The Very Virile Vikingby Sandra Hill
“Sandra Hill always delivers smart, sexy, laugh-out-loud action.”
“Sandra Hill writes stories that tickle the funnybone and touch the heart.”
What true romantic fiction fan could possibly resist USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Sandra Hill’s buff and/em>/em>… See more details below
“Sandra Hill always delivers smart, sexy, laugh-out-loud action.”
“Sandra Hill writes stories that tickle the funnybone and touch the heart.”
What true romantic fiction fan could possibly resist USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Sandra Hill’s buff and sexy Norsemen—whether they’re carousing with comely maids back in the eleventh century or making mischief in the present day after being miraculously transported through time? The latter is the case for The Very Virile Viking, who somehow finds himself in an unfamiliar kingdom called Hollywood and lusting after a gorgeous winemaker. Once again, Sandra Hill delivers a truly hilarious time travel romance that’s endearing, delightful, and sizzling hot—just like her hopelessly lost hero, The Very Virile Viking!
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The Virile Viking
By Sandra Hill
Copyright © 2003
All right reserved.
Autumn, Vestfold, the Norse lands, 999 A.D.
Magnus Ericsson was a simple man.
He loved the smell of fresh-turned dirt after springtime
He loved the feel of a soft woman under him in the bed furs
... when engaged in another type of plowing.
He loved the heft of a good sword in his fighting arm.
He loved the low-ride of a laden longship after a-Viking in
far distant lands.
He loved the change of seasons on his well-ordered farmstead.
What he did not relish was the large number of whining, loud,
bothersome, needful children who called him "Fa_ir." "Father,
this ..., Father, that ...," they blathered night and day,
always wanting something from him. Ten in all! He had that
size of a brood, despite having lost a son and a daughter to
normal childhood ills and mishaps. Holy Thor! The large number
was embarrassing, not to mention annoying. He could not go to
the garderobe without stepping on one or the other of them.
Like rats, they were, or fleas.
And, of a certainty, he was not pleased with their mothers.
Over the years there had been four wives, six concubines,
numerous passing fancies, and at least one barley-faced maid.
That latter could only be attributed to a fit of mead-head
madness on his part, he was quick to tell any who dared ask.
Not all of them hadshared his bed furs at the same time,
praise be to Odin, though some lackwits claimed it to be so,
just because he'd practiced the more danico during some
halfbrained periods of his life. He'd learned by now that one
wife was bad enough; three was impossible. All of his women,
one by one, had had the temerity to die on him, desert him,
or, ignominiously, divorce him, as his most recent wife, Inga,
had done last summer at the Althing. Claimed she was tired of
playing slave to all his babes, she did. Norsemen from here to
Birka were still laughing about that happenstance.
He suspected as well that they were taking wagers on how many
more whelps would land on the doorstep of his longhouse by
None, if he had his way.
It had not been so bad when his father, Jarl Eric Tryggvason,
and his mother, Lady Asgar, had still been alive and living on
the adjoining royal estate. Or when his brothers had been
nearby. His mother had seemed to have better luck in arranging
help for him. But his mother and father had both died last
year, within months of each other. The healers said it was due
to lung sickness brought on by an especially fierce winter,
but he believed that it was heart-sickness over his missing
brothers, Geirolf and Jorund, whose ships had presumably sunk
in distant waters beyond Iceland, and perhaps over the famine
that had struck Jorund's family the year before. He and his
sister, Katla, were the only family left, and Katla, happily
married to a Norse princeling these many years, lived in
far-off Norse-mandy, which some call Normandy.
There was much pressure on him to take over his father's
jarldom, especially from his uncle, the high-king of the Norse
lands, Olaf Tryggvason. But that would mean giving up his own
lands and the farming he cherished. Further, he would
knowingly be immersing himself in the political pressures that
faced all the minor kingdoms in the Norse lands as they
squabbled for power. He was a farmer, at heart, not a man
ambitious for power.
