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To Sleep With Reindeer

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Norwegian Kirsten Brun, a Nazi resister, has one mission: destroy the installation that produces the chemicals Germany needs for an atomic weapon. Unfortunately, her first attempt fails, leaving her injured and unconscious in the Arctic snow. The Indigenous Sami people have tried to remain outside the conflict, but when Marrit Ragnar and the reindeer she herds discover Kris Norwegian Kirsten Brun, a Nazi resister, has one mission: destroy the installation that produces the chemicals Germany needs for an atomic weapon. Unfortunately, her first attempt fails, leaving her injured and unconscious in the Arctic snow. The Indigenous Sami people have tried to remain outside the conflict, but when Marrit Ragnar and the reindeer she herds discover Kristen and save her life, joining the battle is inevitable. A misfit in her own culture, Marrit participates in the second destruction attempt in order to avenge the killing of her family. Kirsten’s and Marrit’s feelings for each other grow deeper, but each attack they join is costly in blood and conscience and nearly tears them apart. Should they carry on with the carnage for a questionable cause, or retreat north with the gentle reindeer?


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Norwegian Kirsten Brun, a Nazi resister, has one mission: destroy the installation that produces the chemicals Germany needs for an atomic weapon. Unfortunately, her first attempt fails, leaving her injured and unconscious in the Arctic snow. The Indigenous Sami people have tried to remain outside the conflict, but when Marrit Ragnar and the reindeer she herds discover Kris Norwegian Kirsten Brun, a Nazi resister, has one mission: destroy the installation that produces the chemicals Germany needs for an atomic weapon. Unfortunately, her first attempt fails, leaving her injured and unconscious in the Arctic snow. The Indigenous Sami people have tried to remain outside the conflict, but when Marrit Ragnar and the reindeer she herds discover Kristen and save her life, joining the battle is inevitable. A misfit in her own culture, Marrit participates in the second destruction attempt in order to avenge the killing of her family. Kirsten’s and Marrit’s feelings for each other grow deeper, but each attack they join is costly in blood and conscience and nearly tears them apart. Should they carry on with the carnage for a questionable cause, or retreat north with the gentle reindeer?

42 review for To Sleep With Reindeer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    This was another high quality historical-fiction book by Saracen. I’m actually pretty late to the Saracen party, only having read her last three new releases, but her good books have helped her to become an auto read author for me. I use to worry that because she wrote about tough subjects, like war, that her books might be too depressing for me. While yes there are some sad parts, but mostly her books are filled with women taking action, bits of hope, and even a little romance. I think my favori This was another high quality historical-fiction book by Saracen. I’m actually pretty late to the Saracen party, only having read her last three new releases, but her good books have helped her to become an auto read author for me. I use to worry that because she wrote about tough subjects, like war, that her books might be too depressing for me. While yes there are some sad parts, but mostly her books are filled with women taking action, bits of hope, and even a little romance. I think my favorite part of this book was learning about the Sami. I knew before that they were reindeer herders, but that is where my knowledge ended. Saracen writes so well that you learn new things while still reading a very entertaining story. I don’t feel like Saracen gets preachy or talks down to a reader, instead she is able to tell a great story while us readers learn bits of history we might not have ever learned. There is a romance in this book but it is on the lighter side. In fact it started out very awkward. Once character tells the other that she wants to make love to her. What makes it weird is that it was almost out of the blue. I could tell that my cheeks heated in a blush since I was in slight embarrassment for the character that made the announcement. At the time I was not sensing much chemistry between them, besides a new friendship, so it felt out of place. Once the story continued the romance did feel better. I started to picture them as a couple and not just friends. There are some lightly explicit sex scenes that fade to black. And while the romance got deeper, overall it still stayed on the lighter side compared to everything else that was going on. My one main complaint is that I felt that the book got a little long in the end. This is the second book in a row that I’ve read that started to fizzle on me and slow down a bit. I do understand that since the war dragged out that it made sense that this dragged out a bit too since it was following real events. I just wanted the main characters to go off with the reindeer and forget everything else but I didn’t get my wish. Overall this was a really good book that I would recommend to any historic-fiction fans. There are some sad spots since this is about war, but the overall book is exciting with a lot of good action and of course reindeer. Saracen’s last few books have been about the war, it will be really interesting to see what she will write about next. Whatever it is I will be reading it. A copy was given to me for a honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    An enjoyable historical fiction romance set during World War II. It's centred around the Nazi occupation in Norway, which is not something I've read a lot about. Kirsten was a university chemistry student who fled to Britain and is now working with British intelligence with Norwegian resistance fighters. When the operation she's involved in crashes and her teammates killed or captured by Germans, she was heavily injured but able to escape. Marrit was a half-Sami medical student who had to stop s An enjoyable historical fiction romance set during World War II. It's centred around the Nazi occupation in Norway, which is not something I've read a lot about. Kirsten was a university chemistry student who fled to Britain and is now working with British intelligence with Norwegian resistance fighters. When the operation she's involved in crashes and her teammates killed or captured by Germans, she was heavily injured but able to escape. Marrit was a half-Sami medical student who had to stop studies because of Nazi racial policy. She's gone back to being a reindeer herder and she found Kirsten and nursed her back to health. Living with Marrit and her family, Kirsten learns to appreciate the Sami culture and way of life. Romance then blossoms, albeit awkwardly and tentatively at first. The romance though, is not the main focus of this book. Primarily, it shows us what it's like in Norway during the Nazi occupation. I imagine that other than in Norway, not a lot of history books talk about this place and period in history. It's fascinating also to explore Sami culture and beliefs. We see how they have adapted to living in the Arctic. Unfortunately, as with a lot of indigenous people, they suffer from discrimination and prejudice, then and now. For someone who is a history buff, especially of the world wars, this book is a wonderful, informative read. **Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!**

