<i>Slow Hand</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Slow Hand: Exclusive Excerpt Victoria Vane "Nikki closed her eyes and parted her lips on a sigh of surrender..." <i>Maybe This Christmas</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Maybe This Christmas: Exclusive Excerpt Sarah Morgan "She tried to walk past him but lost her balance and fell against his chest..." <i>Treasure on Lilac Lane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Treasure on Lilac Lane: Exclusive Excerpt Donna Alward "It had been her first kiss, and she’d looked at him with stars in her eyes..." <i>A Beaumont Christmas Wedding</i>: Excerpt A Beaumont Christmas Wedding: Excerpt Sarah M. Anderson "She stopped breathing as his hands skimmed over her..."
From The Blog
October 21, 2014
Spooktacular Matchmakers in Romance
Maggie Boyd
October 21, 2014
What Do You Want to See More Of?
Megan Frampton
October 20, 2014
Unusual Shifters in YA and Adult Romance
Sahara Hoshi
October 17, 2014
Friday Beefcake: Magic Mike XXL Cast
Team H & H
October 17, 2014
H&H Debriefing: Binge Reading—Do You Do It?
Team H & H
Showing posts by: Anna Bowling click to see Anna Bowling's profile
Fri
Oct 10 2014 12:15pm

The Walking Dead Season 5 Shipping Appreciation

Glenn and Maggie in The Walking DeadIn trailers for The Walking Dead’s fifth season, Rick urges his group to never let their guard down, but whose guarded heart is, or could be, ripe for the taking? Let’s take a look at the likely suspects and do some speculating.

Maggie and Glenn: These twentysomethings may be young to be the established couple of the group, but age is nothing but a number when the dead walk the earth. Maggie and Glenn’s devotion to one another has only grown from their first emotionally charged meeting, the intimacy of Maggie’s presence when Glenn prayed for the very first time, and the sweet heat of their first encounter in an empty drugstore. They’ve weathered the loss of Maggie’s dad, Herschel, survived the Governor’s interrogation, and fought their way through a tunnel full of walkers to find each other again, so what challenges await the newlyweds now that they’re together in Terminus? Fans of the graphic novel know that prospective parenthood, both adoptive and biological, becomes a hot topic for these two, and that could be interesting to see carry over onto the screen.

[We'd like to see that play out...]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 10:20am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 8 Recap: Is it Always Like This?

Claire hugs Jamie in Outlander 1x08Claire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 8, “Both Sides Now.” Enjoy!

Six weeks after Claire’s disappearance, Frank finds that disappointment is not the word for his feelings about the efforts of the local constabulary.

With no body and no sign of a struggle, Claire probably wasn’t taken against her will. Since Frank himself caught a man staring up at Claire’s window, the prevailing theory is that Claire has run off with her lover. Frank insists Claire would never leave him for another man.

[Well...she didn't mean to. If she just hadn't fallen through time...]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 11:35am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 7 Recap: Was it Good for You?

Claire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 7, “The Wedding.” Enjoy!

Claire’s second marriage begins with memories of her first. A younger Claire, hand in hand with Frank, stops outside a registry office, where Frank surprises Claire with a proposal. Claire answers with a kiss, which fades into her kissing Jamie at their wedding.

Soon enough, it’s the wedding night, and the newlyweds are charmingly awkward. A few drinks calm bridal nerves for both, and Jamie assures Claire he’s not going to force himself on her. Claire never thought he would, but she does have some questions, which strikes Jamie as fair. Why did Jamie agree to marry her?

Jamie allows that he married Claire to keep her safe. To protect Claire, the letter of the law must be fulfilled. The marriage would need to be consummated right away, with witnesses swearing they were in the building, if not the room. Jamie gives Claire his name, his clan and his family. If necessary, the protection of his body as well. Pause now for the entire female viewership to swoon, but Jamie is only getting started.

