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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“Ashley's enthralling and poignant romance…touches readers on many levels. Brava!”—RT Book Reviews
“Mysterious, heartfelt, sensitive, and sensual…Two big thumbs up.”—Publishers Weekly’s Beyond Her Book
“Brimming with mystery, suspense, an intriguing plot, villains, romance, a tormented hero, and a feisty heroine, this book is a winner.”—Romance Junkies
“When you’re reading a book that is a step or two—or six or seven—above the norm, you know it almost immediately…The characters here are so complex and so real that I was fascinated by their journey.”—All About Romance
“Intriguing…Unique…Terrific.”—Midwest Book Review
From the Author
- ASIN : B004RKXHTK
- Publisher : Berkley; Reprint edition (August 2, 2011)
- Publication date : August 2, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 1631 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #43,870 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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So spoiler. Very detail. Much give away.
Here Be Spoilers.
This book. It shouldn't work, and I say that with no malice, just absolute, fluttery wonder. The proposal happens on page three and he says he can't love her on page four, but the attraction happens in the second paragraph and doesn't let up. They *like* each other, and that's so refreshing in a romance. I like my alphas and I will hide in the bathtub and pretend I'm not home for a well done enemies-to-lovers, but two decent people who just like each other and want to hold hands and also have corset-popping sex...Oh my.
(someone on GoodReads has this shelved as heroes-who-melt-my-panties-off - bought on their glowing endorsement and was NOT disappointed)
Our hunky hero Ian suffers Aspergers and trauma related to his incarceration in an asylum, and bravo to Ms. Ashley for handling this with research, tact, and gentleness. Ian is not a stereotype, a caricature, and his Aspergers is never a device to make him a giant, gaping a-hole (looking at a few other books, here). He's also not a silly, emotionless robot. If anything, his focus on details and his somewhat obsessive nature make his attraction to and need for Beth h-o-t. He likes her, he yearns for her, and his reasons are so logical that we believe, despite the short chaos of their courtship.
Beth is a wonderful strong heroine. She's at the mercy of the unscrupulous a few times, but we never feel it's because she's TSTL. As Ian thinks at one point, she's so good, so positive about her life and her lot despite all her loss, that she just doesn't see the danger sometimes.
Beth believes in Ian from the very beginning, another theme handled skilfully, because not only is Ian believed mad, he's a suspected murderer - even in his own mind. Rather than seem a wide-eyed, ignorant innocent, we see Beth apply what she's learned of Ian, what she observes in his behavior - not a single time does the book manufacture drama by giving her heroine amnesia. Beth is right there cheering for Ian from the front row, through every twist and low point. They feel in LOVE, and they make us feel it, too.
Steam was a seven out of five, minimum. There are things done in this book that I've never seen done in a historical romance, and crazy sauce as they are, like the rest of this beautiful, improbable story, they work like a charm. No trembling virgins, no alpha domination. These are two people who unapologetically want each other, body and soul.
Secondary story setting up Mac & Lady Isabella's book was also fleshed out and satisfying, without taking away from our h & H.
One-hundred percent in love with this book. Five stars can't do it justice.
Ian Mackenzie meets Beth Ackerley on the arm of her fiance, Lyndon Mather. Before the chapter is over, Ian has convinced Beth that Lyndon just wants her for her money and that Lyndon maintains an active liaison with mistresses and working girls. However, Ian does not convince Beth to marry him; instead, Beth decides not to marry at all.
A detective at Scotland Yard is sure that either Ian or Hart MacKenzie killed two working girls and has gone to great lengths to prove it. The detective tries to get Beth to spy on the MacKenzie's for him. Beth shows him the door.
This is a mystery as well as a romance between two (less-than-perfect) people. The story moves fast and the novel is hard to put down.
First of all, because of Ian's affliction (at first I thought it may have been autism, and it sounds like maybe AS, also known as asperger's syndrome - I don't know for sure since there was never actually a name put to it) the dialogue between he and Beth was often short and stilted. I do however applaud Ms. Ashley for her unique characters and although I liked both of them, I never did fall in love with Ian myself. He was very blunt and never lied which many times had me laughing, but other than lust or rage, I never knew what he was thinking or feeling. While he's quite the genius with numbers and such, emotions are almost an enigma for him. Although I did sense a connection between the two upon their first meeting, the lack of communication made it hard for me to figure out when lust turned to love.