  3. 4 out of 5

    R

    I love historical fiction and this book did not disappoint. When the Germans invaded Norway both women’s academic lives were disrupted. Maarit was studying to become a doctor. However, since she was half Norwegian and half Sami, bigotry reared its ugly head and Maarit no longer felt safe or welcomed there. Since the war took Maarit’s parents and brother, she stayed with her Sami grandparents and helped with the reindeer herding. Kirsten was studying to become a chemist, but after her university I love historical fiction and this book did not disappoint. When the Germans invaded Norway both women’s academic lives were disrupted. Maarit was studying to become a doctor. However, since she was half Norwegian and half Sami, bigotry reared its ugly head and Maarit no longer felt safe or welcomed there. Since the war took Maarit’s parents and brother, she stayed with her Sami grandparents and helped with the reindeer herding. Kirsten was studying to become a chemist, but after her university was closed due to riots against the Nazi occupation, she looked to help in the war effort. Her opportunity came when the British wanted to destroy an important hydroelectric plant in Norway that was now under Germany’s control. Kirsten volunteered to join this clandestine group since she was familiar with the plant’s layout. When their glider crashed, Kirsten managed to hide from the Germans while the few remaining men of this British unit were captured. Kirsten was eventually found along the reindeer migration route. She was then nursed back to health by Maarit and shown the Sami way of life including reindeer herding. When Kirsten felt healthy enough to travel she needed to radio London of her status and that of the failed mission. Maarit promised to guide her to Rjukan with the hope of finding a radio and other Norwegian resistance members. From that point on, the women banded together to help each other, and by whatever means possible, fight the Germans. There was many diverse and interesting characters. I loved learning about the Sami people and the reindeer herding. Once again, the author took you through very descriptive and detailed steps of their way of life. But I also found myself researching this to learn even more. The romance between Maarit and Kirsten took a back seat to the war story. Even though Maarit was initially reluctant to get involved in the war, she found Kirsten’s courage and perseverance contagious. There were some sweet scenes between them as they tried to forget, for a few precious moments, the war surrounding them and just focus on each other. Throughout the story, the characters did not really show deep emotions. Initially, I was taken aback by this. But I came to realize that they had to maintain a public façade of stoicism to mask the heartbreaking horrors of war. This was 1942-45 and they were women in a man’s world. They had to maintain a tough exterior. Only after everything was said and done did they allow their emotions to freely flow. This was the second book I read by this author. The other book I read, Berlin Hungers, was a very captivating read. This one was just as captivating and intense. With every mission, there was the possibility of death or discovery. The author made these scenes as real as possible. Her descriptive writing placed you in the characters’ mindset whether escaping in a coffin like box or witnessing the death of innocents. Orders were followed, but conscious level questioning was also acknowledged but unfortunately not implemented. This was a well written and well researched historical fiction. At the end of the book, the author does include a postscript to further explain some terms used in the story. An ARC was given for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    Now this is my kind of story! I’ve always loved a good historical romance. I’ve also always been interested in the history of World War II, probably because so many of my family were a part of the war effort including my father and my aunt. To Sleep with Reindeer by Justine Saracen puts the reader right in the middle of the action, mostly in Norway during the German occupation there. This book tells a fictional account of the Norwegian people’s plight under the Germans from 1942 until the end of Now this is my kind of story! I’ve always loved a good historical romance. I’ve also always been interested in the history of World War II, probably because so many of my family were a part of the war effort including my father and my aunt. To Sleep with Reindeer by Justine Saracen puts the reader right in the middle of the action, mostly in Norway during the German occupation there. This book tells a fictional account of the Norwegian people’s plight under the Germans from 1942 until the end of the war. It also tells about the struggles of the resistance in this country through the eyes of two women who meet when one, Kirsten Brun, a Nazi resister is saved by an Indigenous Sami, Marrit Ragnar and the reindeer she and her family are herding. The two team up to help the resistance at the risk of their lives and the lives of those they love. This is a great adventure story, especially since a lot of the tale is based at least in part on true events. The characters, while mostly fictional, fit the tale perfectly. The setting is amazing, and the author did an exceptional job describing the extremely cold, harsh, but beautiful land. Even living in Northern Ontario, the thought of the extreme cold these folks lived and worked in makes me shiver. (In fact, I literally did that since I read a good bit of this novel during a power failure on a day when the temperature barely made it above freezing and the wind chill was way below that.) The story is beautiful, exciting, sad, and even romantic. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to all who love historical fiction/romance with women who love women as main characters. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review. Rainbow Reflections: http://rainbowreflections.home.blog/