Claire joins him on the bed, hands entwinde, there’s leaning in for a kiss. Claire stalls. She wants to know about Jamie’s family. Jamie asks Claire how many generations back she wants him to go, and, well, ask a Scotsman a story, and the answer will not be brief. Hours pass as the newlyweds swap family stories, until would-be witnesses burst in to see how things are going. Jamie ushers their guests out, and Claire suggests she and Jamie go to bed. 

[Can we join, too?]

Fri
Sep 19 2014 3:15pm

Ahoy, Maties: Top 10 Pirate Romances from Hoyt, Lindsey, London and More!

Pirate in Her Arms by Danelle HarmonTalk Like A Pirate Day is today, and what better way to observe the holiday than talking pirate romance? From Cape Cod to the Barbary Coast, Elizabethan times to Victorian era Brazil, these seafaring romances are ready to board your keeper shelves.

Pirate in my Arms by Danelle Harmon

Let’s start out this list with a story based on the real deal. Danelle Harmon spent three years working with the crew that recovered the sunken ship, Whydah, belonging to actual pirate Black Sam Bellamy, and it shows in her attention to detail. Prepare to be swept back in time with this unforgettable tale of an adventurous English rogue who finds his greatest treasure in gentle Maria Hallet of Cape Cod, and a love that will not be denied.

by Marsha Canham

Marsha Canham could probably fill this list all by herself, but if pressed to pick only one of her nearly flawless pirate romances, the first in the Elizabethan-set Pirate Wolf series would have to be the one. Isabeau (Beau) Spence, herself the daughter of a notorious sea dog, is definitely daddy’s girl. A skilled navigator who demands respect, she rescues Simon Dante from a doomed ship, and the battle of wits between them begins. Rapier-sharp wits, passionate hearts and thrilling adventure make their happily-ever after one for the history books.

[And our TBR piles...]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 11:04am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 6: Black Jack’s Black Soul

Claire and Jamie in OutlanderClaire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 6, “The Garrison Commander.” Enjoy!

When last we left Claire, she had a big question to answer; was she with the MacKenzies of her own free will? This week, she tells Lieutenant Foster she is a guest of the Clan MacKenzie. All well and good, but Brigadier General Lord Thomas wants to speak with her anyway. If Claire goes, Dougal goes, so it’s off to see the wizard…er, general.

Even though the Redcoats are the enemies of the Highlanders, they’re still the British army Claire served with, and it’s good to be looked on with sympathy rather than suspicion. For Dougal, it’s the other way around. They may still be on MacKenzie land, but with the occupying Redcoats, he’s in enemy territory, and he is the outlander here.

[Uh oh...]

Mon
Sep 8 2014 10:30am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 5: You MUST Pay the Rent!

Dougal and Claire in Outlander 1x05Claire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, Episode 5, “Rent.” Enjoy!

Claire looks out across the wide water and quotes from John Donne’s “Present in Absence.” Surprise, surprise, Ned Gowan, the lawyer who’ll be helping them collect the rents, knows it, too.

Ned details what exactly counts as rent; livestock of various sorts, even a handkerchief last year, but no more live pigs. Ned’s cough troubles Claire, who suspects asthma and stuffs his pipe with thorn apple.

Dougal hurries them on their way.

[On your way...]

Thu
Sep 4 2014 2:00pm

Book Boyfriend: John Wesley Hawkins from Susan Wiggs’s The Maiden of Ireland

The Maiden of Ireland by Susan Wiggs

The executioner wondered why so many women had come to watch the priest die.

With those words, Susan Wiggs sweeps us back to 1658, and the infamous gallows at Tyburn and into the life of John Wesley Hawkins, failed priest, reluctant Roundhead supporter and devoted father to a young daughter whom Oliver Cromwell holds prisoner. In short, a book boyfriend if ever there was one, a man of faith and reason, with a strong moral compass, a belief in love, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to protect those he considers his own.

