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Alec Mackenzie's Art of Seduction

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Alec Mackenzie earns a living in exile as an art instructor, a cover for his search of several countries for his missing brother. Lady Celia, an Englishwoman who refuses to marry gentlemen her martinet mother chooses for her, is sent to Alec, the mysterious Scottish recluse, for drawing lessons–her family commands her to learn a skill if she’s put herself off the marriage Alec Mackenzie earns a living in exile as an art instructor, a cover for his search of several countries for his missing brother. Lady Celia, an Englishwoman who refuses to marry gentlemen her martinet mother chooses for her, is sent to Alec, the mysterious Scottish recluse, for drawing lessons–her family commands her to learn a skill if she’s put herself off the marriage mart. Alec decides that the courageous Celia needs to expand her talents in painting the human figure, especially that of the male... Celia is intrigued by the man who pretends his name is Mr. Finn. He’s a Scotsman, she deduces, but he can’t be one of the Highlanders who rose against the king, else she’d be allowed nowhere near him, and he’d be under arrest or already dead. But as Celia lets her curiosity guide her, she uncovers more about Alec, including his name, his title, and the fact that he was indeed one of the Highlanders at Culloden. She sees the loneliness in Alec, his terrible sense of loss, his tenderness toward his daughter, and realizes he’s a complex man trying to survive now that his home has been destroyed. She also wonders why he’s left the safety of France to come to England, and the learns that he believes she’s the key to finding his missing brother. But Celia unravels too many secrets, which put not only her life and Alec’s but also her heart in grave danger. Note: Alec Mackenzie is the brother of Malcolm from The Stolen Mackenzie Bride. He is an ancestor of the Mackenzie family whose story begins with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.


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Alec Mackenzie earns a living in exile as an art instructor, a cover for his search of several countries for his missing brother. Lady Celia, an Englishwoman who refuses to marry gentlemen her martinet mother chooses for her, is sent to Alec, the mysterious Scottish recluse, for drawing lessons–her family commands her to learn a skill if she’s put herself off the marriage Alec Mackenzie earns a living in exile as an art instructor, a cover for his search of several countries for his missing brother. Lady Celia, an Englishwoman who refuses to marry gentlemen her martinet mother chooses for her, is sent to Alec, the mysterious Scottish recluse, for drawing lessons–her family commands her to learn a skill if she’s put herself off the marriage mart. Alec decides that the courageous Celia needs to expand her talents in painting the human figure, especially that of the male... Celia is intrigued by the man who pretends his name is Mr. Finn. He’s a Scotsman, she deduces, but he can’t be one of the Highlanders who rose against the king, else she’d be allowed nowhere near him, and he’d be under arrest or already dead. But as Celia lets her curiosity guide her, she uncovers more about Alec, including his name, his title, and the fact that he was indeed one of the Highlanders at Culloden. She sees the loneliness in Alec, his terrible sense of loss, his tenderness toward his daughter, and realizes he’s a complex man trying to survive now that his home has been destroyed. She also wonders why he’s left the safety of France to come to England, and the learns that he believes she’s the key to finding his missing brother. But Celia unravels too many secrets, which put not only her life and Alec’s but also her heart in grave danger. Note: Alec Mackenzie is the brother of Malcolm from The Stolen Mackenzie Bride. He is an ancestor of the Mackenzie family whose story begins with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

30 review for Alec Mackenzie's Art of Seduction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Ashley

    Alec Mackenzie is the brother of Malcolm from the Stolen Mackenzie Bride. We start with Ian Mackenzie, telling Beth tales of his family of old. This book is now available for pre-order for a pub date of November 14, 2017. Angela Dawe is narrator for the audio! The print and e-book will be available worldwide! I have posted an excerpt here: http://www.jenniferashley.com/jennife... Alec Mackenzie is the brother of Malcolm from the Stolen Mackenzie Bride. We start with Ian Mackenzie, telling Beth tales of his family of old. This book is now available for pre-order for a pub date of November 14, 2017. Angela Dawe is narrator for the audio! The print and e-book will be available worldwide! I have posted an excerpt here: http://www.jenniferashley.com/jennife...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This wasn’t one of my favourites in the series... but even though it wasn’t, I still fell in love with the main couple!! Unfortunately, I have also have been very sick the past few days which made it challenging to keep my focus at all the time! I plan to do a proper review when I am feeling better ❤️

