A Most Dangerous Profession

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A Most Dangerous Profession

The Hurst Amulet, #3

Beautiful and seductive Moira MacAllister has been playing a dangerous game with incredibly high stakes. Now she must confront the man she once betrayed and left in order to obtain a priceless ancient relic. A man who doesn't know she has a child...and he's the father.

Robert Hurst has never forgotten the mysterious and alluring spy who seduced him into marriage and vanished without a trace. An operative in the King's service, he pursues an onyx box which will save his brother's life. He never expected to cross Moira's path again. Now he's not sure what he wants more - to satisfy his desire for revenge or to give into the building hunger between them.

When Robert discovers Moira's long kept secret, he realizes what he wants will have to wait as a dangerous enemy closes in; threatening everything they hold dear ..and their second chance at love.

"A Most Dangerous Profession" is a sexy and thrilling historical romance set in parts of England and Scotland in 1832. The third book in the Hurst Amulet series, it's full of intriguing characters and sharp dialogue. The lead characters are both spies, who've crossed each other's paths several times with some interesting results. Ms. Hawkins writing once again drew me into her character's world and kept me captivated with the continuing saga of the quest by members of the Hurst family to acquire a stolen family heirloom.

Moira MacAllister is a fantastic character; she's smart, cunning and very beautiful. Previously a spy against the British government, she retired to the countryside until her young daughter was kidnapped and held for ransom. But not just any ransom, she has to procure a priceless and ancient onyx box being hidden in Scotland. It's also being pursued by the one man she thought she'd never see again; the man she tricked into marrying her and then abandoned. Moira still hasn't dealt with her feelings for Robert Hurst and now she'll have to try to best him at a game he's equally skilled at. She doesn't know why Robert wants the box and has never told him of their child. It's her best guarded secret. I really liked how Ms. Hawkins developed Moira MacAllister's character; we've been briefly introduced to her as a villainess in the previous books in the series without really understanding what's driven her to compete against the Hurst family for the onyx boxes.

Robert Hurst is an equally fantastic character in this series; he's smart, extremely cunning and very handsome. A spy for his country, Robert's only failure has been a personal one; his failure to deal with his duplicitous wife. While he had known she was a spy, he never thought she would trick him into marrying him and would then run off. Now that they are after the same onyx box, he knows he'll have to confront her and put an end to their cat and mouse game. He also wants to know why she's been working for one of his family's enemies. Ms. Hawkins did a good job developing Robert's character too, I didn't really like him much at first but he grew on me as the story progressed. I did have a slight issue with his cavalier attitude towards his marriage at the beginning of the story; he told himself he was never in love with Moira so he excused his behavior and attitude towards her without ever questioning why he never pursued an annulment. It's an attitude which does eventually change.

The scenes between Moira and Robert are very enjoyable. They have great verbal and mental chemistry and there is a lot of unresolved sexual tension; which quickly changes when they finally give in to their desires and their emotions begin to get involved. Ms. Hawkins did a good job with their relationship; they have to build trust in order to acknowledge the love that's always been between them. Plus Moira will eventually have to trust Robert with her secret since it's their child being held hostage. As Robert and Moira begin to establish some trust they finally do what they should have done years ago. Come clean about their pasts, their secrets and their families.

The secondary characters are also well written; I especially liked Buffon, Robert's French valet and Rowena, Robert and Moira's six year old daughter. There are two villains in this story and they both want the onyx box; one has it in his possession and doesn't intend to let it go, while the other will go to any length to gain its possession. There are also the letters from the Hurst siblings to one another, which act almost like a character of their own.

The end of the story deals with confronting both of Robert and Moira's enemies and obtaining the onyx box. Will Robert and Moira be able to free their daughter from her kidnapper? And will their love finally make their marriage real? You'll have to read "A Most Dangerous Profession" to find out, I really enjoyed it and I think you will to.


Book Blurb for A Most Dangerous Profession

Mysterious, elusive, unforgettable. The Hurst Amulet continues to lure lovers into peril as New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins spins her newest scintillating tale of danger and desire.

AN ENTRANCING THIEF

For beautiful, seductive Moira MacAllister, the stakes have become terrifyingly high. Her daughter has been abducted and a priceless ancient relic is the ransom. Moira must acquire it at any cost, even if it means confronting the man she once duped and left, a man who still doesn’t know she has a child . . . and that he is the father.

A DASHING RAKEHELL

Robert Hurst, an operative in the king’s service, has never forgiven the mysterious spy who seduced him into marriage and then disappeared without a trace. Now, as he pursues the onyx box that will save his brother’s life, their paths cross again. But Robert isn’t sure which he longs for more—to satisfy his lust for revenge or to quench his relentless hunger for this bewitching woman.

A PERILOUS MISSION

When Moira reveals to Robert her long-kept secret, however, he realizes his burning desires must wait as a treacherous foe closes in, threatening all they hold dear . . . and their second chance at love.


Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2011 4.50