Hurst Amulet Series, Book 2
By Karen Hawkins
Release Date: May 24, 2011
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.
A BOLD ADVENTURER
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.
THE TREASURE EVERYONE WANTS
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. . . .
Marcail Beauchamp is a reknowned actress on the London stage, but fame has not brought her the happiness that she once knew in the arms of William Hurst. She enjoys her success, but it has come with a steep price; her father forbids her to associate with her sisters, since being an actress sullies her reputation, in his eyes. Added to that misery, Marcail is being blackmailed and the latest item her blackmailer requires from her is an onyx box. As luck would have it, the box is in the possession of William, and when Marcail goes to him to ask for his help, he refuses. Leaving her no choice, Marcail drugs William and takes the box.
William Hurst is preparing for a voyage to take the antique onyx box to his brother Michael's captors; it is the price of his release. Finding his former lover, Marcail Beauchamp in his cabin on his ship is not a welcome surprise. Her beauty still takes his breath away, but he is still angry at her for leaving him years ago. William refuses to to believe her when she said she needs his help, and when Marcail drugs him and steals the box that is the key to his brother's freedom, William's anger reaches epic proportions.
William catches up to Marcail, much to her dismay, and after he explains the significance of the onyx box---that it may mean the difference between life and death for his brother Michael---Marcail agrees to give it to him. But anything worth having doesn't come easy; the box is taken by the woman who acts as delivery person to Marcail's blackmailer. So William and Marcail begin a game of cat and mouse, hunting down the box, and also rediscovering their passion for each other. But for their passion to turn to the love that is inevitable, they must learn to make peace with their past and learn to trust. As Michael once said:
The past cannot be relived---but the future is the place for atonement.
Scandal in Scotland is an entertaining addition in the Hurst Amulet series. Marcail and William are evenly matched as heroine and hero, both spirited, proud, and passionate. As with all Karen Hawkins' books, there is humor aplenty, as well as tenderness and steamy love scenes. Although this is the second book in this series, there is enough information sprinkled throughout that readers will not feel lost. But, as always, it just enriches the experience to start at the beginning with One Night in Scotland, Mary Hurst's story. There's more fun on the way with Robert and Michael Hurst's books. And if they are anything like their lively siblings (is there any doubt?!), fans have much to look forward to. Reading a book by Karen Hawkins is a guaranteed good time.