Customer Reviews for

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

I wasn't as "mad" about Ian as I wanted to be

This is a book that I had been wanting to read for a while, but it had been buried in the TBR, so I was excited to dig it out and finally read it. I had heard SO MANY good things about the book, and have seen Ian come up in comments often as a favorite romance hero. I...
This is a book that I had been wanting to read for a while, but it had been buried in the TBR, so I was excited to dig it out and finally read it. I had heard SO MANY good things about the book, and have seen Ian come up in comments often as a favorite romance hero. I had high expectations which is why I think I felt a little disappointed in him as a hero after finishing the book.

Ian, is an unusual hero in that he has Asperger's syndrome and has been misunderstood and mistreated pretty much his entire life. He abide scorn and beatings from his father, which finally resulted in his "incarceration" in an insane asylum where he endured tortuously painful shock therapy treatments as well as other Victorian methods to try and cure him of his atypical behavior for years. He is incapable of expressing or feeling love, and is locked in a world that he has had to learn to adapt to, but remains distanced from everyone including his family.

He is haunted by memories and dreams of a mysterious murder, not knowing if he, or his brother murdered a woman in a house of pleasure that his brother owned. Thus ensues a plot to try and uncover who murdered two women Ian knew. Ian has struggled with doubts for years, and now that another woman has been found murdered an Inspector who has a vendetta against Ian and the Mackenzies sets out to prove that Ian is the murderer and belongs back in the asylum, while Beth does her own sleuthing to uncover the murder mysteries and prove that Ian is innocent.

There are many things to love about this book, but one of the things that bothered me the most was that it took Beth's intervention for everyone to believe that Ian was incapable of murder. Even his brother, the Duke, believed that he had killed the prostitutes. She was his savior in more ways than one, including teaching him the meaning of what it is to love. She was responsible for revealing the truth behind the murders and endangering herself in the process. And while I love a heroine who is capable and not in need of rescue I'm not quite sure how I feel about the heroine rescuing the hero. I'm conflicted about this aspect of the story.

I loved the moments when it was just Ian and Beth learning to communicate, understand, and love each other. And while the murder mystery drove the plot of the book I wanted more of just Ian and Beth. Since so much was made of Ian as a hero I imagined that most of the book would deal with his form of Autism and how he and Beth learned to love each other despite his emotional handicaps. I wanted to learn more about how Beth learned to deal with his "affliction" and didn't feel that the story adequately explored this aspect of their relationship. I also thought that the additional mystery solved by Beth involving the Inspector that was revealed at the end of the book was superfluous and unnecessary.

In the end I enjoyed The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, but as a hero Ian didn't quite live up to my expectations, which was disappointing. I know I am in the minority here, but what can I say? That being said The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was an engaging read, and the secondary characters (his family) were incredibly intriguing. I can't wait for the next book, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, due out in July. Isabella and Mac's story promises to be even better than Ian and Beth's romance.

Ratings:
Stars: 4.0 stars
Sensuality level: 3.0 (pretty much your standard &a

posted by booklover1335 on April 29, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended 5 stars

This was an unexpected pleasure! I immediately purchased the entire series. I loved it!!!

posted by LookingForRomance on May 8, 2012

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I wasn't as "mad" about Ian as I wanted to be

    This is a book that I had been wanting to read for a while, but it had been buried in the TBR, so I was excited to dig it out and finally read it. I had heard SO MANY good things about the book, and have seen Ian come up in comments often as a favorite romance hero. I had high expectations which is why I think I felt a little disappointed in him as a hero after finishing the book.

    Ian, is an unusual hero in that he has Asperger's syndrome and has been misunderstood and mistreated pretty much his entire life. He abide scorn and beatings from his father, which finally resulted in his "incarceration" in an insane asylum where he endured tortuously painful shock therapy treatments as well as other Victorian methods to try and cure him of his atypical behavior for years. He is incapable of expressing or feeling love, and is locked in a world that he has had to learn to adapt to, but remains distanced from everyone including his family.

    He is haunted by memories and dreams of a mysterious murder, not knowing if he, or his brother murdered a woman in a house of pleasure that his brother owned. Thus ensues a plot to try and uncover who murdered two women Ian knew. Ian has struggled with doubts for years, and now that another woman has been found murdered an Inspector who has a vendetta against Ian and the Mackenzies sets out to prove that Ian is the murderer and belongs back in the asylum, while Beth does her own sleuthing to uncover the murder mysteries and prove that Ian is innocent.

    There are many things to love about this book, but one of the things that bothered me the most was that it took Beth's intervention for everyone to believe that Ian was incapable of murder. Even his brother, the Duke, believed that he had killed the prostitutes. She was his savior in more ways than one, including teaching him the meaning of what it is to love. She was responsible for revealing the truth behind the murders and endangering herself in the process. And while I love a heroine who is capable and not in need of rescue I'm not quite sure how I feel about the heroine rescuing the hero. I'm conflicted about this aspect of the story.

    I loved the moments when it was just Ian and Beth learning to communicate, understand, and love each other. And while the murder mystery drove the plot of the book I wanted more of just Ian and Beth. Since so much was made of Ian as a hero I imagined that most of the book would deal with his form of Autism and how he and Beth learned to love each other despite his emotional handicaps. I wanted to learn more about how Beth learned to deal with his "affliction" and didn't feel that the story adequately explored this aspect of their relationship. I also thought that the additional mystery solved by Beth involving the Inspector that was revealed at the end of the book was superfluous and unnecessary.

