Title: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #1)
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
PublicationDate: May 2009
Ebook: 320 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family–rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn’t be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them–of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.
The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He’s also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.
Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama–an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.
And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.
For the first time in her life, Beth Ackerley has options. Now a wealthy widow, thanks to the kind inheritance of the late Mrs. Barrington she can do whatever she chooses. With dreams of relaxing, travelling and learning to paint. But wealth doesn’t bring friendship and lonely, Beth finds herself engaged to Sir Lyndon Mather.
Lord Ian Mackenzie is the black sheep of the Mackenzie family. Put in an asylum as a young boy, rescued by his brother years later after his father’s death, he struggles to fit into society. While his brothers care and look after him, they do not understand him.
Ian has an obsession with Ming bowls. He collects and revers them and sometimes when he sees a new one that is not yet in his collection he doesn’t own, he just has to have it. One day purchasing a new piece from the sycophantic and quite deceptively unpleasant Sir Lyndon Mather, he becomes intrigued when Sir Lyndon boasts about his recent lucky engagement to a wealthy widow. Ian decides to investigate, should the widow deserve it he decides he will slip her a note to warn her of the less than savoury nature of her future husband.
But, Ian is taken aback when he meets Beth and finds her as exquisite as one of his Ming bowls. He knows that not only does he have to save her, he has to have her.
Unfortunately Ian struggles to put his past behind him. Not only is he haunted by terrible nightmares, but years ago, after he was released from the asylum a terrible incident happened and a woman was murdered. His brothers aren’t sure if Ian might have been the killer, but protect him never the less. And Ian with his frequent rages and black outs isn’t even sure himself. Now another woman has been murdered and Inspector Javert, who has a bit of grudge against the somewhat wild Mackenzies, is convinced Ian is the killer and will not give up until he is convicted.
Ian is a very unusual, but fantastic hero. A combination of handsomeness, intelligence, bravery with a nice amount of vulnerability thrown in. I’d read a couple of reviews on this book before I bought it and the general consensus is that he has autism and I would have to agree.
I liked Beth for her honesty, determination and directness. She has had a tough past, but it has just made her kind and determined to make the most out of her life. This book has a nice twist in that to a certain extent it is up to the heroine to rescue the hero.
Warning despite the complex hero, this book is on the red hot side of steamy. I wish the author had pulled it back just a touch as it got a little bit bawdy at times. It made the difference for me between and 7 and a 8 out of 10.
We were also given an intriguing introduction to Ian’s brothers. In particular Mac and his estranged wife Isabella. Which as I finished this book left me seriously looking forward to reading their story next.
This is a refreshingly, warm romance. I loved the uniqueness of the male lead who is vulnerable yet strong all at the same time. His quirks and idiosyncrasies make him all the more endearing. A great read.
SOURCE: This book was from Laura’s personal library.
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