Lord Cameron Mackenzie murdered his wife - the scar on his face proves it. Or so respectable society believes. The black sheep in a scandalous family, Cam is a highly successful racehorse trainer renowned for changing his mistress every six months. Well behaved, respectable ladies have nothing to do with him. Which suits Cam just fine since he's happy to avoid them. Until a certain grey-clad widow shows up in his bedchamber... six years after the first time.
With her secret skills of lock picking and fierce determination, Ainsley Douglas is the only person the Queen trusts to deal with a delicate problem. But as she faces Lord Cam down in his bedchamber again - this time on the trail of stolen letters - Ainsley starts forgetting what it means to be good. Six years ago Cam almost seduced her, and this time she's thoroughly tempted to let him succeed.
The Mackenzies are back! We've had The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
and Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
, and now it's wild Cameron's turn. A man who likes horses, whiskey and women - in that order - with a scarred face and a dangerous reputation he's a hot man to handle. Yet it takes Ainsley's soft touch to reveal the loneliness within as she gradually uncovers his scars and the darkness of his past.
Ainsley has a painful secret of her own, but the emotional focus of this story is Cam. Unlike his brothers, though, his father is just a passing cloud. His marriage is where the true anguish lies. Despite this dark undercurrent, this story is wonderfully free of angst and pointless lamentations. Both Cam and Ainsley know what they want and will do anything to get it.
If I had one criticism it would be the time lags, which just keep things moving along until the historical moments are reached. Because of this the journeys to Paris and Monaco fall a little flat, good for little more than passing time.
With a firm emotional focus, a strong heroine and a gorgeous hero this latest Mackenzie tale is just as sexy, compelling and enjoyable as the others. The crime plot is less important here, leaving more space for the romance, not to mention appearances from the rest of the family, particularly young Daniel. It's a great read, without too much peril or action. An excellent addition to this great series - bring on Hart and Eleanor in The Duke's Perfect Wife