Review: A Mackenzie Yuletide

Review: A Mackenzie YuletideA Mackenzie Yuletide (Mackenzies & McBrides, #11.5) by Jennifer Ashley
Published by InterMix on October 29, 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 125

FINAL DECISION: For fans of the Mackenzie series, it was lovely to see all the characters that we have known and loved with the kids grown up a bit.

THE STORY: It’s the holiday season for the Mackenzie family when Ian Mackenzie is trying to track down a necklace for his wife Beth, and a ghost seems to have invaded the Mackenzie household.

OPINION: This was an enjoyable book that is really for fans of the series because there are no real explanation of the characters or their histories. That is fine for me because I love these characters and am happy to spend more time with them especially because we are introduced to the next generation of Mackenzies (who we might have seen as small children but here we get to see their personalities). There is a plot, but I didn’t particularly care about the resolution of the mystery. I just luxuriated in getting to see who these characters are now.

WORTH MENTIONING: After this novella, I’m hoping that we are going to get books about the younger Mackenzie generation.

CONNECTED BOOKS: A MACKENZIE YULETIDE is book 11.5 in the Mackenzie & McBrides series (or the Mackenzie series). It should be read after the Victorian era books in the series because its really an update about those characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.



Review: A Rogue Meets a Scandalous Lady

Review: A Rogue Meets a Scandalous LadyA Rogue Meets a Scandalous Lady (Mackenzies & McBrides, #11) by Jennifer Ashley
Published by JA / AG Publishing on July 9, 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 227

“Sophie was a part of him he hadn’t realized wasn’t there. Her simply being in the world completed him.”

FINAL DECISION: I’ve been waiting for David’s book for a long time. The stalwart friend of the formidable Hart Mackenzie, disappointed suitor of Eleanor, David has been awaiting the woman who will turn his life upside down. Sophie gives David a chance to put all his Machiavellian talents to work for good. I loved these two who find something special together after romantic disappointments. The book is clever machinations and romantic interludes, and I loved it.

Sophie is a woman subjected to the whims of a man who has disappointed and hurt her. Her circumstances are emblematic of the lack of power that women of the time could be subjected to. One of the things I really liked is how the women in this book use what power they have to help Sophie. While David pushes some buttons, it is the women who are necessary to resolve Sophie’s circumstances. Sophie also manages to assert some strength of her own in a twist in the resolution of David’s story.

I loved the gentleness and sweetness of Sophie and David’s romance in light of all the sneaky antics going on in this book. There is something gentle and real about their interactions that I found so romantic. David, especially, believes himself unworthy of Sophie and so even while he wants her, he expected to be rejected at every turn.

I’ve been waiting for this book for a long while. THE DUKE’S PERFECT WIFE remains my favorite in the series and this book operates as such a wonderful second act to that book that I smiled throughout. Anticipated books can sometimes disappoint, but I’m glad to say that I was so happy with this book and this romance.

THE STORY: David Fleming, rogue and devious right-hand to Hart Mackenzie, flees London under criminal threat and finds sanctuary with his old friend and mentor.  Also seeking sanctuary is his friend’s niece, Sophie. Sophie is hiding from a scandal of her own. David and Sophie, both involved in complicated personal situations, are immediately attracted to one another despite all the obstacles in their path. It is uncertain whether there is a way forward for them and how much manipulation must be done to bring about a happy ending.

OPINION: I really loved the story here. David and Sophie are such a cute couple. I’ve been wanting David’s story since he was rejected by Eleanor in her and Hart’s book. David deviousness and his unfailing loyalty make him a great candidate for a redemption story. I loved seeing him unraveled here by meeting Sophie.

WORTH MENTIONING: Significant appearances in the book from Eleanor Mackenzie (THE DUKE’S PERFECT WIFE) and Sinclair McBride (RULES OF A PROPER GOVERNESS), plus lots of other cameos, made me especially happy and gave this book a nice connection with the series as a whole.

CONNECTED BOOKS: A ROGUE MEETS A SCANDALOUS LADY is the eleventh book in the Mackenzies & McBrides series. The romance in this book is self-contained and thus the book can be read as a standalone. I think, however, that a reader will enjoy this book most if it is read at least after THE DUKE’S PERFECT WIFE where much of the backstory of David in the series is given.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.


Review: The Devilish Lord Will

Review: The Devilish Lord WillThe Devilish Lord Will (MacKenzies & McBrides, #10) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies and McBrides #10
Published by JA / AG Publishing on January 15, 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 315

FINAL DECISION: I absolutely loved this book. I’m a sucker for a couple who have new chance at love. This book has a deep romance and a lot of action and adventure. Loved these characters and their story.

