Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancée, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart. Hart has it all - a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him - his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He's also suffered loss: his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart, though he realized it too late.
Now Eleanor has reappeared on Hart's doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes - and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination - Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him ... or save him.
©2012 Jennifer Ashley (P)2012 Tantor
"Ashley demonstrates her gift for combining complex characters; emotionally compelling, danger-tinged plotting; and a delectably sensual romance into one unforgettable love story." (Booklist)
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!
Almost as good as Ian's story. The story was interesting, narrator was awesome and this was ever so close to being as good as my favorite brother Ian. If you liked Ian's story, you will love Hart and El's. This is a story of love worth waiting for! Time to start from the beginning because they are all worth a second listen!
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
I really love to read books about complex, multi-dimensional characters. And, this book fit the mark....so much so that when you read about the duke, Hart MacKenzie and the love of his life, Lady Eleanor Ramsay, you feel as though they are living, breathing, tangible characters.
One of the aspects that absolutely intrigued me about this book was that I was constantly trying to figure out the man who is Hart Mackenzie, the Duke of ____. It was as if I was jotting down mental notes about him throughout the book and I feel as though I didn’t really “get him” until the end of the book.
I kept putting Hart in somewhat of a category of a cross between having a dark, sexual drive like Christian Grey (from 50 Shades of Grey) and the mystery and public intrigue that surrounded his life as John F. Kennedy Junior. Hart MacKenzie is the type of man that every woman wants, every man fears and few truly know.
I had less of a time figuring out Lady Eleanor Ramsay. She is a beautiful woman who is much like her Scottish Highland predecessors. She is intelligent, fierce, beautiful, true to herself and deeply loyal to family and her ancestral roots.
Hart and Eleanor were engaged about 8 years earlier. So this book was about a resolution to the disintegration of that original commitment, and finding the path to happiness in both their lives. Eleanor is Hart’s true love and he lost her because he didn’t know to show his love. He only knew how to control people and there was no way he was going to control that self-possessed Highland lass.
For me, when I started reading the book, there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered regarding their relationship: 1) Why did Lady Eleanor break off the engagement with Hart, 2) If Hart adored her so much why didn’t he go back to her after Sara’s death (his 1st wife) and son’s death for consolation? Why did he instead go to his mistress Mrs. Palmer?
Thankfully, all of these questions do get addressed almost like a leaky faucet of information….one drop at a time. And, ultimately I think this is true to Hart’s character. He suppressed and carried a lot of weight on himself. The weight of the well-being of his family, the weight of the country, the weight of not knowing how to connect to happiness for himself, and the weight of grief.
Regarding Mrs. Palmer (the deceased mistress), I have to admit that I was jealous for Eleanor over Hart’s relationship with Mrs. Palmer until that part was explained….and explained very well. Turns out I had NOTHING to be jealous of for Eleanor….LOL
The Love Development:
The love between Hart and Eleanor is deep, it’s forever, it’s powerful, and insatiable. Yet, due to Hart’s character (Mr. “Hold Everything In”… “Control freak”), he only lets himself out a little piece at a time, whereas, Eleanor is a waterfall of love and patience. So even though Hart is crazy about Eleanor you won’t get the full sense that they are complete in each other until toward the end of the book. Hart is not like his brothers who become immediate fools for love and push almost everything aside for their lady loves. But, with Hart there is no guessing, he wants Eleanor and he wants her forever, that part was always evident. There were some great rendezvous between the two: on the stair railing, laundry room, El’s bedroom etc before they got married and then things really heat up! And, the photographs…oh those naughty photographs!!!
Great Moments in the Book:
~A great aspect of this book was being back in the MacKenzie world and getting to see how all of the MacKenzie brothers are fairing with their beautiful wives and families. I was so touched with the portrait session of the MacKenzie’s in the epilogue. Seriously, I think a tear ran down my cheek, even though I had this big smile. There is this concept of a new era for the MacKenzie's. They have broken the cycle of rage and destruction that their father paved for them.
~There is this fabulous little scene between Agent Fellows (illegitimate MacKenzie son) and Lady Scranton (Isabella’s sister) on a ladder together that was a great taste of things to come with that couple….talk about sweet stolen kisses and his hands on her hips….always a sweet thing!!!
~There is this powerful moment where a13-year old Irish boy, an attempted assassin of Hart, who is being questioned by none other than Hart himself, in his office, and Fellows and other law enforcers are present. Then, Eleanor walks in and is powerful in her effectiveness in dealing with the stubborn boy. She relates this AMAZING story that had been misinterpreted throughout the years about her great-grandmother, a Scottish Highland Laird’s wife and how she dealt with the English as they tried to take her lands. OMG…it was awesome.
~It was hilarious how the MacKenzie family (including valets) were exchanging money with one another AT THE WEDDING, due to the bets they made on whether Eleanor would marry Hart, or not. Loved it!
~I liked the terms of endearment Hart used for Eleanor: “minx,” “beautiful lass,” “wicked wife.” Very, very cute….
~Very wonderful & powerful moments between Ian and Hart…both when Hart found Ian and then later when Ian found Hart (I won’t spoil anything with details)… Ian tells Hart, “I will always find you.” OMG…that part gave me chills and I wanted to cry because it was so touching!
Narrator: I LOVE the narrator and I think she is perfect for this series….just perfect.
No spoilers! Love HOT, sexy books w/a plot. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. I also review in exchange for books-lots of fun surprises!
The narrator is excellent. It was great to hear Hart's story and Elenore is a strong character as well.
Yes, I will continue with any of The MacKenzie/McBride Series by Jennifer Ashley
The family portrait-although I found the politics throughout really interesting.
Not a thing
Make no mistake between my personality and my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.........
Loved this series and this book was no different. However, it did get a little long in some places and the passion scenes were not as intense as the others books, but concluded the family well.
There were a few people who didn't like this, on Amazon, but I refused to listen to them because I couldn't wait to read Hart's story. And I'm so glad I ignored them. Next to Ian's story this one was the best. It could have been better with a different narrator but I, eventually, got past her hesitations when she read. She really didn't read with much emotion either, not like Katherine Kellgren or Moira Quirk or some of the better narrators.
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