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn McBride

    This is not the type of book I normally read, but I was ready for something different. A literary palette-cleanser, if you will. I was sucked in by the second line, and by the end of the first paragraph, I knew I wasn't going to put this down willingly. This book is the first thing I've ever read by Justine Saracen. What a great introduction to a wonderfully skilled author! A setting we don't see very often in lesfic, a time that we're seeing more of, and unique characters that I could almost hear This is not the type of book I normally read, but I was ready for something different. A literary palette-cleanser, if you will. I was sucked in by the second line, and by the end of the first paragraph, I knew I wasn't going to put this down willingly. This book is the first thing I've ever read by Justine Saracen. What a great introduction to a wonderfully skilled author! A setting we don't see very often in lesfic, a time that we're seeing more of, and unique characters that I could almost hear breathing in the cold. (Although, I do admit to envisioning Peggy Carter in place of Kirsten Brun). The action scenes were as dramatic as I expected, and I was really rooting for most of the characters, including the little white reindeer calf. The writing was so skillful that I had a hard time fighting off an asthmatic claustrophobia attack while Kirsten & company crawled through an access tube. Usually, written words don't impact me quite that badly. But it was hard not to get emotionally involved. I cheered, I cried, I winced when it came time to round up the reindeer (read it and you'll see why), and I gnashed my teeth the longer the war-between-the-pages went on. But in the end, this is a gut-wrenching, hopeful novel set in a unique and challenging environment. Every word is a gem!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aleana Harris

