Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord. Despite his decadence and his intimidating intelligence, she could see that he needed help- her help.
Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was...
The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.
I am a sucker for historical romance with a dash of suspense, secrets and danger and this book delivers on all accounts. The history of the Mackenzie family is told in bits and pieces throughout the book but is never fully revealed, much to my dismay, but I am guessing that was the author's plan to keep the reader interested in the next few books. It worked. I became so fascinated with each bit of information that was revealed about this family that I ALMOST forgot that the book was supposed to be about Ian and Beth. The others' stories would come later. So I had to refocus.
Ian Mackenzie is one of the most interesting male characters I've met in a long time and that is why, as a reader, I dove into The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie with absolute certainty that Ian was NOT mad, that it was a total misunderstanding that might have come from a peculiar hobby he might have. You know, something cliche like that. Well about halfway through the book I started doubting his sanity myself. I had to admit, he had moments where it seemed like he didn't have all his marbles. It was difficult to understand what was happening with Ian, and by the end of the book I was convinced he had some kind of disorder but the book never reveals what, if anything, it is that ails Ian, aside from the trauma he endured while looked in an asylum (one of the reasons is quite shocking and heartbreaking). I have a good idea what it is though.
The dynamic between the Mackenzie brothers is intense most of the times, as if they guard a secret that binds them more than their familial connection. They love each other of course, and it definitely shows when it comes to Ian and his welfare, if not necessarily his happiness, but they don't fully trust each other and that really got me curious as to what made this family of men tick. Sure, there's Mac's wife Isabella who is considered a part of the family even though she and Mac have split up, but she doesn't spend a whole lot of time around them.
At times The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie confused me, well, Ian confused me at times, he was difficult to get a grasp on and even at the end of the book I still wasn't sure about who he was as a man or what really went on in his mind.
Beth Ackerley is a great combination of strength and nurturing to combat Ian's often erratic and unpredictable behavior. She's gentle and sympathetic but she won't allow anyone to control her life.
A pleasant and engaging read with enough romance, action and mystery to keep me entertained all the way to the end and enticing enough that I picked up the second and third books in the series.
Buy The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley