Tag: Sandra Hill

Blog Tour: The Angel Wore Fangs by Sandra Hill

Posted June 9, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Angel Wore Fangs
The Angel Wore Fangs is the seventh book in the Deadly Angels series by Sandra Hill. It follows Cnut Sigurdsson as he falls in love with human chef, Andrea Stewart. Should be interesting!

The Angel Wore Fangs by Sandra Hill
Deadly Angels #7
Released on May 31, 2016 by Avon

New York Times bestselling author Sandra Hill continues her sexy Deadly Angels series, as a Viking vangel’s otherworldly mission pairs him with a beautiful chef who whets his thousand-year-old appetite . . .

Once guilty of the deadly sin of gluttony, thousand-year-old Viking vampire angel Cnut Sigurdsson is now a lean, mean, vampire-devil fighting machine. His new side-job? No biggie: just ridding the world of a threat called ISIS while keeping the evil Lucipires (demon vampires) at bay. So when chef Andrea Stewart hires him to rescue her sister from a cult recruiting terrorists at a Montana dude ranch, vangel turns cowboy. Yeehaw!

The too-tempting mortal insists on accompanying him, surprising Cnut with her bravery at every turn. But with terrorists stalking the ranch in demonoid form, Cnut teletransports Andrea and himself out of danger—accidentally into the tenth-century Norselands. Suddenly, they have to find their way back to the future to save her family and the world . . . and to satisfy their insatiable attraction.

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Excerpt

Weight Watchers, where art thou? . . .

Cnut Sigurdsson was a big man. A really big man! He was taller than the average man, of course, being a Viking, but more than that, he was . . . well . . . truth to tell . . . fat.

Obesity was a highly unusual condition for Men of the North, Cnut had to admit, because Norsemen were normally vain of appearance, sometimes to a ridiculous extent. Long hair, combed to a high sheen. Braided beards. Clean teeth. Gold and silver arm rings to show off muscles. Tight braies delineating buttocks and ballocks.

But not him.

Cnut did not care.

Even now, when three of his six brothers, who’d come (uninvited, by the by) to his Frigg’s-day feast here at Hoggstead in the Norselands, were having great fun making jests about just that. They were half-brothers, actually, all with different mothers, but that was neither here nor there. Cnut cared not one whit what the lackwits said. Not even when Trond made oinking noises, as if Cnut’s estate were named for a porcine animal when he knew good and well it was the name of the original owner decades ago, Bjorn Hoggson. Besides, Trond had no room to make mock of others when he was known to be the laziest Viking to ever ride a longship. Some said he did not even have the energy to lift his cock for pissing, that he sat like a wench on the privy hole. That was probably not true, but it made a good story.

Nor did Cnut bother to rise and clout his eldest brother, Vikar, when he asked the skald to make a rhyme of Cnut’s name:

Cnut is a brute
And a glutton, of some repute.
He is so fat that, when he goes a-Viking for loot,
He can scarce lift a bow with an arrow to shoot.
But when it comes to woman-pursuit,
None can refute
That Cnut can “salute” with the best of them.
Thus and therefore, let it be known
And this is a truth absolute,
Size matters.

“Ha, ha, ha!” Cnut commented, while everyone in the great hall howled with laughter, and Vikar was bent over, gasping with mirth.

Cnut did not care, especially since Vikar was known to be such a prideful man he fair reeked of self-love. At least the skald had not told the poem about how, if Cnut spelled his name with a slight exchange of letters, he would be a vulgar woman part. That was one joke Cnut did not appreciate.

But mockery was a game to Norsemen. And, alas and alack, Cnut was often the butt of the jests.

He. Did. Not. Care.

Yea, some said he resembled a walking tree with a massive trunk, limbs like hairy battering rams, and fingers so chubby he could scarce make a fist. Even his face was bloated, surrounded by a mass of wild, tangled hair on head and beard, which was dark blond, though its color was indiscernible most times since it was usually greasy and teeming with lice. Unlike most Vikings, he rarely bathed. In his defense, what tub would hold him? And the water chute into the steam hut was often clogged. And the water in the fjords was frigid except for summer months. What man in his right mind wanted to turn his cock into an icicle?

