Synopsis: Fia MacLean wants nothing more than to go to London and become a famous playwright, but the day she attempts to sneak away from her guardian, Laird MacLean, she meets Thomas Wentworth who is on an espionage mission. Fia convinces the British lord they should travel together, but the Laird soon catches them and forces Thomas to marry Fia for “compromising” her. Fia is by no means the type of wife Thomas planned for himself, particularly since she’s the type of woman he could fall passionately in love with!
Author: Karen Hawkins has authored nearly two-dozen novels, most of which are humorous historical novels. She has appeared on best-seller lists and has been a finalist for the RITA Award on more than one occasion. You may have seen her name before in regards to the Lady Whistledown anthologies, as she developed the idea based on part of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series (which are among my favourite historicals).
Point of Interest: This is the first manuscript that Karen wrote, but was unable to sell at first. She later managed to get it published under a different name, but it had little fanfare. Once she was given back the rights, Karen rewrote the story to include the MacLeans so as to tell how their curse became entwined with the Hurst Amulet.
Plot: Thomas’s spy master sent Thomas on a mission to Laird MacLean’s castle, but he withheld many details which makes Thomas suspect something is afoot. Upon meeting Fia, her presence causes one misadventure after another for Thomas until he finally falls for her. It is a crazy mix of hijinks and underhanded court manoeuvrings.
Character: Fia MacLean is a fabulous character. She is not only beautiful, witty, and charming, but fiercely determined to fulfil her dreams. Fia has never meets a person that she cannot befriend, and, in turn, creates a loyal bond. Her antics and her lines cannot help but make you laugh for how many people can make a starving person go from thinking a rabbit is dinner to a pet bunny?
Romance: While Thomas is attracted to Fia, he wants nothing more than a transient experience; Fia is fascinated by Thomas, falling for him nearly immediately as any fanciful and sheltered girl might do. After marriage, Fia is willing to do nearly anything to prove she will not humiliate Thomas in court, while he plans on asking for an annulment. Thomas continues to fight his growing feelings for Fia, and Fia fights for the future she believes they can have.
Quote: I’m cursed for certain. Tis an ill omen to kill the finest man you’ve ever seen.
The Verdict: Let this be the first book you pick up of Karen Hawkins. It is humorous and entertaining; also, it is a great lead into both the MacLean Curse series and the new Hurst Amulet series.