Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
A DESPERATE BEAUTY
Despite fame and countless admirers, actress Marcail Beauchamp has never forgotten William Hurst, the audacious seafarer she once loved…and lost. Now, forced by a mysterious blackmailer who threatens her family, she must steal an ancient onyx box from the one man she’s vowed never to see again.
A BOLD ADVENTURER
To save his brother from a ruthless abductor, William must deliver the artifact as ransom. He’s stunned when Marcail, more lovely than ever, suddenly appears on his ship. But when she drugs him and steals the box, his fury knows no bounds.
THE TREASURE EVERYONE WANTS
William pursues Marcail, but too late: she has already delivered the box. The estranged lovers realize they must work together — both to regain the artifact that could mean life or death to his family and to destroy the mysterious blackmailer’s power over her family. Thus begins a high-stakes quest through the reaches of Scotland, a quest that stirs up long-forgotten memories and an unquenchable passion. . . .
*Blurb from Goodreads*
William needs to hand over an artifact in order to save his brother’s life, and once he has the precious artifact in hand, a woman from his past comes back to steal it and make is life miserable. But Marcail doesn’t realize how horrible William’s situation really is, and she is thinking only about her family and the blackmailer who is demanding to get his hands on the same box.
When someone steals the artifact from both Marcail and William, they are forced to join forces together to hunt the thief down. But as they travel across Britain and into Scotland, their history becomes their present, and they just might want it to be their future as well.
For some reason I am very picky about my historical romance books, and while I didn’t NOT like this book, it wasn’t one of my favorites either. As much as I wish I could get on board with the pirate/sea captain thing, it just doesn’t really do it for me.
It took awhile for me to really get involved with the characters. In the beginning, William seemed like a selfish ass who wasn’t willing to move forward from his past. He held onto his grudges and didn’t seem able to put anything in the past where it belonged; the past. Likewise, Marcail came across as spoiled and someone who had no care in the world for anyone who wasn’t her family. While she was willing to do anything for them, she wasn’t willing to take anyone else into consideration.
I enjoyed the secondary characters of William’s family. His sisters were funny, his captive brother’s letters were telling, and his other brother Robert’s predicament was a great set-up for what should be a great story. Plus, the two old ladies from the Inn cracked me up like no other. They were fun and hilarious.
The romance between William and Marcail was odd at times. They loved and hated each other all at the same time, and were a little too childish to put aside everything and admit their feelings and move forward with the life they both wanted. There were times I wanted to throttle them both. But once they got their stuff together, I enjoyed them together. They complimented each other, their lifestyles complimented each other and I loved that.
The mystery with the box being stolen and what exactly is going on with the artifact was at times slow moving, and at other times a little confusing. Once Marcail and William caught their thief, the scene that revealed a lot of information was at times jumbled. It was frustrating to read and try to navigate through, as things were shifting and changing without much explanation. I can only hope that it was just a snafu with the egalley.
All in all, I found myself enjoying my first ever Hawkins read, despite some slow moving parts and for me, a lack-luster romance. Despite the seriously flawed characters, they were likeable in the end. For me though, the secondary characters were almost more enjoyable than the main hero and heroine, and set up the ongoing series. I hope to see more from these characters and find out the details of the artifact and why it is so important to so many people.
I give Scandal in Scotland a C