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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (edition 2009)

by Jennifer Ashley

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5665517,572 (4.14)18
Member:bkluvr4evr
Title:The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Authors:Jennifer Ashley (Author)
Info:Leisure Books (2009), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library, Historical Romance, ebooks
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

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English (52)  Spanish (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Not bad. But lacking something. The writing is technically in some respects better than 50 Shades and other books in this genre. But the author sucks at sex scenes - they are either boring or laughable.
Note - the best sex scenes include dialogue or the characters thoughts. You do not need to describe each portion of the anatomy, give the reader a little credit.

The best part of this book was the unconventional hero - Ian Mackensie who has Asperger's Syndrom, a variation of Autism. Back in the 1800s this was considered madness and they attempted to cure it with behavioral conditioning, aka electrical shot treatment, beatings, and ice baths. (Silly behavorists, I blame Skinner for this nonsense. I took behavorism in school and while the author does go a bit overboard, it is a romance novel after all, it is fairly realistic. I hate behavorism. It only works in isolated and severe cases. Autism isn't madness, it's a disability.) Hart, a supporting character and the red herring villain in the novel - is in some respects the most interesting. I wanted to know more about him, so grabbed the book that features him as the lead - The Duke's Perfect Wife. The writer does develop her characters well, there are no real villains, or the villains that exist arerather complex. Since her heroine's maiden name is Villers, this makes sense.

There's a lot of boring sex in the book. But it's rather tame for the sexually squeamish. I found it rather dull and awkward. Sex scenes are admittedly difficult to write well. In some respects harder than action scenes. The author struggles with both. Ian is always angry and feels a bit on the brutish side. He's described as huge and beautiful with well defined muscles. All romantic heroes are described as the equivalent of Apollo. Perfect physical specimens. It's proof that women are as shallow when it comes to looks as men. Sorry, fellows, but we do care far more than you think.

What fascinated me about this novel is the same thing that fascinated about all of them - the battle between the genders. Beth is portrayed as bright and witty. Her power is her mind, her emotions, and her ability to care. She saves the hero with her deft intuition and detecting. And of course her ability to see through his defenses and love him unconditionally. In romance novels, women do not have to be physically strong or warriors, they are simply women.

Ian is a interesting hero in that his main issue is can he love Beth. He doesn't understand what the word love means. And takes everything literally. He is brilliant in some ways, and underdeveloped in others. Intelligence is a double-edged sword. And yet, he is also deeply compassionate and wise. You can see why she falls for him.

But...what the book lacks is ...a sense of reality. It feels all too pat. Wrapped up into a neat cliche bow. I felt the ending was rushed. And the writer grew tired of writing. It fell flat somehow.
Too happily ever after. And too conventional. But a fun piece of fluff, and not as forgettable, due to the considerable risk the author took in writing about a character with autism. ( )
  cmlloyd67 | Jun 7, 2015 |
What a curious book. One of those where I got to the end and though I was at times uncomfortable with it, I enjoyed it and respected that it was attempting to do something different. ( )
  dukedukegoose | Jan 26, 2015 |
It's difficult to categorise this beautifully crafted page-turner.

The love affair between Ian and Beth forms the core of the story, but around it is woven an intricate pattern of mystery and suspense. Not only the mystery of two murders in an exclusive bordello, but the psychological mystery of the pathological behaviour of at least three of the protagonists.

It soon becomes clear that one mystery holds the key to the other, and the refreshingly emancipated heroine's valiant attempt to find that key drives the narrative forward. Even the obligatory sex scenes are skilfully woven into the mystery, providing clues to its solution.

I decided to start with the first in the Highland Pleasure series after glittering reviews of the third volume. Not the best of strategies in my case, as I don't like revisiting characters introduced in a previous novel and usually don't follow up.

I'll make an exception in this case and read [b:Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage|9657388|Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage|Jennifer Ashley|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Y6mmEg+iL._SL75_.jpg|7323377] before proceeding to [b:The Many Sins of Lord Cameron|8563824|The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Highland Pleasures, #3)|Jennifer Ashley|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1300209650s/8563824.jpg|13432297]. ( )
  skirret | Jan 2, 2015 |
I think this is the first time I've read about a hero who is autistic. I don't know enough about it to praise or rage as the case may be. All I can do is write about the characters and the story. I wish I knew more about autism, so I can properly rate every aspect of this story.

There are a number of things that are wonderfully depicted here. The two main characters are great. She is a wonderful, strong and loving person. She isn't a damsel in distress. She is simply one of those good people. Her love is mature. She knows Ian is different, but she never tries to change a single thing about him.
Ian Mackenzie is a genius who has trouble in crowds, he has brilliant and flawless memory and he is determined he can't love. "Is this what love feels like?" he whispered to her. "I don't like it, my Beth. It hurts too much." This is also a murder mystery. Two courtesans are murdered and a very persistent detective is convinced Ian Mackenzie did it. I loved how Beth never though that might be true.

The things that stand out are: Beth and Ian don't get separated by a misunderstanding or something similar, there is another great female character (the second book is hers) and none of the characters are perfect. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. The whole series in fact. Ian is special and I like the fact that he is not your normal male counterpart in a romance novel. The book is definitely sexy, it's interesting and an enjoyable read. I like that the series surrounds a family because it makes each book that comes out just as interesting to read. I also enjoy the female characters as they are not totally dependent on the men (like half brain twits). ( )
  emaleszewski | Mar 2, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Ashleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawe, AngelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I find that a Ming bowl is like a woman's breast, Sir Lyndon Mather said to Ian Mackenzie, who held the bowl in question between his fingertips.
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In the aristocratic circles of London, 1881, everyone says Lord Ian McKenzie is crazy--and possibly a murderer--but a young widow longing for passion is determined to bare the truth about the dashing and darkly charming Scotsman.

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