"A Touchingly Funny Time Travel Romance"
Lydia Denton is madly in love with her husband Dave a Navy
SEAL based in Coranodo, California. Each mission has taken
its toll on both of them. It shows in the deep groves in
Dave's face. Killing, no matter how justified, did that to a
man. Lydia lives in fear that each mission might be the one
to take him away from her forever. She greets him with
passion when he arrives home on leave, and once again brings
up her desire for a child. Dave however, knows of the danger
of terrorist retaliation that might result from any one of
his missions and does not want to be responsible for putting
their child in the line of fire. Unfortunately Dave's next
mission is his last. He'd been among the victims of an
explosion. Still as Lydia soon discovers, a part of him
lives on, despite all odds she finds herself pregnant after all.
Bagdad, four years later (more or less)......
Medieval Viking Thorfinn Haraldsson's faithless wife Luta
had abandoned him four years ago taking his infant son
Miklof with her and her lover. Though their ship had
capsized and they were all presumed drowned, Thorfinn had
not given up hope that his son had somehow survived. There
had been recent reports of a woman and child that resembled
his family in the Arab lands and he had no choice but to
investigate. Each lead had turned out to be false and
Thorfinn had finally accepted the heartbreaking truth and
decided to return home to the Norselands. Unfortunately
before he is able to return to his boat he is accosted by
six irate Arabs, brothers of the man whose wife Finn had
examined to determine whether or not she was Luta. Arab men
apparently took exception to having their wives faces being
looked upon by other men. Though Finn is a warrior through and
through there is no way he could dispatch so many.
Navy Seals on a mission to take out a group of tangos happen
on Thorfinn in the midst of battling who they believe are
their marks with .... a broadsword! Finn is sadly out numbered
and the men covertly begin to move in on all sides to aid him.
With the enemy dispatched, the men need to make a quick
escape taking Thorfinn with them. Only their mode of
transportation gives him pause. No way is he boarding that
large bird. The next thing he knows he is in the belly of
the beast (a helicopter) winging his way to where God only
Fortunately his cousin Torolf Magnusson is among the 21st
century Seals who affected his rescue. While he tries to get
his cousin acclimated to a new place in time, Finn drives
his female relatives crazy with his uncouth behavior. Finn
decides he is not fit for anything besides battle and
Torolf, known as Max among the Seals enlists their help to
prepare his cousin for the rigorous training and tests. He
also introduces him to the Wet and Wild, a bar where Seals
and Weals let of steam and the singles hooked up with each
Finn isn't averse to "hooking up" painful as it sounded, as
long as nothing permanent was expected. He was certain that
God had a plan in bringing him to this place. Mayhap his son
had time traveled as well. This doesn't seem so far fetched
when Lydia Denton enters the bar along with several of his
female relations. There's something familiar about her. Her
coloring is wrong and Luta never had such large breasts but
still the resemblance was uncanny. Was this why she was
staring at him?
Finn has a similar build and the exact same unusual gray
eyes that both David and her son Michael had. All these
years Lydia had never stopped hoping that a mistake had been
made, that her husband was merely a prisoner and not dead.
Was it really him? The hair was all wrong but it had been
five years. Not waiting to ask questions she throws herself
into Thorfinn's arms and kisses him madly.
Next thing anyone knows she's taken him home and what
happens next is inevitable. But when Finn discovers
that Lydia has a four year old son named Michael who is
currently visiting his grandparents in Minnesota he wants to
see pictures. Oh my, the boy has his unique gray eyes and
the same dark hair as his beloved Miklof. He insists he must
see the boy and determine for himself whether the child is
his long lost son, and he isn't going to take no for an answer.
It isn't long before Lydia is head over heels in love with
Finn for his own self, but when she discovers that he's
planning to sign up for Seals it's a deal breaker. Never
would she put herself in that situation ever again Loving
and losing that way had simply been too painful. But she
hadn't realized how painful life without Finn would be.
A misunderstanding keeps him away but he insists he will
still accompany her to Minnesota to see "his" son. Meanwhile
an Iraqi national who had lost his own spouse and child as
collateral damage in the explosion that had also killed
Dave, blames the Seal for their deaths and formulates an
eye for an eye revenge. When Finn realizes the two people he
cares most for are in danger, he accompanied by all his male
relatives and most of Dave's teammates rush to the rescue.
The FBI is loving that.... NOT!
Still the biggest problem between Lydia and Finn is the fact
that the fool is completely out of touch with his feelings.
His marriage had been arranged, he and his wife had never
suited, and he had no idea what love was supposed to feel
like. He knew he cared deeply for Lydia, but he also knew he
didn't feel for her what he felt for his son. What was love
anyway? Would a brush with death finally bring his feelings
to light or would it take something more drastic?
Did I mention that Lydia runs a dance studio and gets the
wild idea to offer pole dancing as a class for women who
want to turn on their men? Naturally the class is filled by
Finn's female relations and none of them understand what she
sees in their loutish cousin either. That doesn't mean they
won't help her bring the fool to heel however.
This story brought to mind the first of Ms. Hill's
historical Viking time travels, THE RELUCTANT VIKING but
with a different twist. This story abounded with humor, but
does not let us forget that there are still young heroes
risking their lives for us every day in wars not of their
making, and that here at home loved ones wait hoping to
never hear that knock on that door that shattered Lydia
Denton's world. Laughter and tears, love and family, and
courage of both the heroic and romantic nature are the
hallmarks of this tale. For a touching and funny time travel
romance featuring those mad but lovable Vikings and equally
unique military men you must read UNCHAINED VIKING. Is
anyone besides me hoping Stephen Haraldsson will find a way
to join his brother, after all who would enjoy that
"tingling" ointment better than him?
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 29, 2008