Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Beth is not my friend. She is…Everything.”
Lord Ian MacKenzie and his family have arrived early to Kilmorgan Castle to celebrate Hart MacKenzie’s upcoming birthday. While there, Ian chances upon thieves stealing the priceless art works littering the galley and decides it is up to him to discover who stole the art and why. Ian is also preparing for the arrival of wife’s late husband’s brother, John Ackerly, who is coming to pay a visit. He claims he may have a cure for Ian’s ‘madness’. The past and the present collide as Ian is forced to not only locate a powerful enemy dead set on carrying out an old vendetta but also must decide if he is willing to accept the help of a man whose intentions may not be as innocent as he claims.
Jennifer Ashley’s MacKenzies and McBrides series is one of my top ten favorite historical romance series to date. Ashley develops the perfect love story with a well balanced blend of the romance and conflict. In this series, she addresses mental illness, prejudice, and the injustices suffered by those in this era. Dynamic characters, witty humor, intriguing plots lines, delicious romance, and engaging dialogue keeps readers easily hooked and wanting more from these two families.
It is always a treat to visit with the MacKenzies, especially Ian. A MacKenzie Clan Gathering is an intriguing who dun it filled with action, suspense, and some heart pinching emotional moments. A quick fulfilling read that adsorbs you back into this world quickly and easily. This novella picks up ten years after Ian and Beth first met. Now married and the proud parents of three children, Ian has significantly changed, becoming more open and personable due to his daily interactions with Beth and children. Even with his advancements, Ian does still wonder at times if Beth regrets marrying him.
When a group of thieves ransack the estate, stealing some valuable pieces of art, Ian feels responsible for the crime and sets out to discover who stole the artwork and why with the help of his half-brother, Inspector Fellows. Told completely from Ian’s point of view, it was interesting see how the world and it’s inhabitants act through his eyes. More emotional and honest in his reveals, Ian has slowly become who he was always meant to be. Though he seems to go off on tangents, his complex mindset is rather like that of a computer that just needs the correct input in order to come up with the answer.
The mystery revolving around the theft and accidents occurring around the estate will delight those who have read her latest full length novel, The Stolen MacKenzie Bride, which released on September 19. As this novella refers back to characters and situations in the eighth book, I wouldn’t recommend reading this one first.
Romance is at a premium as Ian and Beth have a very physical and emotionally satisfying relationship. Ian’s love for Beth is all encompassing as she is the light at the end of the tunnel for him. New and old faces make an appearance and lend their opinions and help to Ian as he struggles to solve the mystery, to understand the changes in him, and how it affects his interactions with those he loves. I adored seeing the family and learning what they have been up to over the last ten years.
Jennifer Ashley once again takes us back in time to a place where family meant everything. A MacKenzie Clan Gathering is a delightful story filled with love, laughter, mystery, and hope. I look forward to more from Ms. Ashley and her wild rambunctious highlanders.
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