A disgrace to the ideal of handsome, virile Vikinghood, he overheard some fellow jarls say about him on more than one occasion.

And as for his brother Harek, who considered himself smarter than the average Viking, Cnut glared his way and spoke loud enough for all to hear, “Methinks your first wife, Dagne, has put on a bit of blubber herself in recent years. Last time I saw her in Kaupang, she was as wide as she was tall. And she farted as she walked, rather waddled. Phhhttt, phhhttt, phhhttt! Now, there is something to make mock of!”

“You got me there,” Harek agreed with a smile, raising his horn of mead high in salute.

One of the good things about Vikings was that they could laugh at themselves. The sagas were great evidence of that fact.

At least Cnut was smart enough not to take on any wives of his own, despite his twenty and eight years. Concubines and the odd wench here and there served him well. Truly, as long as Cnut’s voracious hunger for all bodily appetites—food, drink, sex—was being met, he cared little what others thought of him.

When his brothers were departing two days later (he thought they’d never leave), Vikar warned him, “Jesting aside, Cnut, be careful. One of these days your excesses are going to be your downfall.”

“Not one of these days. Now,” Cnut proclaimed jovially as he crooked a chubby forefinger at Inga, a passing chambermaid with a bosom not unlike the figurehead of his favorite longship, Sea Nymph. “Wait for me in the bed furs,” he called out to her. “I plan to fall down with you for a bit of bedplay.”

Vikar, Trond, and Harek just shook their heads at him, as if he were a hopeless case.

Cnut did not care.

But Vikar’s words came back to haunt Cnut several months later when he was riding Hugo, one of his two war horses, across his vast estate. A normal-size palfrey could not handle his weight; he would squash it like an oatcake. Besides, his long legs dragged on the ground. So he had purchased two Percherons from Le Perche, a province north of Norsemandy in the Franklands known for breeding the huge beasts. They’d cost him a fortune.

But even with the sturdy destrier and his well-padded arse, not to mention the warm, sunny weather, Cnut was ready to return to the keep for a midday repast. Most Vikings had only two meals a day. The first, dagmál or “day-meal,” breaking of fast, was held two hours after morning work was started, and the second, náttmál or “night meal.” was held in the evening when the day’s work was completed. But Cnut needed a midday meal, as well. And right now, a long draught of mead and an afternoon nap would not come amiss. But he could not go back yet. His steward, Finngeir the Frugal (whom he was coming to regard as Finn the Bothersome Worrier), insisted that he see the extent of the dry season on the Hoggstead cotters’ lands.

Ho-hum. Cnut didn’t even bother to stifle his yawn.

“Even in the best of times, the gods have not blessed the Norselands with much arable land, being too mountainous and rocky. Why else would we go a-Viking but to settle new, more fertile lands?”

“And women,” Cnut muttered. “Fertile or not.”

Finn ignored his sarcasm and went on. Endlessly. “One year of bad crops is crippling, but two years, and it will be a disaster, I tell you. Look at the fields. The grains are half as high as they should be by this time of year. If it does not rain soon—”

Blather, blather, blather. I should have brought a horn of ale with me. And an oatcake, or five. Cnut did not like Finn’s lecturing tone, but Finn was a good and loyal subject, and Cnut would hate the thought of replacing him. So Cnut bit back a snide retort. “What would you have me do? A rain dance? I can scarce walk, let alone dance. Ha, ha, ha.”

Finn did not smile.

The humorless wretch.

“Dost think I have a magic wand to open the clouds? The only wand I have is betwixt my legs. Ha, ha, ha.”

No reaction, except for a continuing frown, and a resumption of his tirade. “You must forgive the taxes for this year. Then you must open your storerooms to feed the masses. That is what you must do.”

