My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/much-ado-about-marriage-by-karen-hawkins
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Rotherwood, is considered the luckiest man in all of England. He doesn’t feel too lucky, however, when he’s sent to Scotland on a mission for Walsingham to steal a letter and finds himself knocked out of a window and robbed by an uppity young woman who so happens to be the cousin of the laird whose castle Thomas was sneaking into.
Fia MacLean might just be the unluckiest woman in Scotland. She has no desire to get married and settle down like her cousin wants her to and fears she’ll soon be forced to the altar. An aspiring playwright, Fia wants to go to London and find a sponsor for her plays that will, she hopes, capture the attention of Queen Elizabeth. Her unconventional meeting with Thomas seems to be a sign from the heavens. And when a series of unfortunate events end in Thomas and Fia’s marriage, she can’t help but be hopeful for the future. For if she can win Thomas’s heart, the unluckiest woman in Scotland could become the luckiest woman in all of England.
There’s much to love about Much Ado About Marriage. Karen Hawkins’s writing shines in what might be my favorite book of hers yet! Fia is an utterly delightful heroine. She’s got spark and generosity of spirit, with a dash of willfulness that makes her stand up to the strong men in her life. Thomas may struggle against the tide more than Fia, but he’s an engaging hero nonetheless. Add in Thomas’s rapscallion best friend, Robert, a trio of unique animals, and some scintillating love scenes, and Much Ado About Marriage is one hell of a book. Quite simply, it charmed my socks off and I don’t think sixteenth century England and Scotland have ever been so fun.
Much Ado About Marriage can be read as a standalone book, but it’s also the prequel for two of Ms. Hawkins’s Regency series, the MacLean Curse and Hurst Amulet series. As a fan of the MacLean Curse series (and one who is excited to read the upcoming Hurst Amulet series), I was delighted to see the origins of the infamous MacLean curse. I’m hoping Ms. Hawkins writes more Elizabethan era romances (Robert in particular seems to be begging for a story), for I absolutely adored Much Ado About Marriage!