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The Reluctant Viking (Viking I) Mass Market Paperback – 5 May 2011
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From the Back Cover
The hypnotic voice on the self-motivationtape was supposed to help Ruby Jordansolve her problems, not create new ones.Instead, she was lulled from a failingmarriage to an era of hard-bodiedwarriors and fair maidens.
But the world ten centuries in the pastdidn’t prove to be all mead and mirth.Ruby had to deal with a Norseman whohad her husband’s face, habits, anddesire to avoid Ruby. Determined not tolose the same man twice, Ruby planneda bold seduction that would conquer thereluctant Viking—and make him aneager captive of her love.
About the Author
Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.
Top customer reviews
Ruby's antics in the 10th. century are absolutely hillarious. The things she got up to were totally unbelievable, like giving women contraception advice, starting her own lingerie business.
The ending had me in stitches while she was trying to seduce Jack into coming back to her.
If you love a book that will make you laugh and cry this book is the one, but saying that all the books i've read of Sandra's make me feel this way. Great read Sandra!!!!!!!
This was a really difficult book to rate so I felt I had no choice but to go with the middle ground. This book had many good points: I found the concept really interesting. Ruby's antics were pretty hilarious: trying to convince Vikings that she is from the future but not a witch/setting up a lingerie business/discussing birth control etc. This book had me laughing out loud, feeling sad for the characters and also angry at certain situations which overall makes an addictive read.
However the bad points including the utterly ridiculous and (unoriginal) "it was a dream" thing. (Ridiculous as what amounted to a few months with the Vikings was a two hour dream?) I know this is a spoiler and I'm sorry but I would have wanted a warning of the lameness of that explanation. Next was Ruby herself who while very funny was highly annoying at times. Threatened with death and torture she still doesn't give it a rest! Her morals irritated me too - she was no "other woman"/ she was better than that/ couldn't do that to someone yet her resistance crumbled in a heartbeat and after this point i disliked her completely (I don't enjoy reading about cheating no matter the situation, it just disgusts me - not something I want from a book.
Thork - (yes I am aware he was a Viking) was an arrogant pig who had sex with several other women in the course of the book (for me there was no going back after this - why would anyone want a man who sleeps with other women purely to hurt you?). He spoke to her like she was scum and hit her which in my opinion does not exactly make him the hero of the piece (some catch he was!). Despite softening a bit towards him at the end, I still thought he was a pig.
Ruby and Jack were not much better and I didn't see the need for Ruby to dress up like a middle aged tart to seduce her husband - it was cringeworthy not funny.
Last gripe and the real reason that this book didn't score highly was the serious undertone of what I imagine to be the author's opinion of society. Ruby goes back to the Vikings to learn where a woman's role truly is? By the end of the book I was genuinely annoyed about the implication that women should be in the home and less career minded. Bear in mind the age of Ruby's children - what on earth was she supposed to do all day? Potter around till hubby comes home and make his supper?! Get a grip! I don't think women should pander to the fragile egos of men with hunter-gatherer attitudes in this day and age. Yes, make time for family (which Ruby obviously wasn't) but the message that seemed to come with this book just grated on me.
Overall the book was a good laugh at times and believe it or not from my huge rant I did enjoy it, though personally I prefer a book with a strong woman that is a good match for the overbearing alpha type. Not a doormat.
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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