Besides, did he not have enough pressures within his own
That is a pointless question.
Where would his children fit into such a scenario?
Wherever they could squeeze in.
Would he have to take another wife?
For a certainty.
Did he want another wife?
Bloody hell, no!
But how long had it been since he'd lain with a woman?
Way too long! I am afraid to look at a woman these days, for
fear my seed will fly into her womb.
Would the marriage bonds be worth the bother of another
squawking woman following him about like a shadow? Or
producing even more babies?
Bonds ... that is the correct description.
And would a woman of my choosing be willing to take on all my
Probably not. Nay, I should not wed again.
But the sex ...
The problem, as far as he could tell, always came back to the
children and the burden of his virility. If he were free, he
could make decisions based on his own wants, or needs, or the
good of the people of Vestfold. But there were eleven other
individuals to consider.
Magnus had seen seven and thirty winters. Sometimes, when he
was in a daze from too much youthling noise, or when he was
suffering from the ale-ache, he wondered how he had begat so
many children. But, of course, he knew how.
Magnus Ericsson was a lustsome man.
And therein lay the Viking's problem.
Still wintertime, the Norse lands, 1000 A.D.
"It is disgraceful, Fa_ir. Really, it is. All these children,
and no one to care for them. Tsk-tsk! Mayhap you could hire
another nurse maid, or two. Or better yet, a whip master for
the older ones."
It was Magnus's eldest child, seventeen-year-old Madrene, who
had started berating him from the moment he entered his keep.
He was frozen to the bone after making his way, along with a
half dozen workers, through chest-high snow from the stables.
He had spent the past eight hours delivering one foal, two
calves, and a litter of piglets. He and his helpers had pulled
in enough feed for all the animals in face of tonight's
upcoming blizzard on top of yesterday's blizzard, then they'd
mucked out the stalls ... who knew when they'd be able to do it
again! And who knew horses and cows could produce so much
smelly waste! Ah, well, 'twas part of a farmer's life and he
did not mind all that much. Little six-year-old Jogeir had
come along with them-the industrious little boy. Even
dragging his lame foot along, he was able to accomplish as
much as many a laggard man he'd met in his time. Finally,
they'd made the trek home, balancing themselves on the
slippery ice path, while carrying baskets of hen and duck eggs
for Gunnhora, his head cook, who was preparing for Madrene's
wedding feast next week. It was ridiculous, really, having a
wedding feast in the middle of winter, but once Madrene got an
idea in her head, she was like a dog with a bone ... would not
give it up for anything.
"And furthermore ..."
Bloody hell! His daughter was still wagging her tongue with
talk. What he did not need was more complaints, especially
from one of his own children.
He decided to ignore Madrene, who was too full of herself by
half now that there was no lady of the keep and now that she
was to become a wife. Instead, he walked up to one of the
three blazing hearths in his hall and proceeded to remove his
ice-crusted furs and undercloak. Madrene followed after him,
the pestsome wench. 'Twas a wonder she did not start on him
about the puddle he was making in the rushes. He shook his
body like a shaggy dog, creating a shower of droplets, just to
annoy her more, but all she did was make more of those
tongue-sucking noises women fancied so much.
Blah, blah, blah! Does her tongue ever get tired? "What is the
problem now?" he asked, knowing full well she would not leave
till she'd spouted everything on her mind.
"Lida has soiled another nappy, and Kirsten and Dagny refuse
to change her again." Kirsten and Dagny were his fourteen and
twelve-year-old daughters, and, to tell the truth, he did not
blame them at all. The girls did more than their fair share of
child and household chores, especially since another nurse
maid had quit on him last sennight, claiming to be
overburdened by his wild and numerous progeny. And Lida did
seem to have bowels that worked way too well. "Ask one of the
kitchen thralls to help," he advised. "Or how about the new
chambermaid? What is her name? Arnora ... that is it ... Arnora.