“Are you barmy? I cannot do that! I need the taxes for upkeep of my household and to maintain a fighting troop of housecarls. As for my giving away foodstuffs, forget about that, too.
Last harvest did not nearly fill my oat and barley bins. Nay, ’tis impossible!”

“There is more. Look about you, my jarl. Notice how the people regard you. You will have an uprising on your own lands, if you are not careful.”

“What? Where? I do not know—” Cnut’s words cut off as he glanced to his right and left, passing through a narrow lane that traversed through his crofters’ huts. Here and there, he saw men leaning on rakes or hauling manure to the fields. They were gaunt-faced and grimy, glaring at him through angry eyes. One man even spat on the ground, narrowly missing Hugo’s hoof. And the women were no better, raising their skinny children up for him to see.

“That horse would feed a family of five for a month,” one toothless old graybeard yelled.

His wife—Cnut assumed it was his wife, being equally aged and toothless—cackled and said, “Forget that. If the master skipped one meal a month, the whole village could feast.”

Many of those standing about laughed.

Cnut did not.

Good thing they did not know how many mancuses it had taken to purchase Hugo and the other Percheron. It was none of their concern! Cnut had a right to spend his wealth as he chose. Leastways, that’s what he told himself.

Now, instead of being softened by what he saw, Cnut hardened his heart. “If they think to threaten me, they are in for a surprise,” he said to Finn once they’d left the village behind and were returning to the castle keep. “Tell the taxman to evict those who do not pay their rents this year.”

By late autumn, when the last of the meager crops was harvested, Cnut had reason to reconsider. Already, he’d had to buy extra grains and vegetables from the markets in Birka and Hedeby, just for his keep. Funerals were held back to back in the village. And he was not convinced that Hugo had died of natural causes last sennight, especially when his carcass had disappeared overnight. Cnut had been forced to post guards about his stables and storage shed since then. Everywhere he turned, people were grumbling, if not outright complaining.

That night, in a drukkinn fit of rage, he left his great hall midway through the dinner meal. Highly unusual for him. But then, who wouldn’t lose his appetite with all those sour faces silently accusing him? It wasn’t Cnut who’d brought the drought; even the most sane-minded
Creature must know that. Blame the gods, or lazy field hands who should have worked harder, or bad seed.

As he was leaving, he declined an invitation from some of his hersirs who were engaged in a game of hneftafl. Even his favorite board game with its military strategies and rousing side bets held no interest tonight. Bodil, a chambermaid, gave him a sultry wink of invitation in passing, but he was not in the mood for bedplay tonight, either.

He decided to visit the garderobe before taking to his bed, alone, and nigh froze his balls when he sat on the privy hole. He was further annoyed to find that someone had forgotten to replenish the supply of moss and grape leaves for wiping.

When Cnut thought things could not get any worse, he opened the garderobe door and almost tripped over the threshold at what he saw. A man stood across the corridor, arms crossed over his chest. A stranger. Could it be one of his desperate, starving tenants come to seek revenge on him, as Finn had warned?

No. Despite the darkness, the only light coming from a sputtering wall torch, Cnut could see that this man was handsome in appearance, noble in bearing. Long, black hair. Tall and lean, though well-muscled, like a warrior. And oddly, he wore a long white robe with a twisted rope belt, and a gold crucifix hung from a chain about his neck. Even odder, there appeared to be wings half folded behind his back.

Was it a man or something else?

I must be more drukkinn than I thought. “Who are you?”

“St. Michael the Archangel.”

One of those flying creatures the Christians believe in? This is some alehead madness I am imagining! A walking dream.

’Tis no dream, fool,” the stranger said, as if he’d read Cnut’s thoughts.

“What do you want?” Cnut demanded.

“Not you, if I had a choice, that is for certain,” the man/creature/angel said with a tone of disgust. “Thou art a dire sinner, Cnut Sigurdsson, and God is not pleased with you.”

“Which god would that be? Odin? Thor?”

