Monday, November 23, 2015

A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

The Mackenzie clan has gathered for Hart’s birthday at the sprawling family estate in Scotland. But before the festivities can start, the house is robbed, and thieves make off with an untold fortune in rare art.
Ian Mackenzie and his brothers must do what they can to retrieve the family treasure, but Ian is distracted by a family friend who claims he might have the power to “cure” Ian of his madness forever. All the Mackenzies must draw together as courage, love, and a tantalizing mystery serve to strengthen their bond, and redefine the meaning of family.
Series: Mackenzies/McBrides #8.5  |  Publisher: InterMix | Release Date: November 17, 2015 | Genre: Historical Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4.5

Way back in 2011, a friend gifted me with a copy of The Madness of Lord Ian Madness. I had a ton of review books to reads, but she was persistent—and the cover was intriguing,  plus I have trouble resisting romances with kilted men—so I picked up the book and fell in love with Ian Mackenzie (best hero EVER) and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Sadly, I’ve missed a few books in the series but when I discovered that A Mackenzie Clan Gathering featured Ian Mackenzie, I knew I had to read it and I wasn’t disappointed.
Here’s what’s going on. The Mackenzie’s are gathering at Kilmorgan Castle for Hart’s birthday. Thieves break into the castle and steal several pieces of priceless artwork; this coincides with the arrival of Beth’s brother-in-law from her first marriage. As a string of strange events start happening, Ian is drawn to the mystery and is determined to solve it although Beth’s brother-in-law is claiming he has a ‘cure’ for Ian’s madness, which has Ian slightly distracted.
So, I love catching up with my favorite characters from my favorite series, so I was over the moon when I discovered that A Mackenzie Clan Gathering would allow me to catch up with Ian and the rest of the clan. 9-10 years has passed and it was fun to see what was going on with the Mackenzie clan, who has kids, how they were as married couples. It was just fun to catch up.
I absolutely love Ian Mackenzie—if you want a loveable, unique, swoon-worthy hero, he fits the bill. He—and many others—believe him to be mad but he actually has a high-functioning form of Asperger’s, it allows him to see things and process things in a different light. When Kilmorgan is robbed and Ian’s family is put in danger, he uses his ‘madness’ to get to the bottom of it. Yet when he’s offered a ‘cure’ he starts to wonder if it would make things easier on Beth, his wife, and his children if he were normal.
I loved seeing more of Ian and Beth as a married couple raising a family. They are so good together and Beth knows how to bring Ian out when he goes into his head. Seeing Ian as a father, the way he treats his three children, the overwhelming urge to protect them totally had me going mad for him all over again.
So, there is a grand mystery in this book. Who stole the artwork, who’s endangering the Mackenzie clan, and is it tied into the arrival of Ackerley, Beth’s brother-in-law. I really enjoyed watching this one play out and I enjoyed the conclusion of it.
Okay, this is part of an on-going series, with this short story, we’re at 8.5. While it does read okay as a standalone, I would suggest that you at least read book 1, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.   
Overall, this book has just about everything you want in a romance, danger, intrigue, mystery, family, tender moments, passionate moments, a ton of love, and Ian Mackenzie.

Have you tried Ashley’s Mackenzie series?

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