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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

Highland Pleasures, Book 1
Narrated by: Angela Dawe
Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
Non-member price: $30.35
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Romance, 2013

It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he'd spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted - especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

Despite his decadence and intimidating intelligence, she could see he needed help. Her help. Because suddenly the only thing that made sense to her was the madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

©2011 Jennifer Ashley (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The Mackenzie brothers will leave you breathless." (Elizabeth Hoyt)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engrossing historical romance with a twist

This is a romance with an embedded murder mystery. I love the protagonists, such honest and believable characters. A book of love, lust and pleasure. Well paced and such a great listen, especially on long road trips. This audio book is exceptional, with easily distinguishable voices, some Scottish brogue and interesting characters.
Spoilers.
Beth, widow of an enlightened East End pastor, inherited a fortune when her employer, an old lady, died without other heirs. The sudden affluence made Beth the object of a fortune hunter. Lord Ian's dislike of Beth's fiancee and his amoral ways prompted Lord Ian to intervene and warn Beth away from the dissolute and bankrupt aristocrat. Although drawn to Lord Ian, Beth removes to Paris. Lord Ian follows determined to win Beth to a marriage bed. London society knows that Lord Ian spent his youth in an asylum and all believe that women are not safe in his company, with whispers of a murder in a private brothel owned by Lord Ian's brother.
The madness of Lord Ian was well researched and sensitively portrayed. Ian's behaviours are a result of Aspergers as well as trauma from the torture inflicted on him in the asylum in the name of treatment. Beth is true to herself, unashamed of her sexuality and her enjoyment of Ian.
Enjoy!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bluebelle
  • 05-05-2012

Way above my expectations!

I decided to get this book on a whim but am very grateful that I did! It was amazing. Beth is able to look inside of Ian and see him for what an amazing person he is. He is so focused on her from the start that she can be a bit overwhelmed, that is until she learns to welcome his attentions and share in his "madness". I believe that Ian could have a small case of autism. He is afraid to look Beth directly in the eyes because he gets so obsessed he can't look away. He has also struggled in his family relationships and Beth helps him to reconnect with his brothers in meaningful and heartfelt ways. Wonderfully enchanting and I definitely suggest we all have a little "Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie".

58 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L Duffy
  • 17-04-2012

FANTASTIC BOOK, NICELLY PERFORMED.

This was one of my favorite reads of 2010
Who knew that being odd could so be hot!
One thing makes this book exciting, fresh and captivating; Lord Ian Mackenzie.
I love, love the way Ms. Ashley took this unconventional hero and turned him into one my most endearing characters, and hopefully one of yours.
Institutionalized since the age of twelve, Ian Mackenzie is brilliant to the point that borderline madness, but thanks to his brother intervention he was rescued, and has being living a semi normal life, that is, until Beth Ackerly walks into his life.

Once thing Lord Ian knows, is how to value, and the authenticity of a treasure, and when he meets Beth for the first time, he immediately recognizes her worth, and he???s determined not to let it go to waste with her broke and unappreciative fianc????. With tunnel vision and uncompromising determination he decides, he will make Beth his wife.
Beth is a nice complement to Ian, and one of the few people that quickly recognized his brilliance, and she undoubtedly helps him bring it to the front.
But things are never easy, are they?
With that, we get a story with so many elements that won't allow you and won???t want to pause for a minute. This novel has it all; mystery, murder, entertaining dialogue, humor, a nicely paced and scorching romance (did I say I love Ian?) not to mention great secondary characters that will have you coming back for more, which BTW, I haven???t done yet, but I assure you that I???m highly anticipating the next audio release.
This was a fantastic introduction to the series, and a must listen for all Historical Romance fans.

Narration:
When I found out that Angela Dawe was going to be narrating this novel, I had to admit I have doubts, not because she???s not a capable narrator, but because I had envision how nicely Susan Ericksen would have brought this novel to life.
But what do I know? It turns out that Angela Dawe was the perfect choice; she beautifully and with commended accuracy brought the characters and the story to life.
Angela???s tone, pace and approach were precisely what the story demanded.
I had no problem at all distinguishing the voices; the only small flaw I found was her Scottish accents, let???s just say I???ve heard better; nevertheless, this was a very good performance.

Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality: HOT

65 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine
  • 21-11-2012

Just WOW! Don't let the title or cover fool you.

I am so glad I got this book based on other Audible reviews. I can't believe how much I liked it. I don't particularly like the title or cover art and I expected this one to be a fluffy romance. Wow, was I wrong! I was hooked from the very beginning. It had interesting and unique characters, mystery, romance and some surprising plot twists. I'm not a huge fan of historical romances, but this one was amazing. I was up at all hours of the night listening. Just excellent.

5 Stars!!

36 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • 🌸DARA
  • 04-06-2013

I love the Madness!

