Tue
Sep 12 2017 1:30pm

First Look: Karen Hawkins’ Caught by the Scot (September 26, 2017)

Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

Karen Hawkins
Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry #1)
Pocket Books / September 26, 2017 / $6.99 print & digital

With Caught by the Scot, Karen Hawkins begins a new series about three brothers who must marry fairly quickly in order to gain their inheritances. Privateer Conner Douglas doesn’t think this will be a problem for him, for he knows the perfect candidate: childhood friend and spinster Theodora Cumberbatch-Snowe. However, when he finally goes to propose, he finds that she has just eloped the handsome neighborhood squire. He rushes off in pursuit and catches up with them at an inn having transportation problems. There he puts his case before Thea.

“So...you must marry. All of you.”

“We’ve only a few months to do so. And it must be to a lady of quality.” Conner rested his elbows on his knees and leaned forward. “And that, Thea, lass, is why I came. As soon as I found oot aboot the will, I thought of you.”

“Of me.” She said the words flatly, as if she couldn’t believe them herself.

“Of course you,” he said impatiently. “You know me, and you’re a sensible sort, so we’d do well together. We’d have reasonable expectations of one another, with nae silly drama. Surely that is a guid foundation for a marriage.”

“No. You can’t be—" She stopped, took a deep breath, and placed her whiskey glass at the table at her elbow. Then she said in a slow, calm voice, “Conner, you’re not proposing to me while I’m eloping with another man.”

His smile slipped.

Conner is best friends with Thea’s brother and they’ve known each other for years. While Thea has long harbored a secret love for Conner, he has always placed her firmly in the “Friend Zone” and never pictured her in any other role.

Her eyes flashed as if she’d like to strike him, yet all he could think about was how delectable she looked. “I vow, it’s as if I never knew you,” he said softly.

She sent him a flatly irritated look. “You knew me; you just didn’t pay attention. I was like a- a piece of furniture. You never really looked at me, did you?”

“I paid attention to you,“ he protested, a little surprised by her vehemence.

“Really?”

How could any man answer such a disbelieving look? “Aye. And I’ve always been there when I knew you needed it. Did I nae come to you in Italy when your mother was so ill that you and Derrick thought her as good as gone? And what aboot the time Sergeant Tibbs died? As soon as Derrick told me what happened, I traveled three hours in the rain to come and help.”

A flicker of sadness crossed her face. “He was the best cat ever.”

As Conner joins in on the elopement journey, his view of Thea begins to change and he sees a desirable woman, not just a friend. It comes as a shock to him, and though he spends a lot of time thinking about kissing her, and then kissing her, and then thinking about kissing her some more, he’s having a hard time working out the “Why” thing.

Damn, he didn’t know what was what, not after that kiss. All he knew was that she burned him to the soul. “Dammit, I wish to God I’d seen this before now. Seen you. Somehow I missed this passion. You were always there, right in front of me, but I didn’t recognize you.”

“Why? What would you have done?”

He rubbed his jaw, his mouth still warm from her kisses. He tried to think, but his gaze fell on her lips and all thought disappeared. “Hell, lass, I dinnae know.”

She gave a pained laugh. “And that is why that kiss should have never happened.”

It takes Conner a while to come up with the answer to those questions, and even when he does, he still has to convince Thea to jilt her genuinely nice and gorgeous fiancé – no easy task, but one that provides much enjoyment for the reader. Caught by the Scot is a fun friends-to-lovers romance with plenty of Hawkins’ trademark humor.

***

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins, available September 26, 2017:

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Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com

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