Final Thoughts – The Very Virile Viking

Well, I think this went fairly well for a first time out. I just want to thank you guys for being so supportive of this project, and giving me a chance to step outside my comfort zone and experience something new.

Taken from the standpoint of someone who had never read quote-unquote Romance Novels before, this book certainly opened my eyes, in ways I couldn’t have realized. Not the least of which was the whole “Rape Is Okay So Long As He Kisses You” aspect, which you all got to see me get blindsided with last month.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun book, and I quite enjoyed reading it (though not for the intended reasons, I’m sure). Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually interested in looking through the other books in this series – which is apparently still ongoing, I saw one in the “New Paperbacks” shelf at Borders the other day – which means that I unfortunately can be counted in the masses of people hooked by the concept. I still can’t believe the mileage Sandra Hill has gotten out of a simple “There are Vikings, there are modern women, time travel happens and they have sex” concept, but I guess as long as you touch upon those core tenets, you’re pretty free to explore wherever you want. Thinking back on it, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

In fact, I’m going to try to come up with a couple ideas myself. Bear with me.

A journalist from a Big City Newspaper gets sucked into a time vortex and lands on an uncharted island. It’s not nearly as deserted as it appears, however; this island is the personal and private villa of a burly seafaring adventurer, whose desire for excitement and travelling the open seas is hampered only by his loneliness.

Does that sound good? How about another?

Jorgan Morganson thought he could do without women; his heart had been broken far too long. But when his ship gets blown off-course and he arrives in modern-day Texas, he gets swept away by a fun-loving cattle rancher, whose sense of adventure is second only to the size of her heart.

This is easier than I thought. One more as long as I’m on the subject!

Yolanda Johnson was at her normal job, when a tornado swept through her office building. Erik Ericsson had been enjoying a bit of leisure time after pillaging the Britons when a freak storm blew him away. Both of them find themselves on a desolate wasteland, seemingly for all eternity. Can they see past their differences and find their way home…and maybe TRUE LOVE?

Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if she’s already done all these.

Anyway, this book is pretty much wish-fulfillment. Which is probably true of most romance novels, now that I think about it – I am speculating, of course, feel free to correct me if I am wrong on this – and it’s extremely obvious here, especially with how freaking convenient everything is. There’s no suspense, no real sense of worry about the characters at all; given the summary on the back, we know that Magnus is going to get swept into the future, and that he’s going to hook up with Angela.

And that’s really what’s wrong with the book, in my opinion. Since the entire thing is a foregone conclusion, there’s no point to any sort of tension between the characters. Even though Angela protests feeling anything towards Magnus at the beginning, it’s obvious she’s attracted, and there’s no point to her declaring otherwise. There’s no “other woman” or “other man” to cause friction between the two, there’s no star-crossed parting of the ways that might tear them apart later. Everything is engineered perfectly to get them together; hell, it’s Divine Intervention straight from the beginning.

Take a look at it a bit more closely; Angela is divorced, she needs someone who can provide for the vineyard and won’t cheat on her endlessly – and, if the subtext is anything to go by, someone who won’t beat her into submission. Magnus needs a woman who can handle his children and who won’t mind his insatiable love of farming. When Angela stresses about money, Magnus happens to have a chest full of antique coins that sell for thousands of dollars each. When someone tries to sabotage the farm, because there’s nobody there to stand up to bullying? Well, how about a giant norseman who’s ripped like Jesus?

That said, the thought behind it holds up, and that’s probably why all these people reading it have no problem with it. I’m extremely cynical, and I found a lot of this to be ridiculous and self-serving, but it’s also a bit touching. I mean, everyone’s had fantasies about The Perfect Person, who complements you in every way, who understands your needs and fulfills all of them. Emotionally, physically, and sexually, there’s a desire for That Person, and here they are. Angela and Magnus are exactly who they need to be for each other, even if they didn’t know it from the beginning, and that’s the draw. That’s the hook.

Bravo, Sandra Hill. As campy and ridiculous as this book was, I understand it, and I applaud you for your audacity, even if that was not your intent. I’m almost certain you take your writing extremely seriously, and that’s fine; I’m not going to step on your toes. It’s not my cup of tea, but that’s not the point of this blog, is it?

After all, now I know the proper way to deal with feminazis.


The Very Virile Viking, Part 7

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve reached the end of this journey. I’m going to push my way to the end now, because there is no conceivable reason to drag it out any further.

Both Trekkiegirl and I will post our final thoughts on the book after this, so there’s that to look forward to. Then I’m going to take a short break, and then I’ll get started on Book Choice Number Two, which I’ve promised Kayleigh she’d get to pick. After that, we’ll see!

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The Very Virile Viking, Part 6

Ohgod, overcooked jalapeño poppers are the bane of my existence. On the one hand, they’re burnt and taste horrible. On the other hand, they’re jalapeño poppers, and I can’t help but take another bite just in case they’re not ruined all the way through.

Alas, they are. It’s like a deliciously-smelling Light Grenade.

Such is the case with this book. While I cannot handle more than a small amount at a time, I keep coming back to it, and regretting it each time.

Diabolical. Sandra Hill, you magnificent bastard.

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The Very Virile Viking, Part 5

Welcome to another edition of “You guys will have my fiancée pick books forever”!

From now on, I’m going to start speeding up the chapters. I’ve been averaging about two or three per post, but I’ve read ahead a bit again, and they’re starting to get very uneventful. As in, nothing happens. It’s like how in The Princess Bride, where the narrator comments on how certain skipped sections of the “real” book were about forty pages of packing and unpacking and repacking? It’s like that.

