Monday, March 21, 2016

ARC Review: The Princess Wore Plaid

The Princess Wore Plaid 
by Karen Hawkins
Series:  The Oxenburg Princes #2.5
Pub. Date:  March 22, 2016
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Pages:  125
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Sizzling Scottish romance abounds in this e-novella in the Princes of Oxenburg series, a spinoff to New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins’s delightful Duchess Diaries series.

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? 

I have been enjoying The Oxenburg Princes series quite a bit over the last year. Their stoicism and dry humor in contract to their Tata Natasha's crazy antics has been quite entertaining. Throwing a princess novella in the mix was a great filler while we wait for Nik's story in Mad for the Plaid. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did... but I loved it. It was a nice quick read with relatable and engaging characters and a sweet love story.

Our Oxenburg Royalty in this story is Princess Tatiana Romanovin, who was injured in a carriage accident and showed up an The Red Lion Inn with a seemingly crazy story of princes and royalty from a country that most people have never heard of. She is put to work as a maid to earn her keep. The experience is humbling and eye-opening for Tatiana, and I respected the way she handled the situation. She learned and did not complain, even when her nails were broken and hands were blistered. She was a thoroughly likeable heroine.

On the surface, our hero was not as likeable. Lord Buchan was severely injured in a battle with the French Navy, suffering severe scarring in his leg and a consumptive ailment as well. The limping, pain and general disability, along with his pride, have made him quite the grumpypants (or grumpykilt as it were). But I found him endearing... particularly that he endured more pain because he wanted to get better for Tatiana, and he couldn't quite stay away from her. I just wanted to wrap him up and make all his problems go away.

I felt like there was a lot of meat to this story for it being a novella, probably because I had such a good connection to both characters. Tata Natasha did not feature in this story, but I don't think her antics were needed to move the story along. I have been looking forward to Nik, the future king's story, so I am excited that we don't have to wait much longer for Mad for the Plaid.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Pocket Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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