Lord Ian Mackenzie is different.ÿHe's the youngest of four brothers.ÿHis oldest, Hart works for the Queen and is extremely powerful and influential.ÿHart was able to get Ian released from an institution that their father had but him into after having him declared insane.ÿIan has issues that he's had since his was a child but he is definitely not insane.ÿIan has problems reading body language and facial expressions.ÿHe can not seem to lie and thinks no one else does either. He has problems following conversations and doesn't like to be in crowds.ÿAll of these problems make him socially inept.ÿIan also can learn languages within days, remembers everything that he as seen or heard and has a good heart.ÿSo, when he meets Beth as the fianc‚e of a man he doesn't like, he has to warn her that her fianc‚e isn't what he appears to be.
Beth is a wealthy widow.ÿShe hasn't always been wealthy.ÿIn fact, she's only been wealthy a short time.ÿShe grew up in the slums of London and ended up in the workhouse.ÿThere she met and married the vicar of the parish the workhouse was in.ÿA little over a year later, Beth was widowed and looking for work.ÿA wealthy woman hired her as her companion.ÿAs the woman was childless, when she died she gave all her wealth to Beth.ÿBeth, not wanting to marry a fortune hunter, turned her sights to those that appeared to have money.ÿHer fianc‚e gave that appearance but it was a lie that Ian pointed out in a note.ÿIan also told her about her fianc‚e's sexual practices which weren't exactly the norm.
Beth approached Ian to clarify his note and found that she is attracted to this misfit of a Lord.ÿThough he says things he ought not, she finds that she wants to be with him and learn more about him.ÿIan is shocked.ÿUsually he doesn't like to be around strangers but he feels calm around Beth.ÿHe decides that he wants her but his courting is anything but conventional as he's never been around a real lady and his social skills are not their best.ÿIn Ian's mind, it's okay to ask if his kisses make Beth wet and if she enjoys sex even at their first meeting!
When Ian comes under suspicion of murder by a police detective that is sure he is guilty, Beth works hard to prove his innocence.ÿIan keeps telling her to forget it that Hart will take care of it all but Beth is determined to clear Ian.ÿCan she clear him or will the evidence show that he is guilty like the detective thinks?ÿAnd why is this detective so sure that Ian is guilty and why does he hate the Mackenzie's so much?
This isn't your typical historical romance.ÿThere is more sex and sexual activity going on than you normally would see.ÿThat isn't to say that this isn't a great historical, just that this isn't your grandmother's historical!ÿOf course, Ian isn't your typical leading man either with his improper suggestions and non-conventional way of doing things.ÿBeth doesn't seem to care as she forgets where she's at as she finds that there's more than one place and way to make love!ÿ
Each Mackenzie is unique or mad in his own way and it takes a strong woman to stand up to themÿÿ This makes each character unforgettable and interesting.ÿEven those women in the past make an impression on the men which carries over into their present causing rumor years later.ÿNothing in any of these characters is tired or boring.ÿMs Ashley is taking a unique twist on the troubled hero and his family making this story fresh and interesting.
The mystery that is intertwined throughout this romance is well done and difficult to solve.ÿActually, there are two mysteries.ÿOne is a murder that happened years prior and the second murder than happened shortly after Ian met Beth.ÿThey seem to be connected but are they and did the same murder do both murders?ÿThe second mystery concerns the detective, Mr. Fellows.ÿWhy does he hate the Mackenzies so much?ÿWhat did they do to him?ÿThe answers aren't reveled until there is another death and lots more mayhem.ÿThe answers are some what surprising.
A little madness, anyone?ÿIf it's with the Mackenzie family, the answer is yes!ÿIan, while different, becomes endearing.ÿHis brothers are interesting and I want to know more.ÿMac, Ian's brother, is having problems with his wife.ÿPerhaps the basis of another book?ÿI sure hope so!
Re-Issued Review: Original Review Date: 3/18/2009 / New Publisher
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.
The first of a new historical series.
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Book 2: Mac
Book 3: Cameron
Book 4: Hart