wouldn’t have done any good anyway.
The door flew open and Ull stood on the other side. He wore a loose pair of grey sweatpants and nothing else. Oh hot bejeebus. There was no way this guy was for real. It just wasn’t humanly possible to look that good.
Oh, right. Ull wasn’t human.
Despite the agony coursing through my awakening consciousness, this was a moment of glory I’d remember forever—the first time I saw Ull’s naked torso. His sweats hung low on his hips, affording me a view of the cut just above the bone.
“Kristia?” Ull rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He took in my matted hair, tear-streaked face, and shaking hands. “Great Odin. What happened?”
He pulled me to him, crushing my face against the muscles of his chest. The knot in my stomach loosened infinitesimally. Just being near Ull gave me peace, but being this near Ull was like taking a sedative. Breathing in his woodsy smell made my panic subside. And when he pressed his hands against me—one to my hair, the other against the small of my back—my gut knew I was safe. Nothing bad could happen to me so long as I was in Ull’s arms. I inhaled again, letting his familiar scent fill me from the inside until my shaking stilled. Then I pressed my lips against his skin. Hard.
“Sweetheart?” he asked again.
“I had another vision and it freaked me out. Can I stay with you?” I didn’t take my lips off his chest as I spoke. I couldn’t. He tasted divine—like spruce and soap and home. There was a very real possibility my mouth might be permanently adhered to his flesh, like a kid who’d tried to lick a frozen railing.
Only this was far less unpleasant.
The Amazon bestselling Upper YA Paranormal Romance series inspired by Norse mythology and featured in USA Today.
What reviewers are saying about The Elsker Saga:
"The characters will leave an imprint on your heart and mind for a long time to come." -Lisa (Bound by Books)
"Bende takes classic bits of Norse mythology and throws in original elements to create her own tasty Nordic blend... I'll definitely be checking out the sequel!" -Bookalicious Reviews
"One of my favorite books of the year." -White Zin Bookends
"Action packed with a heart pounding romance!" -Curse of the Bibliophile
"This book was nearly impossible to put down and I'm dying for the sequel!" -Brittany and Bianca Blab Books (now BiblioBelles)
Tur: An Elsker Saga Novella (Prequel)
AMAZON - BARNES&NOBLE - KOBO
Inga Andersson is the envy of every girl in Asgard. On the surface she has it all -- great friends, a job as Odin’s personal fight choreographer, and a happy ever after with her realm’s hottest assassin. But when evil invades Asgard, her perfect world comes crashing down. Someone is planning to kill off the gods, and Inga’s best friend Ull is first on their list. With the Norse apocalypse a nanosecond away, Inga has to decide how she’ll spend her final moments of freedom. Because from the moment this battle begins, Inga’s happily ever after will be nothing more than a memory.
Some things are worth fighting for.
Elsker: The Elsker Saga Book One
You don't win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way. Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn't exactly what she was expecting. He's an honest to goodness Norse God - an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia's crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms.
Her orderly life just got very messy.
Author Social Media Links:
Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of McVities cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day, pastries will be considered a health food.
Find ST on Twitter @stbende or her blog (http://stbende.blogspot.com). While you’re at it, introduce yourself to @UllMyhr -- when he’s not saving the cosmos from dark elves, he loves meeting new friends. Especially the human kind.
Brittany's Reviews of Elsker and Endre by S.T. Bende (@stbende) ~ Plus Exciting News About the Elsker Series!
In case you haven't heard, the Elsker Saga has a brand new look & will be re-releasing very soon! I'm so very excited about this news and can't wait to get my hands on these NEW gorgeous books! In honor of the release, I'm sharing my reviews of Elsker and Endre from way back when, and some info on what the lovely ST Bende has going on for the release, so you can join in on the celebration!
Elsker, book one in The Elsker Saga, will be available on May 29th!
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Endre, book two in The Elsker Saga, releases July 17th
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My Review of Elsker, Book 1:
Elsker by S.T. Bende
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was fortunate enough to "meet" ST while we were both campaigning for our guys in the NA Crush Tournament. Bianca and I are advocates for Kellan Kyle from Thoughtless and ST, of course, was Team Ull! She's super sweet and was generous enough to get me a copy of Elsker! Reading the post that his advocates wrote up for the tournament had me sold on him and I was really excited to read this one! It did not disappoint one bit!
Sometimes when reading books that have a lot of mythology woven into them, it's easy to get overwhelmed with it. At least for me. This wasn't the case with Elsker. There was just enough to keep my attention and create a really interesting and exciting story, but not so much that I had trouble wrapping my head around it, especially considering that I knew nothing about Norse Mythology going into this novel. Well, unless you count drooling over Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
As far as Ull goes, I loved him. I loved his chivalry, his protective nature, and his romantic side. I especially like his tight sweaters and church waffles (he eats them with jam, and he shares... you'll see). I also loved Kristia. She was real and relatable and extremely brave, the kind of girl I could see myself being friends with. As far as the supporting characters go, they were all wonderful. I was especially fond of Inga, so I'm really excited to start reading the prequel, Tur.
I won't go into too much detail about the plot because I would hate to spoil anything, but I will say that there are quite a few little surprises! There are laugh-out-loud moments and I was pulled right in from the very first page. This book was nearly impossible to put down and I'm dying for the sequel. There isn't a cliffhanger in this one, but it will definitely leave you wanting much, much more. The next book in this series, Endre, is due out in September!
View all my reviews
My Review of Endre, Book 2 :
* * * Spoiler Alert * * *
If you haven't yet read Elsker, this review contains a tiny spoiler or two!
Endre by S.T. Bende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been obsessed with all things Elsker (Who am I kidding? Ull, I've been obsessed with Ull) for a while now, so I was SO excited to finally get this Endre ARC into my grubby little Norse loving hands. I was definitely not disappointed with Elsker's sequel-- I only wish it could have been a bit longer! As with the first book in this series, I was so wrapped up in Ull's and Kristia's world, that I finished this book in the blink of an eye.
As much as I loved Endre, I'm going to have to give it 4 stars instead of 5 because I was left wanting a bit... more. Although we got a lot of action and romance in this book, I would have liked to see more of what was mentioned in the synopsis. Was Kristia "knee deep in wedding plans?" I'm sure she was, but we didn't get to experience too much of that. As for "goddess lessons," those seemed brief as well. Now, as far as "stolen kisses," they were in abundance and Ull's sweet side never disappoints! Both the main and supporting characters were as lovable as ever and Kristia really proved how tough she can be when fighting for those she loves.
Overall, I really enjoyed Endre and found it very difficult to put down. And, while there is no cliff-hanger, we are given a glimpse into some pretty exciting things to come in the lives of these characters. If you're looking for a different take on New Adult that has plenty of swoon-worthy moments, some nail-biting action, and a mythological world you can lose yourself in, this book is for you.
View all my reviews
Have you seen the Elsker book trailer yet? Check it out here!
Join in on the fun on Facebook!
Party Asgard style as Ull, Gunnar, and the rest of the Elsker crew celebrate their official book birthday with the help of some FABULOUS author friends. Laura Howard Starla Huchton Aly Martinez Stacey MostellerJessica L. Brooks JC Emery Pk Hrezo Stephanie Wardrop and more will be on hand to talk about their awesome new releases, and give away some epic prizes. Join us -- the Norse God of Winter commands it. ;)
You can join in on the fun HERE.
About the Author
Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the ELSKER series. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.
You can follow ST Bende on Twitter @stbende, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.