“For shame! There is only one God.”

Ah! Of course. He referred to the Christian One-God. Vikings might follow the Old Norse religions, but they were well aware of the Christian dogma, and, in truth, many of them allowed themselves to be baptized, just for the sake of expediency.

“So, your God is not pleased with me. And I should care about that . . . why?” Cnut inquired, holding on to the doorjamb to straighten himself with authority. He was a high jarl, after all, and this person was trespassing. Cnut glanced about for help, but none of his guardsmen were about. Surprise, surprise. They are probably still scowling and complaining about the lack of meat back in the hall. I am going to kick some arse for this neglect.

“Attend me well, Viking; you should care because thou are about to meet your maker.” He said Viking as if it were a foul word. “As are your brothers. Sinners, all of you!”

“Huh?”

“Seven brothers, each guilty of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Pride. Lust. Sloth. Wrath. Gluttony. Envy. Greed.” He gave Cnut a pointed look. “Wouldst care to guess which one is yours?”

Nay, he would not. “So I eat and drink overmuch. I can afford the excess. What sin is that?”

“Fool!” the angel said, and immediately a strange fog swirled in the air. In its mist, Cnut saw flashing images:

• Starving and dead children.
• Him gnawing on a boar shank so voraciously that a greasy drool slipped down his chin. Not at all attractive.
• One of his cotters being beaten to a bloody pulp for stealing bread for his family.
• Honey being spread on slice after slice of manchet bread on his high table.
• A young Cnut, no more than eight years old, slim and sprightly, chasing his older brothers about their father’s courtyard.
• A naked, adult Cnut, gross and ugly with folds of fat and swollen limbs. He could not run now, if he’d wanted to.
• A family, wearing only threadbare garb and carrying cloth bundles of its meager belongings, being evicted from its home with no place to go in the snowy weather.
• Warm hearths and roofs overhead on the Hoggstead keep.
• A big-bosomed concubine riding Cnut in the bed furs, not an easy task with his big belly.
• The same woman weeping as she unwrapped a linen cloth holding scraps of bread and meat, half-eaten oatcakes, and several shrunken apples, before her three young children.

Cnut had seen enough. “This farce has gone on long enough! You say I am going to die? Now? And all my brothers, too? Excuse me if I find that hard to believe.”

“Not all at once. Some have already passed. Others will go shortly.”

Really? Three of his brothers had been here several months past, and he had not received news of any deaths in his family since, but then their estates were distant and the roads were nigh impassable this time of year. The fjords were no better, already icing over, making passage difficult for longships.

“I should toss you down the privy hole and let you die in the filth,” the angel said, “but you would not fit. Better yet, I should lock you in the garderobe and let you starve to death, like your serfs do.”

Ah, so that’s what this was about. “You cannot blame me for lack of rain or poor harvests. In fact, your God—”

Before he could finish the thought, the angel pointed a forefinger at him, and a flash of light passed forth, hitting Cnut right in the chest, like a bolt of lightning. Cnut found himself dangling off the floor. He clutched his heart, which felt as if a giant stake had passed through his body, securing him to the wall.

“Let it be known hither and yon, the Viking race has become too arrogant and brutish, and it is God’s will that it should die out. But you and your brothers are being given a second chance, though why, only God knows.”

What? Wait. Did he say I won’t be dying, after all?

“This is thy choice. Repent and agree to become a vangel in God’s army for seven hundred years, and thou wilt have a chance to make up for your mortal sins. Otherwise, die and spend eternity at Satan’s hearth.”

A sudden smell of rotten eggs filled the air. Brimstone, Cnut guessed, which was said to be a characteristic of the Christian afterlife for those who had offended their god. At the same time, he could swear his toes felt a mite warm. Yea, fire and brimstone, for a certainty.

So, I am being given a choice between seven hundred years in God’s army or forever roasting in Hell. Some choice! Still, he should not be too quick to agree. “Vangel? What in bloody hell is a vangel?” Cnut gasped out.

