DiscoverTime Travel Romance

The Marriage of Time

By Mariah Stone

Worth reading 😎

Readers who love a hunky Viking may find Marriage of Time satisfies their Nordic love Jones.

Synopsis

She's on the run. He has a Viking vendetta. When they unite through history, will they find doom or destiny?

Boston, 2019. Mia is desperate to protect her unborn child. Under her mafia boyfriend's watchful eye, the pediatrician is out of options until a Norn transports her back in time. Swept off her feet by a muscular Norseman who calls her his betrothed, she plays along for safety until his touch gives her so much more…

Norway, 874. Hakon the Beast's offer to marry the daughter of his enemy is part of a murderous scheme. Obsessed with destroying the king who killed his mother, he expects to feel nothing for his bride. But when she's the opposite of what he expected, Hakon's cold-blooded quest could melt under his burning desire.

When a deadly outbreak reveals both of their secrets, Mia and Hakon realize their fiery romance may not be enough to keep them alive.

With centuries between them, can Mia and Hakon find a way to cling tightly to love?

What is a pregnant woman to do when cornered by her mafioso ex? Why she gets some help from a magic-packed old lady with the ability to catapult her through time.  In Marriage of Time by Mariah Stone, the main character Mia is smart, beautiful and very fertile. She had finally escaped her abusive Goodfella boyfriend Dan only to find herself knocked up. She tries to keep him from learning about the little bundle of joy, but we all know that never works out.


Dan isn’t going to just let Mia run off into the sunset with his baby. She ends up traveling through time, away from her ex and into the arms of hunky Norseman Hakon. He is fine, fierce and there in the forest to scoop up Mia. She is not too keen on being under the thumb of another man, but she can’t help but notice Hakon’s Viking—ahem—assets.


Hakon starts to feel Mia too. Unlike his tribes people, she is not frightened by his fearsome look (courtesy of a birthmark) or growling.  He starts to get distracted from his plans for vengeance on his enemy. 


The couple draws closer, each hiding something about themselves that might just mess up their respective games. 


Marriage of Time is book three of five in the Called by a Viking romance series. The main characters are mostly likable. Mia’s concern for Hakon’s pain and the well being of his people made her endearing, although a bit too perfect. A little more depth would have been great.


Hakon struggled through some deep pain while eyeing the new object of his affection. Stone gave the leading male some complexity through his emotional shifts.


There are a few story potholes and continuity issues but not any more than expected when dealing with a time travel trope. The story is really about the budding romance between Mia and Hakon anyway. So, readers may want to put a pin in the geeky stuff. 


The steaminess was on the lighter side but overall satisfying. I was delightfully relieved that the author did not imply or include gratuitous sexual assault to convey Hakon’s “Vikingness.” I’m not one to shy from the theme, but it is best not to use it to demonstrate a character's masculinity.  Good for Mariah that she didn’t. 


The Marriage of Time is an enjoyable romance.





Reviewed by

I have a B.A. in Historical Studies and Literature, an M.A. in Liberal Studies, and an AC in Women and Gender Studies. I am an adjunct instructor, writer and content editor. I have a strong background in literary criticism and have been reviewing books for several years.

Synopsis

She's on the run. He has a Viking vendetta. When they unite through history, will they find doom or destiny?

Boston, 2019. Mia is desperate to protect her unborn child. Under her mafia boyfriend's watchful eye, the pediatrician is out of options until a Norn transports her back in time. Swept off her feet by a muscular Norseman who calls her his betrothed, she plays along for safety until his touch gives her so much more…

Norway, 874. Hakon the Beast's offer to marry the daughter of his enemy is part of a murderous scheme. Obsessed with destroying the king who killed his mother, he expects to feel nothing for his bride. But when she's the opposite of what he expected, Hakon's cold-blooded quest could melt under his burning desire.

When a deadly outbreak reveals both of their secrets, Mia and Hakon realize their fiery romance may not be enough to keep them alive.

With centuries between them, can Mia and Hakon find a way to cling tightly to love?

Prologue

Somewhere in Rogaland, Norway, October 15, 874 AD



The scent of blood was so thick Hakon tasted iron on his tongue. Swords and axes thumped against wooden shields. Screams rang through the air as metal pierced flesh and bone.

His men were falling. He was losing.

Hakon stabbed the tattooed warrior under the ribs with his scramasax, kicked another one in the stomach, then whirled and drove his battle ax into the chest of the third one.

King Nyr sat on his horse across the clearing where their forces clashed, woods and mountains surrounding them. He watched Hakon with a triumphant sneer.

Rage ignited within Hakon, giving him power. He was the lightning that struck the tree. He was the spear that pierced the elk.

He was Thor’s hammer.

He was vengeance itself.

And King Nyr was his target.

One after another, men fell under Hakon’s ax, but he saw only King Nyr. The men fighting around him were flashes of hair, muscle, and iron.

Finally, Nyr was in front of him. He’d throw the man off his horse and drive his ax through the bastard’s heart. But as he tensed his muscles to lunge forward, his body slowed and stopped. His limbs were weighed down as if he had sunk into a swamp.

He looked around. Men.

They held him, their eyes round, their eyebrows snapped together. Nyr sat high and proud on his horse, eyeing him from above. His bald head, with its dark, shadowed eyes, looked like a skull. 

Hakon roared and jerked with all his might. Like Fenrir, the giant wolf bound by unbreakable chains, he fought and bit, teeth gnashing, claws flashing. But he could not get free.

