The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.
The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.
Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.
And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.
As much I as I wanted to read The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, I put it off for reasons unknown. I think maybe because there was so much hype about this book and I read so many great and promising reviews I was scared to read it. Fearing that I would be disappointed in reading my first Jennifer Ashley book, because I was expecting so much out of it.
Ms. Ashley did a wonderful job portraying Ian's idiosyncrasies associated with the not yet known diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome. Ian was considered the Mad Mackenzie, having spent his part of his childhood suffering the various tortures called medical science in an insane asylum. His older brother Hart wasted no time in getting him released immediately after their father's death. As an adult Ian is unable to make eye contact, is easily distracted, and has an amazing mind that remembers every detail of everything he reads, sees or hears.
Beth is a widow from the work house who was fortunate enough to land herself a position a Lady's companion to the dear old Mrs. Barrington, who upon her death leaves everything to Beth. Her first encounter with Ian leaves her breathless and questioning her own sanity along with his. Circumstances see Beth leaving for Paris and having Ian chase her there.
Beth lands herself smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery that is swirling around the Mackenzie brothers. Not only is Ian bound and determined to keep Beth safe and separate from the ordeal, he wants Beth for himself always. Beth having already turned down one proposal from Ian , he is need of a way to convince her to stay with him.
I fell in love with Ian and all of his little craziness. His protective nature and the inability to share feelings or understand emotions, his love of porcelain bowls, everything about him. Beth was perfect for him in all ways. Neither of them fit into the box that Society has for all of the upperclass, but they fit together perfectly.
Ms. Ashley certainly didn't disappoint, and all of the rave reviews I read were completely true. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is certainly a 5 star read!