The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: #1 in the Highland Pleasures series
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Run Time: 9hrs and 53 minutes
Publisher: Tantor Media
The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family–rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn’t be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them–of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.
The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He’s also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.
Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama–an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.
And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.
I rarely re-read books because for me there is just such a wide variety of new stuff out there, that going back and re-reading just seems like a waste of time. However, when tMoLIM was nominated for an Audie award for its audiobook narration in the category that I was listening to, I knew that I was going to be re-reading (or rather re-listening) to it in the near future. I have to say that my memories of my original read through were vague – I remember it being the current IT book and everyone raving about it, but when I read it, I was ultimately disappointed. It didn’t live up to the hype, was my opinion. However, when I started listening to the audio, I was pleasantly surprised. I realized that I had forgotten a good amount of plot points that made it a more enjoyable listen. I have to wonder, if I had listened to it the first time (if it had been available), would I have enjoyed it more – I think the answer is likely yes. However, since I did remember the outcome of the mystery that did kind of take away the enjoyment of the listen. But re-living Ian and Beth’s relationship again made up for it. As I am still reading the series, I love seeing how it all started because they play such a role in the other books.
I will admit that at first, I wasn’t sure about Angela Dawe’s narration – I had heard/read some reviews that didn’t bode to well for it. So I was surprised how enjoyable it was. I wouldn’t go out there and say that it was the best narration ever, but it was solid. I thought that she did a good job mixing up between Beth’s english tone and Ian’s scottish burr – as well as making sure that the other MacKenzie brothers sounded similar, but not the same (if that makes sense). Her pacing was good and I felt like overall the narration flowed well.
In my first read, I think I gave this book 3 stars, but after my re-listen, I am upping it to 4 stars and looking forward to listening to more in the series, as well as other narrations by Ms Dawe in the future.