by Karen Hawkins

June 2004
ISBN: 0-06-051408-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

At various conferences around the country Karen Hawkins holds writing workshops on finding your own voice. There couldn’t be a better teacher. Her writing voice is clear, strong, and unique and one I love returning to. With And The Bride Wore Plaid, Karen Hawkins once more puts her personal spin on a popular fairy tale. Snow White has never been sexier. Never been funnier.

Devon St. John is a man polite society labels a libertine. He loves woman but never for longer than two months. For a man like him marriage is not an option. It’s for the eligible woman’s own good, as he wouldn’t want to break hearts. Knowing he will be next in line for the legendary St. John talisman ring and its curse of destined marriage he tries to run from it. Outmaneuvered by his brothers, even an escape to Scotland fails to rid him of the treasured but cursed heirloom. Devon is determined though to thwart destiny and so stumbles upon the perfect solution. To stay away from marriage minded and suitable females he’d dally with his host’s illegible half sister instead.

Kat Macdonald might live in the woods with her seven apprentices, a Snow White waiting for her prince to kiss her awake and to carry her away she is not. She is a woman with lush curves and a head for business, of independent character and means. And guarding her not so spotless virtue are seven giants not dwarves. Weary of unwelcome and unwanted attention, she is pleasantly surprised at the considerable lengths Devon goes through to win her affection. As marriage is not in the cards, she isn’t averse to some flirting…

And The Bride Wore Plaid is a character and definitely a dialogue driven story. The humor is sharp and fast, especially wonderfully depicted in the witty repartee between Devon and his valet Tilton. Secondary characters like Devon’s host and friend Malcom and his wife Fiona, as well as Kat’s seven 'dwarves' compliment the poignant relationship growing between Devon and Kat and add to the enjoyment of a wonderful Regency Historical romp.

Karen Hawkins trusts her characters and their conflicts to be of interest enough for their story to go without a suspense element, misunderstandings, lies and subterfuge. Kat demands honesty and that is what Karen Hawkins delivers. Together with trust and respect she hits upon the right mixture to create a charming and very rewarding romance.

However, whereas I had a fair sense of the countryside setting in Karen Hawkins’ previous release, How To Tread A Lady, I kind of felt lost in Scotland. Not sure I would have found my way to Edinburgh or London. And I’m certain that yet again some readers might feel inclined to pick apart the plot, looking for those telltale signs of a too modern Historical. It does seem a little daring and unusual for an unmarried young woman to own her own business, to run it with the help of seven unmarried men and to ignore proper conduct when riding out without a chaperone. Still I pity those readers when they can’t just enjoy a beautiful romance and take it for the modern fairy tale it is supposed to be.

So, for all those readers just waiting to be seduced into a world away from reality, one of handsome men, enterprising women and a relationship built on trust I want to recommend Karen Hawkins’ latest installment of her St. John talisman series. And do be sure not to miss out on her final chapter, Marcus St. John’s story, in 2005!

Reviewed in May 2004 by Kris Alice.

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