Book: The Duke’s Perfect Wife (Mackenzies & McBrides #4) by Jennifer Ashley

Genre: MF Historical Romance, explicit

Title: The Duke’s Perfect Wife

Author: Jennifer Ashley

Release Date: 3 April 2012

Previous Book in Series: The Many Sins of Lord Cameron

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Summary: 

Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart.

Hart has it all–a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him–his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He’s also suffered loss–his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late.

Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart’s doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes–and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination–Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him . . . or save him.

What I Liked:

The best thing about this series really is the Mackenzie family.  I love seeing the continuation of the previous love stories!  And they don’t feel unnecessary or shoehorned in.  The other couples (Ian and Beth, Mac and Isabella, Cam and Ainsley) all have things to do in these books.  They’re not just background characters, and that makes the family seem very real, as does the way they interact with each other.

I really liked Eleanor in this book.  She was only in the previous book for a short scene, but she really comes alive here.  I really wasn’t expecting much from her, but she was clever and feisty.  Her strongest characteristic, though, was her loyalty.  It’s amazing that, even with her tumultuous relationship with Hart, she has complete faith in him and his plans.  They had good chemistry together and a nice, though complicated, romance.

What I Didn’t:

I just don’t like Hart very much, especially compared to how much I liked the other Mackenzie brothers.  He’s very dark and brooding, and while he has had some very bad things happen in his like (see: the previous books for extra details), something about him just rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s his need to control everything and everyone around him.  Admittedly, part of his character arc is learning to relax that need, but…he made me uncomfortable through most of this book (and the previous ones).

After being teased with word of Hart’s ‘dark desires’ for over three books, I will admit to being a bit disappointed as well.  There is definitely some dom/sub and BDSM elements, but it actually seemed pretty tame.  I also have a preference for my highly controlling/controlled characters to be dominated in the bedroom, but that might just be me.

Also, the ending again!  I know I complain for just about every romance novel I read, but come on!  This one has gunshots, explosions, missing persons, crawling through sewers, disappearing for months in hiding.  It’s so over the top.  I mean, I still enjoyed it, but wow.

Overall:

So the last Mackenzie brother has his story told.  Well, not counting Mr. Fellows, the half-brother.  Hart has been my least favorite brother throughout these books, and while I did enjoy his story, it was still probably my least favorite so far.  I really like Eleanor, and I thought they had good chemistry together.  The sex scenes were hot, though they didn’t stray quite as far into kink as I had hoped.  They mystery elements kept me engaged, as did the appearances of the other Mackenzie brothers and their wives.  I enjoyed this book, and I will continue on, at least to see Mr. Fellows story.

My Rating: 3/5

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