One Night in Scotland by Karen Hawkins

MacGuffin Alert!

Anyone who has ever seen a Hitchcock movie or any mystery should know what a MacGuffin is. A MacGuffin is that thing, that something, that focus, the mysterious object that everyone is after. We may never know what it is or what it does, but that's not important. In fact, sometimes the story is over and we never know what that thing was that people were dying for. However, the MacGuffin is the reason everyone is together... looking for it, hiding it, sneaking in rooms for it. Well, there's one in this story and like a true MacGuffin, in the end it isn't really relevant to the romance of the two main characters, but it gives them a reason to be together.

This is the first in the Hurst Amulet series, One Night in Scotland, by Karen Hawkins. I'm assuming that the Amulet, aka MacGuffin, will be a continuing plot line in all of the books, which also seem to be connected by the Hurst family. When I picked up this book, I did so with a little trepidation. I have read Karen Hawkins' historicals since she was a little tadpole, and I always liked them. For the most part, they are light-weight reads, with strong humorous elements in them. However, Ms. Hawkins' last few publications have had a rushed feel about them, and I've been very disappointed. I thought perchance I had lost another author to contemporary land, but then I read One Night in Scotland. Much of Ms. Hawkins' trademark humor is back, and even though the book drags in the middle, I have to say that the heroine in this book, Mary Hurst, was fantastic. She was the most amusing character I've read in a long time! Yes, she's feisty, but in a good way. I just loved the dialogue that came out of Mary's mouth. I also felt that Angus, hero, was a strong counterpart to her and as a couple they were great! I only wish there had been more of these two interacting with each other.

There were some things that I had a little bit of a problem with. I did get a little tired of the continued comparison to the former wife and I felt that the quasi-villain was a little weak. And the middle of the book seemed to slow down. Now, while I was disappointed in the almost-villain, the other secondary characters were strong and actually quite a hoot.

Although this book is not quite as good as some of Ms. Hawkins' earlier works, this is still a fun read, with a great, funny heroine. Just ignore the slow middle and enjoy the rest of this light-weight, fast paced book. Good start to a new series.

Time/Place: 1822 Scotland
Sensuality Rating: Warm

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