Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ARC Review: Mad for the Plaid by Karen Hawkins

Series:     Oxenburg Princes #3
Pub. Date:August 30, 2016
Publisher:Pocket Books
Length:384 pages

This third installment of the Oxenburg Princes series has been much anticipated, as we are finally getting the story of the Crown Prince Nikolai Romanovin. This series has been a lot of fun and I'm a little sad that it's coming to an end.  I would love to see more of Tata Natasha!

Nikolai Romanovin, heir to the throne of Oxenburg, is a man of many faces. Nikolai must play these many roles by necessity, as he is surrounded by betrayers, hangers on and those who want something from him. He has carefully cultivated his public persona of a carefree womanizing prince who doesn't take things seriously, and this serves him well when he must engage in cunning negotations. Having to play these parts has taken a toll on Nik, to the extent that when he stops playing the role around his closest friends and advisors, he often comes off as cold and abrupt. When Nik's grandmother, Tata Natasha, is abducted, traveling incognito allows Nik the freedom that he has not experienced in quite some time.  Nikolai has been one of my favorite characters through the series, I was really looking forward to finding out the story behind our serious and broody prince. Unfortunately we didn't get much of Nik's backstory and I was missing a connection with his character. While I liked what we did get out of Nik, I would have loved a little more.

Lady Ailsa MacKenzie is the baby of the MacKenzie clan, the only unmarried sister with no plans to become so entangled in the future. She is serious, independent and stubborn beyond all measure. At only twenty-three years old, Ailsa's father has made her caretaker of Castle Leod. As this is an uncommon position for a woman, Ailsa feels she has something to prove. She needs to win over the castle staff and show all those bloody menfolk that she can do as good a job as any of them. I am down with the independent heroine and proving something to all the silly men... but I felt like Ailsa took it a bit too far at times. Her stubbornness knew no bounds, and she was determined to maintain her course of action despite the logic of other ideas. 

The mystery behind the abduction of Tata Natasha was good... there was some misdirection thrown in so I wasn't quite sure of the culprit until the big reveal. Mad about the Plaid was an entertaining read and I enjoyed the time I spent reading it, but I was also missing some of the humor from the previous installments. The crazy matchmaking antics and Romany theatrics from Tata Natasha were limited in this story. Tata Natasha is my favorite character of the series so I really would have loved to see more from her. I think it would be fun if she had her own book, perhaps a romance with Lord Hamilton. 

I received an advanced copy of this book from Pocket Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars / 3 flames.

Oxenburg Princes