I was really drawn to this book from the first few minutes. Beth and Ian's love story was so sweet and touching. The way that Beth was so understanding and caring to Ian was so tender and sweet. I'm not sure but I think maybe Ian is Autistic? His "disability" was definitely an asset to his personality. This book was a joy to listen to! I want more madness!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Cheri
  • 28-11-2015

Wow! What A Great Histroical Romance!

Historical romances are not my usual genre but I must say Jennifer Ashley did an amazing job on this story, and I really enjoyed it. There is plenty of hot romance, and a captivating mystery.

The hero, Ian, is not perfect and has "quirks" which makes him see and react to the word differently, This makes him socially awkward to others; however, his brothers love him and will do anything to protect Ian.

Ian saves Beth from marrying a man who would not be loyal, and decides he wants to be the one to marry Beth. He seduces her whenever they meet, slowing drawing her in. Beth is drawn to Ian; however, as things heat up, accusations come up indicating Ian has committed murder. Beth is determine to prove Ian and is brother are innocent.

I liked Angela Dawe performance, and thought she did a great job narrating this story.

I really enjoyed this story a lot, and look forward to listening to the other stories in the series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • laura
  • 25-04-2013

just a few things

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

More focus on the romance developing between Ian and Beth.
Better use of language for the era.
Slow down the narration.

I found there was way to much time wasted on less important subjects; from Mrs. Berrington's opinions finding its way into everything Beth does to antique ming bowls to solving the murder mystery sub-plot. A lot of thorough scenes have Beth galavanting off to distract herself in Ian's absence, but the author kind of just breezes over the times they were in each other's company but not in bed.
I could totally see why these two fall so madly in love, it is definitely clear, but I would have preferred to better know the details. We all read these novels KNOWING how it'll end, but we love the "what" that brings us to the predictable ending.
On the language...
I just don't feel this novel was a good example of a well researched period novel.
Using a lot of flowery words does not make it Victorian.
The flow just felt mimicked from better authors that are authorities on this time period.
Narrator...
She read way to fast and was much to matter of fact.Period.

Otherwise this was a really good book. All the other raving reviews can tell you why. I wrote this one because I always read reviews and I like to know the good + the bad. This is one just to warn futures listeners of this novels considerable flaws.
I feel that if you are interested in listening to a period romance with a serious twist and separates from the normal obstacles our hero and heroine must face in order to be with one another this particular novel definitely offers exactly what you have been searching for.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dasi H
  • 29-03-2012

What a Fantastic Book

An amazing spin on the historical romance. Lord Ian MacKenzie, youngest of 4 Scottish brothers who's father ( a Duke) had abused them all as children. He believed he was "fixing them"
Ian wouldn't look at people , he could play complex music just by hearing it, he would refuse to speak for days so his father placed him in a institution because he was "mad
(more likely he was mildly autistic).

Ian meets a beautiful newly wealthy widow, and decides he must marry her.

Beth is a sweet girl who understands Ian and wants to protect him from people who want to destroy Ian and his brother, the currant Duke.

The brothers are difficult and complex, but they have a very close relationship, and will protect each other with their lives.

I loved Angela Dawe's narration, she has a melodic voice that really grabbed me.

I have read the whole series, and I was so excited to see the audio-book.
I can't wait for the rest of the series. Each book is fantastic, each brother has their own tragic life that becomes less tragic with the help of a special woman.

Well worth the credit.. You won't be disappointed.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D- An Amazon Customer
  • 19-10-2017

I love Ian!

I greatly enjoy this series but Ian has a special place in my heart.

What I love about the series- the characters are vivid and strong (men and women). I love that they are loyal and passionate and devoted. I love that each has specific interests, strengths, and personalities (this is not a cookie cutter romance).

This book, in particular, is delightful because Ian is so special. The author never actually says that Ian is on the spectrum but it is left to us to understand why he is so intelligent and has "quirks" and I LOVE that he is a hero vs just a side character.

Just wonderful!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • T. L. Walker
  • 04-03-2016

Scrached My Historical Romance Itch

Prior to listening to this book, I hadn't read a historical romance in quite some time. I think it's safe to say that it's probably been a few years. It's a little harder for me to get into historical romance than some other romance genres, but sometimes, I get the itch to read one. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie introduces us to the MacKenzie clan, a group of Scottish brothers who are the scandal of London. In London, Ian meets and subsequently begins having an liaison with the widowed Beth Ackerley after warning her away from a dubious suitor. Surrounding their affair is a bit of mystery as an inspector begins hounding them due to the death of a woman with connections to the "mad" brother, Ian MacKenzie, who has spent some time in an asylum. Despite their status and wealth, the brothers grew up with an overbearing, abusive father. We get to dip into some of Ian's torment at the hands of his father and again at the asylum he was confined to and see how these events have shaped him as a person.

