REVIEW: Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer AshleyTuesday, July 6, 2010 1:00
Sandy M’s review of Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage (Mackenzie Series, Book 2) by Jennifer Ashley
Historical Romance published by Berkley 6 Jul 10
I think everyone who read last year’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie has awaited its sequel. I know I have. I, of course, had no idea what to expect, but I knew I wanted certain things, one of which is the interaction between the four Mackenzie brothers. Though Ian is the heart of this family, I like them all as they’ve been characterized so far, and Ms. Ashley did not let me down amid her story of a second chance at love.
I’m probably like a lot of you, I like Ian’s story over Mac’s. Ian is such a wonderful hero, it’s going to take another extraordinary character just like him to usurp his place in our hearts. That being said, though, I still thoroughly enjoyed Mac and Isabella’s story.
Mac and Isabella have been separated for three years, all because she could no longer take her husband leaving her alone for months on end with no explanation. They’re both back in London now and see each other when it’s unavoidable. But when Isabella learns there’s a forger selling paintings done in Mac’s style, she goes to him to make him aware of the situation.
Realizing how he’s hurt his wife by his actions, Mac has been sober and a stay-at-home painter for years now. He’s determined to win Isabella all over again, and when she comes to him, another realization hits — it’s going to take much more to have the woman. But I like Mac’s relentlessness in proving to Isabella that he’s changed, he’s back for good, he still loves her.
And I have to give Isabella credit, she doesn’t give in easily. Her heart won’t take another breaking by this man she never stopped loving. When she finally succumbs to his charm again, I thought, “Okay, we’re on our way to reconciliation now,” just as Mac did. But the woman surprises me at every turn, especially when it comes to reconciliation.
She still held Mac off. At first I got a little irritated with her for going back and forth from Mac’s bed to walking out again. But then comes the crux of the matter, the one night Isabella can’t forget, a hole that is still healing in her heart. She wants his body, his touch, his kiss, but she needs him both in body and spirit by her side and still reels from the fact he wasn’t there when she’d needed him most.
In the midst of this renewed courtship and lesson in trust, the forgery scam becomes dangerous, forcing Mac and Isabella to work together as never before, and it shows them again how fragile life is to waste any more of it being at odds with one another. They both grow in ways that make their new relationship work so much better than anything they had before.
As for the brothers, we get wonderful scenes with all of them, but especially with Ian. It’s very emotional to find out what’s up with Ian and Beth and how he’s dealing with their new life. I so love the emotional scenes Ms. Ashley is giving us here and there with each brother and Ian, showing how Ian is getting better at things his condition makes difficult for him. Cam’s book is next and I sure hope Daniel is a big part of that. I enjoy that father-son relationship.
I hope all of you are enjoying this series so far as much as I am.
Six years ago, eighteen-year-old Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized all of London by eloping the night of her come-out ball with the notorious rake, Lord Mac Mackenzie. After three turbulent years of marriage, she scandalized London once again–this time by leaving him.
Now the reformed Mac has returned, and he wants one thing: Isabella back in his life, his house, his bed. He’ll do anything he has to, play any game, as long as he gets her back. Isabella resists, but when she agrees to pose for erotic paintings he’s been working on, she realizes her body has never stopped craving her husband’s very skilled touch. Mac is determined to show Isabella that he’s a changed man, but three years without her has only increased his hunger for her.
When an ingenious forger with designs on Mac’s paintings, and Isabella herself, comes dangerously near, Mac sets himself up as Isabella’s protector and vows to never leave her side, whether his independent and proud lady likes it or not.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: