Released: April 28, 2009
List Price: $7.99
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Pages: 320; 321+ : ads
Publisher: Leisure Books
Description (her website, but I kind like the back cover’s better): 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.
This is the blurb on the back of the novel:
“It was whispered all through London Society that he was a murderer, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted – especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy. Despite his decadence and intimidating intelligence, she could see he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie”
My baby’s not mad!! >_<
I started this book a while ago, but was constantly interrupted by school and life. This is the type of book you need to sit down and read straight through. You can’t read a few chapters, put it down, and come back later. For me, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie falls under the darker romances. It’s not a Regency novel, but a Victorian set in 1881, and deals with undiagnosed illnesses and how England handled unfamiliar situations or ailments.
This is the first in the Highland Pleasure series with the other novels about Ian’s brothers: Mac, Cameron, and the eldest Hart. There are mysterious, scandalous, dark pasts surrounding each and every one of them, and sometimes one’s past *coughHARTcough* influences the other’s *coughIANcough*
I loved the relationships between the brothers because they all have an understand of the others which may not necessarily be accurate, but despite misconceptions the brothers still care for and would do anything for each other.
Lord Ian Mackenzie, is not mad. He’s a highly functioning Asperger’s protagonist and is an interesting character because the author fully embraces the physical elements of Asperger’s, the emotional aspect, and the social repercussions. Ian has a dark, harsh past that would make anyone – ANY.ONE. – angry. But, he’s a lovable, loving, loyal brother.
Ian would be a Marriage Mart treasure because he’s the handsome younger brother of a duke. However, Ian’s blunt, uses sex to forget, has perfect memory, and doesn’t understand sarcasm. And they all think he’s mad.
Beth, is a rich widow whose father disowned her and those after her hand and really after her money. Beth, for the most part, knows this, but she just wants a quiet marriage. She’s sweet, sarcastic, and has the bluest eyes Ian’s ever seen.
Then, she meet’s Ian who sends her a letter telling about her current suitor’s sexual…preferences and proposes to save her from scandal. (Actually, he did it because logically it made sense for everyone involved.)
I ABSOLUTELY adore Ian. Throughout the novel Ashley stays true to his character, but she also shows his growth – personal, with his brothers, and with Beth. I wanted to cry because of how he was treated, and I loved Beth for looking pass his hard exterior.
Beth also ingratiates herself into Ian’s family (after Ian forces it a bit). But, she puts Hart in his place and you can’t help but applaud her. Hart’s not…my favorite…brother.
Both characters are vulnerable, flawed, and not looking for each other. But, find comfort, love, and a family. There’s murder, mystery, romance, witty dialogue, character growth, familial interaction, betrayal, hatred, scandal – what more can you ask for?
If you read nothing else I recommend, you HAVE TO READ THIS ONE.
Rating: 4 ¾ stars
*Review for “sequel”, Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage will be posted on Thursday.
** Totally unintentional, but I just realized: This book is about how people who are different are treated and must overcome stigmas, and it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the USA.