Review: The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

wicked deeds of daniel mackenzieReviewed by Jen

I’m not sure why I waited so long to read this book, since I have been such a fan of Jennifer Ashley’s Highland Pleasures series up until now.  Maybe it was because I had a hard time seeing Daniel as a man instead of the teenage boy he was for so many of the previous books.  Regardless, young Daniel has definitely grown up nicely, and I really enjoyed his romance.

At 25, our hero is most assuredly not looking for love when he meets Violet.  He was actually just seeking his winnings from a poker game, when her landlord hoped to entice him to accept her as payment. Of course, our Daniel would never do such a thing.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want her, though.  Violet fascinates him. She is a singular mixture of strength and vulnerability. She’s a con woman of sorts, who serves as part of a clarvoiyant act with her mother. She is a good woman at her core, but she does what’s necessary to survive.

Despite herself, Vi is drawn to Daniel’s easy charms, but when things get too physical, she shuts down, surrounded by memories of an ugly past. She lashes out, and then goes on the run, thinking she killed the sexy Scotsman. Of course, Daniel is not only alive, he is more intrigued than ever. And thus begins the merry chase, as he works to uncover her secrets and tries to earn her fragile trust.

Daniel is so different from the other MacKenzie men. It’s true, they all had their own personalities, but Daniel has a lightness to him that none of his uncles share.  He is carefree and almost whimsical, yet remains incredibly handsome, strong, intelligent and charming.  He is single-minded in his pursuit of Violet and very patient with her. I found that I liked him and I guess a bit of light from him was necessary to balance Violet’s dark history.  I thought her past issues were handled well and I really enjoyed the development of their relationship.  I also enjoyed catching up with the rest of the MacKenzie clan later in the story.

It wasn’t perfect. I was bothered by the way Violet’s mother treated her and this issue was never resolved. I also thought Daniel’s actions at the end of the book to address Violet’s past were out of character.  It was in keeping with the MacKenzie way, but not with who we spent the entire rest of the book getting to know as Daniel.

The title is also a bit off the mark. But overall, I thought this was a good addition to the series and has me excited to start it back up… even if the next stories focus on the McBrides instead of the MacKenzies.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackezie
by Jennifer AshleyRelease Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Berkley

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