A renowned rake, Cameron Mackenzie doesn't care if Ainsley Douglas has a virtuous excuse for sneaking around his bedchamber. He only cares that she's at his mercy. One kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. But what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam's own rules.
©2011 Jennifer Ashley (P)2012 Tantor
"Ashley's latest flawlessly written historical romance richly rewards romance [fans] with its multilayered characterization; sexy, secrets-saturated plotting; sharp wit; and enthralling writing." (Booklist)
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was hesitant to listen to this series as the cover suggests a trashy romance novel status. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how likeable the characters are. These are not your typical "perfect" specimens of romance novel heroes, they are men that are imperfect and flawed. This allows the reader to connect with these men and see how they struggle with wanting to maintain their manhood and status yet loving a woman in a way that was deemed most "unmanly" in that time period. Their fierce loyalty to their women and their love is what makes the series so attractive. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book and this series without reservation.
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. Cameron and Ainsley made a great couple and I enjoyed their story very much and got sucked in from the beginning.
Ainsley is a very nice lady that hasn't always had the best of luck. Her parents died when she was young and she was raised by her bothers. When she was 18, she was travelling abroad with her brother and his wife and she got involved with a man she shouldn't have, ending up disgraced and having to make a quick marriage to a man that was much older than her. Ainsley cared for her husband though and tried to be a good wife to him during their marriage. Unfortunately, when he husband died, Ainsley was left with little and either stays with her brother or works for the Queen as a lady in waiting.
Cameron is the next younger brother under his brother, Hart, who is a Duke. Cameron likes his life of training horses and he has a gift with horses that's made him one of the best horse trainers in Scotland (and England for that matter). Cameron was married once but the woman was crazy and eventually lost it enough to be a physical danger to Cameron. She became pregnant with Cameron's son, Daniel, and Cameron tried to keep her from hurting Daniel but her craziness just got worse. Eventually she killed herself during a crazy spell and Cameron turned to horses and loose women (and raising his son the best he could), swearing never to marry again.
Ainsley met Cameron 6 years before when she entered his bedchamber (while he wasn't there) to try to find something for a friend, believing Cameron was blackmailing the lady in question. Cameron catches Ainsley and she lets him believe she wants a tryst with him. In all honesty, Ainsley was very attracted to him and almost succumbs to Cameron's charms and sleeps with him. But she can't stand the thought of cheating on her husband who's been so good to her and she breaks things off before they go to far. 6 years later, one of Cameron's lovers, Mrs. Carter, gets a hold of some letters belonging to the Queen that could cause her great embarrassment if their contents came out. Mrs. Carter is blackmailing the Queen for money and Ainsley has been set the task of getting the letters by whatever means needed. Ainsley sees Mrs. Carter slip a page from a letter in to Cameron's coat pocket and breaks in to his chambers looking for the page. She doesn't find it but does get found by Cameron. Cameron wanted Ainsley badly when they met 6 years before but he respected her for not cheating on her husband. Now that Cameron has Ainsley within reach (and widowed for years so no husband fro her to worry about), he's unwilling to let her go again before he can taste her sweetness. Cameron goes about trying to seduce Ainsley into becoming his lover but also, when he finds out Ainsley's need to get the letters from Mrs. Carter (who is no longer with Cameron) and Cameron promises to help her. Cameron and Ainsley have some interesting encounters but don't actually have sex right away. Ainsley wants to but is also very worried about being ruined if someone found out about them and the shame it could bring her family. With her previous close call with ruination, Ainsley doesn't want to chance it but Cameron's kisses make it hard to say no. Cameron and Ainsley manage to get the Queen's letters and Ainsley decides to risk one night with Cameron. They have a rather steamy encounter but then it's not enough for Cameron and he asks her to become his lover and travel the continent with him. Ainsley really isn't sure about that because it would provide even more possibility of ruining her reputation but she also knows that she's always regret not taking the happiness while she could.
Ainsley ends up leaving Cameron for a while because the Queen summoned Ainsley to come to her. Cameron isn't happy about this as he's realized that he doesn't want to let Ainsley go. While settling things with the Queen, Ainsley tries to figure out what to do and ends up seeking advice from her good friend, Eleanor (who happens to be the woman that used to be engaged to Hart Mackenzie and will be in the next book, The Duke's Perfect Wife). Ainsley ends up deciding to go and spend what time she can enjoying Cameron before he grows tired of her and moves on. She meets Cameron on the train as he asked and quickly finds out Cameron's plans for her have changed. The separation and the fear that Ainsley wouldn't come plagued Cameron so when she shows up, Cameron decides he's not taking the chance of losing her again and says that the first stop will be to London so they can get a special license and get married immediately. Ainsley is a bit surprised but agrees happily. Cameron and Ainsley are happy to be married but there are some difficulties from Cameron's previous marriage that cause them some strain in their relationship as they try to get past them (or at least Ainsley does while Cameron tries to ignore the issues exist). There's also other things that come up like dealing with Daniel (who actually has been pushing Cameron and Ainsley together from the start) and a new horse that Cameron is dealing with. Overall, Ainsley and Cameron's marriage goes pretty well and their feeling for each other just grow deeper. When Ainsley is almost hurt it brings Cameron to an understanding of just how much he loves Ainsley and always wants her with him. Ainsley of course already fell for Cameron but has trouble convincing him of the truth of her feelings (due to his past issues). There does ends up being a bit of trouble they have to get past before things are settled but in the end, Cameron and Ainsley are very happy together and starting their HEA.
