Merrimon Book Reviews

Victorian evening gown, 1878.  Renoir portrait.

Reproduction of a playbill from the original 1879 production of Pirates of Penzance

1880 poster for The Pirates of Penzance

From Merrimon Book Reviews
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
by Jennifer Ashley
Awesome Sensual Dark Victorian Romance

Lord Ian MacKenzie and his brothers have quite the reputation.  Rumors abound.  He may be wealthy but he is worse than a scoundrel --- Lord Ian MacKenzie is a murderer.  As a youth, he was confined to a mental asylum.  Dark and dangerous, Lord Ian MacKenzie should come with a warning sign: Beware.  His very presence leads to scandal, scandals that can ruin a woman.  When Lord Ian enters the opera box of Mrs. Beth Ackerly and her fiance, his lack of manners surprises her.   Having recently inherited enough money to have a few more choices in her life even as a widow, Beth just wants to settle into a more comfortable life.  When her fiance leaves the box, suddenly her whole word turns upside down!  He breaks every rule of polite society taught to her by her mentor, Mrs. Barrington.  In a society that values an outer expression of appearance of dignity, restraint, and even prudery, Lord Ian MacKenzie is a man not afraid to take pleasure in a womanIn a moment, he asks her to marry him!  She refuses, of course, but this is not the last she will see of Lord Ian MacKenzie!  Inspector Fellowes is determined to solve the brutal murders of two women and he will do anything to trap Lord Ian even if it means using Beth to trap him.  While her desire for Lord Ian grows, so do the threats around her.  Can she find out the truth behind Lord Ian's dark past secrets and if she does, will she still love him?

In the first of the HIGHLAND PLEASURES series, Jennifer Ashley introduces readers to all four MacKenzie brothers, men known for their wildness and passions.  Jennifer Ashley takes her readers on a journey of passion and intrigue
from England to Paris to Scotland.  From the very beginning, Lord Ian breaks all the rules of Victorian society. Daring and sensual, he could make a lady swoon just from his look or words to say nothing of his touch.  Mystery and innuendo surround his past.   Mrs. Beth Ackerly is just the woman to risk it all.  Beth has a daring and determination all her own that matches Lord Ian's, step by step.  As a married woman who has known love in the past,  she is unafraid to stand her ground.  Lord Ian's passion might just teach Beth that she wants more out of life than comfort and the rules.   Darkness and secrets trap Lord Ian's soul, making him unable to love a woman fully, but something about Beth is different.  Can she help him break through and face his demons and at what cost to herself or him?

THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE is dark and sensual historical romance at its very best.  From the very first scenes, passion captures the imagination with its intensity, audaciousness and decadence.  Jennifer Ashley leaves the reader poised on the edge, an edge where danger lurks around every corner, inside and outside.  Scottish Lord Ian MacKenzie is the classic tortured, wounded soul and then some.  Beth Ackerly is a most refreshing heroine!  Although Beth possesses a certain amount of innocence even as a widow, above all, she has a determined courage to pursue desire even in the face of danger.   The love scenes between the two have a delightful mix of pure sensuality and fearless tenderness.  Exciting subplots and a seemingly unsolvable mystery add a suspenseful atmosphere to keep the reader glued to the pages.

Jennifer Ashley paints a portrait of the Victorian world that encapsulates all the historical contradictions of a period known for its prudery but which seethes with passion underneath.  In Ian's past, the reader discovers the darker side of Victorian society.   From the opera to memories of the mental asylum, the setting takes the reader on an exquisite historical romantic adventure. Even the happy ending will delight Victorian lovers with its echoes of the great Victorian writer, Charles Dickens, but be warned, 
THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE is passionate romance like nothing Charles Dickens wrote! Jennifer Ashley takes the reader on a dangerous passionate journey that reaches down to the depths of the inner soul.  Awesome!

Publisher: Dorchester - Leisure Books (May 2009)
Series: Highland Pleasures
Author website

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

Custom Search

Copyright Merrimon Crawford  2009  All Rights Reserved