“A Viking vampire angel who will fight the forces of Satan’s Lucipires, demon vampires who roam the world spreading evil.”

That was clear as fjord mud. Cnut was still pinned high on the wall, and he figured he was in no position to negotiate. Besides, seven hundred years didn’t sound too bad.

But he forgot to ask what exactly a vampire was.

He soon found out.

With a wave of his hand, the angel loosened Cnut’s invisible ties, and he fell to the floor. If he’d thought the heart pain was bad, it was nothing compared to the excruciating feel of bones being crushed and reformed. If that wasn’t bad enough, he could swear he felt fangs forming on each side of his mouth, like a wolf. And his shoulders were being ripped apart, literally, and replaced with what, Cnut could not be sure, as he writhed about the rush-covered floor.

“First things first,” the angel said then, leaning over him with a menacing smile. “You are going on a diet.”

Praises for Sandra Hill’s Deadly Angels Series

“Fans of paranormal and time travel will get a kick out of this sexy and often humorous addition to the Deadly Angels series. Viking vampire angel Cnut is a completely strong hero, and Andrea, his accompaniment, is matched with him perfectly. Their antics will make readers giggle, and their adventures will keep fans at the edge of their seats. Hill’s vivid imagination really shines!”
—RT Book Reviews on The Angel Wore Fangs

“An awesome…series! Kept me up late into the night reading. Looking forward to the next installment.” — New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands

“Hill has written another winner featuring her Viking vampire angels. In her fourth in the passion-driven Deadly Angels series, two of the most unlikely characters, Mordr and Miranda, are thrown together and the result is laugh-out-loud humor and unrivaled sex appeal.”
—Romantic Times Book Reviews on Kiss of Wrath

“With her clever dialogue, often bawdy situations, and great cast of characters, including a warrior woman, a proverb-spouting wise man/healer from the East, and a saucy cook, Hill has created another wickedly wonderful story.” —Booklist (starred review) on Kiss of Wrath

“The third book in Sandra Hill’s Deadly Angels series, Kiss of Temptation, comes out Tuesday. Along with it comes the temptation to play hooky that day so I can hang out with Ivak, who’s guilty of the sin of lust. Aren’t we all, when it comes to Sandra Hill’s books?”
— USA Today on Kiss of Temptation

“Thanks for the laughs and the heartfelt emotions, Ms. Hill. I loved this one and am looking forward to the next book in this exciting series.” —The Romance Reviews on Kiss of Temptation

Earthy, laugh-out-loud hilarious, and lusty, this tenth-century revel takes readers back to a much-less-refined time and is just plain fun. Hill’s (Viking Heat) Viking series are legendary; her fans are sure to enjoy this latest addition.” —Library Journal on Kiss of Surrender

“Sixth in the Deadly Angels series, Even Vampires Get the Blues is entertaining, solid and consistent in its storytelling. Fans of the Vampire Viking Angels series will be pleased.”
— Romantic Times Book Reviews on Even Vampires Get the Blues

Series Reading Order

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About the Author

Sandra Hill

Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 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. She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

Website: https://www.sandrahill.net/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sandrahillauth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandraHillAuthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/177305.Sandra_Hill


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Guest Review: The Bewitched Viking by Sandra Hill

Posted September 2, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Judith’s review of The Bewitched Viking by Sandra Hill.

BEWITCHED, BOTHERED, AND BEWILDERED …

Even fierce Norse warriors have bad days. Holy Thor! ‘Twas enough to drive a sane Viking mad, the things Tykir Thorksson was forced to do — capturing a redheaded virago, putting up with the flock of sheep that followed her everywhere, chasing off her bumbling brothers. But what could a man expect from the sorceress who had put a kink in the King of Norway’s most precious body part?

If that wasn’t bad enough, his own skald was putting Tykir’s embarrassing escapades into sagas for all posterity to laugh about. And he was beginning to realize he wasn’t at all immune to the enchantment of brash red hair and freckles.