I liked both Beth and Ian. Beth was warm, funny, and assertive when she needed to be. I appreciated that she wasn't an 18-year-old virgin, but a woman who'd been with a man, enjoyed sex, and while she had decorum, she eschewed convention for happiness. Ian obviously had Asperger's, which would be seen as defiance and madness in 1881. Ashley was consistent in his actions. His "eccentricities" weren't just conveniences needed for certain scenes and then forgotten. The decision to write Ian on the autism spectrum is probably something you'll never see in a historical romance again. Be warned. This is a fairly steamy book. You're not going to find as much bawdy language in the descriptions as books that take place in modern erotica, but it manages to slip in a few laugh-worthy words and phrases that had me shaking my head a bit. This book doesn't overwhelm you with sex on every page, so it's easy enough to skip over if you don't enjoy reading explicit sex.

A couple of things I wanted to point out that hindered my reading experience a little. Beth flip-flopped between believing Ian's sincerity and questioning it at the strangest times, which was a little odd because she seemed to maintain that she believed him to be a man of his word. I guess she was supposed to be put-off some because Ian wouldn't meet her gaze or always pay attention to what she was saying (all due to his being on the autism spectrum), but Ian was straightforward about his intentions and never wavered in what he wanted from her. Also, even though there's a hint of mystery, this doesn't overtake the romance portion of the story. It's not supposed to, but what I mean is that, despite the fact that Ian stands accused of murder by an inspector, there's not really much official about the investigation. The accusations come from an investigator who has a personal vendetta against the family and uses his own time to "investigate" the matter.

Angela Dawe narrated this story, and this was the first time I've listened to anything by her. She did an admirable enough job even with a few production hiccups in the story, such as sometimes not changing her voice until she caught herself mid-dialogue for the male characters. Overall, I enjoyed the story for what it was, and of course, it ends with happily ever after because of course it does. I don't know if I want to continue reading more about the MacKenzie clan, but I think this has scratched my historical romance itch for a while. When the urge pops up again, I'll certainly consider these books to sate that need.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-06-2013

Wonderful Surprise

Ian and Beth work. This is a romance that makes you feel the love. Two flawed people who find in each other exactly what the other needs to make life worthwhile. A simple premise to romance really, but in so many romances I have read in the past, I finished the book with the vague sense that the featured couple in the book just really didn't seem to belong together. That was not the case with this book. If there has ever been a couple who belonged together, it's Ian and Beth.

Beth is a product of an unfortunate union between a well bred girl and a French con artist. She's seen the seedier side of life. She spent 3 years in her late teens in the workhouse, but was saved by a kind young vicar and became his wife. There's was a happy marriage until he dies and leaves her a widow. She's then taken in as the companion of a grand and wealthy lady, who eventually dies and leaves Beth her fortune.

Being a new heiress, she ventures into different social circles and stumbles upon Lord Ian MacKenzie. Ian is the youngest of the MacKenzie brothers, and by todays standards, would have been labelled autistic. His father, a duke, had him committed to an asylum, but as soon as his father died, his eldest brother, now the duke, gets him released and brings him home. Ian has a phenomenal memory, and helps his brother in certain business and political tasks.

There is a wonderful love story. There is a neat (though a tad predictable) mystery. There is a good deal of humour. What's really special about this book though is the hero and Jennifer Ashley's portrayal of his autism. For the most part, she stays true to the stark truth of the disorder that afflicts Ian, and the effect it has on those around him. Still, she doesn't make him into a victim. Instead he's a strong, brilliant man who has to work within the limitations of the autism.

Never mind his disability, I reckon Ian is one of the sexiest heroes in literature. How the author made it happen, I'm not sure. It sort of snuck up on me. There is no doubt, however, before I was halfway through this book, I was head over heels for Ian, and I see by other reviews that I'm not alone in my adoration.

I have read several books by Jennifer Ashley, and this is the best one by a mile. Her characters are endearing without being too "sweet", her jokes were funny, and the action was paced perfectly.

Angela Dawe is a tried and true narrator, and I always have faith that she will deliver wonderful performance. She certainly didn't let me down here. I loved the way she softened Ian's voice. Her Scot's accent wasn't the best I've heard, but I found it credible. It certainly didn't make me cringe. I thought she delivered a solid performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Book addict
  • 10-10-2018

3.5 stars

Decent listen but I did find myself drifting and getting distracted at times. Better than a lot of historical romances out there and I liked that the hero wasn’t typical. Felt more like a modern romance plonked back in history in a lot of ways so I’m sure some historical romance fans will hate that.

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  • Thor
  • 28-06-2018

Worth reading

The story is different and shows disability and the response of doctors and families during that time period.

This makes an unusual love story, but intriguing and pulls you along with the plot.