Booooooorrrrring. The hero is beyond depressing and the heroine overly cocky. I just couldn't get too far into this one.
I've enjoyed other Sandra Hill time travel books and decided to read the Viking II series. All 10 books in under 2 weeks.
I gave this book 4 stars.
This is the 10th book in the Viking II series, and it was mostly stuntwoman-now-turned-WEAL Rita and Thorfinn's yougner brother, Steven, butting heads. There were several funny and entertaining moments. Took a few chapters for me to get into it and finish reading it.
When I put this book on my wish list, I was something like #525 in line. Evidently, I'm not the only one who loves Sandra Hill's books... and it was just released in what, November? *sigh* I was browsing through "3 for $4" bundles at a local book store, when to my great surprise, there it was, wrapped in red ribbon, nestled between 2 other books I may not read. Fate, she has a sense of humor.
Which is why Hill is one of my favorite authors - her sense of humor. Her stories are woven pleasantly with it and oft times, it mirrors real life. Dark Viking is the latest in her Viking II series. As with most series in this genre, it's not necessary to read all those written before it, however, there is something special about a mention of a previous character forming an immediate picture in your mind. It's like a group of friends gossiping about one person in particular, with a knowing look passing between two of them... everyone else feels like they're missing something.
In the author's words to her readers, she contemplates the inevitability of a series running it's course. While her characters are interwoven to maintain the series, she does an excellent job of creating unique characteristics for her Vikings & her heroines. However, I tend to agree with her musings of repetition in this case. I found myself having feelings of deja vu as the modern, independent woman is thrust into a primitive society, and forced into some humiliating situation of some sort - one encountered in at least one other book in this series. I thought, "Surely he's not going to make here do that?!" And when he does, "Well, there goes the love story." But no, the heroine forgives him and moves on, just like the other story. While I think any intelligent woman would understand that "when in Rome..." applies to any situation involving another culture, it's a little too much for me to swallow in some cases. Maybe it's just me, but I'd probably be punished to an unspeakable extent for my "unseemly" behavior.
That aside, no one does an ancient Viking better than Sandra Hill. Her heroines are always average people like you and me, although, in this case, in much better physical condition. Since that is an integral part in maintaining the SEALS/WEALS angle of her 2nd Viking series, AND tall, dark & Viking refers to her as "too thin for my tastes", it can be easily forgiven.
I love all of Hill's Viking books but this one may be my favorite.
Steven a Viking lord in the 10th century has been in a dark mood since his brother Thorfinn disappeared and was probably dead. Rita Sawyer, a Navy WEALS trainee in full scuba gear gets dumped in the ocean next to his longboat. They assume she is a sea monster. Hill' s writing is as funny as ever but getting Steven to soften his chauvanistic caveman approach to Rita is enjoyable. She also softens her 21st century women's rights attitude to let the love blossom between them. Good romantic comedy.
Not one of Sandra Hills best. Boring and just plain are we finished yet? I do own all of her Viking series and the last two have left me not wanting more. Maybe her idea of the Viking time-travel has run its course for the SEALS and WEALS. For anyone following the series, this is Thorfinn's brother Steven of Norstead and stunt woman/WEALS recruit Rita Sawyer. Joy and Brandir from Viking Heat make an appearence. There was no zing! no real chemistry here...like cheerios left in the milk too long...Dissapointing.