The fifth book in the MacKenzies series (after The Duke’s Perfect Wife) begins exploring the MacKenzies’ extended family by way of Ainsley MacKenzie’s brother, Elliot McBride. Elliot sought his fortunes in India, but his luck ran out when he was captured and tortured for a year before escaping and returning to his native Scotland with his motherless daughter and protective Indian servants. Happily, his own plan to seek comfort with his first and only love, Juliana St. John, bears fruit without too much effort on his part: she actually proposes to him after her intended groom jilts her to run off with a piano teacher. Elliot takes the scoundrel’s place at the altar and the newlyweds head to his newly purchased Highlands estate, where they try to settle into married life while dealing with Elliot’s painful memories and suspicion that he is being hunted by an old foe. As expected, Juliana helps to heal Elliot’s tortured soul in this enjoyable 1884 romance. (Jan.)
“Ashley writes the kinds of heroes I crave.” —New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt
Praise for the Mackenzies series
“I adore this novel: It’s heartrending, funny, honest, and true.” —New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James
“A sexy, passion-filled romance that will keep you reading until dawn.” —Julianne MacLean, USA Today bestselling author
"I love the Mackenzies—every one of them.” —New York Times bestselling author Sarah Maclean
Literally left standing at the altar when her fiancé elopes with his piano teacher, Juliana St. John comes across Elliot McBride, her teenage love now newly returned from India, and in a flash of brilliance, they agree to wed—immediately. But the real work begins as Juliana sets about restoring Elliot's recently acquired Highland manor, Elliot struggles with the aftermath of a harsh imprisonment, and together they try to forge a new relationship in the face of tremendous odds. VERDICT Passionate, funny, and heart-wrenching, this beautifully written romance features a cast of likable and unforgettable characters and is another excellent addition to Ashley's "Mackenzies" series. Ashley (Mate Claimed) lives in the Southwest.
When Juliana St. John is stranded at the altar, her first love, Elliot McBride, steps in to save the day; little does she know Elliot has high hopes that Juliana can save him. At 16, Juliana had dreamed that she'd share her life with Elliot McBride, the boy she'd never quite gotten over. After years in India, first as a young officer, then as a successful businessman, Elliot has amassed a fortune, but he's also endured brutal imprisonment at the hands of a dangerous tribe who believed he was a British spy. He's home in Scotland for good now, and when he shows up at her humiliating wedding, Juliana jokingly asks him to marry her instead, then is stunned when he accepts. Elliot has a plan, and Juliana's flippant proposal plays right into his hands. Once they're married, he spirits her away to the ramshackle country estate he's purchased from his uncle. There, surrounded by Juliana and a devoted family of servants from India, Elliot believes he can heal. But shadows from his past continue to haunt him, and when an old adversary comes calling, Juliana and Elliot must face new dangers while they fight to forge a life together based on trust, love and passion. Ashley's newest addition to her popular Victorian-set Highland Pleasures/Mackenzies series packs a potent emotional punch. Elliot's struggle to find peace of mind after shocking cruelty is hampered by episodes of "madness" that modern readers will recognize as post-traumatic stress disorder. Juliana's calm acceptance of and devotion to him as he creates his new normal is touching, and Elliot's past and present battle for wholeness using Juliana as his beacon adds an especially poignant facet to their journey. Ashley integrates high-stakes romance, scorching sensuality and moments of taut suspense into a powerful, compelling story that is both breathtaking and sweet.