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Thursday, March 3, 2016

REVIEW: "The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie" by Jennifer Ashley


The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (MacKenzies & McBrides, #6)
(Highland Pleasures #6)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance -- Victorian England/France

Berkley/Penguin -- October 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Read in February 2016
Borrowed from library

Goodreads -- Author Website -- Publisher Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
Daniel Mackenzie lives up to the reputation of the scandalous Mackenzie family—he has wealth, looks, and talent, and women love him. When he meets Violet Bastien—one of the most famous spiritual mediums in England—he immediately knows two things: that Miss Bastien is a fraud, and that he’s wildly attracted to her.

Violet knows she can’t really contact the other side, but she’s excellent at reading people. She discerns quickly that Daniel is intelligent and dangerous to her reputation, but she also finds him generous, handsome, and outrageously wicked. But spectres from Violet’s past threaten to destroy her, and she flees England, adopting yet another identity.

Daniel is determined to find the elusive Violet and pursue the passion he feels for her. And though Violet knows that her scandalous past will keep her from proper marriage, her attraction to Daniel is irresistible. It’s not until Daniel is the only one she can turn to that he proves he believes in something more than cold facts. He believes in love.


THEMES AND TROPES
Older Heroine/Younger Hero, Character in Disguise, Family

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

MY THOUGHTS 
I haven't read a book in this series in awhile so I was happy to return to the world of the Mackenzies.  Daniel has been a prominent side character and it was great to see him take center stage.  While this was not the most fascinating historical romance I've read, it was entertaining and offered some interesting characters as well as a surprisingly sweet love story.

Daniel Mackenzie is the  son of Lord Cameron Mackenzie whose story was told in The Many Sins of Lord Cameron.  He continues the tradition of Mackenzie men being eccentric, scandalous, and beloved by women.  His life is completely thrown for a loop when he goes out with friends and ends up meeting Violet, a popular medium.  For her part, Violet is just trying to keep her mother and her afloat financially even if it means fooling the aristocracy into believing she can communicate with spirits.  She is immediately attracted to Daniel, but, when her lies catch up with her, she is forced to leave the country and start over.  What she doesn't expect is for Daniel to go after her in order to figure out if there is more to this relationship than just physical attraction.

My main motivation for reading this book was the character of Daniel and I wasn't disappointed.  He has matured yet still retained many aspects of his mischievous youth.  His generosity is also on full display in this book.  But, what shocked me was how much I adored Violet.  She took over the story for me and I spent much of my reading experience fascinated by her character.  I admire her emotional strength to keep going, no matter how difficult her life gets, and the way she uses her brain to survive.

I thought they were a great pairing, both physically and emotionally.  The scenes where they are just hanging out together (like in the hot air balloon) were a lot of fun and showed how much their relationship was growing.  Of course, this is also a Jennifer Ashley historical so the sensuality was also a key aspect.  Daniel and Violet have wonderful chemistry and that shows in all the bedroom scenes.

I also liked the role that family played in this book.  Violet's mother is a huge part of her life and the main motivation for her deceptions.  While she was not my favorite, I appreciate the work that was put into her character development.  And then, of course, there are the Mackenzies.  There were great scenes between Daniel and his immediate family.  His little sister is adorable and I am excited to see if she will get a story eventually.  I loved the relationship between Daniel and his father which was a tumultuous in the early part of the series, but has grown into something powerful.  But, my absolute favorite family scenes were the ones between Daniel and his uncle, Ian.  They have a bond that is obvious every time they are together and I liked that Daniel actually seems to get Ian more than almost anyone else.

It was a great time to be reunited with the Mackenzie clan again.  I love the way that Jennifer Ashley has developed this brash family into a group of warm, funny people who are accepting of everyone.  I look forward to continue my catch-up of this series.

FAVORITE QUOTE
There was a time for slaying dragons and a time for holding on to someone and making the terror go away.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1) Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (MacKenzies & McBrides, #2) The Many Sins Of Lord Cameron (MacKenzies & McBrides, #3) The Duke's Perfect Wife (MacKenzies & McBrides, #4) A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (MacKenzies & McBrides, #4.5) The Seduction Of Elliot McBride (MacKenzies & McBrides, #5) The Untamed MacKenzie (MacKenzies & McBrides, #5.5) The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (MacKenzies & McBrides, #6) Scandal And The Duchess (MacKenzies & McBrides, #6.5) Rules for a Proper Governess (MacKenzies & McBrides, #7) The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (MacKenzies & McBrides, #8) A MacKenzie Clan Gathering (MacKenzies & McBrides, #8.5)

2 comments:

  1. oh yay for Daniel Mackenzie. I really liked this one,,not my favorite of the series, but I loved seeing the bond between Daniel and Ian. I agree throughout the series, I feel like Daniel understands Ian better than any other member of the family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never read this series, but it's on my TBR. So glad that you enjoyed this and that Violet was such an AMAZING character.

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