Lord Cameron Mackenzie is intrigued when he finds the pretty widow, Ainsley Douglas, hiding in the window seat of his bedchamber. Cam remembers Ainsley Douglas all right -- six years ago, he'd caught her in this very bedchamber, during a house party in the Mackenzies' Scottish manor. Enchanted by her ingenuous excuses, he decided to seduce her, but stopped shy when she'd made a rather touching appeal about her "good husband who didn't deserve to be heartbroken."
Later, Cameron learned that her visit to his bedchamber was part of some female intrigue against him, the kind his late wife used to practice. Ainsley protested her innocence, but Cameron's anger made him never want to see her again. Now she's back, at another houseparty -- and Cameron finds the gray-eyed minx in his bedchamber, again. Her excuses are just as ingenuous, but this time Cameron is determined to teach her a lesson.
They have unfinished business, Cameron tells her. He asks her how many of her many buttons she'll let him unclasp, promising that before they houseparty is over, she'll be asking him to undo them all.
Ainsley's dismay is real. She's on a mission to prevent embarrassment to Queen Victoria, and time is running out. Though the needs he'd stirred long ago during her unhappy marriage rise again, she knows it would be foolish to fall for love-them-and-leave-them Cameron Mackenzie.
But he asks her a question that challenges her beliefs about love and happiness, and she finds herself risking all to be with the black sheep of the Mackenzie family.
Okay, this book redeemed the series in my eyes. After reading Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage and being disappointed, I was delighted to read and fall in love with The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, and in particular Cameron Mackenzie. Yum! He is definitely my favorite of the Mackenzie men, he's also the most wounded, both physically and mentally. He appealed to my love of wounded heroes with his unhappy and down right traumatizing first marriage.
Jennifer Ashley did a marvelous job of creating the image of a strong, handsome, virtually indestructible and seemingly cold hero and then revealing his heartbreaking vulnerability and hidden desire to love and be loved. When the shocking details of his disastrous first marriage are revealed throughout the book, it's enough to make you cringe and wonder how any woman could have done such things to a man like Cameron, and in turn, how and why a strong man like Cameron would have allowed it.
Then there's Ainsley Douglas, who didn't have as miserable marriage as Cameron, but she wasn't happy either. Her husband wasn't a bad man, in fact he was the opposite, he married Ainsley to help her. She's your typical strong heroine, but that just makes her perfect for Cameron. She's understanding, patient and gentle enough to know when to hold and comfort Cameron but still strong enough to give him a good swift kick in the rear when he's crossing that line from wounded hero to cold hearted jerk.
What I liked about this story is that there is no villain lurking in the corners trying to separate Cameron and Ainsley, though it appears that way in the beginning. They're their own obstacles/antagonists in this story, which kicks up the angst level a bit but also makes that moment where they realize they're in love all the more sweeter.
Buy The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley
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