What we’ve got so far is a book that’s about 90% refusing to accept what’s in front of them, and 10% trying to take what isn’t. The amount of incredulity is staggering, but that’s not my complaint – it’s rather the tacit acceptance of some pretty unbelievable things. If it were me, I’d freak out when I found out I had been flung a thousand years in the future. At the very least, I may have a bit of a “Everyone I know is dead” fugue state. Magnus? Marvel at how it works, then go traipsing out to find if he can still have sex.

You have to admit, the guy is dedicated.

(Again, NSFW tag on this from now on.)

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The Very Virile Viking, Part 4

Okay, I think I can comfortably continue this. Thank you for being patient with me during my ethical crisis, but after a bit of rest and exciting personal developments, I feel I can continue this.

A few things to point out here before we get to the next couple chapters:

  • Apparently, all you need to do to change a girl’s mind is to grab her and kiss her. MEN, WE’VE BEEN DOING IT WRONG THIS ENTIRE TIME.
  • Vineyards are sexy places? It makes sense, I guess. Trekkiegirl and I have a few choices for honeymoon ideas.
  • Johnny Cash’s cover of Personal Jesus is probably the best thing ever. This has nothing to do with the review, I just wanted to mention it.
  • We miss you, Johnny.
  • What I’m upset at most about the whole rageout incident last post is that I wasted a Chewbacca Defense. Those things don’t grow on trees!

I’d also like to mention that from here on out, it gets a bit Not Safe For Work. Which, for erotic fiction, is a bit of a given, but a disclaimer is a disclaimer.

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The Very Virile Viking, Part 3

Learn anything about the future you are in! Just watch television!

So, it looks like I’m breaking even at about two chapters a post. Maybe I’ll push faster with this, maybe not; I’m really doing this on a “what can I handle at any given time” basis. Given that I’m told this is more on the “Erotic Fiction” side of things, there may be a whole lot in the middle that I can compress for time. Unless, of course, there are things that need to be brought to the attention of the whole.

Most likely in the form of a “Dayna Signal” section, as I did in the first part.

Anyway, this book so far has been an exercise in “WOW LOOK AT HOW CONVENIENT EVERYTHING IS”. I mean, we have:

  • The fact that Magnus gets summoned (through prayer) to the precise time and place where there is a woman.
  • Said woman HAS A FARM.
  • Said woman also has a grandmother who is all “I WANT THERE TO BE BABIES LOTS OF BABIES” which is especially funny considering:
  • He is the Very Virile Viking and can’t walk two steps without making a baby.
  • And by the way, he now has to live with her.
  • Oh, and he’s freakin’ rich.

I’m just glad that she can’t stand him and hopefully that will forever be the case. I NEED TO BELIEVE THIS.


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The Very Virile Viking, Part 2

“I’m kind of disappointed she didn’t go for broke and name him Magnus Longspear or something.” ~ Trekkiegirl

Well, I’m pretty gobsmacked. I had to end the last section at page 42, at the end of Chapter Two. I still don’t know what’s going to happen next; as I said, I’m going into this completely blind, so I’m not reading ahead. You guys get my honest reactions right as I read them, since I’m writing this as I go.

Seriously, I’m only two chapters in, and I’ve already learned the following things:

  • Apparently, the power of a single prayer from an old woman to the Virgin Mary is enough to COUNTERACT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. Don’t be stingy, Grandma Rose; where’s my break in radio? You pulled twelve people through time and across the freakin’ world, you can get me a simple internship at Q101.
  • Whales can sense temporal disturbances, but they still need a stolen Klingon ship to travel through time. Some help they are.
  • I was going to nitpick about how a wooden ship survived an overnight trip from “The Norselands” all the way through North America to get to the West Coast, but it also was propelled 1,003 years into the future so I can forgive a little lateral movement on the space/time axis.
  • Clichés apparently don’t matter if you use enough of them. This book is in a whole line of (apparently) successful Viking Romance novels from the same author.

Also, I want to point out how transparent the plot is so far. First off, we have Magnus, who loves to farm, has a lot of children, and has trouble finding a woman who is accepting of both. On the other hand is Angela, who is trying to save her farm, her grandmother wants children running about the place, and has trouble dealing with men of a modern mentality. HMMMMMMMMMMM.

They come from different eras but hey here’s a temporal instability (THAT THE WHALES ARE TRYING TO WARN YOU ABOUT, MAGNUS) that throws them together.

All this in less than fifty pages. Seeing as this is the first romance novel I’ve ever read, I want you guys to assure me that the plots aren’t as telegraphed as this one is. They get better, right guys?



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The Very Virile Viking, Part 1

Or, How I learned that European men can apparently impregnate a woman at ten paces.

Let me start out by saying that the copy I received did not have the chestacular cover you see to the right. The bookstores nearby were out of this book. Amazon didn’t have it at the time that Trekkiegirl tried to order it for me. We ended up having to trawl the local libraries’ web catalog and see who had it in stock, and then go through the spinners of their romance sections to find it and then suffer the amused looks of all the librarians at the front desk when we checked it out.

On a completely unrelated note, it’s amazing how many covers of romance novels have a top-heavy man who seems to have trouble finding buttons for his shirts and a woman about half his size. Apparently the female body needs to be completely dwarfed to be fully satisfied? I’m just saying, if I was a woman, I wouldn’t want a slab of muscle like that on top of me for fear of being crushed to death.

(Also, what is that? Is he attacking the reader? Seriously what kind of pose is that I can’t even.)

According to the back of the book, this promises a lot of anachronistic wackiness in addition to many romantic interludes, so let’s flip on the Flux Capacitor and take this Nordic nonsense out for a spin!

Please note: I am going into this COMPLETELY BLIND and am, in fact, writing this post as I read it.
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