Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Capture a Countess by Karen Hawkins

This was my first time reading Karen Hawkins and it will not be my last!  This was a fun, sexy battle of wills between Rose and Lord Sinclair, aptly nicknamed Sin.  Six years ago, the alluring Rose seduced Sin with her plain appearance but sparkling eyes and just as they are enjoying a very heated kiss, she pushes him into the fountain and the whole party quickly sees everything.  And instead of properly apologizing, Rose's nerves get the best of her and she laughs....and everyone else quickly follows leading Sin to be the bearer of many 'Lord Fin' jokes in the years to follow and it does not help matters that Rose just up and disappeared and he has been unable to locate her all these years.  Yet, he suddenly becomes aware of her identity by his aunt...who just happens to be Rose's godmother and the Duchess of Roxburghe knows it is time for this couple to re-meet and overcome their past.  What follows is a delightful series of one-upmanships between Rose and Sin, as neither as the ability to back down from a challenge.  But when one bet goes to far and forces Rose to flee again, will Sin see the truth of his heart, that is so obvious to everyone else?

It was so much fun watching the plain, awkward Rose bloom into herself, full of confidence, independence, laughter, curiosity and a bit of stubbornness.  She is the perfect foil to Sin with his roguish, controlled reputation and his need to be the best of everything.  Together, their battle of wills, from archery to horse racing, leads to quite a few fun moments!  I loved their first meeting after the incident...lets just say, library ladders will never be the same :)  The secondary characters, including a pack of pugs, also add their own humor and prove to be worthy opponents in Sin's battle to get Rose alone and seduce her.  I was a bit hesitant in the beginning as I do not really like when the hero sets out to seduce the heroine and that is it but Rose proves to be smarter than Sin anticipates and their relationship develops at a pace I really enjoyed as a result.  Overall, a fun, feisty battle of wills!  I can't wait for the next two stories featuring Rose's sisters!  4 stars