Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on August 2, 2011
I have been meaning to start this series forever after reading the fabulous reviews from Anna, Kimberly, and Renee over the years. I have taught kids on the Autism spectrum and love history so I have wondered at time what it would have been like to live with a disability of this nature before the research, accommodations, and understanding were known. I thought the author did a splendid job of showing a sexy, bold, and brave hero who also happens to be unlike any other because of his abilities and not just his disabilities.
The book really ticked off so many boxes to build my overall love of the story: 4 wild and roguish aristocratic Scottish brothers, a dark mystery, sensual and spicy sexual tension and encounters, honest and colorful characters, quirky, main character with a disability, and solid start to a series.
As I said in the opening paragraph, Lord Ian is on the spectrum. He had a horrific childhood of abuse and then time in a Victorian era insane asylum as a result, but his brothers got him out of that and rallied around him. They are protective and he was given the most unique valet ever to help him, but he has a freedom and a productive life for all that. Unfortunately, he also has a terrible reputation for being mad- and wild like his brothers and past Mackenzies. Beyond that, there are some that are convinced he is a brutal murderer of prostitutes as well.
Into Ian’s world comes Beth. Ian takes to her on first sight when he decides to save her from marrying a despicable man who only wants her for her fortune. Ian wants Beth, but he is convinced he can’t love and tells her so. She doesn’t accept his proposal, but she doesn’t let the scary reputation keep her from becoming a merry widow with a lover. She is warned about the Mackenzies, but dives in regardless. She’s no delicate flower of society and grew up from a hard life and just barely avoided becoming a prostitute herself with her first marriage that was for love. She got lucky when she inherited a fortune and now she has choice for the first time- and her heart picks Ian.
I enjoyed that the crazy family were all introduced and present with their situations promising good future books in the series. The enigmatic and embittered police detective who hates the Mackenzies and wanted to bring them down helped add suspense to the murder mystery investigation part.
Now, the investigation is the one niggle I got from the whole book and it wasn’t a big one. Well, the mystery and solution were actually fine. Rather it was one of the amateur sleuths that had me shaking my head a few times. Beth was stubborn and was so vested in proving Ian innocent and solving the case to bring peace to the family that she got stupid about safety when she rushed in like it was a household cleaning project and not the dangerous deaths of two with a killer on the loose. I totally understood why she got involved and I applaud that part because Ian and Hart and even the police would not look at a different solution.
But, the real crowning gem to this book was the love story. Ian and Beth were both so amazing in their own way. The author didn’t hold back with Ian’s quirks or the disparity in their experiences, but she made it heartwarming and sensual along with exciting and hot.
All in all, I felt the impact of this story through and through. I am now aware why this one makes so many Top Five historical romance lists for folks. I am now joining the bandwagon of those who want to push it on other historical romance fans.
Library Love #12