This one is one of those special books and even after reading it twice, it's still calling to me.
I HIGHLY recommend you give this one a read - HIGHLY, HIGHLY HIGHLY
Why this one: I received an ARC, I’ve read her previous historicals and really enjoyed them and someone on a message board had also read an ARC and really enjoyed it.
Steam Level: Oh – this one boils very nicely, yes indeedy very nicely!
Author Website Blurb:
Because this isn’t due out until May, this is all I could find on the authors web site:
The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set
Englandand abuzz. Scotland
The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.
Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.
And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.
Back Cover Blurb:
It was whispered all through London Society that he was a murderer, that he’d spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted – especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Y
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 intimidating intelligence, she could see he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie.
I think that is a bit misleading at the beginning. It wasn’t whispered all through London Society – mainly just the ex-fiance and the police inspector. But other then that it’s a pretty good description.
My Thoughts: Ian MacKenzie is one of the most unique heroes I think I’ve ever read. He suffers from what we know is a form of Autism. He had spent many years of his childhood in an insane asylum and as we know – they weren’t very nice places to be. But he was finally rescued by his oldest brother Hart, the very powerful Duke of Kilmorgan.
We first meet Ian when he is purchasing an ancient bowl from an unscrupulous fortune hunter. The dastardly dude goes on to boast about his conquests and his plans to continue despite getting married.
Beth Ackerly is the fiancé and heroine in question and she first meets our hero Ian at the theatre where he slips her a note explaining that her fiancé is Not a Nice Man.
Ian is……..what can I say about him that would do him justice? The word Unique works. He is totally and utterly without guile and says what he thinks – exactly what he thinks. He doesn’t know how to hide his thoughts. And he doesn't understand humour - no matter how Beth tries to make him smile. Beth is quite nonplussed by him, yet very attracted at the same time. And though he is very physically attracted to her, he tells Beth that he will never love her, not that he doesn’t want to love her, he is just incapable of it.
Because of his autism, he is unable to look her in the eyes though he wants to. His brain just shuts down when he tries. Although unable to love (or so he says – but this is a romance) he is very possessive of her and once he stakes his claim so to speak, becomes outraged to the point of violence whenever anyone – such as her now former fiancé – dares to try and harm her.
I think the closest I can think of in terms of the kind of hero he makes is Simple Jess by Pamela Morisi. But Ian isn’t simple – not by any means. Instead he borders on brilliant to genius in many areas. He is alternately touchingly naïve and incredibly, sexily experienced. Because he is out of touch with emotions, he uses his senses a lot and in some very inventive ways.
And the heroine Beth; she is an equally incredible heroine. Although she doesn’t understand Ian exactly, she accepts him as he is for all of his oddness. And she is wonderfully protective of him – to the point of going toe to toe with his powerful brother the duke, when she thinks Hart is just using him for his brilliant math skills and recall abilities. I just loved her to pieces. Although quite wealthy, she came by her wealth in a different kind of way. She started her life in the slums of
As if a to die for hero and heroine and great secondary characters weren’t enough, there is an interesting mystery to boot. There is an Inspector Javert type character who is investigating the murder of a young woman in a brothel a few years previously and has been following the MacKenzie clan, knowing they were somehow involved. When another young woman related to the original murder is found dead, he is bound and determined that it is young Ian who did the killing and will do just about anything to try and prove it including trying to undermine the budding romance between Ian and Beth.
Heck - I even love the title of this book. It too is different and unique.
This review is much longer then the usual ones I write but there is so much going on; so much to look forward to, that even this lengthy review doesn’t begin to cover this fascinating and wonderful story.
Unfortunately – this one doesn’t come out until May. But I will revisit this post when it does as this book really deserves to get buzzed. My advice? Circle the date this one comes out in your book buying calendars
Grade: 5 out of 5