Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Date published: July 2010
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained via: Publisher
Swept off her feet and down the aisle at her debut ball, Lady Isabella MacKenzie found adventure and love with her husband, Mac MacKenzie. At the end of three years of marriage, however, she packed her bags and left.
The third in age of the four MacKenzie brothers, all with their own wild and crazy streak, Mac has never stopped loving his wife, Isabella. Even through the fog of his drunken despair with Isabella’s departure he knows she is his one true love and the only woman for him. He will do anything to bring his wife back into his life and puts aside his drink and after an agonizing withdrawal period becomes a devoted tea-totaler. What he finds though, is that he can no longer paint. Oh he goes through the motions, but his art is nothing like the emotion evoking paintings he crafted with Isabella by his side. And then one day, she appears at his door.
No, she hasn’t returned to reunite in wedding bliss. Rather, something odd has happened, something disturbingly odd – someone is forging Mac’s signature on paintings that are so like his that even his signature yellow paint is used. The situation takes a nasty turn when the forgerer turns to arsonist and sets fire to Mac’s house.
I very much enjoyed the second in Jennifer Ashley’s MacKenzie brother series, LADY ISABELLA’S SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE almost as much as I enjoyed book 1, The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. I did have a bit of a time remembering the title, but it worked with Mac’s story. You can’t help but fall in love with the MacKenzie brothers and it was good to catch up with Ian, Hart and Cameron as Mac’s story unfolded. After reading Mac’s story and his personal struggles it seems Ms. Ashley is tackling societal ills or wrongs and through intensely told love stories bringing the struggles of those with these issues to light. The word “autistic” was not used for Ian yet he demonstrated many of the behaviors of a high functioning autistic. Mac’s struggle is with alcohol and its devastating effect on those an alcoholic loves. There are hints of Cameron and Hart’s struggles as the pages unfold. It also seems that there is a bit more steam to the love scenes in each book and readers are tantalized by passing phrases regarding Hart and his sex life. Ms Ashley certainly knows how to lure in and seduce her readers!
At times Mac’s painting apparel became a tad repetitive and I wasn’t fully satisfied with the forger’s explanation and outcome. I felt like the thread was dropped just when a fulfilling explanation was just around the corner. Perhaps those answers will be found in Cameron or Hart’s stories.
LADY ISABELLA’S SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE is a stand-alone story and events leading up to it from The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie are well done. They add to the fullness of this story. I would recommend reading them in order; neither is a do not miss read.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.