She had cast a spell for her lover and had conjured a renegade Englishman. Caitlin McBride, de facto (and later official) leader of her sept, proud Irishwoman and protector of all that is hers, cannot deny that her clever brain and iron will exist alongside a heart that yearns for love. With a touch of Irish magic, Caitlin plucks a rose and makes a wish, pining for the dashing Spaniard who claimed her heart for years ago. It’s not her beloved Alonso who appears, but the infuriating, enigmatic Wesley.

[You get what you need...]

Sun
Aug 31 2014 5:00pm

Outlander Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: Party Like It’s 1743

Jamie and Claire in Outlander Season 1 episode 4Claire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, episode 4, “The Gathering.” Enjoy!

Claire races through the forest on a misty morning. Sharpshooters on lookout towers take aim. Nope, no escape this time. Claire is running from a fierce horde of children. She takes a tumble and looks up into a kilt, worn the traditional way. Not Jamie, though. Boo. Her guards don’t want to miss the festivities of the gathering, so Claire and the kids will have to explore some other time. The hunting game was more than a pleasant diversion. It let Claire scope out two possible escape routes. Clever girl.

[Can you really escape destiny?...]

Mon
Aug 25 2014 11:46am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Years Apart and Minutes Away

Jamie and Claire in Outlander Season 1 episode 3Claire Randall's adventure continues in the first season of what is sure to be a long-running series on Starz based on the beloved historical fiction/fantasy/romance series by Diana Gabaldon, and we are so ready to recap and then discuss every single moment of it.

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including Saturday night's Season 1, episode 3, “The Way Out.” Enjoy!

Claire and Frank traverse a crowded train station, both in uniform. Frank insists what they’re doing is backwards, and it should be her seeing him off to the front lines. “Welcome to the twentieth century,” she answers without missing a beat. Frank elicits Claire’s promise to return to him, and next thing Claire knows, she’s dashed over the head with a bucket of cold water, as Mrs. Fitz helps her bathe.

[Even Claire's doing the #ALSIceBucketChallenge!...]

Mon
Aug 18 2014 10:30am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: Detained!

Is this real life?! More than two years after it was announced that Outlander just might be headed for the small screen, the day we've been waiting no-so-patiently for is finally (finally!) here. Though Starz has hosted screenings and even released the pilot episode on demand last week, tonight is the officially official series premiere of Outlander, and to celebrate, we present Anna Bowling's recap in the hopes that this week—and every week the show airs—you will read and enjoy and join us to discuss every tiny delicious detail of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser's epic journey (and, okay, yes, we'll especially be obsessing over every single scene featuring her beloved Scot, one James “Jamie” Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser). And now, let's get this show on the road...

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including last night's Season 1, episode 2, “Castle Leoch.” Enjoy!

Now that Claire knows she’s not in the twentieth century anymore, what is she going to do about that? The journey she, Jamie and the others have taken ends at Castle Leoch, familiar to them, and to Claire, but for different reasons. Claire is a stranger to all that’s familiar to her companions, and of course she sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. She’s with Jamie, though, so it can’t be all bad, can it?

[Not even a little bad...]

Sat
Aug 9 2014 11:00am

Outlander Season 1, Episode 1 Recap: Back to the Future

Outlander Season 1 official posterIs this real life?! More than two years after it was announced that Outlander just might be headed for the small screen, the day we've been waiting no-so-patiently for is finally (finally!) here. Though Starz has hosted screenings and even released the pilot episode on demand last week, tonight is the officially official series premiere of Outlander, and to celebrate, we present Anna Bowling's recap in the hopes that this week—and every week the show airs—you will read and enjoy and join us to discuss every tiny delicious detail of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser's epic journey (and, okay, yes, we'll especially be obsessing over every single scene featuring her beloved Scot, one James “Jamie” Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser). And now, let's get this show on the road...

This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Outlander, including the series premiere, “Sassenach.” Enjoy!

There’s a certain risk in bringing a beloved book to new life on the small screen, and in the case of Diana Gabaldon’s iconic Outlander, the risk in the romance community is astronomically high. How can any mere mortal actors and production team come close to what’s already come to vivid life in readers’ heads? If we’re talking the new series from Starz, pretty darned close. 

