Lady's Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley
The MacKenzie brothers are back!
What a bunch of manly men! I really loved Jennifer Ashley's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie and I was looking forward to the second MacKenzie story, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, which is Mac's story.
This was an interesting story for me... first of all, it is one of my favorite story lines: a broken marriage. I'm always interested in how authors mend the pieces for that happy ending, especially in historicals where there aren't that many options.
I liked this story very much. Mac is a marvelous hero and he is desperate to get his wife back. Sometimes, almost too desperate. There is some wonderful chemistry between Mac and Isabella and the sex is pretty h-o-t. I became a little irritated with Isabella - evidently it's ok to put cream and other things in one's mouth, but it isn't ok to attempt a reconciliation with the person who is attached to the things one is putting in one's mouth. Mac was soooo nice, and soooo changed that it was hard for me to understand Isabella's reluctance, especially when she was jumping up and down on the bed with him. So, I did get tired of Isabella's no, no, no routine.
Another problem I had with the book was I never quite understood why she left him in the first place. Oh sure, he was drunk a lot, I guess he had a temper (but you never see it), and we are told he was wild and left her for long periods of time, but for some reason, I kept looking for another reason for her leaving him and it was just never there. I also never understood why Mac thought he had to leave Isabella for weeks at a time - what did he think he was saving her from? They do suffer the loss of a child, and I'm not trying to tell an author how to write, especially one who is published. But the loss of the child is where I would have gone with the main reason for the separation. Oh, sure, it is the catalyst for the separation but not the main reason. Of course, I never understood the main reason and I thought that was one of the weakest parts of the book.
It was good to see Ian and Beth again. What wonderful characters, and he isn't miraculously cured, which I thought was a bit of good writing. Cameron and Hart are also there in their manly hunkified maleness. I just wish that I didn't have to wait another year for Cameron's story and then not until 2012 for Hart's... that is a big pain in the batoot!
So, while I liked the story very much and I liked Mac and sometimes Isabella, I did have some issues with Isabella's reluctance to forgive Mac.
Time/Place: England 1880's
Sensuality Rating: Hot!