Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Lately I have been trying to get back into historical romance. I use to read many of these books but I have gotten away from them in recent years.
When I started listening to this book I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. The characters seemed ok but I wasn’t completely in love with any of them from the start of the book. I felt it took quite a while for me to even feel something for the characters. Beth was a good female lead who grew up poor and suddenly found herself with a small fortune and a better position in society. This didn’t change her views on life though and she still lived a simple life until Ian MacKenzie showed up in her life. Ian was an interesting character. He was sent to an asylum when he was younger and only with the help of his older brothers is he able to live a life somewhat free of the madness that he feel he possesses. I honestly thought the madness portion of the storyline was taken a little too far at points. It seemed to be an idea that was repeated over and over and over again. I get it! Ian is suppose to be “mad” and dangerous to be around due to his fits of rage. I do not need the author to tell me 50 times about this condition.
The plot lines were interesting since there were several murders that the MacKenzie family was blamed for, Ian especially since he is “mad”. I liked watching the murder plots happen and wondering just who was really responsible for a couple of call girls to be murdered. I feel that in the plot line was where Beth was able to shine to me as a character. She was willing to go to any length in order to get the MacKenzie name cleared of all charges and she was willing to put her own life and reputation on the line. She was even brave enough to go behind Ian’s back in order to get it done. She was really the key player in solving the murder plot lines and I enjoyed watching her be a strong and independent woman who could go out and have the guts to face down murderers and a certain detected hell bent on destroying her life.
Overall, I did like the characters and the plot but I felt there could have been more for me. I wanted to connect to the characters more and I just didn’t feel like I could enjoy them fully due to the repetition of the madness plot line with Ian. I do feel some of the side characters, such as Ian’s brothers, do have great stories to tell and I can’t wait to read more of this series to see if I connect more with the older MacKenzie brothers and the women they will fall in love with.
I really didn’t love this narrator’s voice in the beginning of the book. With time I really started to appreciate her voice though. She did the historical time period accents well and while I do not love her voice I do like it. I would listen to more books narrated by this narrator.