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    4+ "Mackenzie" Stars! I love this family. Both the men and the ladies. I've finally caught up. Now I can't wait for Will. Happy reading!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    Love the Mackenzies in any era. Ashley does a wonderful job of giving a sense of time and place. May add more later.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ursula

    This book takes us back in time, (for those of us who have been reading this series on the crazy MacKenzie family!) It's a lot less raunchy than JA's usual style but a good read nevertheless. Here we have a sweet love story (no angst re: the relationship, which is a nice change!) with lots of colourful description of the politics and social issues pertaining to Scotland shortly after the Jacobite revolt is put down and Bonnie Prince Charlie has done a runner. And created a whole lot of shite for This book takes us back in time, (for those of us who have been reading this series on the crazy MacKenzie family!) It's a lot less raunchy than JA's usual style but a good read nevertheless. Here we have a sweet love story (no angst re: the relationship, which is a nice change!) with lots of colourful description of the politics and social issues pertaining to Scotland shortly after the Jacobite revolt is put down and Bonnie Prince Charlie has done a runner. And created a whole lot of shite for his poor, oppressed people. Ah, British history. What bastards they often were! Weirdly awful mother of the heroine (these days, label her a psychotic mommy dearest) and weak-as-piss Duke father were rather extreme, but everyone was kind of larger than life, so I just rolled with it. That the father and brother would tolerate heroine's marriage to an aged, diseased rake was a bit OTT. That her mother arranged it was worse. Die, you bitch. Anyhoo, it was a fun ride, lots of action and good background for the books in the series that are set in later times.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Sweet love story with loving characters but sadly it wasn't steamy or angsty and I need steamy love scenes and angst when I read a historical! Other books in this series were better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Good writing, very weak plots. Readable but not enjoyable. I think Jennifer Ashley can write. Her imagery is vivid and she has a fluid style. It isn’t a chore to follow her writing. But I think we have read enough about this family. Either that or JA really isn’t very good at plotting. Alec Mackenzie, the artist in this generation, had to save his brother Will. To do so he had to gather intel from a certain duke and he had hoped to accomplish his goals by getting to know said duke’s daughter Cel Good writing, very weak plots. Readable but not enjoyable. I think Jennifer Ashley can write. Her imagery is vivid and she has a fluid style. It isn’t a chore to follow her writing. But I think we have read enough about this family. Either that or JA really isn’t very good at plotting. Alec Mackenzie, the artist in this generation, had to save his brother Will. To do so he had to gather intel from a certain duke and he had hoped to accomplish his goals by getting to know said duke’s daughter Celia. So Alec taught Celia painting, it was all good. Alec is your typical Scotsman. Celia is a level-headed girl. So they met and somehow started kissing and that was pretty much it about romance. Alec and Celia had no inherent conflicts. They were happy to be together and did so midway in the book. So that wasn’t very exciting. Then the “finding my brother” plot was just boring. This isn’t the first time that I felt this way about JA’s books. There just isn’t enough story in this book. Their sex scenes are reduced to “they made love well into the night”. Not that I always want explicit sex scenes but either you make a run for it or you let it be. This “I will tell you what they did but I won’t” tactic.......I don’t appreciated it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

