How did I get it: I was sent a review copy by Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster.
Why did I get it: I requested a copy from Gallery & Pocket Books Romance Blog Tour Group on Book Blogs. Scandal in Scotland comes out on May 31st.
How I would rate it: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Despite fame and countless admirers, actress Marcail Beauchamp has never forgotten William Hurst, the audacious seafarer she once loved . . . and lost. Now, forced by a mysterious blackmailer who threatens her family, she must steal an ancient onyx box from the one man she’s vowed never to see again.
To save his brother from a ruthless abductor, William must deliver the artifact as ransom. He’s stunned when Marcail, more lovely than ever, suddenly appears on his ship. But when she drugs him and steals the box, his fury knows no bounds.
William pursues Marcail, but too late: she has already delivered the box. The estranged lovers realize they must work together—both to regain the artifact that could mean life or death to his family and to destroy the mysterious blackmailer’s power over her family. Thus begins a high-stakes quest through the reaches of Scotland, a quest that stirs up long-forgotten memories and an unquenchable passion. . . .
Review: Much like the first book in this series, Scandal in Scotland was a fun, light-hearted, and quick read for me, but it was also a bit more enjoyable than One Night in Scotland. For one thing, I liked the couple. There was a history between William and Marcail that allowed for me to believe in their chemistry and longing to be together. I liked that William’s siblings and spouses had minor roles to play, but even when they were no longer around the main characters, I thought the way they interacted was much better. It was certainly on a more even playing field than the way things were for Mary and Angus.
So the romance got much better, but I think I ended up just expecting something completely different as I continued reading. I kept imagining that there would be a sense of urgency. That because William was a ship captain, Marcail had a vicious blackmailer, and the amulet still needed to get delivered to the right people, they’d end up having a really exciting adventure and falling madly back into love as they raced to Egypt. Instead, they fell madly back in love while having an adventure that wasn’t too bad but was more chock full of stealing boxes, sitting, and having some clever and/or steamy exchanges than anything else. This is all very well and good, of course, but even knowing that Michael couldn’t possibly be saved until the last book in this series, I was sort of upset by how little actually got done in terms of ensuring his safety in even the smallest of ways.
In conclusion, while Hawkins is a good writer and this was not a bad book by any means, I’ve come to realize that I am just not a fan of fluffy, fun historical romances. If you are a fan, you ought to pick up this book. If, like me, you find yourself wishing that characters would postpone getting it on until actually saving siblings from mortal peril, you ought to read something else.