But he was not called Tykir the Great for nothing. Perhaps he could reverse the spell and hold her captive, not with his mighty sword, but with a Viking man’s greatest magic: a wink and a smile.

He was sent to fetch a witch . . . at least everyone thought she was a witch because Tykir’s king had a problem, a really distressing problem with his most precious male part, a part that had kind of a right turn in its length. She was the sorceress that had mumbled a “curse” on him when she caught him ravaging a nun, and now he wanted that curse removed. So a mighty warrior who was also a merchant and reknown purveyor of amber has been sent to take her into custody. Alinor was not beautiful, in fact she thought herself cursed as well with hair so read it nearly glowed in the dark and she had more than her share of freckles, a condition that was believed to be cause by the evil one. (As a redhead I would have agreed, especially in my younger years) But things never really seem to go smoothly for Tykir the Great — as his friend and fellow warrior Bolthor styled him. Not only did he have to contend with Alinor, he had to contend with her sheep as well. In addition, she had a bevy of greedy and controlling brothers, all of whom she wanted to avoid so that she could control her own life. Needless to say, this basic story line developed into a tale that was as laced with fun and humor as it was with passion and politics.

Sandra Hill has written this extensive series as an attempt to redeem much that is erroneously believed about the Vikings. First published a decade ago, the books have been redone and re-released by Avon Books and are a joy to read. A number of characters are carry-overs from the previous books. Tykir himself first appeared in book one with his brother, both of whom were having a very difficult time relating to their father who was trying to protect them from being killed by jealous royal relatives. Now he is a man with his own life, his business, and with a rather significant plate full of troubles.

I have really enjoyed reading through this series and I would recommend that readers start with the first book. It is historical fiction that is charming and funny, intense and sometimes erotic, full of believable characters and all of it interwoven with the difficult and often misunderstood politics of that Medieval Period. It is an insightful look at the culture clashes that made life difficult for all the citizens of the British Isles and which erupted often in armed warfare. Yet in the midst of all the push pull of greed and political machinations are people who love and care and get caught up in real life difficulties. Now the problem with the king’s most private part certainly gives spice and humor to the story, the dialogue and the overall context of Tykir’s & Alinor’s story. Suffice it to say that some of the funniest parts are the ridiculous and sometimes insightful but always humorous “sagas” or poems composed on the spot by Tykir’s friend, Bolthor the Skald, a gentle giant and loyal friend, one who no one would think of hurting or injuring his spirit.

So if you have a chance or the inclination to read a really delightful historical romance, latch on to this one. It is beautifully written, well-researched, and will be entertaining from page one.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: The Tarnished Lady by Sandra Hill

Posted August 29, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Judith’s review of The Tarnished Lady (Viking I series #3) by Sandra Hill

Disgraced!

Banished from polite society for bearing a child out of wedlock, Lady Eadyth of Hawks’ Lair spends her days hidden under
a voluminous veil, tending her bees. But when her son’s detested father threatens to reveal the boy’s true paternity and seize her beloved lands, Lady Eadyth seeks a husband willing to claim the child as his own.

Eirik of Ravenshire is England’s most virile bachelor, notorious for loving—and leaving— the most beautiful damsels in the land. Now a mysterious lady is offering him a vow of chaste matrimony in exchange for revenge against his most hated enemy, and Eirik simply cannot refuse. But the lusty knight’s plans go awry when he finds himself unable to resist Eadyth’s myriad charms…and he succumbs to the sweet sting of the tarnished lady’s love.


