Title: Mad for the Plaid
Author: Karen Hawkins
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When the Grand Duchess of Oxenburg is abducted while visiting an old friend in the Highlands of Scotland, her grandson, Prince Nikolai, is forced to go undercover as a groom in search of her release. Ailsa Mackenzie, left in charge of the Mackenzie estate in her father’s absence, is not easily fooled however. Nikolai and Ailsa agree to team up in search of the missing Grand Duchess traveling over the Highlands for days. Both are used to leading, which eventually leads to an understanding and respect for each other…and something more.When things turn dangerous in their mission to release the captives, Ailsa and Nikolai are forced to also examine their new-found feelings for each other.
While this is truly a historical romance novel, the adventure and mystery that is also present adds a particular element to the story telling. Throughout the story you are left wondering who the enemy is and I’m not ashamed to say, I didn’t see it coming. These two strong and stubborn lead characters are well-developed and relatable in a very enduring way. Hawkins does a fantastic job of giving you just a little bit of flirt and tease, but then leaves you hanging and wishing for more. My only issue was with the ending. The Grand Duchess plays a bigger role in the concluding chapters after being mostly absent throughout the book. We’ve been given an impression of her via the other characters, however that is thrown in a 180 and you are left trying to keep up with this newly developed information and put together a romantic and fitting conclusion. I loved the ending, but I would have liked to have seen the Grand Duchess developed a bit more throughout the book. She is truly a unique character I would have liked to know better.