Review: The Untamed Mackenszie by Jennifer Ashley

Tuesday, November 19

Title:  The Untamed Mackenzie*
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series:  Highland Pleasures 5.5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Berkley/Penguin
Format:  ebook, audio book
Date/Year: Sept 10, 2013
Reviewed by:  Susannah

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:


To redeem her family’s disgraced name, Lady Louisa Scranton has decided to acquire a proper husband. He needs to be a man of fortune and highly respectable in order to restore both her family's lost wealth and reputation. She enters the Marriage Mart with all flags flying, determined to find the right bachelor.

But Louisa’s hopes are dashed when the Bishop of Hargate drops dead at her feet—and she is shockingly accused of murder! Soon, Louisa’s so-called friends begin shunning her, because the company of a suspected killer is never desirable in polite society.

The problem comes to the ears of Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows, by-blow of the decadent Scottish Mackenzie family and an inspector for Scotland Yard. He has shared two passionate kisses with Lady Louisa–and vows to clear her name. For not only does he know she’s innocent, he recognizes he’s falling for the lovely lady.

Fellows is Louisa's only hope of restoring her family's honor—and it is he alone who intrigues Louisa in a way that may be even more scandalous than murder…

My Musings:

Firstly, just to get it out there, if you're into hulking Scotsmen you may be slightly disappointed by the Mackenzie men. Yes they have a Scottish name, yes there are occasionally kilts and there are one or two uses of the word 'ye' in place of you - but it appears this clan is Scottish by heritage only. However, as men go they are certainly described to be bodice rippingly hot.

The hero, Lloyd Fellows, was described as a volatile and angry man due to his having to survive an upbringing lacking in the money of his half siblings. But apart from one incident with a criminal, clearly intended to show his unstable nature, Lloyd struck me as a man who had no real spark unless it came to Louisa.

Louisa was a far more interesting character, progressive - willing to buck society to fall for the bastard son of a Duke. She was the sole character I believed in and felt for her following the murder accusations against her and the attempts to prove her innocence.

The other characters; Louisa and Lloyds family and friends, Lloyds police colleagues etc were hollow to me. I wasn't really interested in any of them and found them very forgettable. I think this may have been because they were fleshed out in other MacKenzie books but as this was the first I had read I had no real back story for any of them.

The romance between Louisa and Lloyd was frustrating but in a nice way and, as a romantic, I was willing them together. For me that was the best part of the story as by the end I had lost interest in guessing the murderer and just wanted the way paved for Lloyd to stop worrying about her as she certainly wasn't as fragile as he made out.  Whilst the book was a nice read it was simply 'nice'. There was intrigue, there was romance but it was missing something.


Overall:  2 stars - I think if it wasn't for Louisa and her romance with Lloyd I could easily have put this book down and struggled to want to pick it back up.
Sensuality level: 2

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