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Andor set sail with his pregnant wife, his sister and brother-in-law and their son, along with a number of friends to begin a new life in Iceland. A fierce storm all but wrecked their ship. Andorís wife and brother-in-law were killed as well as other members of the party. The remaining ones needed to get supplies back, and being Vikings they decided on a raid on the port that they landed in Ireland.
Gillian, heavily pregnant heard the cries and hid in the barn, her lazy worthless husband was killed in the raid. Andor and his party felt they couldnít leave Gillian alone so they took her with them.
It did seem a bit improbable the speed that Andor and Gillian fell in love. He married her to give her protection from Leif, another crew member - a very unpleasant man, the type that gave the Vikings their bad reputation! Yet before she gave birth, Andor loved her and the unborn baby of her first husband. Of course things went wrong shortly after - it had to in order for the story to work!
The historical facts are well researched and the difficulties that arise from Andor and Gillianís differing beliefs are very real. Gillian is a Christian and Andor a Pagan. There are some good secondary characters like Andorís sister Fredya and his friend Rollo. They play a large part in the story and help to sort out the various misunderstandings that seem to beset Andor and Gillian. At times I felt for a smart woman, Gillian could be so dim when it came to matters of the heart.
There is plenty of passion in the story and it is very steamy at times. I wondered why they needed so many furs!! But there are also many hardships for the small community to endure - and these are quite believable. It must have been a harsh way of life in a very cold climate.
Catherine Snodgrass wrote a good romance in an interesting historical period.