    3.5 Stars We are back in Medieval England and Scotland looking at the forefathers of the original Mackenzie brothers. Although everyone thinks that the Mackenzies were killed in Culloden, that’s not quite true, only two of the brothers perished. But, now Will Mackenzie is missing and Alec Mackenzie is on the hunt to find him, suspecting that the English are holding him in an secret prison. To find his brother, Alec thinks he would do whatever it takes…including manipulating and seducing an in 3.5 Stars We are back in Medieval England and Scotland looking at the forefathers of the original Mackenzie brothers. Although everyone thinks that the Mackenzies were killed in Culloden, that’s not quite true, only two of the brothers perished. But, now Will Mackenzie is missing and Alec Mackenzie is on the hunt to find him, suspecting that the English are holding him in an secret prison. To find his brother, Alec thinks he would do whatever it takes…including manipulating and seducing an innocent young lady. There is no doubt that Jennifer Ashley can write a fantastic historical romance and I very much enjoyed this instalment of the Mackenzie series. We get to go back even further in time and get a glimpse of a tumultuous time in British history and a peek at the Mackenzie ancestors. But, as much as I liked this book, it just doesn’t seem quite as intense as the first books with the original Mackenzie brothers…although it could be argued in a chronological sense these are the original brothers. Ian, Mac, Cameron and Hart managed to reach through the pages and get a firm grasp of my heart. However, with Alec’s book although I liked it, it isn’t a story that held the emotional grasp on me as they did. But, the romance between Alec and Celia was good, they have immediate chemistry that only grew as the book went on. Ashley wrote to good characters who I liked immensely as I was reading, she’s particularly good ar writing intelligent heroines who you can like as much as the hero and this continued in Alec Makenzie’s Art of Seduction. I now can’t wait to get a hold of Will’s book, he seems like a complex man with his mind always on the next intrigue. It’s sure to be a good read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I was provided with an ARC by the author for my honest review. Our story begins with Lord Ian Mackenzie ("The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) in the attic at Kilgoram organizing past Mackenzies' journals, diaries, art, etc. Ian's wife, Beth, finds him and is curious about the collection. Ian and Beth settle down and Ian, in his own unique way, tells Beth the tale of Lord Alec Mackenzie (our hero), his formidable ancestor. It is 1746, after the Battle of Culloden, in London, England where we find L I was provided with an ARC by the author for my honest review. Our story begins with Lord Ian Mackenzie ("The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) in the attic at Kilgoram organizing past Mackenzies' journals, diaries, art, etc. Ian's wife, Beth, finds him and is curious about the collection. Ian and Beth settle down and Ian, in his own unique way, tells Beth the tale of Lord Alec Mackenzie (our hero), his formidable ancestor. It is 1746, after the Battle of Culloden, in London, England where we find Lord Alec Mackenzie. Alec is residing with the notorious Lady Flora under an assumed name pretending to be famous French artist giving lessons. His mission is to locate his missing brother who left France where the family escaped to after the Battle of Culloden. Lady Flora believes their best source of information on Will's location is a powerful Duke whose daughter is in need of art lessons. Our hero, Alec, IS a renown artist in France. Before the war, he was quite the rogue; however, war, loss of family members, the addition of a young daughter and the war itself has turned him sober and responsible. He has learned to keep his rage at all he has lost below the surface, but it still exists and is barely contained. He will do anything to locate and rescue his missing brother, Will, and is determined to save what is left of his family. Our heroine, Lady Celia Fotheringhay, is clever, strong willed and determined. She loves her father, the Duke, but has been humiliated and manipulated by her cold, ruthless mother. Celia is also restless and longs to discover the world, but she has been confined to her home as punishment for not heeding her mother's machinations. Her little escape each day is her "art lesson" with Alec. And, so the real story begins. I just loved Alec. He is a true Mackenzie with a presence, a wildness and an innate power that all the Mackenzie men seems to exude. The relationship he begins with Celia, who is quite overwhelmed with Alec's maleness in the beginning, is a thing of beauty to watch develop. Reading Celia's true character emerging slowly, but surely, was a joy. She starts out timid, but Alec is so wonderful with her allowing her to grow with confidence with each meeting. Through the development of her art and her relationship with Alec, she begins to blossom as a person. Celia has a wonderful way about her and her calming influence over our untamed hero is fabulous. The two characters complimented each other beautifully. I also enjoyed the secondary characters in the book, who were fascinating in their own right. This book is a definite page turner. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time. It is an exciting, fun read. Ms. Ashley once again brings us another memorable Mackenzie! I highly recommend this book, as well as ALL the Mackenzie books! Start with "The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie." I guarantee that you will fall madly in love with every single Mackenzie in the family!

