Alisha's Reviews > The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

Rating: 4.5
Quick Take: This book was utter magnificence. The male protagonist was extremely compelling. In fact, I fell in love with the whole cast, and will consider this series "auto-buy" from now on.

This is yet another book that presented difficulty to me. You see, I enjoyed it very much; so much so that I find it hard to adequately convey my enthusiasm. But it seems such a shame to read the book and do naught but numerically rate it. Therefore...

This is the first book in a series that's apparently meant to focus on the four brothers of the Scottish Mackenzie clan. The family has a long and storied history, much of it painful and unfortunate. This particular installment is about the youngest and arguably most tragic of the lot, Lord Ian. His particular condition is nameless, unaccepted and misunderstood in that time and place. Today he might have been thought an austistic savant, or perhaps someone with Asperger syndrome. In this story, people simply label him "crazy."

As always, I was quite attentive to the characters themselves (typically my favorite aspect of a book). Fortunately the author seems to have been, as well. ^_^ Jennifer Ashley presents an absolutely intriguing portrayal of the male protagonist. Due to the nature of his thought processes as well as his traumatizing(!!!) past, his character provides much of the novel's mystery. His interactions vary greatly amongst the other characters in the book, revealing a man not "crazy" but immensely complex. Ian is easily one of the more interesting characters I've ever come across in a romance tale.

The female protagonist, widow Beth Ackerly, made for a great pairing. Nominally she seems to be the least sensible match for someone like Lord Ian, but her own past hurts (a lost spouse) and considerable strengths (triumphing over a poor upbringing) make her interesting when played against the dramatic Mackenzie family.

...and as for the Mackenzies. Wow. Though the book is "about" Ian and Beth, the rest of the clan is not neglected story-wise. Each of the brothers have been well fleshed out. Ms. Ashley made this book as much about family as anything else.

"Anything else," in addition to the central romance, refers to a mystery-laced murder subplot (a "whodunit"). It provided some exciting thrills and got me truly caught up in the process, but in truth the thread--including its resolution--was not the most arresting I've ever seen. In retrospect it was the weakest element of the book....which really means little, since it'd still be the best part of any other book. ^_^

This is only my third "historical romance," but even so it's clear there was something special here. The tale endeared me not only to the featured couple, but to the entire Mackenzie clan. I even love the family dogs! Ms. Ashley began brewing a plot thread that will boil over spectacularly into the next installation of the series: unreliable artist Mac Mackenzie's dealings with his estranged wife Isabella. I can't wait to read it!
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Reading Progress

October 28, 2010 – Shelved
November 11, 2010 – Started Reading
November 11, 2010 –
November 12, 2010 –
82.0% "Man. From intense romance to murder mystery whodunit...this book's got it all."
November 12, 2010 –
90.0% "I can't read through the tears! Gah!"
November 12, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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Rhonda Loved this!!!

Alisha Excellent! Just started it last night. Looks fun. ^_^

message 3: by Rhonda (last edited Nov 11, 2010 02:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rhonda I love Ian, and Beth!!
The next one is good too!

♥  Sam ♥ ~S2~Im made of awesomness Just finished this..OMG it was just *sigh*.....

Rhonda Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley
This one is good too. Mac is totally swoon worthy too!!!

Catherine Loved this one! I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

Alisha *Sigh* indeed. Ian and, oh man. ^_^

Yep, definitely going to have to fit the second book in real soon. I'm glad that Mac and Isabella were so well introduced in this book, because the anticipation level is way up there now.

Kerstin (under_moonlit_skies) Great review. I read it just this week as well and I loved it too! Can't wait to get my hands on the second instalment.

message 9: by AH (new) - added it

AH Great review. There is a discussion on this book on Lethal's comments right now.

Alisha AH wrote: "Great review. There is a discussion on this book on Lethal's comments right now."

Oooh, thanks for the heads up! It looks like an interesting discussion, too.

Ronyell Awesome review Alisha!!! this sounds like an awesome book!!!

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