Review: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

mackenzie clan gatheringReviewed by Jen

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. [Read more…]

Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley

stolen mackenzie brideReviewed Jen

I love this series. I really do. So much so that when I got my hands on this book, there might have been a small amount of dancing. Sadly, I may have celebrated a bit too early. This was a very difficult book for me to connect to. I found myself wanting to skim and even put it down at times. This was such a far cry from my favorite MacKenzie books, it almost like it was from an entirely different author.

This story doesn’t feature the MacKenzie men we know and love. It jumps back in time to their ancestor, Old Malcolm, and told his story set during the Jacobite Rebellion. I’m ok with an unknown hero, but what I really did not enjoy was how heavily she emphasized the historical elements throughout the book. It’s not that I don’t appreciate historical accuracy. I don’t want things to be wrong. But beyond that, I don’t care. I don’t enjoy my romance steeped in a history lesson. That is how I felt reading this, and I just wanted to get ahead to the “good parts” (ie. The romance.) [Read more…]

Review: Rules For a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley

rules for a proper governessReviewed by Jen

Generally speaking, the McBride installments in Jennifer Ashley’s Highland Pleasures series just aren’t as strong as the ones focused on the MacKenzies.  This book doesn’t buck the trend. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I did. I just didn’t love it as much as, say, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, featuring the hero’s sister Ainsley.  Of course, it’s through Ainsley that we met Sinclair.  He was introduced as a brooding widower with two unruly children. Surprisingly, the heroine of this story isn’t the woman I expected; though the widow he kissed on-page a few books back does make an appearance. [Read more…]

Review: Scandal and the Duchess by Jennifer Ashley

scandal and the duchessReviewed by Jen

I wanted to love this novella. I liked it, but it didn’t perform for me the way books in this series usually do.  Maybe it’s because we have left behind the familiar. After all, we have exhausted the well of MacKenzie men and have moved on to the McBrides. I honestly don’t even remember Steven, though I am sure we have met him through Ainsley at some point. He just didn’t leave much of an impression. But I don’t think that’s what held the story back — or at least not entirely. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

Review: The Untamed MacKenzie

untamed mackenzieReviewed by Jen

I have been looking forward to reading Fellows and Louisa’s story for a while now, and I am happy to say that it delivered 100%.  It doesn’t quite have the depth of tortured hero misery that we’ve seen in the previous books and there is far less flashback… a side effect of having a novella instead of a full length book.

The story takes place a few months after the events of the Christmas novella.  Isabella’s sister Louisa is looking for a husband. The scandal of her father’s investment scheme still hangs over the family and she is starting to approach spinster status. [Read more…]

Review: The Seduction of Elliot McBride

seduction of elliot mcbrideReviewed by Jen

This installment in Jennifer Ashley’s Highland Pleasures is a bit of a departure, as it takes the focus off the MacKenzie family and lands on one of their in-laws, the deeply tortured Elliot McBride. You may remember, Elliot is one of Ainsley’s brothers (making him Cameron’s in-law.) He was a soldier in India who was taken captive and abused for nearly a year. Now he suffers from major PTSD and everyone thinks he is a bit crazy.

The story kicks off with our heroine, Juliana, being jilted at the altar. The would-be groom has eloped with his piano teacher and Juliana faces ruin. Until she runs into her old friend and childhood crush Elliot, asleep in the neighboring chapel. [Read more…]

Series Reading Order: Highland Pleasures

This is the reading order for the Highland Pleasures series by Jennifer Ashley:jennifer ashley

*Denotes novella

Review: MacKenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift

mackenzie family christmasReviewed by Jen

This is a great little novella that is sure to please any fan of the Highland Pleasures series. It’s set between the main story and Epilogue featured in Hart’s book and it is essentially the Christmas story just before Eleanor gives birth to their son.  It revisits the entire MacKenzie clan, giving us quality time with all the couples –plus another teaser for a Fellows and Louisa pairing.  I enjoyed every single thing about it.

The storylines surrounding Ian and Hart dominate, but there is something going on with every MacKenzie pairing. The Ian story follows his acquisition of a new Ming bowl, one that Beth accidentally breaks.  She spends the entire holiday trying to make it up to him, while he works tirelessly to create a special Christmas surprise for her and the children.  [Read more…]

Review: The Duke’s Perfect Wife

dukes perfectReviewed by Jen

I’ll admit, I wasn’t all that excited about reading Hart’s story. After all, he’s been portrayed as mostly a monumental asshat control freak from the first time we saw him.  He owned a whore-house and used it to further his political career. He kept an older courtesan as a mistress off and on for years –and he’s known for his unusual dominating proclivities in the bedroom.  He uses his brother Ian for his genius.  He tried to intimidate Beth.  And his fiancé left him many years ago for some unknown crime he committed against her.  Not exactly the portrait of a tempting hero. [Read more…]