Reviewed: May 6, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Highland Pleasures, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 320 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
I picked up The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie strictly on the merits of the reviews (Amazon.com) and my enjoyment of the first of Jennifer Ashley's Shifters Unbound series, Pride Mates, despite not being a huge follower or fan of historical romances. I'm so very pleased that the reviews definitely did this book justice, because it was fantastic.
What was most compelling about The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was the indomitable spirit of heroine Beth Ackerley and the nearly feral dedication of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Both characters are misfits in the time they live and the positions they hold, and yet so perfectly matched. The wounded and tormented Ian with his autism, a condition that in 1881 would have been so grievously mishandled as mislabeled as madness, a flawed but proud and dedicated soul, and one who is both smart and sly when needs be. And just as delightfully stubborn as his Beth, the woman he sees true value in, despite her questionable heritage and former marriage. Their relationship is darkly seductive and their story is both heartfelt and enchanting.
With a nearly flawless narrative - and that's saying something because it had to be difficult to maintain the character of Ian - and a plot that includes mystery, intrigue, and family betrayal, the The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was a totally engrossing read that I found impossible to put down. Ashley has penned a truly vibrant world with depth and care and populated it with interesting characters - primary, secondary, and ancillary - that were very human in their relations...it even had what every historical romance seems to have - at least one smarmy little bastard that is all about society and nothing about standards. Ian dealt quite nicely with him, though.
I loved this book - and I'm very surprised that I loved it as much as I did. I'll be rereading The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, I'm sure, and revisiting some of my favorite characters in any romance novel. Very, very well done.
Do you have any thoughts, feelings, and/or questions about this review?
This is your chance to express yourself. I would love to hear from you!