Six years ago, eighteen-year-old Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized all of London by eloping the night of her come-out ball with the notorious rake, Lord Mac Mackenzie. After three turbulent years of marriage, she scandalized London once again--this time by leaving him.
Now the reformed Mac has returned, and he wants one thing: Isabella back in his life, his house, his bed. He'll do anything he has to, play any game, as long as he gets her back. Isabella resists, but when she agrees to pose for erotic paintings he's been working on, she realizes her body has never stopped craving her husband’s very skilled touch. Mac is determined to show Isabella that he's a changed man, but three years without her has only increased his hunger for her.
When an ingenious forger with designs on Mac's paintings, and Isabella herself, comes dangerously near, Mac sets himself up as Isabella's protector and vows to never leave her side, whether his independent and proud lady likes it or not.
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage was a bit disappointing for me. Not that it wasn't a good book because it was, but I did find that the conflict between Mac and Isabella dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. There was so much going on in their lives that it seemed like the mending of their relationship took a back seat and that's what made it seem like the overall problem would never be resolved. There were too many outside interferences (doppelgangers, reunions between siblings, a death in the family, the mending of other relationships) that didn't exactly allow for Mac and Isabella to talk and work out what went wrong between them all those years ago.
Isabella was definitely not the heroine I thought she'd be from the glimpses of her I got in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I thought she'd be a vulnerable and hurting woman who is still deeply in love with her husband, which she is but she seemed to care more about her "image" at time than what was going on in her life. At times she seemed vapid and shallow, though she redeemed herself a bit at the end.
I did like the mystery surrounding Mac's "twin," wondering, along with the characters, what DID he want to gain by impersonating one of the infamous Mackenzies? Isabella's servants were delightful as well, most of them having been Mac's originally, had happily abandoned him and gone with Isabella when she walked out on Mac years earlier. Their staunch loyalty to Isabella is clear in their cool responses to Mac and well he knows it and he lets the servants KNOW that he knows who is their favorite:
"This is why I say you stole my best servants," Mac said. "Mortan is a god among butlers."
"I endeavor to give satisfaction, my lord," Morton said coolly.
"I know you do, Morton, but I'm aware that you would throw me over in a heartbeat if you had to choose between myself and my wife."
Mac's laid back personality could in part, be why he lost his wife in the first place but it's also part of why he got her back. He's not one of those overly jealous and unreasonable heroes who drives the
Overall it was an okay book. I couldn't fully connect with Mac or Isabella but I did like their story and will continue on with The Many Sins of Lord Cameron.
Buy Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley