I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This was a really good story. I first saw Mac and Isabella at odds in the first book, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and it was clear to see that Isabella and Mac love each other despite their issues so when I started this book I was rooting for their reconciliation from the beginning.
Isabella grew up a proper lady and did everything expected of her, right down to boarding school and her coming out party. This is where Isabella veers off from the course her parents had set for her as Mac Mackenzie crashes her coming out party. He dares her to dance with him, which she shouldn't have but she does anyways, and before the night is over they've eloped and Isabella has been disowned by her rather strict father who cares more about Mac’s Scottish heritage than the fact that the Mackenzie’s are rich and powerful. Isabella was (mostly) happy with Mac for a few years but when his tendency to hurt her (emotionally) eventually became too much for Isabella and she leaves Mac (so they've been officially "separated" for the last 3 years).
Mac Mackenzie is the younger brother of a powerful Duke but his passion lies in painting. Mac is actually known for having a very good talent and he's traveled the world, doing his paintings. Mac fell in love with Isabella from the moment he saw her at her coming out party. He married her right off and things were great at first. Unfortunately, Mac had a tendency to drink (a lot) and take off without notice, leaving Isabella to wonder where he is and what he’s doing. Mac always came back loving and sorry and then treated her like gold, at least for a while, and then he’d do the same thing all over again. It wasn't until Isabella left that Mac stopped drinking but he never got the courage to get Isabella back even though he still loves her and never cheated on her (no cheating either before or after their separation).
During the previous book, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, we got to see a bit of Mac and Isabella during their separation and see that they were both miserable and wanted each other. Ian tells Mac he’s a fool for not having gone after Isabella sooner and this gets Mac motivated (that and seeing Ian happy with his new bride). Mac starts trying to figure out how he can get Isabella to talk to him since she tends to avoid him and her talking to him would greatly help his efforts to get her back. Mac actually lucks out in this regard because Isabella ends up coming to see him. Isabella found a painting that she’s sure Mac didn't paint but was sold and signed as one of his paintings. Isabella tries to get Mac interested in the issue of a forged painting under his name but he doesn't seem to care, taking more interest in trying to get her to stay and talk to him. That doesn't work out so well but they meet up again when Isabella has gone to the store that sold the forgery to try to find out more and Mac shows up at the same time. They talk a bit more but Isabella still can’t seem to get Mac to take someone forging his paintings seriously which frustrates Isabella but she can’t force him to care and drops it for the time being. Mac continues to try to get more of Isabella’s attention; even crashing one of Isabella’s parties to get more time with her (Isabella doesn't have him thrown out because their marriage has already given enough gossip to their peers who eat up any scandal they can find). Isabella still does relatively well at keeping Mac at arm’s length until an arson burns down Mac’s studio and he and his servants suddenly show up on Isabella’s doorstep.
Mac ends up staying with Isabella and soon Isabella ends up joining the Mackenzie family for the races (that take place outside of London) at a rented house since Beth and Ian are going to be there and Beth wanted Isabella to be around for them to visit with each other. Isabella agrees because Beth is the closest thing to a sister Isabella has since her family disinherited her (so she hasn't been able to see her real sister in 6 years). Mac is thrilled to have Isabella near and it gives him more of a chance to get back in to her good graces. However, more weirdness shows up when it becomes apparent that there’s someone there that seems to look a LOT like Mac and Mac wonders if it’s his forger (who was also described as looking like Mac). After the races are done, Isabella and Mac accompany the other Mackenzie's to the Mackenzie home in Scotland. As they start to spend more time together, Isabella realizes that Mac has changed and starts to soften towards him. However, Isabella worries about if his changes will last and be enough. They do start talking though and even a little more as they have trouble keeping their hands off each other (wink, wink). Regardless of this, Isabella isn't willing to jump back in to things with Mac. Some more troubles plague the couple as a woman shows up with a daughter claiming Mac as the father. As things progress it appears that the mysterious man who's been selling his paintings as Mac is a nutter who appears to actually think he's the "real" Mac and thinks Isabella should be with him instead of Mac (the real Mac...). As Mac tries to gain Isabella's trust again, he also has to try to keep her safe from his imposter. Isabella isn't happy to have Mac insist on staying with her for safety but she realizes it's for the best as she wouldn't be able to protect herself from a crazy. The time together gives Mac and Isabella time to get to know each other again and this helps them realize they still love each other and they need to give their marriage another (serious) try. There are some additional issues they have to face before the end but Isabella and Mac do come through their issues and reconcile so they can proceed with their HEA.
This was a really enjoyable story. I really liked both Isabella and Mac and liked the way things worked out for them. They both made mistakes but I liked that they were able to remember what was important and work things out in the end. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series (which I'm starting in about 10 minutes). I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D
Lover of books both big and small.
I would listen to this book over and over again. This has the suspense, the mystery, and the tug at your heart strings that all good historical romances need in order to be a great story!
I loved the way JA incorporated the back story. I am a person who has to understand why a character is the why they are, the little "news story clips" keep us informed of the past troubles in a way that is time sensitive is incredibly well done.
My favorite character was Mac. I have traveled to Scotland and all of the fake Scottish accents drive me crazy. Angela Dawe gave enough burr into the character to make it believable that he was a Scottish gent with an English education.
This book made me laugh, they found themselves in some of the strangest personal situations.
Great overall performance and a wonderful story!
I loved the scenes that included the rest of the Mackenzie Clan.
Ian from The Madness of Lord Mackenzie.
The entire series is amazing! One of my very favorites.
The author made all the characters in this series real. They had human flaws and tried to become better people. Read the series in order or you will be lost.
Nurse, mom, loved to read....but now I love to listen. When I retire I hope to hear waves crashing in 1 ear and audible in the other!
Yes, it is your typical highland romance with a happy ending. It is a series so naturally you have to find out about the other brothers. Comparing this to Ian it is a little bland but again those Scot's know how to love!
The discovery of what had been burned in the attic...
I loved her in Ian's book and she is just as strong this time around...
Again probably what was burned in the attic. The ending was pretty moving too, summing up what was happening with the family up until now!
There's four, starting with Ian MacKenzie.
Hm..... all being equal.... I cannot say.
I just wouldn't....
Angela Dawe does a fine job. Ms. Ashley has written a nice book. I can't quite say boring as I was never truly bored. There was no great revelation or surprises. I have to admit it did hold my attention all the same.
This is NOT a highlander story! Worth a credit? I don't know.....
What a wonderful romance (and sexy too)! The entire series is fantastic. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
I am truly loving this series on audio. Mac and Isabella are a great couple with great chemistry. Bring on the next one!
Say something about yourself!
Lady Isabella and Mac are quite the pair. Each Mackenzie brother is in each of the books and each quite interesting. I see Mac as a kind of Rhett Butler character though I can’t say Rhett’s character is as fleshed out as Mac’s was. The marriage should have been doomed and basically was except for the desire of the both of them, Lady Isabella and Mac, to make it work eventually.
I loved the part where Sarah came into their lives – but you have to read it to find out who that is. Wink wink.
The story was very sweet, angry, intense, and well thought out; and you know from the beginning that they will end up together so no spoiler alert, but HOW they got back together and WHY is a very nice journey.
I have completely enjoyed this series and I hope you do too.
This is #2 and I am not at all disapointed, just as good as the first one. Angela Dawe is great for this kind of era. I really can't wait for number 3.