I have to admit that I was a little worried about whether I could love this story after The Stolen Mackenzie Bride was such a miss for me. But Jennifer Ashley brought the magic back with the Mackenzie clan we know and love. All the brothers, wives, and children are here, but this is really an Ian story –and we get the chance to see the man he has become with Beth and his children in his life.
It’s been a dozen years since The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Ian and Beth now have three children and life as a husband and father has given our hero a joy and stability he had never believed possible. Beth is still his salvation and his world, but their children have widened the bubble of domestic happiness to include them as well. The thing is… Ian is still Ian. The autism or Aspergers he has still exists; he just has learned coping mechanisms that make life better.
Anyway, the Mackenzie clan is on the cusp of a big gathering for Hart’s birthday at Kilmorgan Castle. Only Ian’s family is there so far when thieves break in and plunder Hart’s art collection. Ian sets out to solve the crime with Inspector Fellows. But his plans get a bit complicated when Beth’s former brother-in-law Ackerley shows up for a visit. He is fascinated by Ian and convinced he can cure the madness that has plagued him for so long. Of course, Ian wants to be normal for his family, but the question is… can anyone really help him? The story follows Ian as he uses his keen mind to root out his enemies and faces off with the parts of himself that make him so different.
I enjoyed going back inside Ian’s head. It’s also really great to get a peek after the Happy Ever After. Finding the love of your life fixes many things, but not everything. I like that Ian really struggles with questions about his madness, and I really enjoyed being with him as he reflected on his life as he got to this point. Ackerley was an interesting character, too. I honestly didn’t know what to make of him for most of the book. It was cool that his motivations were not obvious and I liked the way it all unfolded.
The big bad was kind of silly to me. But it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story at all. Because that mystery wasn’t what made the book good. That was Ian… and his Beth. Together, they reminded me why I loved this series so much. I see a great future hero in their son, Jamie, too. Fans of the Mackenzies will definitely enjoy this one too. Great characters and a love story that stands the test of time. Plus, appearances from all the rest of the clan we’ve loved throughout the years.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering
by Jennifer Ashley
Release Date: November 17, 2015