Came to us on that last trading ship, searching for work."
Actually, he knew her name precisely. The voluptuous young
woman had been swishing her hips afore him in invitation every
time she passed by. And he was tempted. Sorely tempted,
considering how long it had been since he'd last lain between
a woman's thighs. Six months! Ever since Inga had divorced
him. It was not yet spring, but his sap was running high. So
far, he had resisted, but he was not sure how much longer he
could remain chaste. If nothing else, he was going to be
drooling sap before long.
Weren't there any attractive women beyond childbearing age?
Mayhap he should look for one next time he went to Birka. He
would have to mention it to Toki the Trader who was wintering
here in Vestfold till the fjords thawed, his longship having
been beached on a nearby shore. Toki knew everyone in the
"Arnora! Hmpfh! That is another thing," Madrene said, frowning
Gods! The girl is still chattering away, even when I am not
listening. "Ragnor and Torolf were seen entering her sleeping
chamber this morn, and they have not come out since."
Any temptation he had felt for the maid flew up to the
rafters. His rising sap lowered like a lake before an
unplugged dam. "Together?"
Magnus's eyes widened at that news. And his first thought was:
Double the chance of impregnating the lass. That was all he
needed. More babes being bred in this family. From
sixteen-year-old boys, yet! He had known they were no longer
untried youthlings. In truth, they tried too hard. But this
was a situation he would have to stop. Two-to-one? What could
they be thinking? Well, actually, what they were doing did not
involve thinking, at all.
But the fools had to be more careful. He recalled vividly the
hardships of fatherhood at that young age. That's about how
old he'd been at the birth of his first child.
Just then, he noticed yet another son, Storvald, sitting by
the hearth, whittling away at one of his fine wood
carvings ... a rendition of a longship in intricate detail. He
squinted in the fire light to make up for his poor vision in
seeing things close-up. It was not a real handicap for the
boy, just when he did fine work. But now, Storvald, at
thirteen years, was listening with great interest to their
conversation, even as he wielded his knife. No doubt, he
thought it would be great fun to join Arnora in the bed furs,
too ... even at his young age ... especially at his young age.
"Do you want me to go get them?" Storvald asked, blinking his
eyes with exaggerated innocence.
"Nay, I do not want you to go get them," he said. "I will
handle it myself." And I am looking forward to it about as
much as if I were about to pull the hairs out of my nose.
And off he stormed, even as Madrene continued to call out her
list of grievances. "And Kolbein ate three bowls of custard
that cook had put aside in the scullery, and now he is
suffering belly cramps. Dagny got her first monthly flux and
will not stop weeping. Kolbein saw the bloody rag and thinks
she is dying. Hamr broke Asa's broom, pretending it was a
"Is that all?"
"Nay, that is not all. Do you want to know what Njal and his
friends are doing?"
Nay. "Do I have a choice?" Njal was his nine-year-old son. A
more mischievous boy had never been born.
"Njal and his friends are breaking wind, deliberately, every
time they pass the weaving room, and the girls there say they
will not work in such a stinksome place."
Magnus sighed loudly and put a palm to his aching forehead. At
least his groin was no longer aching.
He could not wait till the wedding feast when Madrene's
besotted young jarl would take her away from all this misery.
At least then, he would have one less child to worry over. At
least then, he would be a little less miserable himself.
Springtime, the Norse lands, 1000 A.D.
Magnus had made a decision, and it was a momentous one.
"Hear me, one and all," he shouted out to all those in
attendance at the Springtime feast taking place outdoors on
his farmstead where large trestle tables had been moved and
canvas tents erected. The fields had been plowed and planted.
All the chores left over from winter were completed. Fallen
timbers were cleared from streams. New baby animals were being
born. It was a time of celebration after weeks of grueling
hard work. Many of his men would be off a-Viking now, or
lending their sword arms to King Olaf in his never ending
battles to hold the all-kingship of the Norse lands. They
would return at harvest time, though.
