USA Today best-selling author and RITA Award winner Jennifer Ashley pens heart-pounding tales that keep listeners spellbound with torrid romance and finely crafted intrigue.
Juliana St. John faces the ultimate mortification when she's stood up on her wedding day. But then fate places her face-to-face with her first love, Elliot McBride, and she finds herself falling for her half-mad former paramour.
©2012 Jennifer Ashley (P)2013 Recorded Books
"Ashley simply has a gift with her storytelling.... " (Night Owl Reviews)
I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a very, very long time!
There were too many to list, but I loved the slightly damaged Hero who was so compassionate and loving, and I loved the Heroine's unwavering love. I do not enjoy sappy hero's, Elliot was far from sappy. I cannot abide a over-the-top strong-willed heroine, one who is argumentative, misreads everything, or reads slights into every action. This heroine was not that. It was so refreshing not to have "misunderstandings" that torpedo the relationship. Loved this book!!
Ms Dawe's voice takes me a few minutes to get used to, but then it is fine. She ends her sentences emphatically, almost harshly. However, it did not, in any way, detract from the book.
Love the MacKenzie brothers series. "The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie" is possible my favorite book in the light romance genre. This is something of a "spin off" of that series. There were things I liked. Won't attempt to spell the names of the Indian members of the household (the downside of audio books), but the manservant was a truly dear character.
I liked that the relationship moved quickly. The two main characters were childhood friends and more, so there wasn't a lot of hem-hawing around about whether they had feelings for each other. There was some behavior that didn't add up, even considering Mr. McBride's fragile mental health. Won't reveal more, but will just say its always a little unsatisfying when this kind of book tries to tackle heavy subjects like the long term affects of torture. Either write romance novels or write a serious work of fiction, don't try to combine them.
Angela Dawe's style is clear and easy to understand. If, like me you are uncomfortable with her fragmented style of speech, increasing the narrator speed to 1.5 does the trick.
I like Ms. Ashley's other books in my library, but not this one so much.
This is a must listen to again book. The story is a good one and the reader is really good.
I would compare this book to any of the others in the Mackenzie series, except for Ian Mackenzie's story which is one of the best book I have ever read or listened to.
I have always enjoyed the Highland romances but Ashley's books have made me look outside of the "traditional" highland romances with the feudal Laird.
I wish she had more of a Scottish brogue - I understand that the Scottish aristocracy adopted a more "English" accent but I like the brogue and the Mackenzies and McBrides tiake a great deal of pride in being "Scottish"
I think the plot which involves Elliot McBride being held prisoner and having to deal with those terrible demons was excellent. He's obviously suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The part of the story which revolves around Juliana making her lists and organizing and the fact that she thinks this could help Elliot recover is a little silly - but overall I enjoyed the book. I'm not sure how making lists and being organized is supposed to help someone with PTSD - at least not in the way that this part of the story is written.
You have to get used to Angela Dawe's narration, but she does a great job with the different voices and accents. I enjoy her interpretations and I often seek out her narrations.
I am still trying to figure out why this book is part of the Mackenzie series because the Mackenzie's barely have any mention in this book. I think the McBride's should be a series all their own and not included with the Mackenzie's. I know there's potential for another McBride brother love story although I don't know if there is any plan for Ms. Ashley to write this story or not.
Regardless, I really enjoyed this book and I'll definitely listen to it again and I would say that if you like a good highland, sex-filled romance, this is the book for you. Well worth the credit!
Say something about yourself!
This should be listed under the Highland Pleasures series. I liked this because it brings many of the Mackenzies back. It is another damaged man that the woman is going to try to fix; though in Juliana's defense she didn't know he was so damaged. It had some interesting twists and turns, and the fact that Elliot actually EARNED his wealth was refreshing too. (I've listened to enough regency style books where wealth is just endowed upon these people, knowing full well...enough.) This also brought in some India into the highlands which was refreshing. All in all, it isn't the BEST of Jennifer Ashley's books, but completely enjoyable.
I recommend the use of a credit! I will listen to it again. (Some hot romance never hurts!)
The perfect combination of strong "Lovable" characters, surprise, mystery, and happiness. I Love, love, love, happy endings and loyal husbands.
I swore after I read the last book in this series I was done with it. If The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie had not been one of the best books I ever read, I would never have read the second book in the series. Each subsequent book has been less interesting than the one before it.
I read a detailed synopsis of this book and reluctantly decided to give it a try. The main character seemed off-beat and troubled enough that I thought the author might be able to recreate a little of the magic of Ian Mackenzie's book. Unfortunately she did not. This plot was flat, the two main characters seemed to have nothing in common and no spark between them. It was never explained and never clear why they cared for each other, what in their history showed that they were meant to be together or why we should care about them. The author barely used any of the most interesting characters from earlier books and while the secondary Indian and Scottish characters were interesting, they were hardley developed.
However, in case it isn't evident, I really enjoy this narrator. And I probably would have listened to this book even if I knew it would disappoint me, just to listen to her.
I read so I can write
This is likely the worst example of historical romance I have ever suffered through, and I couldn't suffer it all the way. After 3 different attempts I left it with 5 hours and 11 minutes to go. If there is a story somewhere there, I would think it should have started somewhere in the first 4 hours, not the last 5. Angela Dawe is a good narrator. I hope she was well paid for having to suffer through reading this.
I love Jennifer Ashley and all her historical romance novels. She seduces her readers with more than just steamy scenes. she actually incorporates interesting plots and characters with depth. This book is no exception. The back stories to the troubled Elliot makes the lulls between steamy romance scenes much more interesting and Elliot is troubled, but not only that he also has some shocking extra baggage, but Juliana take it in stride and let their love bloom.
Sooo, I'm a little confused. In book 4, Hart's book, Eleanor has a baby boy, Hart Alec and they called him Alec.
Then, in book 4.5 she's pregnant with the same child but hasn't had it yet, but does have it in this book (too.)
Then in book 5 she's referred to as Hart's "recent bride." WTH? Am I missing something?
Isn't this a little bass-ackwards or something close to that? Anyway, I loved Elliot and Juliana's story. And if anyone was deserving of being a little mad it was Elliot, after what he'd been through. Also, Fellows was referred to as a bastard Mackenzie. When the heck did that bit of information come to light? I've read every book up to Lloyd Fellows' and nothing was ever said about that? Oh, and when everyone gathered for Christmas, in book 4.5, Elliot was there with his wife Juliana, whom he doesn't marry until book 5. So confused!! But a great series.
Book 4: The Duke's Perfect Wife (Hart) Berkley Sensation, April 2012
Book 4.5 A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (Ensemble) , Dec 2012
Book 5: The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Elliot) Berkley Sensation, Jan 2013
Book 5.5: The Untamed Mackenzie (Lloyd Fellows) Berkley, September 2013
Book 6: The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Daniel) Berkley Sensation, Oct 2013
My biggest complaint, which I've mentioned in every review is with the narrator. First of all I've never heard a narrator swallow so much in a book! Very annoying. Also, she does the voices OK but she has no emotion in her voice at all. If someone is angry she says the words like every other one.
No emotion = bad narration.
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