All the Mackenzie's and MacBride's were getting ready to travel to Kilmorgan Castle which is Hart Mackenzie, the Duke of Kiomorgan's residence to celebrate Hart's Birthday the following week. So far his youngest brother Ian, his wife Beth and children and a skeleton staff were the only ones in residence. Ian, the one some cruel or ignorant people refer as mad or crazy, of course if it was present day it would be called Asperger's syndrome or ASD. Unfortunately, it is still only the 19th century and it will still be quite some time when physicians and the medical community can give people like Ian, the correct diagnosis. This always impresses me how Ms. Ashley brilliantly and also tenderly tackles the subject and of course Beth his wife is his biggest supporter, his salvation, his everything! I think also, this is why Ian is definitely the favorite Mackenzie among readers. Through Ian's special qualities and his senses he hears things and and is in-tune to sounds most are not. Why he wakes up alert and hears the intruders, he knew it wasn't the usual sounds in the house he grew up in and he naturally goes after them to protect his family and nearly gets himself killed in the process. Unfortunately Ian feels responsible as the intruders makes off with a good portion of Hart's priceless art collection! Ian decided to go after them, especially when someone tampers with Ian's distillery where they make the profitable Mackenzie malt whiskey.
As things were not already topsy turfy enough, Beth invites her missionary brother-in-law of her deceased first husband whom has a secret agenda! He tells Ian secretly that he can cure him of his madness or at least try. Ian has dreams of being what he calls normal for Beth he has yet to understand that she loves the man he is and always will and does not want a different man. What will it take for Ian to finally accept or understand this and let go of this unfounded guilt he has. I personally blame his cruel father for a lot of these feelings besides the ignorant finger pointers calling him insane throughout his life. Except we all know Ian is not mad or insane! Lots of action, adventure, drama and heart pulling scenes that gives readers chills. Beautiful of course, seeing how Beth and Ian still love each other as much as ever of not more with their three children who adore him, being together over a decade now. I had goose bumps and tears rolling down my cheeks during certain scenes as Ian and his family definitely does that to me and I love how Beth is ready to fight for her man no matter who it is. I also love how Beth has taught him so much about love, life and what really is important. Ian now understands a stolen art collection, even his Ming China collection, are just objects and objects can be replaced, people cannot. He understands the safety of Beth and their children Jamie 11, Belle 10 and Megan 7 is all that matters. Afterall it is what completes Ian and make him whole.
Lots of action, surprises, mystery, suspense, adventure, love and emotion as always and of course fans of the Mackenzies and MacBrides will truly delighted with this spectacular story centering on Ian and Beth. Being a long time fan of the series I was not disappointed or surprised and another superbly written story that touched my heart and captured my soul. I read this in one sitting and be prepared to fall in love with Ian Mackenzie all over again!
I absolutely loved this riveting, charming, amazingly brilliant page turner and highly recommend "A Mackenzie Clan Gathering" by Jennifer Ashley. I can't compliment it enough as I was completely dazzled and enchanted as I totally loved it! ❤️
** I was given an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.**
Chronology and Reading order:
The following is the order in which events in the series take place, which is more or less publication order.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (1881)
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (1881)
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (1882, September; Epilogue, June 1883)
The Duke's Perfect Wife (1884, Spring; Epilogue, June 1885)
The Seduction of Elliot McBride (1884, June)
A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (1884, December)
The Untamed Mackenzie (1885, April)
Scandal and the Duchess (1885, November)
The Scandalous Mackenzies (Print edition of Untamed Mackenzie and Scandal and the Duchess)
Rules for a Proper Governess (1885, December)
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (1890)
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (1892)
(Can be read before or after the Victorian Era Mackenzies)
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (1745-46)