My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/recommended-reviews/june-2012-recommended-reads/the-taming-of-a-scottish-princess-by-karen-hawkins
Famed Egyptologist Michael Hurst has no desire to be stuck in London society’s ballrooms, courting investors. He’d much rather be off on his next adventure – particularly if that adventure involves finding the Hurst Amulet, a long-lost family heirloom. His quest to locate the amulet is finally coming to an end: Michael’s discovered that the treasure is hidden on a small Scottish isle. If this were any normal expedition, Michael’s unflappable assistant, Jane Smythe-Haughton, would be raring to leave London with him. Strangely, Jane is reticent about travelling to the Isle of Barra. And Michael soon discovers why. It seems his organized, unassuming assistant is the “deceased” daughter of Barra’s former laird. In fact, she’s the clan’s “princess.” Their trip to Scotland makes Michael see Jane in a whole new light. And the more layers he uncovers, the less likely it is Michael will ever be able to think of his assistant as “just Jane” again. For the first time in his life, Michael may have found something – or rather, someone – more fascinating than buried treasure.
Forget sparks; the banter that flies in Karen Hawkins’s final Hurst Amulet book is even better. The Taming of a Scottish Princess is an utterly charming story that will surely hook readers from the very beginning.
Michael is a handsome, intelligent explorer who’s quite used to getting his way and not at all happy when he has to adhere to societal conventions he deems silly. He is what a friend of mine would call “unmanageable.” Jane, of course, manages him perfectly. She runs his life – and him, when necessary – with perfect aplomb, which I loved. Though they hit some bumps in the road as they begin to see each other as more than employer-employee, it’s clear that Michael and Jane are ideally suited to one another; they’re both bright, adventurous souls and it’s clear they only needed that extra nudge to fall in love. Even with the search for the Hurst Amulet coming to a close, that highly-anticipated event pales in comparison to Jane and Michael’s relationship. Their lighthearted bickering had me smiling and laughing all the way through The Taming of a Scottish Princess. Quite simply, I adored them and thus I didn’t want to put their story down.
The Taming of a Scottish Princess is the fourth installment in Ms. Hawkins’s Hurst Amulet series, but it can be read as a standalone. That being said, part of the enjoyment I derived from Michael and Jane’s story came from reading Michael’s letters in the previous books (One Night in Scotland, Scandal in Scotland, and A Most Dangerous Profession). In the first three books, Ms. Hawkins set the stage (and my expectations) high for the final Hurst sibling’s match. Happily, The Taming of a Scottish Princess was all that I’d hoped it would be.
The Taming of a Scottish Princess was pure pleasure to read. Fans of Ms. Hawkins old and new are sure to be delighted by this entertaining, romantic, jewel of a book!