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Friday, August 14, 2009

The Reluctant Viking by Sandra Hill

Series: Viking I - Book One

Genre: Historical Romance

Pages: 448

Copyright: 1994


Ruby Jordan, a modern business woman, needs a miracle to save her longtime marriage. But she didn't expect to travel back in time to medieval Britain as a cure for her broken life.
Thork Haraldsson is a tenth century Jomsviking warrior embittered by his harsh life. What he doesn't need is a pesky woman claiming to be his wife... one thousand years in the future.
Thork was a reluctant Viking.
Ruby was determined to melt his reluctant heart.
Was it a dream?
Or did Ruby's dream come true?

Ruby Jordan is a successful married woman who owns a lingerie business, with two grown sons and a marriage of twenty years, she sees her life fall apart the day her husband says he's leaving her. They still love each other, there's no other woman, but their relationship just isn't working, she spends more time dealing with her career than she does with him and enough is enough. After seeing Jack walk out from her life, Ruby feels overwhelmed and sitting down at his desk, she closes her eyes and starts listening to one of his self motivational tapes, the ones she always made fun of.

When she wakes up, she isn't home anymore, actually she's not even sure where she is, it must all be a dream as she finds herself aboard a ship with strange attired people who speak a different language, the problem is, she seems to understand them and she even recognizes one of them, Jack, her husband... Or is it? He looks a little different, blond long hair, athletic tanned body and a pierced ear, and he insists his name is Thork and he was never married.

This is where Sandra Hill's story begins, Ruby has somehow jumped back in time to the tenth century and finds herself younger, thinner and with a second chance to make things right with her husband or at least, with someone who looks a lot like him. When starting this series you have to check your disbelief at the door, don't try to look for anachronisms or you won't enjoy yourself, this story is all about having fun. We accompany Ruby in her quest to find a way to get back to her own period and at the same time understand why her marriage didn't work, while falling in love all over again with someone who is so familiar and at the same time a complete stranger.

The author managed to create a story both serious and funny, Ruby never expected to find enlightenment for her own predicament with women who lived to obey their husbands and work at home, but they do have a strange wisdom, at the same time she teaches them a couple of things that create an uproar among the men, they talk pregnancies, condoms and orgasms, making for some of the funniest scenes in the book. I would have given the book a higher rating if not for Ruby, she could be annoying at times, enough with the husband and future talk, I think she should have zipped up and tried to blend in and not insist that she was Thork's wife all the time, it gets old fast. But apart from that she was a likeable character that made for a good story and a couple of fun hours, along with two of my favourite secondary characters, Olaf and Gydda, Thork wasn't a bad hero but the title couldn't be more accurate, he's too reluctant for a hot blooded Viking, I was expecting a lot more forcing on his side.

A couple of friends recommended this author when we were discussing time-travelling books, and I'm glad they did as I'll be looking for the rest of the series when I'm in need of a fun light read!

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