I received this book for free from Pocket in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Prince and I by Karen Hawkins
Also in this series: The Princess Wore Plaid
Series: The Oxenburg Princes #2
Published by Pocket Books on August 25th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era, Favorites
From New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins, the lively and sizzling second book in a new fairytale-based Scottish historical romance series, The Princes of Oxenburg.Gregori Romanovin, Oxenburg’s warrior prince, is escorting his grandmother to a house party deep in the Highlands when he and his entourage are robbed at sword point by a group of ruffians led by a man the locals have dubbed “The Scottish Robin Hood.” The battle-savvy prince instantly realizes there’s something different about this thief, and it’s not just the Scottish accent—it’s the fact that “he” is really a “she.”Lady Murian, a young widow out for revenge against the powerful earl who killed her husband and stole his birthright, is now living in the woods with her family’s banished retainers. To stay alive, she and her band of men rob rich nobles coming to visit the evil earl. But when she ambushes the Prince of Oxenburg’s golden coach, she gets far more than she expected. For when the prince uncovers her true identity, she’s afraid that he might be the real thief…of her heart.
Max Romanovin, is Oxenbrug’s Military General as well as one of its princes. Max has dedicated his life to serving his country and the military and fighting along side his men. He has spent years and resources building his army strong and resilient. Max is escorting his grandmother up to the Highlands, to a house party to recover a item that his grandmother needs from the owner. Along the way, they get stopped by a band of highwayman thieves, and is led by a young man who intrigues him, a local “Robin Hood”. Now this Robin is not what he or she appears to be. Max is interested and is quick on his feet and is intelligent enough that he notices something more and intends to hunt down this mysterious “Robin Hood” and his band. Lady Murian, is a widow and is bent on getting justice not just for her husband’s death, but for herself and her servants who were cast out. To survive, they found a hut village in the woods, and are barely making it by. She is driven to get her land back and for the man responsible to pay for his crimes. Then she meets the Prince of Oxenburg, and for the first time in a long time she is captivated, but knows there can never be a future with him….or can there be?
Max, or also known by his official name Gregori Romanovin, is a fierce protector and a battle ready prince. He is always on guard, and ready for anything. He is cunning and quick-witted about the little things. Ever since he lost his closest friend in battle and had to reveal the news to his friends wife and their son, it devastated and changed him. Max is determined NEVER to marry, no matter what. He refuses to put a woman he loves to suffer so much from his death. He is content with this life as it is, with his family and fighting for his country and the people he loves. Max is honorable, kind, stubborn and playful. He is the type of character you immediately gravitate towards. He is a fierce warrior but has a loving heart. You see this instantly with him and from the first page you are drawn to his character. There is so much more depth to him, and the reader senses it from the very beginning. We see how creative and crafty he is, and how much he notices in the little things. Hawkins is so talented in writing her heroes, and Max I fell for hard, I surely wish he was real, though. Max is the type of hero that has many strengths, but some flaws too that makes him seem more real and alive to the reader. Sexy and passionate!!
Lady Murian, is young and a widow. Murian cared much for her husband that was killed. She was shocked when she was booted off her own land, as well as the innocent people that worked for her and her husband and were also cast out. Murian was forced to make some difficult choices and is the leader of their group. By banding and working together, Murian and her people have created a small village in the woods, mostly widows, and young children. She has devoted everything she has to seeing to their needs and well-being. But she is also driven by the need of finding the truth about her husbands death and bringing the man that stole everything from her to justice. Murian is a fighter and was taught well, but she is also smart and loving. Murian was a heroine that was so down to earth and I loved how easy it was to relate to her. You see, as the reader, how much you can connect with her, and relate with her on many things. I love her protective nature, she has spirit, but also is kind and gracious and sees the good in others. She does what needs to be done, no matter the cost to herself.
Plot and Story Line
The Prince and I, is a story I have been waiting for quite a long time. Ever since these prince brothers were first introduced to us in her previous series, The Duchess Diaries. Let me first shout out how truly AMAZING this book is. It’s one of those books, where from start to finish I was smiling the whole time because it was so good. Now I love Karen Hawkins, but I love what she has done with this series so far. This series is based on a royal family, brothers and each brother plays a different role in running the kingdom. Then we have the grandmother, I thought I should mention her first in my review because she plays a role in all of the books where these brothers step in. And she is one lively character. She is romany, and is quite crazy and intent on all of her grandsons getting married. Nothing stands in her way. She is definitely a force of nature and wildly entertaining. Now I believe that this series and the Duchess Diaries series could be in the same series because they are connected to each other. But I do see why they are a bit separate. This series is a focus on the family.
