woensdag 6 juni 2012

Karen Hawkins – The Taming of a Scottish Princess

The fourth book in the Hurst Amulet series, published May 22, 2012.
Genre: historical romance

The taming of a scottish princess

A determined explorer.
When famed Egyptologist Michael Hurst discovers that the infamous Hurst Amulet is hidden in Scotland, he insists his trusted assistant, Miss Jane Smythe-Haughton, accompany him north. Strangely, the usually unflappable Jane seems perturbed by their destination – the mysterious Isle of Barra. A fascinated Michael watches as his staid assistant transforms, revealing intriguing layers of mystery and vulnerability. Could he be about to uncover not one, but two, precious treasures?
A dauntless princess.
Once her clan’s princess, Jane fled Barra years ago to avoid a forced marriage. Since then, she has made her living as efficient Miss Smythe-Haughton, the perfect (and highly paid) assistant. Now she must confront her secrets … including her feelings for her irascible employer, too-handsome-for-his-own-good Michael Hurst.
A perilous pleasure.
Others are also searching for the missing amulet, however. Can Jane and Michael learn to trust each other in time to solve two riddles: the location of the Hurst Amulet, and the meaning of the vivid passion flaring between them?

Michael Hurst’ siblings have managed to get him free from the luxurious prison the Sheikh had held him from months, thanks to finding the three onyx boxes with the secret map to the location of the infamous Hurst Amulet. Of course, they gave the Sheikh fakes, and kept the originals. Back in London, Michael has no interest in the simpering misses who try to capture his attention, and he acts quite rude, to the horror of his sister. And when his servant and his assistant arrive in the ballroom, the gossip spreads even wider. Jane is totally inappropriately dressed for a ball, but Michael does not see anything amiss. She is dressed in her usual practical way, but her hat and her booths really don’t belong in a ballroom. When he notices she attracts male attention, he scowles. Finally he sees her as something different than his usual efficient assistant. He sees her as a female. Jane is not pretty in the traditional way, but there is just something about her …
His servant has brought him the long awaited for reply of the code breaker, and now he finally has the location of the Hurst Amulet. He decides they will leave tomorrow at six, and refuses to tell Jane where they will be going to. When she wakes him the next morning, he really is sorry that he said six o’clock, but Jane will hear of no postponement. Until she finds out where they are going. And Michael is determined to find out all of her secrets. Does she suddenly have a Scottish accent?

Jane is horrified when they reach Barra. She left the lairdship and everything in her cousins hands, while she set out to see the world. And now, everything is in dire needs of repairs, the docks, the streets, the cottages. And the worst of all, the castle, her 700 year old family home, is burned to the ground. What happened? Jane is determined to find out, and if she can, to set things to rights again. No matter how difficult this might be, as the local population thinks she is a ghostie, as she died in the fire. But first, they have to explore the caves and find the last clue to the hiding place of the Hurst Amulet. If it ever stops raining, that is. And why is Michael so determined to find out everything he can about her past. Why does he suddenly treats her as a woman instead of an invisible assistant?

I thoroughly enjoyed this last book in the Hurst Amulet series. Of course, throughout the letters Michael has written his family in the previous books, we already know a great deal about the relationship between Michael and Jane. Including his blindness to her being an attractive woman. Jane is such a strong character, she set out to explore the world, and that is exactly what she did. Once her money ran out, she took jobs as an assistant to various explorers, and has been with Michael for the last 4 years, running his life as efficient as any wife could ever do. She has had a secret crust on him too, as he is just too handsome. But she values their working relationship and doesn’t want to see that end.
Michael is obsessed with solving puzzles, learning secrets, finding artifacts from the past, and then moving on to the next project. Will he leave her behind when he has find out all about her secrets? No matter how much she enjoys being in his arms, she will not risk their relationship for that.

Michael is something else entirely. Totally oblivious to the ways or everyday life, used to being taken care of and extremely goodlooking. And when he wants something, he will get it. And now he will get to the bottom of Jane’s secrets. She will have to tell him all about herself. And if not, he will find out in another way. It is unacceptable that she is keeping secrets from him. Of course, he never was interested in her before. And now he is totally obsessed with finding out everything he can. Even the Hurst Amulet doesn’t seem all that important anymore, when he almost loses her while climbing the cliffs.

I really liked them together, Jane does not back down from Michael, and tries to keep her secrets. She really kept surprising me, as did the plot, which had a surprising end. This is not the best book she has ever written, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and it kept me up way too late. I am already looking forward to the next book by Karen Hawkins.

8,5 stars.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

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5 opmerkingen:

  1. I love it when a leading lady doesn't back down from the male. I like them to have gumption--it makes the romance more fun :)

  2. Oh I have read a couple of books in this series and I really enjoyed it. I also want to read Michael's tale. Even if it isn't the best of the bunch, it still sounds good!

  3. I love how fun it looks, not sexy, but fun :D

  4. I 'm not familiar with the author, but it sounds like a fun read! :)

  5. @Felicia: Karen Hawkins always writes strong heroines, love her books
    @Melissa: I think my mood has something to do with it this time, there were some really great things in it
    @Blodeuedd: It is fun, this is a book with real adults. Jane is 30 or something like that.
    @Mirjam: Ooo you have been missing out on some great books, do try her work.