It is your typical period romance and the outcome was pretty predictable. Nonetheless, the story was good enough and even had a little bit of mystery. I liked Beth character. she was feisty while still being sweet.
I really enjoyed the story. I loved Ian as well as the glimpses of his family.
I enjoyed the narration for the most part. I found that sometimes the narrator forgot to switch back to a "narrative" voice and accents would sometimes linger. I love that she was able to create male voices that sounded real, but several times I found myself unable to distinguish between Ian's brothers. Also from chapter to chapter her voice would seem to change slightly (the pitch maybe), but that might of been a production issue. It's only a small peeve and it didn't affect my overall enjoyment since it was slight and easy to ignore. I just mentioned it because it did catch my attention while listening and for a few seconds I was distracted from the story while trying to figure out "who" was speaking.
I read The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie a few years back and really couldn't see what everyone was so excited about - I think after reading it I put the book out in the local book fair. However one day I looked on Goodreads and saw all the readers I follow who rated it very highly, twenty one readers had given it mostly fours and fives. Sometimes I think if I am tired or have read too many of the same genre, I tend to not give a book its due worth so I decided I would give this book another shot - this time on audio.
Angela Dawe does a very good narration and brings the book to life. This time around I did appreciate it! I listen to my audiobooks at normal speed so it gives me time to really attend to the story.
Beth was a very switched on woman, tenacious and courageous. She has been married before, however her husband died. Then she was a companion to a wealthy woman who just happened to leave her all her fortune. So therefore Beth ends up as an independent, competent and outspoken woman. Very few can pull the wool over her eyes.
Ian has had a rather tough upbringing, having been sent to an institution in his youth because he is 'mad'. There he is treated very badly and he only is able to leave there when his father dies and his brother turns up to set him free. Ian is gifted with numbers and remembers great chunks of what he reads so he is a valuable asset to his brother. However Ian is tangled up in a murder or two and a pesky Fellowes inspector is after the Mackenzie family to haul any or all the culprits in. He hates the Mackenzies. Beth goes in to prove that none of them committed any murder and in doing so gets caught up in the whole sordid story and solves another mystery as well. Along the way she ends up married to Ian to help them escape Fellowes.
It all untangles and of course has a happy ever after because it is after all a historical romance. All very satisfying. There are a number of books that follow and I hope to read at least one more to see how it all pans out further along in this family Mackenzie.
I enjoyed this story. I like good hearted people that see the specialness of someone else's quirks. This was a sweet romance. The story was read by a woman with a calming, sweet voice. I enjoyed this treat.
Just the narrator
Ian and his wife
Good story in its own right but feel sure there are more stories to tell within this family
Good and strong story line
Period. This is the beginning of one of the best Romance series that you will find. I have a limited number of repeat books (books I read or listen to more than once). This entire series is a multiple repeat series for me.
Ashley begins with great characters. The men in this book are wonderfully flawed. They are far from perfect, yet they are captivating, courageous, protective, sincere...The women that she incorporates into their lives are strong, funny, noble creatures as well. All of the characters are deep, multi-layered people that you gradually learn about over the course of a book and the series.
I would recommend this (and the following series) to anyone that enjoys romance, but certainly to those that love historical romance! Ashley utilizes issues that were current at the time, which I think just adds to the story.
The cherry on top of this masterful sundae is Angela Dawe. This narrator is one of my all time favorites. She gives the Mackenzie men each their own voice that goes so well with how they're described that you can see these men in your mind!! The women are awesome too...so many different accents. It is all lovely.
First time listener of Jennifer Ashley's book. I'm ooked with the family story. can't wait to start the other book within the series. this book have humor, humility, a heart wrenching sadness for Ian shortcoming and family love.
I was hooked from the first chapter when out of the no where Ian told Beth she should marry him. the narration was excellent.