Now it begins quite quickly and way easy to get into the story. In case my readers are wondering, this is the type of book you need to be careful when you start reading it. I made the mistake of starting it late and staying up all night (or day, since with my profession I sleep during the day and stay out all night….I would be a vampire, but I don’t suck blood hehe )And I mean all night…till 5 and I loved every moment of it. I honestly hope this review can portray how wonderful this book truly was for me. In fact, top favorites are the category I will place this book in. It begins with the scene of Max and his grandmother traveling in their carriage up to northern Scotland and they get held up by forest brigands. Now Max, from the first moments, is thinking with his head, not his brawn (which is another thing I loved about his character). He is cunning, and he watches every tiny detail. The play between our “Robin” and the prince is quite entertaining, and Max stays one step ahead of them. I loved this scene because you see so much from both sides, and it really sets the stage for the rest of the story. We even get a bit of a fighting scene between them…boy was that fun!!
Now after this scene and both sides go on their merry way, we also find that these two are very much intrigued by each other. Max is fascinated with this Robin Hood and wants to find her. And through a course of events, these two have a bond one that is both flirty and building a friendship of sorts. We see that they are attracted to each other, but don’t act on it immediately. They pace themselves, and the focus is more on learning each other and building a trust. We see then the danger that Murian is in, and her people and Max has his own reasons for helping out. But you see that even though he has something he needs from the “villain” of the story, we also see how much he and his own band of merry men cares for both Murian and those she protects. Then this is where we get some plot twists, and a mix of danger and a little thrills that build up the pace of the book. What was most intriguing was seeing how well Hawkins balances the plot and the relationship of Max and Murian.
The romance that develops between Max and Murian is quite endearing and seriously…I just couldn’t put this down. I tried because I was exhausted and tired, but I just had to know more.
He lifted her hand, uncurled her fingers, and pressed a kiss to each callus. She watched him, her eyes smoky and dark, her lips parted. Each press of his lips to her skin made her take in a small, sharp breath. She wet her lips and tugged at her hand. “You shouldna be doing that.”
“Da. I should be doing this, instead.” He slid his hand under her long silken hair, pulled her closer, and kissed her. He’d wanted to do this ever since the day he’d cut the kerchief off her face and realized she was a beautiful, bold woman. The second their lips met, it was as if a fire had exploded into flames. They kissed, consumed, and devoured as they wildly embraced.
It was interesting seeing the process of Max and Murian finding a balance with each other. Which when they weren’t being interrupted all the time (which was quite funny right when certain things were getting a bit heated), they really connect with each other. There were so many different elements to their relationship that makes this story so unique and delightful. There were a couple of times I felt it was predictable, but then something would happen that I definitely didn’t see coming and would throw me all over the place….and whew I loved every delicious moment!!
This was a woman worth tasting, worth fighting for, worth fixing roofs for, worth risking his life for.
This is a book that is a must read for any romance lover, now I know I recommend many books. But honestly this book was so fun, sweet, lively and full of those enchanting moments where it steals its way slowly into your heart and stays there!! This is not a book you want to miss out on….READ NOW!!
To help me avoid the saddest day of my life, which would be one in which I do not see you, cannot hold you, cannot be with you. I love you, Murian. I love you more every time I see you. But you should know that I am a soldier. I cannot change that. And I cannot promise you forever. But I can promise I will love you as long as I am breathing, and more.
I ADORE this cover, I LOVE this cover, I lust after this cover!! I love everything about it. So romantic, love the sweet pose, with the hero behind her, and what a uniform, his hand on her chin —loves that, and I love her dress and she even has her bow and arrow!! And what a lovely forest setting too…which definitely connects with the story. Its so playful and fun and makes me want to jump right into it!!
The Prince and I is a “robin hood” themed romance that is bound to keep you entertaining and entranced from the first few pages. Karen Hawkins will charm you with this story that is guaranteed to win hearts over!!
The Prince Who Loves Me (1)
The Prince and I (2)
The Princess Who Wore Plaid (2.5)