The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #4
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 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, A Mackenzie Clan Christmas
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
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Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart.
Hart has it all--a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him--his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He's also suffered loss--his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late.
Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart's doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes--and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination--Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him . . . or save him.
Lady Eleanor and Hart Mackenzie were once engaged. Eleanor then called off the wedding but she never stopped loving Hart – and he never stopped loving her. Their lives had taken twists and turns and survived tragedies but somehow Hart knew that they would be together.
Hart has a plan – he is driven and will definitely be Prime Minister. When that happens he will then put his other plan, to get Eleanor back after many years, into action. He’s not quite accomplished his goals when Eleanor and her father show up in London. You see, Eleanor received a nude photo of Hart and she believes that it was sent with an evil intent. She wanted to show the photo to Hart, find out what he knows about it and try and find the sender. Hart isn’t too interested in the photo but he is interested in keeping Eleanor and her father close. Now that she’s in his sights he’s not about to let her go.
Eleanor makes a valiant attempt at investigating the photo’s original origin but she keeps getting sidetracked. One of those diversions is Hart as he can’t seem to keep his hands off of her. She’s not really having a problem with that but she wishes that he would focus a bit more. Hart IS distracted! He’s supposed to be in the crunch of a political race and all he can think of is Eleanor. He also has to worry about the safety of his family and his guest as it seems there’s someone out to hurt him and keep him from becoming Prime Minister.
I have to tell you that I have waited for Hart’s book almost from the time he was introduced in this series. I knew that there were hidden depths to the man and I was oh so right. He has such anger twirling inside him toward his overbearing and brutal father. He has guilt over the death of his wife and child and he has unending love for Eleanor. I adored the fact that Ms. Ashley gave his such a multifaceted personality. It was entertaining and quite moving to see him working through all the crap in his head and trying to do the right thing – figure out what’s important in his life.
Eleanor was the perfect woman for him. She wasn’t afraid of him or his tantrums. He had a temper and liked to yell on occasion and she just took it in stride. He was never hurtful to her and she knew that he never would hurt her. She was such a calming force in his life and it was exactly what he needed.
There was what Hart believed was even a darker side to his personality that involved sex. The details of what exactly that involved was brought up during the story but it really wasn’t a focal point. Ian, who had always had a special bond with Hart (and that bond plays a huge role in the story) tells Hart to be honest with Eleanor. Now Hart tells Eleanor everything – truly everything as he keeps no secrets – except that one. I think he’s afraid that she’ll be put off but I personally thought that he should trust that Eleanor would be there for him.
The story was lovely. I enjoyed reading every minute of it except one teensy part that I can’t tell you about without giving huge spoilers. I have to say that as much as I wanted Hart’s story this was well worth the wait!
Rating: 4.75 out of 5