Read How to Pursue a Princess Online

Authors: Karen Hawkins

Tags: #Romance, #Regency, #General, #Historical, #Fiction

How to Pursue a Princess

“Hawkins always delivers delightfully humorous, poignant, and highly satisfying novels.”

—RT Book Reviews

“Fast, fun, and sexy stories that are a perfect read for a rainy day, a sunny day, or any day at all!”

—Bestselling author Christina Dodd

P
RAISE FOR THE
D
UCHESS
D
IARIES SERIES

How to Capture a Countess

“A delightful, sprightly romp is what Hawkins does best, and when she sets her witty tale in Scotland and adds a charming castle and an engaging cast of characters, readers have the beginning of an appealing new series.”

—RT Book Reviews
(4 stars)

“Hawkins delivers a fast-paced, robust historical novel filled with wit and romance!”

—Night Owl Reviews

“Readers will enjoy this jocular tale as Rose and Sin fight, fuss, and fall in love!”

—Genre Go Round Reviews

“A beautifully written romance filled with passion, zest, and humor.”

—Addicted to Romance

“The wildly unconventional courtship of Sin and Rose is spiced by a chemistry that practically leaps off the pages. Readers will be thrilled to every witty repartee between these reluctant lovers.”

—Coffee Time Romance & More

P
RAISE FOR THE
H
URST
A
MULET SERIES

The Taming of a Scottish Princess

“Hawkins has penned a story which fans, new and old, will find delightfully humorous, poignant and satisfying. A quick-moving, dramatic plot populated with memorable characters, witty and humorous dialogue, and sizzling sensuality makes this her best yet—a tale to reread.”

—RT Book Reviews
(4
1
/
2
stars, Top Pick)

“This is the first Karen Hawkins novel I’ve ever read, and she is now (and the only historical author) on my auto-buy list. Enough said.”

—Alice-Anderson.com

“A super climax to an engaging series!”

—Genre Go Round Reviews

“Grab a lounge chair, put your feet up, and let the story take you away. You will laugh and you will cheer as this unlikely and unique couple look for the Hurst Amulet and as they find their own happily ever after.”

—Romance Novel News

“Pure pleasure to read. Fans of Ms. Hawkins old and new are sure to be delighted by this entertaining, romantic jewel of a book!”

—Joyfully Reviewed
(A Joyfully Recommended Read)

A Most Dangerous Profession

“Spellbinding . . . one thrilling adventure after another.”

—Single Titles

“Complex characters and plot, a parallel story line, a quest, two star-crossed lovers, and fast pacing make this a most delightful read.”

—RT Book Reviews
(4 stars)

Scandal in Scotland

“A humorous, fast-paced dramatic story that’s filled with sensual tension. Hawkins’s passionate, intelligent characters make it impossible to put down.”

—RT Book Reviews
(4
1
/
2
stars, Top Pick)

“Rollicking good fun from beginning to end! Pure, vintage Hawkins!”

—Romance and More

One Night in Scotland

“Hawkins begins the Hurst Amulet series with a keeper. Readers will be delighted by the perfect pacing, the humorous dialogue, and the sizzling sensual romance.”

—RT Book Reviews
(4
1
/
2
stars, Top Pick)

“A lively romp, the perfect beginning to [Hawkins’s] new series.”

—Booklist

“Hawkins is one of the most talented historical romance writers out there.”

—Romance Junkies
(5 stars)

“Charming and witty.”

—Publishers Weekly

“An adventurous romance filled with laughter, passion, and emotion . . . mystery, threats, and plenty of sexual tension, plus an engaging premise which will keep you thoroughly entertained during each highly captivating scene. . . .
One Night in Scotland
holds your attention from beginning to end.”

—Single Titles

“With its creative writing, interesting characters, and well-crafted situations and dialogue,
One Night in Scotland
is an excellent read. Be assured it lives up to all the virtues one has learned to expect from this talented writer.”

—Romance Reviews Today

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Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Epilogue

How to Entice an Enchantress
Excerpt

About Karen Hawkins

To Hot Cop:

Thank you for being such a terrific Writer’s Husband and listening to me discuss (at length) my characters’ lives as if they were real people, and for accepting without too much question that, for the moment, they are.

Acknowledgments

A huge acknowledgment to Sheridan Stancliff of SheridanInk.com for her invaluable help in doing that most impossible of all tasks for a writer: getting organized. Also, thank you for finding so many wonderful and creative ways for me to connect with my amazing readers. You rawk, sister.

