Review: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Title: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Highland Pleasures, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Pages: 305

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.

THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE is one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful love stories that I ever had the honor of reading. I tore through the pages rather quickly and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it non-stop. I think we have a winner here with Ms. Jennifer Ashley's Highland Pleasures Series.

Ian was in a way a little slow and weird at times, but I loved him to death. He is part genius and part insane. I felt like he had this shyness to him a little, because there were times were he wouldn't say much. Part of this is because he was in a asylum for madman when he was younger. But you find out more and more about him in the story. He is considered a crazy, but to me he was a tortured hero waiting to be saved by our heroine. From the first moment he and Beth meet it is a match made in heaven.

“You’re wrong,” she whispered. “I love you, Ian.” He pressed his clenched fists to his breastbone. “There’s nothing in here to love. Nothing. I am insane. My father knew it. Hart knows it. You can’t nurse me back to health. I have my father’s rages, and you can never be sure what I’ll do—“ He broke off, his headache beating at him. He rubbed his temple furiously, angry at the pain."

Beth saw something is Ian that others didn't and as she got to know him better she fell in love with him, but honestly who wouldn't fall in love with him. He is so lovable. Ian finds it impossible for him to love, he doesn't know how to, or what it means. I find that sad. Ian didn't just want Beth, he needed her as much as she wanted and needed him. And like Ian said, Beth saved him.

“Why is she so stubborn? And disobedient?” Cameron barked a laugh. “Because Mackenzies always choose headstrong women. You didn’t really expect her to obey you, did you? No matter what the marriage vows say?”

Beth was a very strong heroine and I admired her a lot. She stood up to others because she believed in Ian, even more so than Ian's own brothers. I also loved that Beth was very patient with Ian and never pushed him away. I think that alone really made me respect Beth and I was glad she was able to save our very sexy and misunderstood Lord Ian Mackenzie.

“Stay with me.”
“We’re married,” she whispered. “Of course I’ll stay.”
“You could decide to leave me.”
“I won’t.” “Promise me.”
“I have promised. I do promise.”

Ian and Beth's love story was the one of the best I have ever read. I think part of it is that I just love a tortured hero who needs saving from the one that becomes his one true love. I would say that Ian was incredibly lonely being declared mad and although he has his four brothers he needed someone else to cure his heart. I thought each scene between Ian and Beth was beautifully written as well as the love scenes.

THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE was the first historical romance I have ever read and in the beginning I was a tad bit nervous because I didn't know how I would take to it. But this book left a wonderful impression on me. I liked it far more than I thought I would and I am excited to get onto more books in the Highland Pleasures Series.


  1. Highlander pleasuring is simply maddening

  2. aw, love this review. I have had this book on my TBR for awhile now, I think i'm gonna have to bump it up the list... Book Savvy Babe