  10. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Another sparkling gem in the MacKenzie crown! Once again the MacKenzie Clan steals into my heart. Bring those stories on! I just love them all! And yes! Ian still remains my favorite. Ashley taking a step back into previous generations is brilliant. The story of Alec MacKenzie and Lady Celia Fotheringhay is rewarding. Celia has fire and determination and Alec, who seeks to use her, quite finds his world turned upside down. She is more than he bargained for. It's great to see where the artistic ta Another sparkling gem in the MacKenzie crown! Once again the MacKenzie Clan steals into my heart. Bring those stories on! I just love them all! And yes! Ian still remains my favorite. Ashley taking a step back into previous generations is brilliant. The story of Alec MacKenzie and Lady Celia Fotheringhay is rewarding. Celia has fire and determination and Alec, who seeks to use her, quite finds his world turned upside down. She is more than he bargained for. It's great to see where the artistic talent in the family stems from. Alec is seeking his brother Will who vanished after Culloden. By involving Celia, the daughter of the Duke of Crenshaw, Alec hopes to discover more about Will's fate. To that end, Alec takes up the task of becoming Celia's art instructor. (I loved the camera obscura inclusions by the way!) Mind you Celia has her own troubles including a ruthless mother who is determined that her daughter will be a pawn in her pointed political machinations. Hence Celia's troubles, dubbed The Disaster. Definitely a one sitting read! Fabulous!

  11. 5 out of 5

    April Symes

    This is my first time reading a MacKenzies book by author Jennifer Ashley and it was a delight to read. This is book 9 in the Mackenzie’s series and this is Alec Mackenzie’s story. Alec Mackenzie knows that Lady Celia is the key to finding his missing brother. Only problem is, Alex is supposed to be dead along with his father & brothers after Culloden. So Alec does what he needs to in order to find out what he can in order to get answers/bring his brother home by pretending to be someone(s) he i This is my first time reading a MacKenzies book by author Jennifer Ashley and it was a delight to read. This is book 9 in the Mackenzie’s series and this is Alec Mackenzie’s story. Alec Mackenzie knows that Lady Celia is the key to finding his missing brother. Only problem is, Alex is supposed to be dead along with his father & brothers after Culloden. So Alec does what he needs to in order to find out what he can in order to get answers/bring his brother home by pretending to be someone(s) he isn’t in order to get close to Lady Celia. Lady Celia isn’t fooled by the Scotsman who proclaims to be her art instructor when she knows he has to be a warrior or someone of that nature; she knows she shouldn’t dare let him teach her to draw things that a young lady shouldn’t know. Poor Celia has a “disaster” in her past so she eagers for attention and for love, so she lets Alec draw her in, not knowing he has ulterior motives for doing so. Alec at first thought different of Celia, then as he comes to know her realizes she is more bonny lass than he thought. Will Alec change his mind about Celia and let her in? Will Celia realize Alec is the man she is meant to be with? Will Alec find his missing family? This was a fantastic historical romance that has a lot of action, mystery and romance. I loved the plot, how everything was woven together and even reading how future family members see previous family members view each other. Alec and Celia have this connection, this chemistry that immediately comes across. She doesn’t take any gruff from him yet he gets to see who she is and loves her for who she is. The passion and love comes across and that really captured my attention and kept me hooked on this story. I really appreciate the tact while also showing the damage and pain done at Culloden. It was expressed in such a way that it didn’t go overboard. It is great to see an author who really researches the past and writes it in such a way that makes you feel as though you are right there. I will most definitely look at purchasing past books in this series and also future books. My Rating: 4.7 stars ***** “I received an advanced copy of this book from the author at no cost to me."

  12. 5 out of 5

    G.

    A much quieter romance than I expected. Thankfully, that didn't translate into boring. Just quietly satisfying.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Melo