Right from the start, we get breathtaking scenery, bagpipes, Claire’s voiceover, and this viewer is quite happily lost. The same attention to detail as in the books is here, as we learn how important it is that Claire Randall never owned a vase, but can’t stop staring at one in a shop window, the image giving way to that of an earlier Claire assisting in surgery during wartime. Her job completed, she walks out of surgery in an apron stained with arterial spray, and into a jubilant celebration of V-E Day. Claire swigs from a bottle of wine, but merely watches the festivities rather than taking part. She’s a rare one, our Claire, and that’s going to be something to remember.

[And so begins one wild tale...]

Mon
Jul 21 2014 3:14pm

She’s So Unusual: Sandra Schwab’s Historical Romances

Castle of the Wolf by Sandra SchwabWhat comes to mind at the phrase, “Black Forest?” A dessert rich with dark chocolate, cherries and cream? Old World forests where maidens and orphans might as easily find danger as well as an unlikely love? Ornate castles filled with antique treasures? If you’ve read the novels of German romance author Sandra Schwab, you’re not far off.

Schwab combines her love of romance with a scholar’s attention to historical detail, and with good reason. Besides writing unforgettable historical romance novels, she also teaches English literature at the college level and studies folk and popular literature, the Victorian novel and British society and culture in her academic life. If you’re looking for historical romance rich in heart and smarts, look no further. You’ve found it.

“Nobody ever counts the gargoyles” may not be what springs to mind when thinking of a perfect first (or last) line of a historical romance novel, but in Schwab’s classic Castle of the Wolf, this chilling phrase leads the reader deep into Germany’s Black Forest and a story as rich and delicious as the cake that shares its name.

[Go on, take a big bite...]

Wed
Jul 9 2014 9:30am

Top 10 Scottish Historicals: A Verra Opinionated Opinion

Outlander by Diana GabaldonIs it really true that if you’ve read one Scottish romance, you’ve read them all? Not even close. Within this hugely popular subgenre, there is an amazing amount of variety. History can be a major player in the romance itself, or a backdrop to it, and time periods are wide open. What’s your pleasure, Highlanders, lowlanders, border lords (or ladies?) Medieval, Victorian, or somewhere in between? Soldiers, rebels, courtiers, highwaymen? All of the above and then some? Why not? When it comes to Scottish romance, there can’t be only one.

Try a few of these on for size:

1) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Step into the standing stones along with Claire Randall and let this classic tale whisk you back through time from the twentieth century to the eighteenth, into the arms of Jamie Fraser, brawny Scotsman, ginger, virgin alpha male, and many readers’ choice for favorite romance hero of all time. There’s also the wee matter of the TV adaptation that’s only a month away, so why wait?

2&3)  The Pride of Lions and Blood of Roses by Marsha Canham
Set against the tumultuous Jacobite Rebellion, English Catherine finds herself married by haste to a man who is not what he seems. Though she’s determined at first to end their marriage and return to her comfortable life in England, Catherine, through her love of Alexander, his home and his people, chooses to stand by his side and fight for her adopted homeland. Readers will be eager to see Alexander and Catherine as supporting characters in the third book in the trilogy, Midnight Honor, featuring Colonel Anne Moy. Yes, you read it right. Colonel Anne.

[Well, hello Colonel Anne...]

Thu
Jun 5 2014 3:15pm

Brothers (and Sister) in Love: Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister Series

The Governess Affair by Courtney MilanShe’s a crafty one, that Courtney Milan, with her Brothers Sinister series. Gives readers a dose of history along with the tried and true format of a romance series centering around a group of siblings. Makes them think, she does, about facets other authors might not weight so heavily. Makes them care, too, slipping the parents of future heroes in under the guise of a prequel, The Governess Affair. Oh yes, she’ll give us a fine romance, and we’ll love her for it, but best be warned, she’ll pull back a veil or two, and certain aspects of the nineteenth century may never look the same.

