I didn’t even realize how much I wanted Cameron’s story until I started to read this book. Oh boy, was it good! I know most people wanted to have babies with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. While I liked that book, I didn’t quite share the fervor of my fellow reviewers. (*ducks head*) This book, however, is easily my favorite in the series so far.
All of the MacKenzie brothers are tortured heroes, but poor Cameron has touched me deeper than the other two. His first wife was stark raving mad and she died under suspicious circumstances. Everyone secretly thinks Cam killed her, but she really took her own life. Unfortunately, before she did it, she did everything in her power to make her husband’s life a living hell. There have been hints about it up until now, but as this book progresses, we find out the torture went deeper than we could have ever imagined. As a result, Cameron likes to stick with meaningless affairs and vows never to even consider marriage again.
Ainsley first crossed paths with Cameron six years ago. He caught her snooping in his bedchamber, as she tried to help a friend. He came very close to bedding her that night, but she was married and stayed true to her husband. Now, it’s like deja vu when he catches her hiding in his room a second time. She is on the hunt for some unflattering letters written by the Queen, to whom she serves as an aide. Cam realizes that time has not dulled his attraction for her and he makes his desires known in short order.
Ainsley wants him too, but tries to be a lady… especially in light of his dubious reputation. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before he seduces her. But the real question is whether she can coax him to love and trust again after all he has endured.
I loved Cameron. He is so damaged, but he wants to do right by his son and his brothers. You can see he is a good man in how he treats the people he loves and the horses he is so connected to. His past has hardened him in some ways; and in others, has left him paralyzed. Yet he is not broken, no matter how much he thinks he is. I loved watching Ainsley help him learn to love and to trust. Their romance is touching and believable. And the sex is fantastic.
I love the pacing in this book… that it takes time for Ainsley’s love to heal Cameron. I love that there are no great misunderstandings. I love how Ainsley reacts as she learns about Cam’s past. I love Daniel and his role in the book, as well as the other supporting MacKenzies. The blackmail plot was… not amazing. But the external conflicts in the series have all been a little flimsy. It’s in the relationships… the love… and the sex… where the book really shines.