    Kristen is resistor Nazi she doesn’t believe what going on shouldn’t be happening she takes a stand by trying to destroy the chemicals that the Nazi needs to make atomic weapons. When she fails at the attempt to destroy it she winds up getting hurt and falling unconscious in the snow. Marrit and her reindeers stumble upon Kristen and save her life. Marrit and Sami people tries remain outside the conflict but they inevitable get involved. When they team up to do another attack and with each attac Kristen is resistor Nazi she doesn’t believe what going on shouldn’t be happening she takes a stand by trying to destroy the chemicals that the Nazi needs to make atomic weapons. When she fails at the attempt to destroy it she winds up getting hurt and falling unconscious in the snow. Marrit and her reindeers stumble upon Kristen and save her life. Marrit and Sami people tries remain outside the conflict but they inevitable get involved. When they team up to do another attack and with each attack they starts to wonder if what their doing is working because all it’s doing is ending in blood. This was a good read I like the reindeers. Kristen and Marrit chemistry flow easily as they debate what their doing is helping or causing more conflicts or if there’s a better way. The author did a great job researching what was going on in Germany. I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and voluntarily leaving my review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Kirsten Bruan, once a chemistry student at university, now finds herself working for Britain with the Norwegian resistance to the Nazi occupation during WWII. A failed mission leaves her injured and alone in the wilderness in Norway. She is found by Marrit, born to a Sami mother and Norwegian father, and her family's reindeer herd. Kirsten plans only to heal and continue on her mission, but Marrit gets swept into her plans. The two women struggle with their feelings for each other, their loyalty Kirsten Bruan, once a chemistry student at university, now finds herself working for Britain with the Norwegian resistance to the Nazi occupation during WWII. A failed mission leaves her injured and alone in the wilderness in Norway. She is found by Marrit, born to a Sami mother and Norwegian father, and her family's reindeer herd. Kirsten plans only to heal and continue on her mission, but Marrit gets swept into her plans. The two women struggle with their feelings for each other, their loyalty to their family, and the grey line of right and wrong, as they fight for the freedom of their country and their people. Justine Saracen writes the most excellent historical fiction. I love learning about aspects of history I've never heard of before with the benefit of romance in times of turmoil. The author really painted such a vivid picture of this time in Norway with the people working for the resistance and the Sami people and the reindeer. Oh, and the cold! A lot happens in this book but the pacing is really well done - really picking up during the action scenes but slowing down at points for Marrit and Kirsten to connect. This book spans many years but the tension and chemistry between the two women is very strong and is a strong link through the whole book. In spite of everything going on the little moments they got together were all the more special. I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kennedy

    I have read a couple of Saracen's books and heard her speak about why she writes what she writes and I have to say, her comments encourage me to continue to follow her and read what she writes. Saracen does a wonderful job laying out the scene by educating the reader about what they will read and why it is important. Detail is provided but not so much that it drags the story down. Marrit Ragnar, herder of reindeer, sadden with the unfortunate death of her family. Kristen Brun, Nazi resister, look I have read a couple of Saracen's books and heard her speak about why she writes what she writes and I have to say, her comments encourage me to continue to follow her and read what she writes. Saracen does a wonderful job laying out the scene by educating the reader about what they will read and why it is important. Detail is provided but not so much that it drags the story down. Marrit Ragnar, herder of reindeer, sadden with the unfortunate death of her family. Kristen Brun, Nazi resister, looking to help any way she can, even if it means repeatedly putting her life in danger. As the war rages on, Marrit and Kristen work together to fight for their country. The women also find courage and strength in each other as well as a growing fondness for each other. This read is also a reminder that war has expected and unexpected consequences. I wish that Marrit and Kristen had more time together. ARC provided by Bold Strokes Books, Inc. via NetGalley

  9. 4 out of 5

    isa Simonet

    I'm not a fan of historical romances, but there I was amazed. This is my first reading of a book by Justine Saracen, and I can't wait to read more. The story is set during World War II, and the Nazi occupation. Being an European citizen, we were severely affected by this war, which we, moreover, studied at school. The story was very educational, as to the history, habits and customs of the indigenous population, well researched and beautifully written. I'm not a fan of historical romances, but there I was amazed. This is my first reading of a book by Justine Saracen, and I can't wait to read more. The story is set during World War II, and the Nazi occupation. Being an European citizen, we were severely affected by this war, which we, moreover, studied at school. The story was very educational, as to the history, habits and customs of the indigenous population, well researched and beautifully written.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristine~ReadALittleAndWineAboutIt

