Series: Mackenzies & McBrides

Review: Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley

Posted April 16, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Casee
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #2
Also in this series: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, The Duke's Perfect Wife, The Seduction Of Elliot McBride, The Untamed Mackenzie, The Untamed Mackenzie, A Mackenzie Clan Gathering, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 6, 2010
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 316
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

Only one man could match a lady like this—scandal for scandal.

Six years ago, eighteen-year-old Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized all of London by eloping the night of her come-out ball with the notorious rake, Lord Mac Mackenzie. After three turbulent years of marriage, she scandalized London once again—this time by leaving him.

Now Mac has resurfaced, every bit as charismatic, and with one goal: to seduce Isabella back into his life and his bed even if it means acting like a real gentleman. But when Isabella rises to the challenge of posing nude for Mac's erotic paintings, her pent-up hunger for the decadent rake is exposed as well, and she finds herself unable to resist the smooth strokes of an artist at work.

But someone's been watching them—dangerously close. This ingenious forger with designs on Mac's paintings also sets his sights on Isabella herself. Deciding to become Isabella's protector, Mac vows to never leave her side, whether his independent and proud lady likes it or not.

I have really been enjoying getting back into historicals. I absolutely loved The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I think that the Mackenzie’s are so unique, it makes it impossible not to love them. No matter what they go through, family is family.

Isabella and Mac have been legally separated for three years. Isabella left him, yet the Mackenzie’s still rally around her when she needs something. That’s the kind of family they are. Now Mac has decided that it’s time to get Isabella back where she belongs…with him.

Isabella comes back into Mac’s life to tell him that someone is painting forgeries in his name. Mac doesn’t much care. That all changes when it becomes clear that the man wants more than just to put Mac’s name on his work. This man wants to be Mac. That includes being with Isabella. Once Mac realizes what a danger the stranger is to Isabella, he stays glued to her side.

Isabella is happy to have Mac back in her life and back in her bed. He’s obviously changed, but has he changed enough to take him back? She enjoys her life and isn’t sure she wants to forgive Mac to the point where they get back together. There are too many past hurts for Isabella to fall into his arms.

While Mac and Isabella try to find the imposter, they both realize how much they have missed each other. The question they both wonder is…is it too late?

This was a great installment in the Mackenzies & McBrides series. I’m really looking forward to reading both Cam and Hart’s book. Bring it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mackenzies & McBrides

four-stars


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Featured Review: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Posted February 27, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Featured Review: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #1
Also in this series: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, The Duke's Perfect Wife, The Seduction Of Elliot McBride, The Untamed Mackenzie, The Untamed Mackenzie, A Mackenzie Clan Gathering, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 26, 2012
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 338
Length: 9 hours, 50 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

A woman is drawn to a dangerously intriguing man in this unique historical romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley.

It was whispered all through London Society that Ian Mackenzie was mad, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum, and was not to be trusted—especially with a lady. For the reputation of any woman caught in his presence was instantly 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 his intimidating intelligence, she could see that he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was…The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

Rowena: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie kicks off the Mackenzie & McBride’s series by Jennifer Ashley. It features Lord Ian Mackenzie as he pursues, falls head over heels in love with and then marries Mrs. Beth Ackerly. Beth is a widow who inherited a bunch of money and she comes across Ian’s path when he discovers she’s engaged to a good for nothing man and interferes.

This book is a whirlwind romance that captured the hearts of readers everywhere and we finally made Casee read it so that we can review it together here on the blog.

Alright, ladies let’s hear it…what did you guys think?

Casee: I adored this book. Like, was gah gah over it. It was a reread for me, but it was so long ago that reading it again was like reading it for the first time. This was also the first historical I’ve read in maybe four or five years.

I loved Ian. I loved how what you saw was what you got. There was no guessing with him. He said what he thought, without consequence. Ian wanted to save Beth from her fiancé not because he wanted her for himself (not at first), but because he didn’t want to see any woman with a man like what’s his name (what’s his name??). It just so happens that he falls in love with Beth. I just loved their love. Ian was so lovable. The fact that he thought he couldn’t be loved was so sad.

Rowena: Same. I don’t remember loving this book as much as I did this time around but love it, I did. I loved seeing Ian and Beth’s relationship blossom. Ian’s character was compelling and the madness that everyone saw in him, appealed to me. He wasn’t this cookie cutter historical hero. He was interesting and I loved his mind, the way it worked and just everything. He was one of the good ones and I thought Beth was really lucky to get him.

