Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Thoughts: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1)The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Prior to listening to this book, I hadn't read a historical romance in quite some time. I think it's safe to say that it's probably been a few years. It's a little harder for me to get into historical romance than some other romance genres, but sometimes, I get the itch to read one. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie introduces us to the MacKenzie clan, a group of Scottish brothers who are the scandal of London. In London, Ian meets and subsequently begins having an liaison with the widowed Beth Ackerley after warning her away from a dubious suitor. Surrounding their affair is a bit of mystery as an inspector begins hounding them due to the death of a woman with connections to the "mad" brother, Ian MacKenzie, who has spent some time in an asylum. Despite their status and wealth, the brothers grew up with an overbearing, abusive father. We get to dip into some of Ian's torment at the hands of his father and again at the asylum he was confined to and see how these events have shaped him as a person.

I liked both Beth and Ian. Beth was warm, funny, and assertive when she needed to be. I appreciated that she wasn't an 18-year-old virgin, but a woman who'd been with a man, enjoyed sex, and while she had decorum, she eschewed convention for happiness. Ian obviously had Asperger's, which would be seen as defiance and madness in 1881. Ashley was consistent in his actions. His "eccentricities" weren't just conveniences needed for certain scenes and then forgotten. The decision to write Ian on the autism spectrum is probably something you'll never see in a historical romance again. Be warned. This is a fairly steamy book. You're not going to find as much bawdy language in the descriptions as books that take place in modern erotica, but it manages to slip in a few laugh-worthy words and phrases that had me shaking my head a bit. This book doesn't overwhelm you with sex on every page, so it's easy enough to skip over if you don't enjoy reading explicit sex.

A couple of things I wanted to point out that hindered my reading experience a little. Beth flip-flopped between believing Ian's sincerity and questioning it at the strangest times, which was a little odd because she seemed to maintain that she believed him to be a man of his word. I guess she was supposed to be put-off some because Ian wouldn't meet her gaze or always pay attention to what she was saying (all due to his being on the autism spectrum), but Ian was straightforward about his intentions and never wavered in what he wanted from her. Also, even though there's a hint of mystery, this doesn't overtake the romance portion of the story. It's not supposed to, but what I mean is that, despite the fact that Ian stands accused of murder by an inspector, there's not really much official about the investigation. The accusations come from an investigator who has a personal vendetta against the family and uses his own time to "investigate" the matter.

Angela Dawe narrated this story, and this was the first time I've listened to anything by her. She did an admirable enough job even with a few production hiccups in the story, such as sometimes not changing her voice until she caught herself mid-dialogue for the male characters. Overall, I enjoyed the story for what it was, and of course, it ends with happily ever after because of course it does. I don't know if I want to continue reading more about the MacKenzie clan, but I think this has scratched my historical romance itch for a while. When the urge pops up again, I'll certainly consider these books to sate that need.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Tiara has read 6 books toward her goal of 52 books.
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Tiara's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Elfstones Of Shannara
tagged: upcoming-reads, currently-reading, 2016-audiobook-challenge, classi...
Gardens of the Moon
tagged: currently-reading, fantasy, z-narrator-ralph-lister, 2016-audiobook...

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Tiara's bookshelf: read

Deceived
really liked it
Review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge and 2016-audiobook-challenge
The Girl from the Well
liked it
More reviews @ The Bibliosanctum TL;DR Review 2.5 to 3 stars. Not badly written… I’m just disappointed by the squandered potential. I’m going to reread Anna Dressed in Blood to make myself feel better about this Longer Review: T...
tagged: 2016-women-of-genre-fiction-reading, horror, and young-adult
Thirteen Reasons Why
I don't think this quite captures the complexity of bullying and suicide, and some of the issues that Hannah started facing toward the end of the novel really seemed to detract even more from the feelings she was going through by having ...
tagged: young-adult, popsugar-2016-reading-challenge, 2016-audiobook-challe...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
liked it
Spoiler free review to come.
tagged: 2016-star-wars-reading-challenge
The Phantom of the Opera
really liked it
tagged: classic-horror, classics, audiobook, 2016-audiobook-challenge, horr...

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