    FINAL DECISION: This was a very enjoyable book. I loved Alec and Celia together and there is a good plot surrounding the romance.  I can't wait for the next book. THE STORY: Alec Mackenzie is dead...at least to the English who are searching for the traitors after the Scottish uprising that ended with Culloden. After his remaining family fled to France, Alec has returned to England with his young daughter in order to search for his brother Will who may have been captured by the English. Alec is ma FINAL DECISION: This was a very enjoyable book. I loved Alec and Celia together and there is a good plot surrounding the romance.  I can't wait for the next book. THE STORY: Alec Mackenzie is dead...at least to the English who are searching for the traitors after the Scottish uprising that ended with Culloden. After his remaining family fled to France, Alec has returned to England with his young daughter in order to search for his brother Will who may have been captured by the English. Alec is masquerading as Mr. Finn, a poor Irish artist taking on students. His student is Lady Celia who is the daughter of the duke that Alec suspects is implicated in his brother's disappearance. Celia is intrigued by Mr. Finn and feels that there is much more to the man than he presents. OPINION: I loved the interaction between Alec and Celia. That interaction is what made the book for me. Like the other Mackenzie books, this book has larger than life characters who have intense feelings for one another. The connection between these two is immediate and quite beautiful. Alec's kindness and gentleness made me fall for him, too.  He is a man who has big emotions and love. One of his best qualities is the love he has for his daughter and his family. He is adorable in that seriously manly fashion. As he meets Celia, he is pulled into caring for her as well. His support for her artistic talent and her wishes and thoughts is very attractive as well. Celia is strong and determined even under the intense manipulation and pressure of her mother.  Her willingness to do what is right for her despite the pressures of society which leaves her ruined, her complex feelings for her family members, and her insistence of being treated as a partner give Celia depth that I enjoyed as well. The plot here works as well. Alec's search for his brother involves various schemes and plots and unwinding the villains and heroes. There is also enjoyable glimpses of the remainder of the Mackenzie family so those who have read THE UNTAMED MACKENZIE will be pleased to see what has happened with the family since the events of that book. Ian and Beth also open and close this novel. Fans of the original books will be pleased. I'm hoping that in the next book we will get to see more of the more of the Victorian era Mackenzies. WORTH MENTIONING:  This book sets up Alec's brother Will's book. I can't wait to hear his story. CONNECTED BOOKS:  ALEC MACKENZIE'S ART OF SEDUCTION is the ninth book in the Mackenzies and McBrides series. While this book is a self-contained romance (which is a prequel to others in the series), there is an introduction from Ian Mackenzie (THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE) and I think at least that book should be read first just to put the story in context. STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars. NOTE: I received an ARC from the author in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.This review was originally posted on Top10RomanceBooks.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Under the Covers Book Blog

    We are back in Medieval England and Scotland looking at the forefathers of the original Mackenzie brothers. Although everyone thinks that the Mackenzies were killed in Culloden, that’s not quite true, only two of the brothers perished. But, now Will Mackenzie is missing and Alec Mackenzie is on the hunt to find him, suspecting that the English are holding him in an secret prison. To find his brother, Alec thinks he would do whatever it takes…including manipulating and seducing an innocent yo We are back in Medieval England and Scotland looking at the forefathers of the original Mackenzie brothers. Although everyone thinks that the Mackenzies were killed in Culloden, that’s not quite true, only two of the brothers perished. But, now Will Mackenzie is missing and Alec Mackenzie is on the hunt to find him, suspecting that the English are holding him in an secret prison. To find his brother, Alec thinks he would do whatever it takes…including manipulating and seducing an innocent young lady. There is no doubt that Jennifer Ashley can write a fantastic historical romance and I very much enjoyed this instalment of the Mackenzie series. We get to go back even further in time and get a glimpse of a tumultuous time in British history and a peek at the Mackenzie ancestors. But, as much as I liked this book, it just doesn’t seem quite as intense as the first books with the original Mackenzie brothers…although it could be argued in a chronological sense these are the original brothers. Ian, Mac, Cameron and Hart managed to reach through the pages and get a firm grasp of my heart. However, with Alec’s book although I liked it, it isn’t a story that held the emotional grasp on me as they did. But, the romance between Alec and Celia was good, they have immediate chemistry that only grew as the book went on. Ashley wrote to good characters who I liked immensely as I was reading, she’s particularly good ar writing intelligent heroines who you can like as much as the hero and this continued in Alec Makenzie's Art of Seduction. I now can’t wait to get a hold of Will’s book, he seems like a complex man with his mind always on the next intrigue. It’s sure to be a good read. *ARC provided by author Reviewed by Suzanne❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    wow. mackenzies and mcbrides are amazing and I love Jennifer Ashley! the beginning and end were such great additions to this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Schreiner

    DNF - too slow and I just couldn't get into it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Quick and easy read. I really think Ashley dropped the ball on Celia though, half the time she only felt like the outline of a character. She ticked all the boxes of a Likable Heroine (sensible, good with children, kind, etc.) but lacked any sort of real personality. The only character with less substance was Jenny, Alec's daughter. I don't even know why the author bothered to include her (or Genevieve, her mother); Jenny was basically a prop, used to tell readers that big, tough Alec could be ge Quick and easy read. I really think Ashley dropped the ball on Celia though, half the time she only felt like the outline of a character. She ticked all the boxes of a Likable Heroine (sensible, good with children, kind, etc.) but lacked any sort of real personality. The only character with less substance was Jenny, Alec's daughter. I don't even know why the author bothered to include her (or Genevieve, her mother); Jenny was basically a prop, used to tell readers that big, tough Alec could be gentle after all (or that Likable Heroine Celia is good with children). Overall, none of the other books in this series have lived up to Ian's, which is disappointing but not surprising.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    And now it's October 2017... geez. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So it was June 2016 but I had a bad feeling when we never heard a peep. Now it's January 2017. *Scowls* This is my life lately with books, man.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ceki

    A note to self: too fluffy and I dislike reading about children in my HRs...