Holly: I agree, this is a fantastic novel. I love how Ian is portrayed. The way his mind worked and his sense of right and wrong. He was wonderful. I loved his his relationship with his brothers, too. For all their gruffness they clearly cared for each other.

Casee: I loved that he wasn’t cookie cutter. There are so many historicals out there where the hero is just misunderstood for some reason or another, but Ian was genuinely misunderstood. Having the stigma of any sort of mental illness hanging over your head during that time was unacceptable. It was even more sad that Ian thought he was mad when he clearly wasn’t. Well, he wasn’t by today’s standards.

Rowena: I thought Beth was pretty great too. I loved the amount of faith she had in Ian and I really liked how she understood him, better than anyone else did. She was loyal and she did what she thought was right. All things that made for a fantastic heroine.

Holly: Beth was perfect for Ian. I, too, liked how she had such faith in him, and saw the good in him even when others couldn’t. I especially liked how she had common sense, and how she was a widow who enjoyed sex and missed it.

Casee: I loved Beth’s love for Ian. She never accepted that he was mad. Not once. She just accepted him as he was. I loved that about her.

Rowena: What did you guys think about all of the drama with Fellows?

Casee: The drama with Fellows was kind of lame. Why did he think they all deserved it when they had nothing to do with it? They were kids. Innocents.

Holly: I understood why Fellows was after them. They may have been kids, but he saw them as having all the things he didn’t. Then, when the murder happened, it just proved what he already knew. I will say, he’s never been my favorite character of the series.

Rowena: I thought the same thing as Casee as far as Fellows was concerned. He was grown, he should have come to realize that he was punishing the wrong people, innocent people who couldn’t control their father any more than he could. I get resenting them for growing up with the riches when he struggled with his Mom but the lengths he was going to in order to get them to pay for crimes they didn’t commit was really dumb to me.

Holly: What did you guys think of the Mackenzie brothers?

Rowena: Other than that, this book was great. Of all of the Mackenzie brothers, I think I’m most curious about Mac and Cam, my least favorite is Hart right now though I don’t hate him and am curious about who he ends up with.

But dude, that’s some serious love for your fam. The whole thing between Hart and Ian? That was crazy and Beth just comes right along pulling the wool off of everyone’s face. Man, she was just great. I give this one a 4.25 out of 5, what about you guys?

Casee: I am most curious about Cam. The relationship between him and his son had me cracking up. I loved how protective everyone ended up being of Beth. I want to read Hart’s book, but man was he an ass.

I give this one a 4.5 out of 5. I loved it.

Holly: Having read all the books, I can say that Mac’s and Hart’s are my favorites behind this one, but all of them are good.

I loved Ian and Beth together and how the family embraced her and stuck together. This was a fabulous re-read.

4 out of 5

Final Grades

Casee: 4.5 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Mackenzies & McBrides

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

Posted November 19, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Tracy
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #8.5
Also in this series: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, The Duke's Perfect Wife, The Seduction Of Elliot McBride, The Untamed Mackenzie, The Untamed Mackenzie, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 17th 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Fiction
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart's birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth's late husband's brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the "cure" to Ian's madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart's treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?

Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives.

Ian Mackenzie is at Kilmorgan Castle in preparation for his brother Hart’s birthday gathering when the castle is robbed. The authorities are alerted as well as his half-brother, Inspector Lloyd Fellows in London. Fellows arrives at the house to investigate but that doesn’t stop Ian from making his own deductions about the case.

In the chaos John Ackerley, Beth’s late husband’s brother, shows up and tells Ian that he thinks he can “cure” Ian from his madness. Ian thinks about the fact that Beth is a social person while he is not and wants to be able to be social for her. He agrees to John’s “cure” and they start. The cure consists of going back in his memory to try and figure out what triggered the madness and this brings up some terrifying memories for Ian. The memories also bring up a memory that may help them solve the robbery case. When someone threatens Ian’s child, Jamie, Ian is determined to catch the criminals and get to the bottom of everything.

I loved the book The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I loved almost everything about it but Ian was really the one that made the book for me. While we’ve had bits and pieces of Ian in the books released since then it was never in full doses. This book was all Ian, all the time and that was perfect for me.