    In the end I enjoyed The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, but as a hero Ian didn't quite live up to my expectations, which was disappointing. I know I am in the minority here, but what can I say? That being said The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was an engaging read, and the secondary characters (his family) were incredibly intriguing. I can't wait for the next book, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, due out in July. Isabella and Mac's story promises to be even better than Ian and Beth's romance.

    Ratings:
    Stars: 4.0 stars
    Sensuality level: 3.0 (pretty much your standard &a

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 22, 2014

    I picked up The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie in one of those Au

    I picked up The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie in one of those Audible 2 for 1 credit deals – I had one book I really wanted, and I saw this one had good reviews, so I grabbed it. And then didn’t read it for months. But then I had a chance to sit at Jennifer Ashley’s table at an author event and the last thing I wanted was to sit there having never read anything by her. So I pulled up The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie.

    And cursed myself for waiting so long. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie was nothing like I’d expected. When I saw madness in the title, I jumped to ideas of a over-the-top, eye-roll-worthy insanity. Boy was I wrong. The madness Jennifer Ashley wrote was genius!

    As I grew to know Ian Mackenzie better and better, I found myself speculating about his illness. Right off the bat, I was pretty certain he fell on the Autism spectrum. By the halfway point, I was all but certain he had Aspbergers. What made this so genius, though, was that Jennifer Ashley couldn’t come out and tell us what was “wrong” with Ian, like she could have done with a modern setting. She had to do such an INCREDIBLE job writing his character that we’d figure it out ourselves. (BTW: I TOTALLY asked her if I was right, and I was!)

    The other brilliant thing about this move was the creation of a historical hero like you haven’t read. There’s very little predictable about this story line (except that it’s a romance), and in large part because Ian is so remarkably different. He says things that break your heart, when coming from any other man would not be romantic at all. And I dare you not to fall for him.

    Olivia sure didn’t have a chance. Who’d have thought a man telling you he can’t love you and never will would do the trick, huh? (that’s not a spoiler, btw, happens in like chapter 1 or 2) Olivia was the perfect character to pair with Ian, since she also isn’t traditional. Olivia is a widow, giving her more freedom than other single women. It also makes her sexually experienced, so she’s not a blushing virgin, but also not a misplaced modern woman in a historical setting. That opens up doors for some steam people ;)! Added to that, Olivia wasn’t brought up proper – she was a lady’s maid and only came into money by luck – so she’s not really buying into propriety.

    The fascinating characters really came to life with Angela Dawe’s narration. She did such a good job with both the male and female voices – particularly with the British and Scottish accents. I will definitely continue listening to this series (and add Angela Dawes to my narrator short list).

    I’d recommend The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie to fans of historical romance that are looking for some unique leading characters. The best part? He’s got brothers and we get to see their crazy family some more as the series progresses!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    A Different Kind of Hero

    I love this book! I love Lord Ian!!! In a genre that is filled with he-men and alpha male jerks it is so refreshing to read a book about a man who is just a nice guy. A nice guy with a few odd and enduring quirks. Seriously. I fell in love.

    Highly recommended to any and all fans of Romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Great

    A sweet but sexy read. Ian has my heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Like it

    Ian mackenzie is been abuse by his father when he was a child. And he just witness his father murdered his mother,for that the duke put Ian away to Asylum and claim that his son is a madman to hide his secret. And when the duke died his brother hart take Ian out from Asylum. Ian witnessed more crimes and claimed himself a(madman and rage) then he meet beth. Beth feel in love to Ian, and she help solve the mackenzie mystery including the guy name Fellows and everything change, this book is sad and very romantic:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Excellent

    I loved the characters in this book and was fascinated by Ian. I wish there was a little more time for Beth and Ian to face the trials and tests of being a couple and growing closer...Ian's directness, caused by his disability, is really a fascinating element in a romance story. I love how everyone has adapted to this in different ways and how Beth is a fundamentally intelligent kind and rational person without being excessively outgoing and daring as many heroines are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Romantic Tale

    Typical romance story that keeps your interest throughout the book.

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  • Posted February 5, 2012

    Different take on Hero

    Really enjoyed the authors take on a different type of hero.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Enjoyed

    A very good read

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    Fascinating characters!

    Lord Ian Mackenzie is a fascinating man, but plagued with eccentric behavior. He has had a hard life and little love in his life until he meets sweet Beth Ackerley. He brings out the passion in her that she has missed since her husband's death and she gives him acceptance and love. This is a well written story with complex characters. I enjoyed it very much.

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  • Posted May 22, 2009

    Wonderfully Romantic

    I was hesitant to read this book, but I was pleasantly surprised and engaged by the characters. I thought that it was extremely good. I had only one (minor) thing I would have changed towards the end, but I thought it was extremely well done.

    I thought that the author handled Ian's Asperger's very well and was able to create a character that you both route for and empathize with throughout the story. He can also be a bit frustrating, but I think that is part of the realism of the story.

    The Author also did a great job of hooking us on the brothers and setting up their stories. I can't wait to read them.

    As for the love scenes, I had heard from another reader who loved the book that the sex/love scenes were particularly graphic. My opinion differs from that. I would not say that they are over-the-top graphic. They are descriptive but it fits the characters and the story for them to be so. Also, Ian's language is very blunt, so if there is something he wishes to do, he will often say it.

    I will say that this book is probably not for everyone, but it was definitely for me.

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    "MAD" LORD IAN - WONDERFULLY WRITTEN STORY

    I enjoyed tis book from beginning to end and fell in love with Lord Ian from the beginning. I had never heard of Asperger syndrome before this story. I could not put this book down and cannot wait for the rest of the series. This is just another great book from Jennifer Ashley.

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    Posted April 29, 2013

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