In The Governess Affair, Milan begins as she means to go on, introducing us to Serena Barton, recently unemployed and unwilling to take that lying down. Which, as we soon learn, is part of why she is currently unemployed. Unemployment is never easy, but in an age where women’s rights were still in question, and sexual harassment was meant to be borne rather than fought, Serena’s insistence on reparations makes her a force to be reckoned with, and not by the man who did her wrong. That task falls instead to Hugo Marshall, who knows all too well the struggle to make a place for oneself in a world where privilege holds sway. Hugo may have a job to do, but he has a conscience as well, and it goes against his duty. Together, Hugo and Serena learn that true nobility comes from spirit rather than blood, and that love, as well as blood, can make a family strong.

[Blood is thicker than water, but it's not everything...]

Mon
May 19 2014 11:09am

Is She Flying Away?: Thoughts on Jane/Lisbon in The Mentalist 6x22

Simon Baker and Robin Tunney as Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon in The Mentalist Season 6, episode 22This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of The Mentalist, including last night’s Season 6 finale, 6x22, “Blue Bird.” Enjoy!

Despite all signs, the brilliant Patrick Jane doesn’t believe Agent Lisbon will actually transfer to the DC office. Cho has bad news for Jane; Lisbon has already put in her paperwork, and will be leaving in ten days. Even though Cho breaks this news at a crime scene, Jane’s questions are all about Lisbon, and he insists it’s not a done deal.

Two days before Lisbon’s departure, she confronts Jane about his distant behavior. Is he angry at her? Jane responds that he feels slighted because he was the last to know Lisbon is leaving. Lisbon asserts he knows why she couldn't tell him. It's hard. They've worked together a long time. Jane asks her to stay, and not break up the team, but before she can respond, adds that he's kidding. She deserves this. She deserves Pike, who is a good man.

[Is that really why you want her to stay, Jane?...]

Fri
May 9 2014 12:00pm

The Big Bang Theory 7x23: Will You _____ _____ ?

The movies mean romantic complications for Raj, Leonard and Penny, in two very different ways. Raj faces a bout of uncertainty when he spies Emily, his current crush, at the movies with another man, while Penny’s career takes yet another downward turn on the set of her killer gorilla movie.

Penny and co-star Wil Wheaton are giving this low-budget film their all as they enact a scene where Penny’s character, a bisexual go-go dancer, is turning into a gorilla. Wil Wheaton plays the scientist who loves her. An enraptured Leonard watches from the sidelines, but the director isn’t watching at all. He’s playing on his phone. The movie is garbage, he tells Penny when she wants to reshoot the scene, and nobody cares.

Leonard sticks up for Penny, Penny sticks up for Leonard, Wil Wheaton insists that if Penny goes, he goes, and the camera cuts to a shot of all three of them nursing beers in a dimly lit bar.

[It starts out on unsteady ground, but will it end with a bang?...]

Wed
May 7 2014 11:19am

“I Wanna Go All In”: Thoughts on The Mindy Project Season 2 Finale, “Danny and Mindy”

Mindy/Danny magic hour pic by Michael Spiller via Mindy Kaling's InstagramThis post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of The Mindy Project, including last night’s Season 2 finale (2x22), “Danny and Mindy.” Enjoy!

Heather:

That feeling of supreme satisfaction you get when you turn the last page of an epic romance novel? That smug smile that you just can't wipe away once the hero and heroine finally declare their love? That urge to tell the world to dive into this story now now now? The Mindy Project came through on all counts last night, wrapping up a two-season will-they-or-won't-they romance arc with multiple grand gestures inspired by beloved rom-coms and a happily-for-now so delightful and well-earned that fans can hardly even begrudge the summer hiatus ahead.

[Okay, that's a lie, we'll begrudge it a lot...]