Ian knows himself. He knows that he goes into “muddles” as he calls them but Beth can usually get him out of them. He loves her and his children with all his heart and wants to be the best he can be because of them. When John Ackerley offers this cure he goes for it but doesn’t really believe that anything can be done. And frankly, he doesn’t need to be cured. His family loves him just the way he is and because of his brilliance and despite his “madness” he manages to solve the case along with Inspector Fellows. I loved when Ian finally realized that he was who he was and that there was no changing him – nor did he want to. Seeing him embrace that knowledge was really wonderful. He had grown considerably over the years and was much more…there than he had been before.

The gathering that the book title mentions is for Hart’s birthday and Hart shows up after the robbery. Unfortunately we don’t get to see too much of Mac, Cameron and Daniel and their wives but that was ok as we got a wonderful book even without their presence. 🙂

Overall I really enjoyed the book and getting to know Ian as he is now. A good man with a good family who loves him – my kind of story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

four-stars


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Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley

Posted October 23, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #8
Also in this series: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, The Duke's Perfect Wife, The Seduction Of Elliot McBride, The Untamed Mackenzie, The Untamed Mackenzie, A Mackenzie Clan Gathering, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Rules for a Proper Governess returns with an engrossing tale that promises to delight lovers of Outlander.
1745, Scotland: The youngest son of the scandalous Mackenzie family, Malcolm is considered too wild to tame…until he meets a woman who is too unattainable to resist.
Lady Mary Lennox is English, her father highly loyal to the king, and promised to another Englishman. But despite it being forbidden to speak to Malcolm, Lady Mary is fascinated by the Scotsman, and stolen moments together lead to a passion greater than she’d ever dreamed of finding.
When fighting breaks out between the Highlanders and the King's army, their plans to elope are thwarted, and it will take all of Malcolm’s daring as a Scottish warrior to survive the battle and steal a wife out from under the noses of the English.
From the Paperback edition.

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride is a prequel of sorts to Jennifer Ashley’s wildly popular Mackenzies and McBrides series. In some of the latter books, Old Malcolm is mentioned as the original whiskey producer and man who started many of the traditions the current Mackenzie’s follow. This is his story. I really enjoyed it.

Just like the current generation of Mackenzie’s we know and love, Malcolm and his brothers are reckless, intense and fun-loving. Malcolm meets Lady Mary Lennox and falls instantly in love. He’s determined to have her, despite that fact that she’s English and, oh yeah, engaged to someone else.

Lady Mary is ever dutiful, and she’s resigned to her upcoming marriage to a man quite a bit older than her. Until she meets Malcolm. He makes her realize there’s more to life than duty. His passion ignites her own, and she begins to feel things she never has before.

Mary’s sister is having her own troubles on the love-front, and Malcolm decides the way to gain Mary’s heart is to arrange for her sister to elope with the man she loves. He also arranges it so Mary has to help him, which puts him in direct contact with her often. He’s determined to have her for his own, and every encounter brings him closer to his goal.

First I need to just say how much I loved Malcolm. I really loved him. He’s passionate, friendly, responsible and determined. He was a well-rounded character with depth and strength, as well as a quick wit and a fun-loving personality. And he says the sweetest things to Mary.

“Ye are for me, Mary,” he said in a quite voice. “And I for you. And this will always be.”

He has a great sense of responsibility toward his family. Despite his sometimes silly antics, it’s really Malcolm who takes care of his brothers and father. Malcolm and his brothers have a wonderful relationship. I loved their interactions with each other. They teased each other mercilessly of course, but they also protected and loved one another.

“The least ye could do is help me meet yon beautiful lass.”

“And I’m calling to mind the last time I did ye such a favor. I remember pulling your naked self out of a burning house, and taking shot in my upper arm, which still hurts of a rainy morning. All because ye had to go after what wasn’t yours.”

Malcolm flushed at the memory. “Aye, any husband should be angry to find a strapping lad like me in his place next to his bonny wife, but he had no cause to set the bed on fire. Nearly killed the poor woman. Not surprised she left him behind and went to the colonies with her mum.”

