Saturday, August 13, 2011
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
Why this one: I mostly love this author's books and the first in this series, The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie totally blew me away so it's a no brainer I'm continuing to read this series!!
Steam Level: Wowzers! She writes good steam
Blurb: Cameron MacKenzie is a man who loves only horses and women - in that order - or so his mistresses say.
Ainsley Douglas is a woman with a strong sense of justice and the desire to help others - even if that means sneaking around a rakish man's bedchamber.
Which is exactly where Cam finds her - six years after he caught her the first time. Only then, she convinced Cam she was seeking a liaison, but couldn't go through with it because of her husband. Now a widow, she's on a mission to retrieve letters that could prove embarrassing to the queen. Cam has no interest in Ainsley's subterfuge, but he vows to finish what they started those many years ago. One game, one kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. And what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam's own rules - and heal the scars of a dark and damaging past....
My Thoughts: I'll be honest here and say when I read the first two books of this series, Cam didn't make that big an impression on me. And my main thought was that I would have to read his story before I got to Harts' the one I wanted most after reading all about Ian and the rest of his MacKenzie brothers. So going into this one I wasn't expecting a whole lot.
I don't know if that's the reason or what it might be, but this one turned out to be, as Tony the Tiger says, GREEEEAAAATTT!! I LOVED it - almost, but not quite as much as Ian and Beth's book.
It starts out with a bang when Ainsley is scoping out Cam's bedroom for some missing letter stolen from the queen when in walks Cam and the thieving woman who is using the letters to blackmail the queen. She has hidden them with Cam, though he doesn't know it and as one of the queens lady's, Ainsley is trying to find them and give them back. Cam of course, discovers Ainsley's hiding place and is wickedly delighted. You see, they had a similar kind of meeting six years previous when Ainsley was trying to find something in Cam's room. They had an immediate attraction to each other though Ainsley refused to act on it as she was married and while not in love with her much older husband, respected and cared for him a great deal. But neither has forgotten the other over the year and now that Ainsley is a widow, Cam is determined to 'get in her skirts' this time 'round.
For not being a character who made me sit up and take notice in the previous books, with his own story it was an entirely different matter when reading it. Cam is a man who was betrayed beyond belief by his first wife. Not only did she take many, many lovers over the time they were married, but she also tried to kill both Cam and their son Daniel and indeed ended up taking her own life. She was clearly mad but that didn't keep her from leaving deep, deep scars on Mac, both physical and emotional. He uses his gift with horses and meaningless sex to try and escape his demons. But when he's with Ainsley, he feels a deep sense of peace though it takes him a while to recognize it as love he is feeling. I just loved this poor tortured man to pieces and pieces. He loves his son deeply, and Daniel is a wonderful secondary character by the way who will be getting his own story, but doesn't really understand how to be a father. His own father was a monster and all the MacKenzie heroes have a lot to overcome with their horrific childhoods.
Once he gets Ainsley into his orbit again, he is so gone for her. I've said on many occasions I love a hero who is so gone for the heroine.
And Ainsley is exactly the kind of heroine I enjoy. She's sharp and she's funny and she's intelligent. No false miss is she. After a bit of hesitation and then consulting with friends, when Cam wants to take their relationship much further, she goes for it, with no second thoughts. She has very fond thoughts of her first husband and admired him even though he was much, much older than her.
I love that the author didn't go down the cliched route and make her first husband evil. Even the character that was blackmailing the queen didn't turn out to be evil, evil. She just wanted the money to desperately escape an unhappy marriage. The most evil person in the book was Cam's first wife Elizabeth and her evilness was needed to turn Cam into the kind of person he was.
I finished this book in a very short amount of time as I couldn't bare to put it down. I, um, ah, may have taken longer breaks and lunches than I'm allowed as work since I really didn't want to stop reading this Very Enjoyable Book. I still like the first one better, but just by a shade. But this one also is getting very high marks!
Grade: 4.95 out of 5