    I was in the biggest book slump before I began this story. I hummed and I hawed about picking it up as everything was disappointing me and I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for another unrealistic historical love story. By gosh darn golly! I am so happy I decided to give it a try. This book truly surprised me. The writing style was exactly what I needed. It flowed well and was alluring. It was the perfect balance of descriptions and storyline. The action was great, and I was so fascinated with the I was in the biggest book slump before I began this story. I hummed and I hawed about picking it up as everything was disappointing me and I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for another unrealistic historical love story. By gosh darn golly! I am so happy I decided to give it a try. This book truly surprised me. The writing style was exactly what I needed. It flowed well and was alluring. It was the perfect balance of descriptions and storyline. The action was great, and I was so fascinated with the historical information. As noted by the author, it wasn’t completely accurate, but I felt like the fictional aspects really made this story shine. The story telling itself had me looking up the events described and the landscapes to go with it. I was so interested in it. The romance was a nice slow burn and felt natural. I loved learning about the Sami people and their cultures. I did find myself confused at times with the secondary characters. Their names were all so similar. We were reminded that we’d met them in the past at some point, but besides the Sami characters there was nothing memorable to keep track of who was who, so I stopped trying. I also found the end a little anticlimactic after all the exciting resistance shenanigans. Other that that, this was a solid read for me. It tugged on my heartstrings. It made me anxious and antsy as I impatiently waited to find out what was going to happen. It was great. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a chance to read this story. All thoughts are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    S.S

    As a fan of Justine's books I was really looking forward to this book and read it in a day. I love that this author takes historical events and then shows them to you through the eyes of citizens forced to live through them. This book is no exception and I now feel like I know a little bit about WWII from the perspective of the Norwegian people's subjected to German invasion and the extraordinary indigenous culture of the region. In this book we meet a Sami family who save and look after a Norweg As a fan of Justine's books I was really looking forward to this book and read it in a day. I love that this author takes historical events and then shows them to you through the eyes of citizens forced to live through them. This book is no exception and I now feel like I know a little bit about WWII from the perspective of the Norwegian people's subjected to German invasion and the extraordinary indigenous culture of the region. In this book we meet a Sami family who save and look after a Norwegian freedom fighter injured when a plan goes spectacularly wrong and she is the only survivor of her group. The two MCs then go on to play crucial roles as saboteurs against the Germans. The book is filled with tension and intrigue as well as questions about when does the greater good really out way harming the innocent. This was a grim time for Norwegians and the author reflects that in her novel. This is a thought provoking novel that I enjoyed very much. My only minor criticism there are some continuity issues with time frames for minor character appearances seeming out of alignment at times.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Not A Historical Fiction fan... However, Wow!! I wonderful change from my regular books. This was my introduction To Justine Saracen and oh boy! she didn't disappoint. A beautiful crafted, well written historical fiction. The main character Kirsten, the chemist was found badly wounded after a fail mission by Marrit a medical student and Reindeer herder. Throughout the story the bond and chemistry between both women was very strong. It was nice to see two women trying to fight for change in that e Not A Historical Fiction fan... However, Wow!! I wonderful change from my regular books. This was my introduction To Justine Saracen and oh boy! she didn't disappoint. A beautiful crafted, well written historical fiction. The main character Kirsten, the chemist was found badly wounded after a fail mission by Marrit a medical student and Reindeer herder. Throughout the story the bond and chemistry between both women was very strong. It was nice to see two women trying to fight for change in that era . The story was also very educational and well researched. A learning curve... I strongly recommend. I will definitely be reading more of Justine books. I received an ARC for my honest opinion. Thank you NetGalley, Bold Stroke Books and Justine Saracen, To Sleep With Reindeer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Oh. just wow, this was a wonderful, great and very well written historical fiction book. set during World War II - so I really, really had to read this one and it was great. I never learned something about Norway under the Nazi Regime, so this book was not only entertaining, it teached me something new - and this is another aspect I really liked about this book. I also liked to learn new things about the Sami culture and how they live in the arctic cold.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Langlois

    A great story of love and resistance!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill Little

  16. 5 out of 5

    Arvindry

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lotje

  18. 4 out of 5

    Endlesscribbles

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura Ladd

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tiff

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura Innes

  24. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  25. 4 out of 5

    AnnMaree Of Oz

  26. 4 out of 5

    M

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jude in the Stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aamina

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

  30. 5 out of 5

    crove

  31. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Mulligan

  32. 4 out of 5

    Decoo

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  34. 5 out of 5

    A. Morgan

  35. 4 out of 5

    Indi

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jeh

  37. 4 out of 5

    Existenz

  38. 4 out of 5

    Dee

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sylver Line

  40. 4 out of 5

    Penelope

  41. 5 out of 5

    KARINA

  42. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

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