But not Magnus.
It was a season of new beginnings for the farm.
It would be a season of new beginnings for Magnus, too.
"I, Magnus Ericsson, have decided to take a vow of celibacy,"
he announced over the din of loud chatter.
Slowly, silence rippled over the crowd, and he could hear
murmurs as his words were repeated from group to group. Once
his meaning sunk in, laughter began to burst forth in waves.
They thought he was jesting.
He held up a hand for quiet. In his other hand, he raised high
his drinking horn. "Wish me well, my friends, for I am
serious. And that is not all."
"Now, now, Magnus, are you still chafing under our little joke
last winter?" Harek had come up to stand beside him.
He shook his head and smiled at his good friend.
"And that is not all," he further declared. "I will be leaving
the Norse lands for a good long time. I am off to that new
land beyond Iceland which was discovered a dozen or so years
ago by my father's cousin, Erik the Red. 'Tis Greenland I
refer to, of course. Or mayhap I will venture even farther to
that place which his son Leif is exploring. Vinland is
supposed to be warmer, if naught else."
Laughter in the crowd soon turned to shock.
"But why?" Harek was gazing at him with a frown of puzzlement
on his forehead.
Magnus wished he could explain the missive he'd received last
sennight. Came on a trading ship which had come in contact
with some sailors from that new land of Leif's. In a linen
wrapped parcel was his brother Jorund's sword. Tied to the
sword were two small portraits-one of Jorund with some
strange woman and two twin girls; and the other of Jorund and
Geirolf with arms looped over each other's shoulders, standing
before a huge archway sign which read, "Rosestead."
The portraits, if they could be called that, were done on
peculiar parchment paper, unlike any he had ever seen before.
And the attire worn by all of them was strange. But most
important, Jorund and Geirolf looked happy. After much
pondering, Magnus had decided that it was a message from the
gods ... or from his brothers.
Geirolf's dragonship had been lost in the oceans beyond
Iceland almost three years past, presumed to have drowned in a
shipwreck. Then Jorund's dragonship had done the same two
years ago when he'd gone to search for Geirolf.
But were they really dead? Or were they alive in some new
land? Magnus had to find out for himself. It was a mystery he
must at least investigate.
"It is something I must do," was the only explanation he could
give Harek. He put on a mirthful face then and added,
"Besides, there is not enough good land in Norway for all my
children. Ha, ha, ha!"
People nodded and laughed, tentatively, at his half-jest,
half-truth. Arable land had always been scarce in the
Northlands, but it was even more so now in recent years as
more and more men vied for the same amount under numerous
grab-land minor kings. Thousands of Vikings were settling in
other countries for that very reason.
"Who will rule here ... in your absence?" Atli called out to
"Madrene and her husband, Karl, will rule in my place here at
the farmstead. Ragnor will represent me at my father's estate.
The rest of my children ... all nine of them ... will come with
me." May the gods help me, he murmured to himself with his
He could see the disappointment in Jogeir's face. The boy was
a farmer at heart, like him, and he loved this land. But there
would be new farms for him, and for Jogeir, of that he was
convinced, or he would not go. Besides, they would come back
As his people began to assimilate his news and accept it - all
Vikings loved a good adventure - Magnus sat down with a sigh
and a took a long drag on his horn of ale. He felt good about
his decision. If nothing else, it was a time for new
Besides, it would be a lot easier to honor his vow of celibacy
in the new land where there were surely not very many women.
And those who were there must be dog ugly. Why else would
they settle in the back of beyond? - though the one in
Jorund's portrait had been more than passable.
For the first time in a year or more, Magnus was excited, and
it had naught to do with the throb betwixt his legs.
As sure as dragon piss, it was a good sign.
Excerpted from The Virile Viking
by Sandra Hill
Copyright © 2003 by Sandra Hill .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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