THE STORY: Josette Oswald needs help finding a legendary gold treasure and she knows there is no one more suited for such a hunt than Will Mackenzie. Josie and Will have worked together in the past in Will’s spying endeavors sometimes pretending to be husband and wife. But Josie has a daughter to raise and Will’s adventures were a danger to her family and her heart so she sent him away. Now she needs his help but she also has a secret that might destroy the long friendship the two former lovers share and Will’s willingness to help Josie on her quest.

OPINION: This book was my favorite of the 1700s Mackenzies. I loved the relationship between Will and Josie. Things weren’t right for them in the past for a multitude of reasons and I highly respected Josie for turning Will away in order to raise her daughter. Even though Will knows he is not one to settle down, he still is an honorable man who did everything he could to care for Josie and her daughter.

I loved just about everything in this book. Will cares deeply under his devil may care attitude. His immediate acceptance of Josie’s daughter and his love and caring for a child not his own is admirable. And I really liked that Josie’s daughter is not merely a plot device. She is a real character here and I’m glad that we get some resolution to her story as well.

The romance in this book is so different from the usual — we meet and in a week are madly in love and want to spend our lives together — story. There is a real sense that Will and Josie had something special a decade ago, but the time wasn’t right for them. Now the two have a new chance and are in a different phase of their lives. While both have to clear up things from their pasts, this book has a strong sense that the two can finally have a chance for the future together.

There are a lot of moving pieces in this story, but the focus is always on Will and Josie. This is a story of two people who have a decade to realize that what they have together is special and are finally willing to give in to love.

WORTH MENTIONING: For fans of the series, this book gives an update on everyone (from the 1700s).

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE DEVILISH LORD WILL is the tenth book in the Mackenzies & McBrides series and the third book about the 1700s Mackenzies. This book can be read as a standalone although I recommend that readers consider reading the two prior 1700s books because they all are connected.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.


Review: Alec Mackenzie’s Art of Seduction

Review: Alec Mackenzie’s Art of SeductionAlec Mackenzie's Art of Seduction (MacKenzies & McBrides, #9) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies and McBrides #9
Published by JA / AG Publishing on November 14th 2017
Genres: Historical

FINAL DECISION: This was a very enjoyable book. I loved Alec and Celia together and there is a good plot surrounding the romance.  I can’t wait for the next book.

THE STORY: Alec Mackenzie is dead…at least to the English who are searching for the traitors after the Scottish uprising that ended with Culloden. After his remaining family fled to France, Alec has returned to England with his young daughter in order to search for his brother Will who may have been captured by the English. Alec is masquerading as Mr. Finn, a poor Irish artist taking on students. His student is Lady Celia who is the daughter of the duke that Alec suspects is implicated in his brother’s disappearance. Celia is intrigued by Mr. Finn and feels that there is much more to the man than he presents.

OPINION: I loved the interaction between Alec and Celia. That interaction is what made the book for me. Like the other Mackenzie books, this book has larger than life characters who have intense feelings for one another. The connection between these two is immediate and quite beautiful.

Alec’s kindness and gentleness made me fall for him, too.  He is a man who has big emotions and love. One of his best qualities is the love he has for his daughter and his family. He is adorable in that seriously manly fashion. As he meets Celia, he is pulled into caring for her as well. His support for her artistic talent and her wishes and thoughts is very attractive as well.

Celia is strong and determined even under the intense manipulation and pressure of her mother.  Her willingness to do what is right for her despite the pressures of society which leaves her ruined, her complex feelings for her family members, and her insistence of being treated as a partner give Celia depth that I enjoyed as well.

The plot here works as well. Alec’s search for his brother involves various schemes and plots and unwinding the villains and heroes. There is also enjoyable glimpses of the remainder of the Mackenzie family so those who have read THE UNTAMED MACKENZIE will be pleased to see what has happened with the family since the events of that book.

Ian and Beth also open and close this novel. Fans of the original books will be pleased. I’m hoping that in the next book we will get to see more of the more of the Victorian era Mackenzies.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book sets up Alec’s brother Will’s book. I can’t wait to hear his story.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ALEC MACKENZIE’S ART OF SEDUCTION is the ninth book in the Mackenzies and McBrides series. While this book is a self-contained romance (which is a prequel to others in the series), there is an introduction from Ian Mackenzie (THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE) and I think at least that book should be read first just to put the story in context.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC from the author in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.