Life has never been easy for women:  the super dooper pooper scoopers of the human race.  They are left to pick up the pieces of destroyed relationships and families, raise abandoned children, have their dignity and personhood made into something that is merely a political pawn in men’s power games, or who must take extreme measures to protect themselves and those they love.  So it was in the 10th century in Britain, a land that was being pulled hither and yon by Saxons, Celts, the Irish and Welsh, as well as the Vikings from the North countries.  Eirik was half Saxon and half Viking, but he had been raised/fostered under the tutelage of the Saxon king so had more power than some in negotiating settlements between Saxon and Viking protagonists.  He had been at war for his king for years, and it was only a little while after arriving home, seeing the neglect and decay he had allowed by his absence, when he was verbally assaulted by Lady Eadyth of Hawk’s Lair with a ridiculous offer of marriage.  Eadyth was unmarried and unlikely to find a husband unless she managed that on her own.  And Eirik was overtly uninterested until Eadyth informed him that the person she most feared was Eirik’s greatest enemy.  THEN he listened to her proposal, and even though she had styled herself as an elderly lady, there was  much fun to be had as the surprises were unveiled and the true nature of many things became apparent.  
This was the first book in this series I read even though it is really Book Three in the series.  I was so delighted with it that I went back and read the first two before moving on to the later novels.  Eadyth was a woman of great industry, a wonderful business manager and a creative one to boot.  It was a marvelous part of the book to watch Eirik discover who his wife really was, the depth of her character and honor, the wounds she carried because of the selfish and cruel acts of his enemy, and the dimensions of her ability to love, not only her son but Eirik’s two illegitimate daughters.  He was a man who had experienced early life being ignored by his father and shuttled from one abode to the next.  When Eadyth opened her heart to his motherless daughters it brought something to life in him and their love story became far more intense, hot, and vibrant.
Like all the books in this series this novel can be read alone.  I certainly had no difficulty appreciating it even though I had not read the first two books.  It is a wonderful “window” into the life and ways of the Vikings, a culture that is greatly misunderstood because of many errors in our history books.  They were certainly not pacifists, but then few people in that time could afford to be.  Yet they were merchants, traders, artisans, family people, and men and women of deep loyalty.  So I hope those who really like a historical full of love and adventure will take the time to read this book which is now re-released and updated by the author.  It is well worth the time and effort and may actually get you to look for the other books in this series.  (You may find older versions at your library with different covers.)

I give this novel a 4 out of 5

The Series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: The Viking’s Captive by Sandra Hill

Posted August 28, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Judith’s review of The Viking’s Captive (Viking I series #6) by Sandra Hill.

Tyra, Warrior Princess

She is too tall, too loud, too fierce to be a good catch. But her ailing father has decreed that her four younger sisters cannot be wed ’til Tyra consents to take a husband. Alas, with no suitors begging for her hand, it looks as if the sisters will all remain virgins.

Then a journey to save her father’s life brings Tyra face to face with Adam the Healer. A god in human form, he’s tall, muscled, perfectly proportioned. Here is the physician who could cure her father, and the lover who could finally seduce her to his bed furs.

Too bad Adam refuses to fall in with her plans. Holy Runes! What’s a lady to do but truss him up, toss him over her shoulder, and sail off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

One of Western Europe’s most extended and intense struggles for power was between the Saxons and the Vikings, both invaders in the land known then as Britain. For a time the entire northern portion of Britain was under the rule of the Vikings while the Saxons ruled the southern portion of the country. So it was not out of the expected for Viking and Saxon to come into close contact, sometimes in a very sharp adversarial encounter while others were more congenial. In this story, however, Adam the Healer, a brilliant physician who readers first met as an abandoned young boy trying to survive with his younger sister on the unfriendly streets of Jorvik and who was eventually adopted by Selik and Rain Jordan as their son. Now he is grown and has traveled the world in search of medical knowledge and has achieved quite a reputation as one whose knowledge and skill is known far and wide, all the way to the Northlands. When faced with the demand to come and treat her dying father by Tyra the Viking Warrior Princess, Adam refuses but underestimates his adversary, waking up on Tyra’s longship, well on his way to her Norse home.

