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REVIEW

"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 knows.

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 other.

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

SUMMARY

**2008 PEARL WINNER - BEST TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE**

Searching for his little boy, 11thcentury Viking Thorfinn lands in modern times, where he stumbles upon a dead wringer for his cheating ex-wife. Single mom Lydia Denton mourns the loss of her SEAL husband. Then she meets a man who resembles him. Despite Thorfinn's strange accusations, Lydia finds it impossible to ignore the chemistry between them. And as she gets to know this handsome Viking, she can't help but wonder whether two souls, separated by time, have found their way back together.

Read an Excerpt

 

Viking Unchained
(Viking Series II: Book 8)
by Sandra Hill

Berkley Pub Group
July 1, 2008
Available: July 1, 2008
ISBN #0425222950
EAN #9780425222959
336 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Sandra Hill

The Blue Viking
The Viking's Captive
Twas The Night
Dark Viking
Ladies Prefer Rogues
Viking in Love
The Mammoth Book of Time Travel Romance
Viking Heat
Santa, Honey
So Into You
Wild Jinx
Down and Dirty
Pearl Jinx
Rough and Ready
Pink Jinx
Hot and Heavy
The Red-Hot Cajun
Wet & Wild
Love Me Tender
The Cajun Cowboy
A Tale Of Two Vikings
The Reluctant Viking
The Love Potion
Here Comes Santa Claus
The Night Before Christmas
Tall, Dark, and Cajun
Frankly, My Dear
The Very Virile Viking
The Very Virile Viking
Desperado
Tarnished Lady
Sweeter Savage Love
My Fair Viking
The Blue Viking
Truly, Madly Viking
The Bewitched Viking
Blue Christmas
The Outlaw Viking
The Last Viking
Lovescape


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