In my recent post about discovering authors through anthologies, Karen Hawkins was among those mentioned who had personally captured my interest after reading her short stories in the two Lady Whistledown books. Thanks to the local public library and my favorite used book story, the Book Bug, I was able to gather up all five books in the MacLean Curse series and then began reading them back to back. Here are my thoughts…

First off, I learned that it’s probably not a good idea to piss off one of the MacLean clan unless you are one of those crazy storm chasers on the Weather Channel. Why is that?—you might ask. Well the MacLean’s aren’t your typical clan of handsome Scottish lads and lovely lasses, since one of their ancestors managed to get on the bad side of a clever white witch with her own ideas about anger management.

So how do you deal with a family curse that brings on powerful winds, destructive storms and white out blizzards, simply because you completely lose your cool and tempers flare? You learn to bottle up all your emotions—especially after a tragic mistake leaves one of their own dead and a sweeping storm of destruction sweeps across the land as a result of your family’s wrath.

Unfortunately, this control includes all of their volatile emotions including love. Now each MacLean struggles with the fear that if they allow themselves to feel love, they take a chance on unleashing them all.

Karen Hawkins beautifully manages to introduce their perfect counterparts to challenge them…

Which leads us to the next point…It’s going to take someone equally strong to break through the protective shell of a MacLean’s heart to teach them the truth of every good romance—love conquers all. After creating such powerful characters in the form of the Alexander, Dougal, Hugh, Fiona and Gregor MacLean, Karen Hawkins beautifully manages to introduce their perfect counterparts to challenge them, breathe life into their funny bones, stoke the flames of passion and ultimately break the chains surrounding their hearts.

For each couple the journey they take is a long stormy path, ripe with pitfalls, misunderstandings, mistaken identities, mischief makers, dangerous wagers and winning hands that keep you completely engaged in the story and emotionally gratified by the ending.

Added “kudos” must also be given for the creative titling of the books in this series. One can only assume that the writer is as great a lover of old movies as she of writing stories that hold our imaginations as well as anything we’ve ever watched on the silver screen. (P.S the sexy covers are nothing to shake a stick at either.)

How to Abduct a Highland Lord

Published: January 30, 2007

To Scotland with Love

Published: August 21, 2007

To Catch a Highlander

Published: January 22, 2008

Sleepless in Scotland

Published:    July 21, 2009

The Laird Who Loved Me

Published: August 25, 2009

Much Ado About Marriage

Published: August 31, 2010

One Night in Scotland

Published: November 23, 2010

On August 31st, 2010 MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE will hit the stands.

“A rollicking tale that traverses a mystical Scottish isle, a stormy sea, and lands firmly in a luxurious manse upon the banks of the Thames as the luckiest man in England is forced to wed the unluckiest woman in Scotland! A fun, spirited prequel to Karen’s MacLean Curse Series and her upcoming Hurst Amulet Series.”

Be sure to keep your eyes open for that one as well as the first in the new Hurst Amulet series ONE NIGHT IN SCOTLAND to be released on November 23rd.

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.