Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I wish you didn’t hate me for it, but if the price of keeping you free is hatred, so be it.”
A WOMAN OF BREEDING MEETS A MAN OF NO STANDING…
To redeem her family’s disgraced name, Lady Louisa Scranton has decided to acquire a proper husband. He needs to be a man of fortune and highly respectable in order to restore both her family’s lost wealth and reputation. She enters the Marriage Mart with all flags flying, determined to find the right bachelor. But Louisa’s hopes are dashed when the Bishop of Hargate drops dead at her feet—and she is shockingly accused of murder! Soon, Louisa’s so-called friends begin shunning her, because the company of a suspected killer is never desirable in polite society.
The problem comes to the ears of Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows, by-blow of the decadent Scottish Mackenzie family and an inspector for Scotland Yard. He has shared two passionate kisses with Lady Louisa–and vows to clear her name. For not only does he know she’s innocent, he recognizes he’s falling for the lovely lady.
Fellows is Louisa’s only hope of restoring her family’s honor—and it is he alone who intrigues Louisa in a way that may be even more scandalous than murder…
INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING NOVEL THE WICKED DEEDS OF DANIEL MACKENZIE (Goodreads)
I’m a sucker for romance, highlanders, and stubborn men so this series is nothing but a win-win for me. We have all been impatiently waiting to see what would happen with Lady Louisa Scranton and Inspector Lloyd Fellows after their shared kisses. Louisa needs to secure a proper marriage to counteract the damage her father did when he defrauded his friends. But her heart belongs to Inspector Fellows. Fellows loves Louisa too but knows they have no future due to their class differences. It makes no difference he is an Earl’s son, he feels his illegitimate status and lack of wealth can only harm Louisa.
When Louisa finds herself accused of poisoning a high ranking bishop, Fellows is called to the scene and immediately begins to plot the best way to prove her innocence. No matter what the outcome of their association he will never allow her to face a magistrate. Even to the point of corrupting the scene. As Fellows investigation deepens, he finds quite a few suspects, all having reason to want the bishop dead. Including a childhood friend of Louisa’s who is close to offering her his good name in marriage. When Fellows’s captain tries to pull him off the case at the request of the dead bishop’s family, Fellows threatens to quit, resulting in an ultimatum from his captain. Find the killer in two days or Louisa will be arrested and brought before the court.
The Untamed Mackenzie is a delightful novella that mixes romance and mystery with a dash of humor only those mischievous and wicked Mackenzie’s can bring to the table. We see plenty of Isabella and Mac along with Eleanor, Hart, Ian, Beth, and of course, Daniel. Daniel plays an enthusiastic cupid as he not only helps with the investigation but also tries to facilitate Louisa and Fellows feelings. I enjoyed that Ms. Ashley doesn’t make it easy for Louisa and Fellows. She keeps them in character and allows then to slowly open up as the story progresses. They do have some issues to resolve before they are able to take the step they, and we, want them to take. Fellows is a deliciously growly alpha man whose orders even made ME swoon. Though Louisa seemed a bit Mary Sue in the beginning, I found her gradual awakening made her more then able to handle Fellows.
I enjoyed watching the mystery evolve and seeing Fellows (and Daniel and Louisa) detect their way to the villain but some aspects I wish had been more visible. Most of the actual investigative work was behind the scenes. The ending was in true Mackenzie fashion with drama, laughter, and some surprises. I will admit, the real villain came as a complete surprise to me.
All in all, this was an enjoyable and engaging addition to Ashley’s Highland Pleasures series. Daniel’s story is next and I for one can not wait. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie will release October 1, 2013.