My Rating: 3.0
After hearing so many good things about Jennifer Ashley's Highland Pleasures historical romance series, I decided to give the first book, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, a try. I started the book with high expectations since everyone I knew who had read it highly praised the book as one of the best historical romance books ever written. However, after I actually read the book, I felt that The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was not a great read, but it also wasn't a bad read either, something in between.
I highly admire Beth, she is just so gutsy. I would have fainted right away when I'm threatened with blackmail that could ruin my life forever in society. I would have ran far, far, far away from Ian Mackenzie when I first met him. (A man that can't look at you in the eye whenever he talks to you? A man that grips your arm and won't let go until he has his say? Now that's scary.) However, Beth was beyond fearless, even though her actions might risk both her life and reputation. During her time with Ian, there were so many times that I would have given on up him if I was her, but instead of giving up on Ian, Beth stuck with him through thick and thin, until finally, she got her own happy ending. Go Beth!
However, on the downside, Beth and Isabella's friendship felt a bit too forced to me. They meet, Isabella invites Beth to stay in her house out of kindness, and suddenly, they are best friends (forever maybe). Jennifer Ashley never shows us how they got from step one to step three. There were no scenes of them bonding, doing girl stuff, sharing tender moments, etc. We are just shown that suddenly, Beth and Isabella's friendship was so strong that they could share their deepest, darkest secrets with each other. It's quite unbelievable.
I had no clue where the mystery part of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie would lead. It had me stumped all the way to the end, but the way it was solved was just plain...ridiculous. I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Sure, it was unexpected, but the way it was handled could have been done better.
There's also a lot of obvious series set-up in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I can kind of understand, since the series is focused on the Mackenzie brothers and The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is the first book in the series, but overall, the series set-up took most of the focus off of Ian and Beth and put it on the entire Mackenzie family instead.
I will read the next book in the Highland Pleasures series, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage. Why? Well, I'm so excited to find out more about Isabella and Mac - why she left him, how amazing their relationship was, and most importantly, if they will ever get back together. (But who am I kidding. Of course they will get back together, or else how would there be a happy ending?) The preview of Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage just left me wanting more.
ohdamnbooks: the madness of lord ian mackenzie