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The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (Mackenzie & McBride, #8 – prequel) by Jennifer Ashley

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (MacKenzies & McBrides, #8)The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzie & McBride, #8 (prequel)
Pages: 336
Publisher: Berkley
Date: September 29, 2015

Summary:

1745, Scotland: The youngest son of the scandalous Mackenzie family, Malcolm is considered too wild to tame…until he meets a woman who is too unattainable to resist.

Lady Mary Lennox is English, her father highly loyal to the king, and promised to another Englishman. But despite it being forbidden to speak to Malcolm, Lady Mary is fascinated by the Scotsman, and stolen moments together lead to a passion greater than she’d ever dreamed of finding.

When fighting breaks out between the Highlanders and the King’s army, their plans to elope are thwarted, and it will take all of Malcolm’s daring as a Scottish warrior to survive the battle and steal a wife out from under the noses of the English.

Review:

This book is a precursor to Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzie series and takes place about one hundred years earlier. However, you do not have to have read the earlier (later?) books in order to enjoy it. It is a complete standalone, although I hope she writes additional books in this time period. Just like the Mackenzie family of the 1800s, each of these earlier brothers deserve their own story.

What can I say about this book? Malcolm Mackenzie is the youngest son of the Duke of Kilmorgan. His brothers all call him “runt.” There is Duncan, the eldest, who is to inherit the title, Will the information gatherer, identical twins Alec and Angus, and Malcolm.

Just as an aside about Will because information gatherer needs explaining. This is a quote from his own mouth.

“But I know everything.” Will said. “Whether you want me to or not.”

Now, doesn’t he deserve his own book?

Anyway, there was another brother Magnus, who died as a child. Malcolm is the one found him and it had a permanent effect on his personality. Even though he is the youngest of the family, he feels it is his responsibility to take care of everyone. And that sense of responsibility includes Mary.

Mary . . . Lady Mary Lennox

Mary is the daughter of an English earl who hates the Scots. The book begins shortly before Culloden and the Earl of Wilfort is working to put down those filthy Jacobites.

So, of course, Mary and Malcolm fall in love.

Mary, who has always been an obedient and dutiful daughter. Mary, who is engaged to another man – English, of course.

That Mary falls in love with a Scot and discovers she’s not all that obedient and dutiful after all.

Culloden plays a major part in this plot. I had to make myself keep reading when I realized how important it was going to be to the story because I knew how horrible the battle and aftermath were. I just didn’t want to read about the terrible things that happened. The book was so good though, I couldn’t put it down.

And I was right! Terrible things happened at Culloden. People died. No details, because of spoilers, but PEOPLE DIED!

Was the book worth the heartbreak of reading about Culloden?

Definitely!

Malcolm and Mary are a wonderful couple. With Mary, Malcolm can be human. He can admit he can’t save everyone. And with Malcolm, Mary comes alive.

I highly recommend this book and I really hope the author expands on this series. If you haven’t read the later books, you are missing out.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Rules for a Proper Governess (Mackenzies & McBrides, #7) by Jennifer Ashley

Rules For A Proper Governess (MacKenzies & McBrides, #7)

Rules For A Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley

To Kiss A Thief…

Scottish barrister Sinclair McBride can face the most sinister criminals in London – but the widower’s two unruly children are a different matter.Little Caitlin and Andrew go through a governess a week, sending the ladies fleeing in tears.

Roberta “Bertie” Frasier enters Sinclair’s life by stealing his watch – and then stealing a kiss. Intrigued by the handsome highlander, Bertie winds up saving his children from a dangerous situation and returns them to their father. Impressed with how they listen to her, Sinclair asks the lively beauty to be their governess, never guessing that the unconventional lady will teach him a lesson or two in love.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first thing I have to get out of the way is the discrepancy in the timeline. Daniel Mackenzie (Book 6) is only nineteen in this book and still living at home. So, obviously, Rules for a Proper Governess should fall somewhere before Daniel’s book. Did it make a difference in my enjoyment of the story? Not at all, but I am compulsive about reading a series in order and Daniel threw me.

Sinclair McBride is still grieving for his bride even though she died many years earlier.  He buries himself in his work and spends little time at home.  His two children, Caitlin and Andrew, are hell raisers and completely out of control.  Sinclair is unable to keep a governess for them and his household staff have given up trying to control them.

Enter Bertie Frasier . . . Bertie comes from the lower class . . . the way lower class.  Her father is a career criminal and Bertie works for him.  So, of course, she ends up with Sinclair who spends his days prosecuting criminals.

Sinclair coerces Bertie into becoming the governess for his children.  She knows nothing about being a governess, but since she has some control over them, she does a better job than any of her predecessors.

And Bertie and Sinclair fall in lust.

To add spice to the plot, there are two different villains after Bertie and Sinclair.  We know who they are.  They know who they are.  The problem is how to stop them.

Of course, all comes out right in the end.  Even though Bertie and Sinclair are from two totally different worlds, they find each other and fall in love.  This is a romance after all.

Most of the Mackenzies make an appearance and Lord Ian (my absolute favorite of all the Mackenzies) has a fairly large role in this book.  It was wonderful to see how his and Beth’s relationship has progressed.

I have loved all of the books in this series, but I have to say Bertie is my favorite heroine.  She is smart and not at all shy about saying what she thinks is right.  She doesn’t fit the normal mold for the family, but she still fits right in.

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