"Love is the cure for grief stricken Viking, Truly a Keeper"
Do you believe in destiny, wishes that come true, timeless
love? Jorund Ericsson doesn't, neither does Doctor Maggie
McBride. Never fear, a killer whale by the name of Thora,
and Maggie's twin daughters have enough faith for both of
Truly, Madly Viking is liberally sprinkled with Ms. Hill's
infamous humor but it also deals with the plight of "Joe"
and his fellow patients with remarkable sensitivity. The
humor is never at Jorund's expense. No one is chuckling
their head off about the poor fool who thinks he a tenth
century Viking, or any of the other inmates' problems.
Jorund himself is a real hoot, for a man who had led such a
serious life, his thoughts about his predicament, his
fellow inmates, the wench of the man-hare and kiss-some
lips - Mag-he, and well, just about everything are just
plain laugh out loud hilarious. Come to think of it,
Maggie's thoughts about the studdly "Joe Rand' are pretty
funny at times as well!
This book is the sequel to "The Last Viking" the time
travel tale of Jorund's brother Rolf, known among readers
as "the other Viking story" because it is not connected to
Ms. Hill's historical Viking series, which consists of four
related Viking historical romances, two of which are time
travels. Rolf had also traveled to our present to settle in
Maine with his modern bride. Together they had founded a
working Viking community there to keep the Viking heritage
Jorund Ericsson is a Viking mercenary. Home again after
more than a year away, he is greeted with devastating news.
In his absence his young wife and his beloved 5-year-old
twin daughters had perished in the famine that had plagued
his land. He blames himself for not protecting them. His
marriage had not been a love match, but he had adored his
little girls from the moment he'd first laid eyes on them.
Jorund is given no time at all to dwell on his grief. His
father has need of him, for his brother Rolf has recently
been lost at sea. He and his older brother Magnus are to
conduct the search for him. So deep is his pain, Jorund is
tempted to refuse, but he sympathizes with his father's
feelings regarding the loss of a child and finally agrees.
This is our first glimpse of the very sensitive soul of
this fierce warrior.
The search takes the brothers and their crew to Iceland
where Rolf was last seen alive. The ship is being pursued
by a killer whale that Magnus has dubbed Thora. Magnus
plagues Jorund with teasing about the randy whale's
obvious "attraction" to him. Jorund is not about to reveal
his belief that the whale does indeed have business with
him. Jorund who'd been ever good with foreign languages had
a whale is communicating inside his head! Perhaps his grief
or his brother's incessant teasing has driven him mad.
Try as they might the Vikings are unable to elude Thora.
After a night anchored off shore, the men have decided to
pull up anchor and make a final attempt to escape the
but the anchor is snared in seaweed. Jorund sheds his
clothes and, wearing only his sword, dives in to free it.
Thora sees her chance and makes off with him.
A Terrified Jorund finds himself traveling farther and
father away from his ship. He is sure he has died when he
surfaces in Galveston Bay off the shore of Texas and is
catapulted into the killer whale enclosure of the Orcaland
theme park. He is stunned by the sight that meets his eyes,
strangely clad people who are gawking at HIM. Well he is a
pretty strange sight himself. The crowd surely didn't
expect to see a huge naked male riding the back of a wild
whale. As he emerges, the people's shock turns to
indignation. Security is called to handle the situation.
This couldn't be Valhalla!
Present Day Texas
Maggie McBride is a single mother of nine-year-old twins
girls. One night she overhears the girls wishing on a star
for a father. This hasn't been their first attempt at
matchmaking by a long shot. Maggie cringes at the memory of
their previous husband candidates. Maggie adores her
daughters - Suzy who loves thrills just like her father
had, and sensitive Beth whose goal in life is to protect
all of the world's Orcas from harm. This interest has led
to their presence at Orcaland on the fateful day of
The girls had never met their real father, a daredevil
physician who had died in a sky diving accident before they
were born. He'd been the type to see a wife and kids as a
cramp to his style at any rate. Maggie had raised their
children alone and even gotten her doctorate degree. She
is a psychologist at the Rainbow Clinic a progressive
hospital for mental disorders. Who needs a man? Not Maggie.
That is until her eyes meet those of a glorious and
extremely confused naked male riding the back of a killer
whale. Both Maggie and Jorund have an eerie feeling that
something momentous has occurred.
When the bewildered warrior is felled by a security
officer's stun gun, the girls tearfully beg Maggie to
intervene. Maggie claims that he is her patient. Payshun?
Jorund had thought she was his personal Valkyrie sent to
escort him to Valhalla. He'd prayed for a greatly
curvatious one and Maggie reeeeeeally fit the bill. This
Mag-he Muck bride is a dock-whore? Who is he to argue?
Finding himself restrained and locked up, Jorund is sure
he's someplace other than heaven. Imagine his shock in
finding out he's being held in a madhouse. Though he'd
initially refused to cooperate with Maggie and her staff,
he realizes that time is of the essence if he is to
complete his father's mission, so he does what he must to
be discharged. Maggie decides group therapy is just the
ticket. After meeting Maggie's other patients, he can't
figure out why anyone would think HE was mad. These folks
are REALLY crazy.
Jorund is a compassionate man and soon he is leading the
others down constructive paths to solving their problems.
His direct approach puts Maggie and her colleagues' methods
to shame. Everyone loves "Joe", no one more than Maggie.
Maggie has a gut feeling that though something big is
troubling Joe, he's as sane as she is.
Aside from the fact that Joe is still Mag-he's patient
there is one major obstacle blocking the relationship they
both long for. For reasons unknown Jorund has an aversion
to her daughters. Both problems are solved when Joe escapes
the hospital and turns up several weeks later at Maggie's
home. Jorund has failed to find Thora who he had hoped
would take him back home, and he is becoming quite ill. The
nature of the illness proves once and for all that he is
what he says he is. With his resistance weakened the little
girls steal their way into Jorund's broken heart.
It is too much of a coincidence that having lost his twins
he would find another set who need him so badly? Surely
must have had a hand in his time travel. Now their biggest
concern is that this man, who has become so important to so
many, could be whisked away from them at anytime. Soon
Jorund must chose between responsibility and his own
desires. Having experienced the loss of two children, how
can he let his father die not knowing the fate of his two
sons? Finding love for the first time in his life, how can
he break Maggie and the girl's hearts, not to mention his
own? Is there another way?
This book is a keeper, it will make the reader laugh, cry,
and rejoice as Jorund and Maggie fall truly, madly in love.
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted February 26, 2002