Saturday, August 29, 2015

ARC REVIEW The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins

The Princes of Oxenburg book two by Karen Hawkins, The Prince and I, is a funny role reversal on the classic Robin Hood tale. I was hesitant to read this book because it is book two but it sounded too good to pass up and I'm glad I didn't. Murian is a headstrong and loyal woman, Max is tortured warrior Prince, and the comic relief is in the form of a stubborn old woman, Grand Duchess Natasha Nikolaevna and self acclaimed Queen of the Gypsy and Max's grandmother. The story is inventive and romantic. I love Karen Hawkins, she's a great writer and following her facebook page is quite amusing.

Lady Murian is a young widow who is seeking the revenge for the murder of her husband, Lord Robert, against the man, The Earl of Loudan, who supposedly won the estate of Rowallen Castle on the gaming table then later killed Robert in a "duel". Exiled with the rest of the castles retainers Murian has taken up the subterfuge of a highwayman to keep knocking Loudan down a peg, and to be used as a distraction when Murian has to search the castle for proof that Loudan gained the estate through fowl play.

General of the Grand Army of Oxenburg, Prince Gregori Maksim Alexsandr Romanovin is traveling with his Tate Natasha to a house party in the wild Highlands of Scotland. Why she agreed to this is baffling but Max has his own reasons for escorting her. On the way there they are stopped and asked to donate goods to the their cause. Max knows almost immediately that the leader of this band of bandits is a woman. She stays in his mind not because she had the nerve to rob him it's because she almost bested him in a swordfight. Max is able to track her down when found he finds out her story and sides with her. He uses his own men to help repair the houses in preparation for winter. Murian has to continually sneak back into the castle to find a dairy Lord Robert always wrote in and she knows that if she can find it then she can prove Loudan is a scoundrel. Max finally finds out why Tate Natasha accepted the invite because Loudan pushed Tate into gamboling something that she had no right to betting and lost it and is now taunting her with maybe buying it back. The more Max learns about Loudan the more suspicious he becomes about the about Loudan and the real reason Max is there.

The attraction between Max and Murian is pretty much instantaneous and they both agree to an affair but with Murian devotion to her people and Max being a soldier and not wanting to subject Murian to that life as a soldiers wife they are hesitant to commit to anything else. But Tate is more cunning than she lets on and knows just the thing to save all.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, I love the role reversal of the story. and the supporting characters really make the story.  

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