A princess once bejeweled but now tattered…
Royal princess Tatiana Romanovin is the beautiful, wealthy and spoiled favorite of the King of Oxenburg. On her way to her cousin’s wedding in the Scottish highlands, she and her entourage are held up by a gang of ruffians. Frightened, her servants flee, and Tatiana soon finds herself alone in an inn with no servants, no funds and no proof of her identity. Destitute, she accepts the offer from a sympathetic (but unbelieving) innkeeper to work for her room and board while she waits for an answer to the missive she’s sent to her cousin Prince Nikolai. With no other recourse, Tatiana scrubs floors and dirty linens, waiting for her prince to come…
A proud lord once lost and now found…
After a brutal, bloody battle with the French Navy left Lord Buchan limping and surly, abandoned by his betrothed because of his twisted leg, his lordship hides away at his manor house in the countryside. He leaves only once a week to eat at the local inn, drawn by the expert cooking of the innkeeper’s wife. One day, Buchan arrives to find that the innkeeper has a new servant, a beautiful scullery maid with a queenly air and flashing green eyes that leave him breathless and increasingly aware of his lonely existence…
Love may find them yet…
The challenge of winning his way into Tatiana’s heavily protected heart stirs Buchan back to life…but can he and his twisted leg — and broken heart — win a proud princess whose only goal is to leave Scotland and return to the court where she’s the crowning jewel?
Read the full excerpt from The Princess Wore Plaid:
Lord Buchan leaned back in his chair, the crackling of the fire and the tasty whiskey slowly warming him. He rubbed his aching thigh, glad the muscle was finally releasing. In the early days immediately after his injury, there had been no easing of the pain. Late at night, wracked beyond thought from the agony, he’d begged Dr. Fraser again and again to cut off the injured leg and be done with it. Buchan wasn’t proud of those moments and could only be thankful they were blurred by heavy doses of laudanum.
Light footsteps sounded in the hallway and the new maid entered, turning toward the table at the end of the room. He lifted his glass for a sip and glanced at her without interest, but the second his gaze fell upon her, he couldn’t look away.
She was tiny, this lass. Had they been standing side by side, her head would have been two hands’ widths below his shoulder. Yet she moved with a purpose that gave an impression of height.
Unlike other maids who preened and giggled and tried to catch his eye, she didn’t spare him so much as a glance, her attention solely on her task and nothing else. In her small hands, the silver tray looked twice as large as it usually did, and she walked slowly, carefully, one foot in front of the other, as if her burden were in dire danger of falling to the floor. Indeed, when she stopped by the table to set down the tray, her hands trembled as if she were unused to the weight.
He fought the urge to arise and assist her, as he knew his ill-favored leg wouldn’t support such a dashing gesture.
She slid the tray onto the table and then bent over it to arrange the items. He watched over the edge of his glass, noting that her face, hidden by the shadows, remained tantalizingly out of view while the firelight played across her thick, shiny chestnut hair. Perfectly straight and twisted into a bun, it looked ready to tumble down, as if the pins couldn’t hold the weight of those shimmering strands. It would reach her waist, he decided, and had an instant image of her naked, her small, rounded breasts peeking through that thick, shiny curtain of dark hair.
Bloody hell, where had that come from? Pushing the unwelcome thoughts away, Buchan took a steadying drink. Had Drummond mentioned the lass’ name? He couldn’t remember. The tray finally arranged to her satisfaction, she straightened, and the firelight that had played so warmly on her hair now lit her face. Her skin was creamy and fair, her face oval and patrician. High cheekbones, accompanied by thickly lashed green eyes that tilted just the faintest bit, gave her an exotic look. She missed being classically beautiful due to the wideness of her full mouth and the stubborn line of her chin, but there was something intriguing about her — the delicateness of her neck and shoulders, the sensual promises of that too-full mouth, the unconcerned way she went about her business.
“Who are you?” He hid a wince of regret at his harsh tone; he hadn’t meant to bark.
Her gaze flickered across him, her delicate eyebrows arched in disbelief. “I am the maid.” Heavily accented and smoky, her voice ran across him like the licks of a feather, tantalizing and tempting.
“I know you’re the maid,” he said shortly. “But what is your name?”
She eyed him with cool disinterest and then adjusted a spoon. “That, you do not need to know.”
And just like that, he was dismissed.
About the author: Karen Hawkins is a USA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author of some of the funniest and freshest fairytale-based Scottish romances. When not stalking hot Australian actors, getting kicked out of West Virginia thanks to the antics of her extended family, or adding to her considerable shoe collection, Karen is getting chocolate on her keyboard while writing her next delightfully fun and sexy historical romance!