This story continues the tale of a young kid who had absolutely nothing going for him in book 2 of this series, whose petty crimes were only for the purpose of survival after the death of his parents and to care for his younger sister. Yet now he is a grown and educated man, living a productive life in his own right, and a testimony to the power of care and love. Yet his heart is broken at the death of his sister, and when Tyra finds him, he has been on a two-year emotional fast, having withdrawn from relationships, life, public life, refusing to see patients, denying any future with his chosen profession. It is a story of a man who not only needs to awaken to the world around him, who needs to get back in touch with the passion of his profession, but also recognize the needs that dwell within himself, no matter how dormant they may have lain for two years. It is an important story, filled with laughter and loving, with the clash of cultures that was so much a signature of the Western European development of the 10th century, and the journey of one man to come alive once again. It is also a poignant look at a woman who is powerful in her own right but who has suffered inwardly from a very wounded self-image and whose re-birth as a beautiful, sexy, and powerful woman became possible with the authentic loving of a kind and compassionate man.

This is the sixth book in a wonderful historical series that I just couldn’t put down, that I just had to plow through from book to book, to follow the stories of these gritty and realistic characters, no matter if they are transported back a thousand years or are people that live their lives through the pages of several novels. It is another treat for Sandra Hill readers, but it is also a treat for any lover of historical romance fiction with the delightful and deeply emotional love stories that are at the core of these books. This, like those before it, is a stand alone novel. But reading them in sequence makes them even more fun. First published in 2002, it has now been reviewed and somewhat re-written and re-released by Avon. It’s worth reading, by all means, if it is new to you. If you read the book 10 years ago, have another go. It is just that good.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

The Series:
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You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book has been re-released by Avon Book in January, 2011. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: The Blue Viking by Sandra Hill

Posted August 21, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Judith’s review of The Blue Viking (Viking I series #5) by Sandra Hill

Life has not been the same for Rurik the Viking since leaving Maire of the Moors, the fiery witch who put the blue zigzag on his face after a night of passion. For a fierce warrior, this blue streak is the last straw. And in the end, he’ll bring the witch to heel–or die trying.


Once again author Sandra Hill has gifted her historical fiction fans with the continuing story of life in 10th century Britain and in the Scandinavian countries, most especially ancient Norway.  Rurik is your quintessential Viking–strong, big, ruggedly handsome, thinking of himself as a gift to women, and a man who is willing to wade into just about any situation, be it war or peace.
Yet he has now encountered a circumstance about which he can do nothing.  He bears a blue mark on his face–right down the center of his face–similar, according to some accounts, to the warrior marks on ancient Celtic faces.  Yet this mysterious mark appeared following a single night of passion several years before our present story begins, a night when Maire became his love, fell in love with him, and unbeknownst to him, became pregnant with his son.  At the time she was a witch in training and Rurik blames her for his disfiguring mark and is bound and determined to make her remove it.
What he finds when he returns to Scotland is a Campbell clan in disarray, nearly beaten to death in more ways than one by their neighboring clan, led by Maire’s brother-in-law who wants the land the power and the position of being laird of Maire’s clan.  This would mean death for her as well as for her son.  Not quite the same situation as when Rurik was first in this part of the country.
This is a very serious book in that it chronicles quite graphically the political and cultural situation of ancient Scotland, the involvement of the Norse in this land, and the on-going struggle between the Scottish clans that continued on for generations.  But don’t forget–this is also a very intense love story but always there are those wonderful personal interactions that are rib-tickling funny, the wonderfully corny and crazy “sagas” of Bolthor the Skald–a kind of oral historian and entertainer with his poems. some of which rhyme but almost all of which are summarily dismissed by his listeners.  Yet everyone loves the gentle giant and his loyalty to his companions and theirs to him is never in doubt.  I have to confess that seldom did a page go by but what I was laughing.  It is fun to get to “know” these various characters as they will pop up in future books, some of which will feature these men and tell their stories of love and adventure.  There is joy here, lots of it along with sorrow and disappointment, wondering what the future can hold for two very different people who are tied to pieces of the planet that are great distances from each other.  
This book is a stand alone novel but reading the previous books makes each succeeding story that much more engaging.

I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5

The Series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.
This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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