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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: The Princess Wore Plaid by Karen Hawkins

Novella time! This time it’s by Karen Hawkins and part of a series that I’ve really enjoyed.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: March 21, 2016

A princess once bejeweled but now tattered…

Royal princess Tatiana Romanovin is the beautiful, wealthy, and spoiled favorite of the King of Oxenburg. On her way to her cousin’s wedding in the Scottish highlands, she and her entourage are held up by a gang of ruffians. Frightened, her servants flee, and Tatiana soon finds herself alone in an inn with no servants, no funds, and no proof of her identity. Destitute, she accepts the offer from a sympathetic (but unbelieving) innkeeper to work for her room and board while she waits for an answer to the missive she’s sent to her cousin Prince Nikolai. With no other recourse, Tatiana scrubs floors and dirty linens, waiting for her prince to come…

A proud lord once lost and now found…

After a brutal, bloody battle with the French Navy left Lord Buchan limping and surly, abandoned by his betrothed because of his twisted leg, his lordship hides away at his manor house in the countryside. He leaves only once a week to eat at the local inn, drawn by the expert cooking of the innkeeper’s wife. One day, Buchan arrives to find that the innkeeper has a new servant, a beautiful scullery maid with a queenly air, and flashing green eyes that leave him breathless and increasingly aware of his lonely existence…

Love may find them yet…

The challenge of winning his way into Tatiana’s heavily protected heart stirs Buchan back to life…but can he and his twisted leg—and broken heart—win a proud princess whose only goal is to leave Scotland and return to the court where she’s the crowning jewel?

It’s a bit of Beauty and the Beast in this novella by Karen Hawkins!

After she and her entourage are held up and her servants abandon her, pampered Princess Tatiana finds herself dependant on the kindness of an innkeeper who doesn’t believe she is who she says she is but offers her a job to pay for her room and board. With no other choice, Tatiana scrubs floors, washes linens and basically becomes a servant for the first time in her spoiled life. Then she meets Lord Buchan, a wounded, somewhat cranky war hero who only comes to the inn once in awhile to take advantage of the food. When Buchan and Tatiana meet it’s like two pieces of a puzzle come together.

I didn’t know what to expect from The Princess Wore Plaid. I’ve read Karen Hawkins before and have enjoyed her work but I’ve only had one other experience with her novellas.

So how did it rank?

It was good. Tatiana was feisty but she wasn’t aggravating. I was expecting some spoiled brat who thought she was too good to work but she wasn’t. I loved how she dove into a servant’s role once she realized that there was no other option and she made the best of it but she also didn’t take any mistreatment from anyone, through the whole story she maintained her pride, dignity and strength that only a member of a royal family could have. She had a quick sense of humor but also a nurturing nature that made her the ideal woman to save Lord Buchan.

Lord Buchan was definitely a surly bear! His broken spirit and bitterness over his physical limitations greatly influenced his personality but he’s a character that you could never dislike. All he needed was a bit of kindness, no pity and a strong will to match his own and he became a totally different character, lighter and more fun. I liked both sides of him and in the end he was still a bit of a grouchy pants but in a lovable way.

I enjoyed Lord Buchan and Tatiana but the ending to The Princess Wore Plaid felt very rushed and somewhat unsatisfying. I understand that this was a novella but still, I think there could have been a bit more to the ending than what was there.

Final Verdict: The Princess Wore Plaid goes pretty fast and has an insta-love kind of feel. The ending was a bit rushed but it’s a novella so it’s to be expected that not a lot of time is spent on character or plot development. Take it for what it is: A quick, lazy Sunday type of read and enjoy the Buchan and Tatiana’s story.

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