The story doesn’t focus exclusively on the romance, but encompasses Malcolm and his brothers, his father, the journey of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause, etc. It has a decidedly different feel than the other Mackenzie novels because of this, but I quite enjoyed it. The adventure was propelled by the brothers’ involvement (or not, as the case may be) with the Jacobite cause. I enjoyed the rich history Ashley imparted throughout the story, along with the personal tales of each brother. Duncan, the eldest, the twins Alec and Angus and the youngest, William, each added flavor to the story.

This was a sweeping tale of adventure, romance and intrigue. I was hooked from page one.

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley

Posted October 14, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Tracy
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #8
Also in this series: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, The Duke's Perfect Wife, The Seduction Of Elliot McBride, The Untamed Mackenzie, The Untamed Mackenzie, A Mackenzie Clan Gathering, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Publisher: Berkley, Penguin
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

 

1745, Scotland: The youngest son of the scandalous Mackenzie family, Malcolm is considered too wild to tame…until he meets a woman who is too unattainable to resist.

Lady Mary Lennox is English, her father highly loyal to the king, and promised to another Englishman. But despite it being forbidden to speak to Malcolm, Lady Mary is fascinated by the Scotsman, and stolen moments together lead to a passion greater than she’d ever dreamed of finding.

When fighting breaks out between the Highlanders and the King’s army, their plans to elope are thwarted, and it will take all of Malcolm’s daring as a Scottish warrior to survive the battle and steal a wife out from under the noses of the English.

Tracy’s review of The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (Mackenzies & MacBrides #8) by Jennifer Ashley

Malcolm Mackenzie first sees Lady Mary Lennox at a ball and is smitten from the first look. Once he talks to her he knows that this is the woman for him and nothing will change his mind. He finds out that Mary’s sister, Audrey, is in love with a man that her father doesn’t approve of. It’s not a wealthy or political enough match so he rejects it. Malcolm uses Jeremy to get closer to Mary and in the meantime he makes plans to help Audrey and Jeremy get married and be together. The problem is that while all of this is happening Charles Stuart (sometimes knows as Bonnie Prince Charlie) heads into Edinburgh to take over and become king as he believes is his right. The English king kind of has an issue with that and understandably fights back.

Malcolm is a man who loves his family. He doesn’t necessarily understand them all the time but he loves them nonetheless. His oldest brother Duncan is riding with the Jacobites in support of Charles Stuart and trying to get anyone and everyone behind the cause. Malcolm is neutral but he doesn’t want Duncan involved or hurt in any way. Easier said than done. Then there’s his brother Will who’s a spy, his brother Alec who is an artist, and Alec’s twin Angus who we don’t know too much about but is supposedly his father’s favorite. Malcolm, while trying to help Audrey and Jeremy and woo Mary must try to take care of all his brothers when the shit hits the fan.

The whole family ends up at the family seat in the highlands, Kilmorgan, along with Mary and her father. Her father softens towards the family and Mary and Mal fall deeper in love. Unfortunately life has the knack of getting in the way of happiness and the Jacobite rising and ensuing battle tries to tear not only Mal’s family apart but tear him from Mary as well.

This was a really great book, I must say. I loved the interweaving of the romance, the family element and the events that no one in the Highlands could ignore in 1745 and 1746.

The romance was so very sweet. Was it all tea and crumpets? No, definitely not. Mary and Mal were a pair that were perfect for each other. Mal knew how to make trouble for people and he taught Mary well. He loved her so much though and he never hesitated to show her how he felt in thought, word and deed. Mary was wonderful as well and such a strong female. She was just the right woman for Mal and was as in love with him as he was with her. The story, at times, broke my heart but was so good I couldn’t stop reading.

The Mackenzie family was a tough one that had 5 strong bullheaded men in it. Make that 6 when you include the Duke – he was almost more bullheaded than all the others put together. Despite all of their differences though I could tell how much they cared for each other. Ashley did a great job of getting that across to the reader and I never doubted that they would protect and die for each other if needed.

The events of the times were sad. The Jacobite rising in 1745 ended with a battle in 1746 and the total number of men, mostly highlanders, that died at the Battle of Culloden is seriously heartbreaking. Ashley put us right in the face of the battle and did an excellent job of making it seem oh so real. I’m happy I wasn’t there, but I was pleased with the end of the book and how things turned out in the end for the Mackenzie family.

This story can be read before any of the other Mackenzie books as it’s set almost 130 years prior to those books. It’s a great book and definitely worth reading. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Rating; 4/4.5 out of 5

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars


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