Monday, May 24, 2021

Recent Reread of an old favourite


The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (MacKenzies & McBrides, #3)The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although I've read The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, I think this is only the second time I've read this boo. I'm every so glad I read it again. I think maybe it took so long as I hadn't picked it up as an ebook until the other day and since I don't read print books much at all anymore, I kind of forgot about this one. I m ever so glad I decided to read it again. I'd forgotten how much I love it.

Still deserves the 5 stars I gave it last time!!


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!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


Entreat Me by Grace Draven


When I saw what the theme was in May for Super Librarians (Wendy) TBR Challenge, I wasn’t sure if I had anything that would fit the bill.  The month’s theme is Fairy Tale/Folk Tales.  I think you get those tropes more in Fantasy and I don’t read Fantasy very much at all so I wasn’t sure I had a book that would fit the bill.  I do!  I hit the jackpot with this one.  I’ve had Entreat Me by Grace Draven in the pile since 2015; just sitting there, unread.  I picked it up after reading Radiance ad Eidolon and loving them.  Then I tried getting into Master of Crows a couple of times, unsuccessfully and forgot I had this book.


This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  Louvaen is our Beauty and Ballard is our Beast.  Now in this story, Cinnia, sister to Louvaen is the real beauty and Louvaen is the mother lion, doing everything she can to protect her sister.  Their father is ineffectual at everything and has put them all in debt to the evil villain who is willing to overlook the debt if he can have the hand of Cinnia.  This will be only over Lou’s dead body.  Cinnia is smitten with the handsome and dashing Gavin and the two of them run off to his mysterious castle.  Lou is hot on their heels, bound and determined to save Cinnia’s honour.


Ballard is the father of Gavin and he is under an evil spell.  He routinely goes through times where he turns into a beast.  Gavin does too but not to the same extent.  Ballard’s wife and Gavin’s mother put on an evil spell as she lay dying after giving birth to Gavin.  She hated Ballard with a burning seething passion and wants to make his life hell.  None of the castle inhabitants have really aged since she put the spell on them, which includes a few servants and one caster of spells, and they’ve been living in the run down and isolated castle for over 200 years now.


There is instant chemistry between Ballard and Lou.  Even when not in monster form, Ballard still bears the aftereffects and is hideously scarred.  He can’t see how Lou would find him the least bit attractive.  However, Lou sees beneath his scars to the truly fine person that he is.  He makes for a wonderful hero.  This felt a lot like a medieval and I love the atmosphere that Ms. Draven creates. I love the relationship between Ballard and Lou.  She is a very prickly type heroine and so overprotective of her sister.  Ballard gets more of a kick out her for it.  Ballard is also an amazing father.  We learn right at the beginning that his wife was not a faithful one and Gavin’s father is Ballard’s enemy but not even for one moment does Ballard not love him and consider Gavin as his.  We learn later what a sacrifice Ballard has made to help his son, to the point of being willing to give up his own life. 


I love the secondary romance between Gavin and Cinnia.  Also the bickering between Lou and Ambrose, Ballard’s magician and good friend.  Lou has inherited a bit of magic from her mother and hates it.  She and Ambrose do quite a bit of bickering and I admit I love some of the names they came up with for each other.

Moreover, the villain sure is good and villainy.  Though we don’t see her, there are a few flash back scenes with Isabeau, Ballard’s wife is truly evil.  It is bad enough to put a curse on your hated husband, but to put one on your newborn son is beyond the pale.


Except for Lou being a tad overprotective, this book is perfect.  I can really see me reading it again.  I was very impressed with this book.  While I was reading this book, I picked up a couple more of her books.  The third book in the Wraith King series is out and somehow missed that and I picked up another one of her books at the same time.  One other thing I have to mention is the absolutely beautiful covers she has for all her books.  I love all of them.


Therefore, this month’s TBR Challenge was a complete success.  I love the book.  I’d forgotten I had it so finding it was a real treasure and I loved enough to get back on the Grace Draven train.  Win, win  This book gets 4.5 stars and comes oh so close to 5.  I very happily recommend this book.