This was a really enjoyable story. I loved seeing Cameron and Ainsley get their HEA. They both went through bad stuff in their past (especially Cameron) and it's great seeing them happy at the end. I'm looking forward to reading Hart's book next. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D
Great Mackenzie family.
How close the family is.
I will listen to Hart's story but I'll have to listen to it at 1.25 speed on my iPad. It's the only way to get past Ms. Dawe's hesitation when she read.
This was a really good book but the narration leaves a lot to be desired. Once I finish this series I will never listen to another book narrated by Ms. Dawe.
Lover of books both big and small.
JA is a fantastic author. I love how she brings her stories to life again and again. Even though these are historical stories, we can still relate to them on a human/emotional level. We can feel the pain and sorrow, the hurt and the love. This is a book that will remain on my bookshelf to be reread many, many times.
I loved the struggle between the two main characters. The pull they felt towards each other and finally how the heroine stood up to the Queen. Best ever!
I have said this in my other reviews about Angela Dawe, but she does a very good Scottish Accent. I have been to Scotland and it drives me nuts to hear fake accents. She does a very, very good job.
I loved the part where the heroine stood up to the Queen. In the opinion of a redhead, it was a great way to stick it to the woman.
All of Jennifer Ashley's Highland Pleasures. Each one is a gem!
Yes - All were great!
Well worth the price!
I'm a huge fan of Historical Romance and have recently found how enjoyable audio books can be.
I now have this book on my Nook, Kindle and Audible and still disappointed.
My review in 2012 was so different from the many other great reviews I just had to try this book again. I decided to put out more money and purchased the audio narrated by Angela Dawe. The first audio book has so many wonderful reviews I figured it would be worth it.
Unfortunately, it was wasted money. I really struggled to finish the audio book. I'm definitely not a fan of Dawe's narration. There was very little to no British or Scottish accent in the narration.
Dawe narrates slowly when the characters are speaking then faster during the book's narration parts. Cameron, Ainsley and Daniel's voices are all unpleasant deep husky tones and often sound so similar. Ainsley's voice is not consistent - sometimes it sounds more like Cameron than Ainsley - then other times uses a softer voice for Ainsley that is almost pleasant.
Both Ian's wife, Beth, and the side character, Philadelphia Chase's voices are very pleasant - I wish Ainsley's voice was similar. Another disappointment is that there's very little emphasis during the intense and exciting parts - it's all pretty much the same throughout.
I've recently listened to a "Highland Surrender" narrated by Sarah Coomes and was blown away with the talent of Ms. Coomes.
Popular reviewer of more than 400 historical romance titles on Goodreads. Georgian/Regency/Victorian/Edwardian.
I have read all of the Highland Pleasures series, and Lord Cameron's story is my favorite. I was awfully disappointed by the audiobook, though. Angela Dawe has a lovely voice, but her narration style is sing-songy. She's very weak on male voices, and Lord Cameron just sounded like someone with laryngitis. She used much more of a Scottish accent that the author wrote in the book, and it was hit and miss. And Ainsley, who is supposed to be young and fresh and joyful, mostly just sounded sultry and bored.
I had been looking forward to listening to the rest of the series, but I doubt that I will now.
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!
sexy, sad, sweet....
The storyline was a little creepy at times. I enjoyed hearing about the other brothers and how they were doing and of course the resolution of Cameron's problems.
I liked Ainsley..
I loved it when Ainsley got some ba#$%s and gave the queen a tongue-lashing, she deserved it!
Ian is still the best!!!!!!!
development of the characters
Her inflections were not the way I would have said it. It changed the meaning and emotions that were being depicted, because it was so "sing-song."
At the top. The series is amazing. Jennifer Ashley's writing, imagination, storylines,and character development are stellar. It is noticable that she has done her research on that period. This is not a "cookie cutter" historical romance, nor are the other books in this series.
The entire interaction between Cam and Ainsley - especially when they discover "LOVE"
She is perfect for this series. I enjoy her performances.
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