The Very Virile Viking
by Sandra Hill, time-travel (2003)
Leisure, $6.99, ISBN 0-8439-5064-1

I have always preferred Sandra Hill's contemporaries (I know I'm probably a minority in this - the much reviled Love Me Tender is a keeper for me) while her Viking books leave me cold. But The Very Virile Viking has me rolling around with laughter. This book is really good Sandra Hill: the heroine (always this author's weakest point) is decent, the hero is okay, and the ten children - yes, ten - aren't so bad, although I would still recommend we permanently attach a spermicide-fortified condom to the hero Magnus Ericson's wee-wee after snipping his tubes. I don't trust this man. His tubes may magically join themselves back. He's to Viagra what Saddam is to Scud missiles, and no multiple orgasms will convince me otherwise.

There's probably an inside joke here about a 21st century romance heroine willing to mommy ten kids when medieval women balk at the notion. As it is, Magnus from 1000AD is a Baby Blaster Machine. He has thirteen kids. Some have died, one has grown up, one has married, and now Magnus is not going to have any more kids. Ten squalling brats are driving him crazy. When his men suggest that he sleep with women of advanced age to avoid begetting more brats, that does it. He'll turn to the ultimate safe sex: he will marry one of his sheep!

Okay, he decides to take a vow of celibacy and then haul the ten kids along with him as he look for adventures and kin. I'd recommend leaving the kids behind, but hey, that's just me. Spooky things happen and ka-zam! They are all transported to present time, where Angela Abruzzi is trying to get a Viking movie filmed on her vineyard and get lots of publicity for it. (Why doesn't she call her good friend Andrew "Firestone Tires On My Waistline" Firestone and get herself on the The Bachelorette 2? That'll be better, right?)

While trying to fend off a scummy rival from eating up her vineyard, she soon finds herself mothering one big Viking brat and his ten mini-me's. Fun and mayhem ensue.

This book has lots of plot holes and it's best enjoyed when one is not in the mood to nitpick. What's fun are the scenes of Eric discovering birth control and the almost ridiculously hot-hot-hot sexual tension between Eric and Fugazi Abruzzi here. Magnus has enough characterization to make him a little better than a throbbing erection and while Fugazi Abruzzi won't be the sharpest blade in the tool drawer, she's not shrill like too many Sandra Hill heroines and she's not as frigid or stupid either. She's okay. Magnus is okay. The kids don't overdose on precious antics. The laugh-out-loud moments, in generous numbers here, however makes up for any plot or character deficiencies. Hey, The Very Virile Viking makes me laugh and have a really good time. Sometimes, that's more than enough.

Rating: 86

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