One

From the Diary of the Duchess of Roxburghe
Since, while under my roof, my goddaughter Miss Rose Balfour met and married my great-nephew the Earl of Sinclair, people have been whispering that I am the first word in matchmaking—the Perfectress of Romance, the Grand Curator of Courtship, and (my favorite) the Duchess of Hearts. Naturally, I’m well aware that these titles are ridiculous, for I had little to do with Rose and Sin’s romance; it happened on its own with very little assistance from me.

Except when needed, of course.

Those who know me best realize that I never interfere in the lives of others. Not unless they need it and are crying out for help in such a way that one cannot ignore their desperate pleas.

For example, take Rose’s sister, the lovely Miss Lily Balfour. If ever a young woman was in need of a husband, it is she, and I’m certain she’s begging for help, but is just too proud to do it aloud. Fortunately, I am not deaf to her silent pleas and
am determined that she will accept one of the many invitations I’ve sent to her. So far, though, all of them have been politely refused.

However, I shall not despair, for I’m sure there must be a way to help the poor, desperate lass.

Caith Manor, Scotland

May 2, 1813

Lily Balfour blinked, but the words on the paper still swam before her eyes, numbers and words merging into a befuddled mess. “I don’t understand. How did this happen?”

Pacing before the fire, Papa shook his head, his white hair standing on end where he’d run his hands through it. “Och, I don’t know. I just don’t know.” He was showing his age more than usual this evening, worry etching deep lines on his face. “I didn’t realize the terms were so dire. Lord Kirk said—”

“What?” Dahlia, who’d been sitting quietly to one side of the fireplace, stared at their Papa. “You borrowed funds from Lord Kirk?”

Lord Kirk was their neighbor, a wealthy, grumpy, taciturn widower who’d been horribly scarred across one side of his face by an accident of some sort—Lily wasn’t sure how, for he never spoke of it. In fact, he rarely spoke about anything or to anyone . . . except to her sister Dahlia.

Some months ago, Lily had discovered that somehow Dahlia had been lured into speaking with Lord
Kirk, even visiting his library and talking for hours about books they’d read. Neither Lily nor her oldest sister, Rose, had been happy about the relationship; warm, friendly, lovely Dahlia could do far, far better than such a grumpy, taciturn man. Fortunately, before many weeks had passed, Lord Kirk had said something insulting about Papa, and the always-loyal Dahlia had broken off all contact with the man, which had relieved everyone.

“How
could
you?” Dahlia demanded now, her eyes blazing.

Papa winced. “Now don’t look like that. I planned on paying back the funds. If things had gone well, you’d never even have known that I’d borrowed them.”

Lily waved the loan papers. “Apparently ‘things’ didn’t go as planned, and now you owe the funds
and
the interest,
and
a penalty, and—oh, Papa!”

He rubbed a hand over his face. “What have I done? I should have paid more attention, but—Lily, I don’t know how it is, but I could have sworn the percent was far less than what it is.”

“You didn’t read the terms?”

He flushed. “Of course I did. I just don’t remember them.”

Lily dropped the papers on the table and exchanged a worried glance with her sister, who looked as bemused as Lily felt.

Dahlia, always the pragmatist, folded her hands in her lap, her brow furrowed. “Papa, why did you take
out this note? However did you spend three thousand pounds?”

He wrung his hands. “Oh, that. Well. I—I wanted you both to have a season in London, as your sister once had.”

Lily shook her head. “Nonsense. We’ve never asked for such a thing.”

“Besides,” Dahlia added, “Rose promised to take us into society when she returns from her honeymoon in three months.”

“Yes, but that’s so far away,” he said, looking a bit desperate. “You both should have your season now, so I borrowed some funds and invested them, knowing that if all turned out well, then I could surprise you.”

“Humph,” Lily said.

Dahlia lifted her brows in disbelief. “What did you invest in?”

He gulped, but said in a defiant tone, “Flowers.” A known horticulturalist, his undying passion was his pursuit of the perfect rose—one he intended on calling the Balfour Rich Red.

“You didn’t!” Lily said.

Dahlia’s brows snapped down. “This loan had nothing to do with paying for us to have a season, did it? You just wanted the funds for your flowers.”

Papa didn’t reply.

Lily took a steadying breath. “How did you convince Lord Kirk to loan you such an amount for something as far-fetched as rose development?”

“I told Kirk it was for a personal matter. Being a gentleman, he didn’t ask for more.”

“So he made you this large loan for an unknown reason?” Dahlia asked, suspicion still bright on her face.

“Well . . . yes.” Papa raked a hand through his hair. “It was a gentleman’s agreement, so I thought that if I couldn’t pay, he’d simply renegotiate the note. But instead . . .”

Dahlia’s eyes sparkled with anger as she turned to Lily. “I think less of Lord Kirk for agreeing to such a ludicrous arrangement. He had to know Papa’d never be able to repay such a sum.”

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