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THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE
Genre: Historical Romance, England, Victorian Period
Ashley's enthralling and poignant romance shows that people thought to be completely devoid of emotions only require the proper stimulus of another's emotional response to unlock their subconsciously buried feelings. By tackling an unusual theme, à la Laura Kinsale, Ashley touches readers on many levels. Brava!
Ian, the youngest Mackenzie, has always been thought of as mad. He believes himself unable to feel or understand emotions or most human behavior. When he learns that young, wealthy widow Elizabeth Ackerley is to marry a man he considers a reprobate, he declares his beliefs about her intended and his own shortcomings as a man who feels nothing.
Beth, who grew up in the poorest areas of London, does not believe his pronouncement. But as she learns more about Ian's wild family and his strange upbringing, her admiration for him blossoms -- as does his ability to understand and feel love. Their unusual relationship becomes one of deep understanding and respect. Then ugly suspicions that Ian is involved in the murders of several young women surface. Beth's determination to prove his innocence allows Ian to finally experience the depth of emotions brought on by love. (LEISURE, May, 350 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: May 2009