The Marriage of Time*
Finding Safe Harbor in Viking Times
In Viking times after a battle that has gone poorly, jarl Hakon is given a choice: death or marriage to the victor’s daughter and becoming that man’s ally. Hakon chooses to live, though he develops a plan to kill the man with whom he has a very bad history beyond this battle. In present-day Boston, Mia is at the hospital, showing her ultrasound to a friend. She is expecting a child, but she is determined to escape her abusive boyfriend, Dan. He finds her and lets her know that he will not let her go now that he knows she is carrying his child. A kindly looking older woman had been watching, and she follows them as Dan tried to take Mia out of the building under threat of force. She offers Mia a way out of her situation. She is a Norn and has the ability to send Mia back to Viking time. Mia soon finds herself at a runestone altar in the woods, and it is clear the older lady was telling the truth. Very nearly attacked by a bear when she first gets there, Mia is rescued by a man who claims that she is his bride-to-be.
What will happen to Mia in Viking times? How will Hakon react to her, especially if he learns her secret? Will Mia be able to escape, or will she have to marry him? What of the real bride-to-be? What of Mia’s life back in 2019? Will she go back to the future?
There was much to like about this book. Both Mia and Hakon are people with troubled pasts, Mia because of her abusive boyfriend and difficult father and Hakon because he has lived under the shadow of a curse that has affected his psyche as well as cause issues with his people. Even though Hakon looks tough on the cover–and he is–he’s got a kindness and a vulnerability about him that makes him a worthy romantic hero. While they get off to a rough start, how could Mia not fall for him?
I enjoyed, too, the lovely little moments that happen in time travel books. I particularly loved how it was almost a running gag that at times he just did not understand her words: hospital, congenital, etc. I adored the scene where she “uncursed” him, swaying to Thriller in her mind as she wiggled her fingers above crushed-up Tylenol…and how Hakon thought that she must be both a witch and healer, as his headache improved and hip pain went away. LOL!
There were a few things I didn’t like about the book. I am not a fan of clichéed secondary characters, and unfortunately, mafia crime lord Dan is an unfortunately stereotypical stock character. Medical issues are touched on briefly here and there, and as I am a registered nurse, I could pick up on some inaccuracies occasionally. And in the tiniest quibble of all, as both a nurse and a knitter, I took issue with two parts of this sentence describing the Norn as she watches the scene unfold between Dan and Mia: “…she was knitting, the needles in her hands jumping up and down like the lines of vitals monitor.” First, as a knitter, I can say that the needles don’t jump up and down in your hands! In fact, often the needles stay very stationary, with only the smallest movements evident as the yarn is picked (if a Continental knitter) or the hands moving to throw the yarn around the needle (if a British-style knitter). Second, I don’t know what vitals monitors the author has seen, but none that I have worked with would reflect such movement (an EKG maybe, but not a vitals machine), even if what she stated about the knitting was true.
That being said, I did enjoy this book. Mia and Hakon seem very real, and the way that they interacted with each other was fascinating to follow as their relationship grew and changed. I like seeing how both of them could heal wounds for each other; I love that when it happens in stories. By the way, I so wanted to give Mia a firm talking to near the end. Goodness, girl, what were you thinking!