Tag: Jennifer Ashley

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 Escape
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
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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 Escape
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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Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley

Posted December 7, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Series: Shifters Unbound #10
Also in this series: White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Guardian's Mate returns to the world of the Shifters and a tale of a new love under fire...

A man is only as strong...

Red wolf Shifter Dimitri has fought his whole life for respect. It is claimed that red wolves are tainted with coyote blood and therefore not pure. He may not be skilled at verbally defending himself, but because he's a bodyguard, tracker, and champion of the fight clubs, his fists are always ready for some rough and tumble. However, he'd prefer a roll in the hay with the woman who is his oldest friend.

...as the woman who's got his back...

A spirited leopard Shifter and a fellow tracker, Jaycee Bordeaux has no problem forging a mate bond with Dimitri, but soon the two are called to infiltrate a rogue group bent on enslaving Shifters. Jaycee may have defended Dimitri from taunts before, but they now face a more lethal danger--one that threatens not only the future of their people, but also their love.

I really like the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf follows two un-collared shifters from Kendrick’s pack, Dimitri and Jaycee. They were introduced in White Tiger. Jaycee thought she was in love with her alpha (Kendrick), but realized it was just being safe and loved in the pack she wanted. When Kendrick and his mate start mate bonding, Jaycee and Dimitri end up in bed together, too. They’ve been best friends as long as either of them can remember. Dimitri had a speech impediment and Jaycee is the only one who seems to always get him. During a tense situation Dimitri mate-claimed Jaycee, in the hope that he could tell her not to put herself in danger. That didn’t work. Still, the mate-claim stands until Jaycee either accepts it or rejects it. She wants to accept it because she loves Dimitri and wants him in her life, but she doesn’t want to be controlled by a male. Nor does she want to lose the easy friendship they have. For Dimitri, there’s never been anyone but Jacyee. He didn’t claim her on a whim, he’s wanted her all along. When they’re put on an undercover op, their mate-claim will really be tested and Jaycee will have to decide what’s really important.

This started out slow, with a lot of the focus on Jaycee’s internal feelings and exploring a borrowed house. It does eventually pick up and I really enjoyed the second half. The story-arc is continued from White Tiger, and we also saw threads from other books coming together here. Ashley has a wonderful, solid writing voice that really brings this world to life. Though the romance was slow and somewhat lacking, the overall story-arc and progression of things inside the world really worked for me. I love how she tugs so many threads at once. In this book we see how many of them are connected.

I didn’t much care for Jaycee’s internal struggle about the mate-claim. Her main hesitation was that she didn’t want to be controlled or under the thumb of another. That would make sense if Dimitri ever tried to control her. He didn’t want her in danger, of course, but that’s because he loved her. He never tried to stop her from doing her job and in fact often encouraged her. So her fears there were groundless and therefore didn’t hold sway with me. The outside conflict was much more interesting and kept me reading.

3.75 out of 5

Shifters Unbound

three-half-stars


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Review: White Tiger by Jennifer Ashley

Posted August 11, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: White Tiger by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #8
Also in this series: Red Wolf
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Pages: 335
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A woman is lured into the shadows of a dangerous manhunt...Wanted and on the run...   For twenty years, Kendrick, a white tiger Shifter, has been the Guardian of un-Collared Shifters who spend their lives living in secret—and in fear of being shunted into Shiftertowns. When Kendrick’s group is discovered and forced to flee, Kendrick is more desperate than ever to protect them His only salvation was in a beautiful stranger.   In a diner in the middle of nowhere, lonely waitress Addison Price has seen a lot of unusual drifters come and go, but none has ever captivated—and intimidated—her like the imposing fugitive who wields a broadsword with incredible skill. But when he risks all to protect her, Addison’s fear turns to empathy—and empathy to desire as she learns more about her savior. Soon she’s more than willing to help the crushingly sensual white tiger and his cubs in a passionate bid for freedom. Whatever the cost.

White Tiger was an entertaining and intriguing read. I’ve been anxious for Kendrick’s story for ages. He’s a white tiger who, for twenty years, led a band of Shifters without collars in a secret compound. He’s been on the run since the compound was raided, and now his Shifters are turning against him, which put his cubs in jeopardy. He knows he needs a safe place to leave them while he eliminates the current threat, so he enlists the help of Addy, his favorite local waitress.

Addy hasn’t had a lot of contact with Shifters and she isn’t too pleased when her first encounter with one includes a drive-by shooting and an execution. She agrees to keep watch over Kendrick’s kids because she can’t stand the thought of them being hurt. When he tries to send her on her way, however, she finds she isn’t ready to walk away from them. She wants to help keep his kids safe..and she wants to get to know him better. Kendrick wants to send Addy away for her own safety, but the truth is it doesn’t take much to convince him to keep her around since he’s pretty sure she’s his mate.

I love the freshness of this series. The premise is interesting and makes for lovely intrigues. I enjoyed the tale and both main characters. Especially Addy. She was hilarious and wonderfully loyal. In the beginning, her easy acceptance of the situation she’s thrown into bothered me, but as the novel progressed I realized that’s just the type of person Addy is. Which was just what Kendrick needed – someone who was fully there for him and stuck when things got rough. I really enjoyed how they pulled their ragtag band around them and created a family.

Ashley’s world-building is clever and detailed, which makes for a very immersive reading experience. I didn’t want the story to end.

4.25 out of 5

 

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
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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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