“They say you are unstoppable, Beast,” Nyr said. “I see that it is not true.”

Hakon gritted his teeth. “Thor, give me your hammer to strike this snake.”

“Why so hostile, Hakon? Your father and I were friends.”

“I remember. Friend. I remember your visit sixteen winters ago, the freezing night my mother took me into the woods after a blizzard. I remember the traces of the wolf pack in the snow after they followed her horse away from me. And I remember the remnants of her body after they tore her apart. I have asked myself over and over, why she suddenly decided to take me to her family that night. Why she insisted it was no longer safe at home. Now I know. It was because of you.”

Nyr’s face straightened and paled as he listened. “You know?”

Hakon nodded. “My father told me on his death bed two years ago. You suggested he let the gods test my curse.”

Hakon’s left eye—the one with a birthmark around it—twitched. “She died because of your wicked scheme. You took the dearest person in the world from me. And now it is time to pay. The Beast has come for you.”

Nyr’s throat bobbed under his short white beard. “I am growing weary of your rage, Hakon. I never intended for your mother to die, and I never intended for us to be enemies. Be my ally. I want you by my side.”

A low, animal growl escaped Hakon’s throat. Fury was burning his gut like hot vinegar. Be his ally? Give up? Never. He had lost the battle, but not the war.

Nyr’s chin rose. “First choice, you die. You, your men, and every single person in your village. Your lands become mine—something I have wanted for a long time. But I do not wish your death. I want the Beast on my side. I want you to fight for me like you have fought against me. Second choice, you become my kinsman.”

The urge for revenge made his hands itch and burn as if he had just rubbed his palms in nettle. He growled again, a mixture of laughter and threat. He would never be kin to this monster.

“You were robbed of your mother.” Nyr lifted one shoulder. “Let me give you another woman who would love you. Marry my daughter.”

Hakon froze. “What?”

“I have nine girls and no boys. My daughters’ task is to bring me the sons and alliances I need.”

Hakon could not believe what the worm was suggesting.

“Become my son-in-law.” Nyr tilted his head back slightly. “You will keep your lands and pay me tribute as your king. You will protect me if I need your warriors, and you will back me at the assembly, the Thing. What say you?”

“Have your brat for a wife?” Hakon spat. “What Loki’s plan is this?”

He could not have a wife. Not the least the daughter of his enemy.

“I am not jesting.”

“Do you hate your daughter so much that you will marry her to the Beast?” Hakon heard the thunder in his own voice.

Nyr did not even twitch. “Do you not want a family?”

Hakon had abandoned the hope of having a normal life long ago. “You said that I was cursed. Are you not afraid your daughter will be cursed, as well?”

Nyr chuckled. “I have so many, nothing will change if a little curse comes to this one.”

Hakon watched Nyr from under his heavy lids. He felt as if he were caught in a trap, looking for a way out.

And he had found one. Nyr had just given Hakon a way to destroy him. Loki must have sat on his shoulder and whispered a scheme. A truly cunning scheme.

All Hakon needed were allies with more men. Marrying Nyr’s daughter would be the best way to make connections while gaining his enemy’s trust. Hakon straightened, his shoulders relaxed. His fury still thundered in his stomach, but it had taken a form.

The form of a spear.

“Marry your daughter, you say?”

“Yes. My daughter, Arinborg. She’s the next one of marrying age.”

Hakon did not care if she was an old woman. It would not be a true marriage anyway. “How do I know that you will leave us alone?”

Nyr cocked his head. “I give you my word.”

Hakon laughed. “Your word. Your word is like spitting into a fjord. It means nothing.”

Nyr’s eyes darkened. “What do you want as a guarantee?”

Hakon narrowed his eyes. Nyr could use his daughter as a spy. The only way to avoid that was to isolate her from her kinsmen. She needed to be completely under Hakon’s control.

“Let her come alone. No one will accompany her. No one will attend the wedding. If she comes alone, I will take it as the sign of peace. If I hear a twig break near her, she’ll die before her heart can take its next beat.”

Nyr’s jaw moved from side to side. “The way is long. Winter is upon us. Let it be next summer solstice. She will be there, alone.”

Triumph spread in Hakon’s stomach like warmth from a hot stone. “The day of summer solstice. There is a sacred grove with a rune stone up the mountain by my village. I will wait for her there.”

“Let it be so, Beast. Send word when the thing is done.”

Hakon gave a curt nod. Nyr gestured, and the men let go of Hakon. His jaw tightened. Now that he was free, he itched for his ax, for a chance to kill Nyr.

Nyr’s men began retreating into the woods, and the king turned his horse away and rode off.

Hakon’s fists clenched and unclenched, gripping empty air. He had agreed to marry Nyr’s daughter, to become mágr to the man who had caused his mother’s death. Was he mad?

Hakon’s birthmark burned, reminding him of his curse.  

He would need to keep his distance from his future wife—she would surely spy on him, even if he did keep her away from her kin. But at least he need not worry about developing feelings for the daughter of his enemy.

His ability to love had died with his mother.


About the author

Mariah Stone fell in love with her future husband on the edge of a Norwegian fjord. Now she lives in the Netherlands with him and their baby son. Her talents include forgetting everything when she writes and creating a bigger mess than her baby can ever make. view profile

Published on April 25, 2019

Published by

50000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Time Travel Romance

Reviewed by

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