31 December 2012

The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Mackenzie/McBride #5)

Summary from Goodreads:


Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.

Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…

After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love.

We've jumped tangentially with Elliot's book - skipping Inspector Fellowes (temporarily, I think, but he does put in an appearance) we jump across to Ainsley's brother (the one who was tortured in India) and a young lady we haven't met yet, Ainsley's school friend Juliana. Compared to the last book The Duke's Perfect Wife this installment has a much tighter plot and the backstories don't take odd twists (i.e. I didn't have to read sections multiple times to understand why Eleanor would have broken off with Hart the first time). There's a lot of simplicity to the story of a man who has gone through hell and back and gets extremely lucky in the fact that the woman he always loved gets dumped at the altar.  I loved the secondary characters (Hamish, Uncle MacGregor) and Elloit's Indian servants are sometimes given their own POV which was nice.

As for timeline, this takes place the summer before the novella A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift so there are a few teeny spoilers in that novella (but the novella, while taking a good deal of time to go over each family and the children, completely skips over Priti and I find it odd that Elliot would leave her at Castle MacGregor while he and Juliana went to Kilmorgan for Christmas).

Apparently Daniel is up next (according to the teaser chapter) - while I find the prospect of goofy teenager Daniel taking center stage as one of the virile Mackenzies odd (there's a little icky factor at work) at least this one will jump six years in the future.

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