Thu
May 1 2014 11:00am

Yesterday, Today, and Forever: Appreciating Lynn Kurland

Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn KurlandImagine a bookshelf stocked with historical romances, both paranormal and not, time travels, a family saga or two, full length novels, novellas, ghost stories, fantasies, and a dash of straight contemporary romance. That’s a lovely smorgasbord of romance right there, pleasing most every palate. One might reasonably suspect that such a shelf would also hold works by a variety of authors, but not in this case. This time, the entire shelf would be comprised of the works of only one multitalented author, the fabulous Lynn Kurland.

Her first published novel, Stardust of Yesterday, came out as part of Jove’s sadly defunct Haunting Hearts imprint of ghostly romance, and introduced readers to modern day heroine Genevieve Buchanan, who inherits not only a crumbling thirteenth century castle, but its original owner, ghostly knight Kendrick de Piaget, who can never rest until the castle is once again rightly his. Genevieve and Kendrick have a rocky road to happily ever after, complicated by the little matter of her being a flesh and blood female with some reservations about physical intimacy, while Kendrick, though in spirit form for most of the book, has the usual manly urges. Even when physical touch is possible for both Genevieve and Kendrick, it’s the emotions where the heart of the romance lie, and Kurland is a mistress of her craft.

[The heart of the romance is where we live...]

Sat
Apr 26 2014 10:00am

Great Kate: Kate Rothwell’s Historical Romances

Somebody Wonderful by Kate RothwellWhat do a Victorian peer with a passion for journalism, a madman locked in a tower, an Irish cop in gaslight era New York and a not-entirely-reformed adventuress have in common? They all live in Kate Rothwell novels. Readers longing for smart, adventurous historical romance that doesn’t pull any punches with the realities of life in the nineteenth century need look no further than Kate Rothwell. Prolific, unusual and with a keen eye for historical detail, this is one and one half of an author to watch. But more on that half later.

Let’s start with prolific. With eight Rothwell titles to date, in addition to the plethora of titles in various genres under her other name, Summer Devon, both on her own and in collaboration with Bonnie Dee (there’s the half) new Rothwell readers are in no danger of running out of something to read. Though in her Summer Devon guise, Rothwell has tackled such diverse genres as contemporary and paranormal romance, including her male/male romances with Bonnie Dee, readers hungry for Victorian romance with a difference can focus on the Rothwell books.

Somebody Wonderful, Rothwell’s debut historical, first published in 2004, takes readers to late Victorian era New York, a setting where Rothwell creates a fully realized historical world. Gruff Irish police officer, Michael McCann, a.k.a Mick, takes the vow to protect and serve to a whole other level, especially when he encounters Timona Calverson, an heiress he first takes for a runaway from a house of ill repute. Mick’s sense of honor as well as his street smarts makes him a hero who truly earns this book’s title. Rothwell’s deft hand with language will leave the lilt of Mick’s melodious brogue ringing in readers’ ears long after the last page is turned, and not a speck of dialect to be found.

[Oh, to hear that voice...]

Fri
Apr 11 2014 1:30pm

Two Weddings, Sexual Tension, and a Blood Eagle in Vikings 2x07

Floki and Helga in Vikings 2.07This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Vikings, including last night’s Season 2, episode 7, “Blood Eagle." Enjoy!

Helga has wonderful news for her lover, Floki, everyody’s favorite crazy boat builder. She’s carrying Floki’s child. Both wonderstruck and woeful, Floki pities the poor child for having such a father, but Helga will have none of that moaning. Buoyed by her faith in him, Floki asks Helga to marry him, dropping to his knees to greet the child inside her. They have been such good friends to the gods that surely the gods will bless them. Helga wants Ragnar’s blessing, too, but Floki refuses. Ragnar has everything already, but he can’t have Floki and Helga.

Floki and Helga aren’t the only soon-to-be newlyweds here, as King Ecbert arranges a hasty royal wedding between his son, Aethelwulf, and Judith, the daughter of the newly arrived King of Northumberland. He loses no time in seeing the ceremony carried out with proper gravity and formality, Aethelwulf and Judith kneeling before a Christian altar.

[Not exactly your dream wedding, eh?...]