My only other issue would be how easily Beth solves the murder mystery when Ian whom is extremely intelligent, and even his brother the Duke, couldn't figure it out for years. I didn't find this at all realistic or believable but even so, the book was still a ton of fun to read and thoroughly compelling. In the end I am extremely glad to have read it and wouldn't hesitate to buy more from Ms. Ashley or recommend this title and series to others. It's easy to see the potential and talent this author exhibits early on, and this book made me an instant fan of hers. It was just a hugely entertaining historical romance that engaged my emotions and was filled with both intrigue and suspense, but most importantly, a lovely romance. Ian and Beth's story was certainly a good start to what has become an epic series =)
Top reviews from other countries
An autistic lord in the frame for the murder of a prostitute rapidly courts and marries a widow who unravels the mystery of who killed the courtesan.
The good and the bad:
It’s never a good sign when you find yourself repeatedly checking how much of a book is left, which is what I found myself doing for the last 30 per cent of this novel.
First up, it is far less a romance than is suggested by the blurb and actually more of a mystery. The romance bit goes at a pace – within a matter of weeks, and with no dates, Beth and Ian are an item (indeed, married), with the former being in love with the latter.
The rest of the book is based around the not particularly exciting riddle of who killed Sally, a prostitute Ian and his brothers knew, five years ago. I found that I didn’t really care who had killed Sally. I suppose we are meant to give a hoot because Ian is in the frame for killing her but the problem was that Jennifer Ashley didn’t give me much cause to care for Ian either. She didn’t really develop his character well enough for me to feel an emotional investment in him. It’s only in the last third of the book that you come to understand enough about his struggles with autism and his horrible experiences being locked up in an asylum as a teenager, by which time I was bored to the back teeth with the monotony of the story.
The mystery of who killed Sally was not particularly complex, but the long-winded way it is told is confusing. I also found the little twist right near the end a needless addition – it didn’t add wow factor, it just stretched out what was already a protracted plot.
Then there is the language. There are some pretty graphic and steam sexy scenes which are ruined by the use of very unsexy language like “organ”, “flange” and “rigid stem”. Shiver.
I was expecting a great book when I downloaded this, not least because it’s one of author Sarah Maclean’s recommended reads, but instead I found I had you-know-whatted £7 up the wall on a piece of confused writing.
In the book’s favour, I do appreciate unconventional heros/heroines and in this case Ashley has had a stab at the subject of autism. I mean, I’m not convinced it’s a realistic portrayal but nonetheless…
Highly recommended to all historical romance readers, I'm so glad to finally have got chance to read Jennifer Ashley.
It was an ok story with a bit of intrigue; however I just don't think historical romance is for me! It's a bit like going camping; sounds like a good idea until you can't plug your hair dryer in or flush the loo!!!
However, I just didn't like the development of the story - it was all there, waiting to be built on, but instead of a genuinely thrilling mystery [and all the ingredients were there] it developed into a slightly farcical set of circumstances, and ultimately the denouement didn't work for me. I know this is the start of a series and the author needs to set up the characters for future books, but it meant, for instance, that the sinister Duke, the eldest brother, who really had all the characteristics to be a nasty bit of work - couldn't be, because he will be the hero of his own book!
The other thing I didn't like - and it is purely my personal opinion - is the amount of [to me] unnecessary sex throughout the book. I read lots of authors in this genre who use sex in their books, but the ones that I usually read use it as an entirely relevant part of the development of the relationship between the characters, some of the encounters being fairly detailed. However, while I fully understand that both the main characters had very sensual/carnal natures, I don't need their bedroom [or ballroom or carriage or railway carriage or or ....] activities to be explained and described to me in graphic detail, particularly when their sexual encounters appeared to be written in almost separately from the main thread of the story.
Lots of potential but ultimately, for me,didn't deliver