  20. 4 out of 5

    MountainKat

    *4+ Stars* I loved this! Alec and Celia were wonderful! This story made me happy, but most of them in this series have. I loved Angela Dawe's performance in the audiobook.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kym

    Setting: London, England 1746 Genre: Romance The book begins in 1892 with Ian Mackenzie in the attic of Kilmorgen Castle going through family documents and old letters. When his wife joins him, he tells her the story of his lateral ancestor, Alec Mackenzie. After the battle at Culloden Moor the Mackenzie family (Daniel, Duke of Kilmorgen, and his 3 sons Malcolm, Alec, and Will) were declared dead. Instead, they had escaped to France to wait until they had been cleared of treason. But Will returned Setting: London, England 1746 Genre: Romance The book begins in 1892 with Ian Mackenzie in the attic of Kilmorgen Castle going through family documents and old letters. When his wife joins him, he tells her the story of his lateral ancestor, Alec Mackenzie. After the battle at Culloden Moor the Mackenzie family (Daniel, Duke of Kilmorgen, and his 3 sons Malcolm, Alec, and Will) were declared dead. Instead, they had escaped to France to wait until they had been cleared of treason. But Will returned to Scotland and was arrested. So Alec, an artist, went to England to find out where he was being held. Disguised and using a fake name, he moves into the household of Lady Flora, Dowager Marchioness of Ellesmere who has agreed to help him. Rumor has it that the Duke of Crenshaw’s regiment is involved in keeping prisoners. In order to get information, Alec is to give drawing lessons to the Duke’s daughter, Lady Celia Fotheringhay. Celia’s mother is allowing her to learn because she had refused to marry the man of her mother’s choice, despite being pawed and forcibly kissed by that man. At least as a portraitist, to her mother’s thinking, she will be useful in supporting the Whigs. Over the course of the next while, Celia takes instruction and Alec spends his free time hunting down information about where the captured Scots are being held. And during this time, their attraction for one another grows. The story is well told, with well-rounded characters. The only thing I found confusing was the inclusion of Alec’s daughter. Her presence added nothing to the direction of the story. She could have been edited out and the gist of it would have stayed the same. Other than that, I found the book to be quite entertaining. The narration by Angela Dawe is excellent. I have found her too laconic in some of her performances in this series, but her pacing in this production is good. She does a good job of differentiating well between characters, and she does well with both genders.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tracy DeNeal

    Alec and Celia What do you do with your life once you've been officially killed in the Battle of Culloden in 1746? The Mackenzie brothers have a lot to tell us about that apparently. This time Alec Mackenzie, the sensitive artist speaks to us. Anyone who has read THE STOLEN MACKENZIE BRIDE knows that all is not what it seems. Having survived that deadly battle with a large contingent of the family intact and relocated to Paris, Alec returns to England to seek out their clever, but reckless, broth Alec and Celia What do you do with your life once you've been officially killed in the Battle of Culloden in 1746? The Mackenzie brothers have a lot to tell us about that apparently. This time Alec Mackenzie, the sensitive artist speaks to us. Anyone who has read THE STOLEN MACKENZIE BRIDE knows that all is not what it seems. Having survived that deadly battle with a large contingent of the family intact and relocated to Paris, Alec returns to England to seek out their clever, but reckless, brother Will and reunite him with the rest of the family. Alec goes on this mission with his adorable, wee motherless bairn, Jenny, in tow. Lady Celia Fotheringhay, the beleaguered daughter of a henpecked duke is sent to take art lessons from the impoverished Irishman across the square - Mr. Ansel Finn (Alec). Attraction flourishes and flairs. Soon she finds herself embroiled in intrigue of the artistic sort. Alec is both a triumphant and tragic character. Tragic, because he has truly lost so much in his life - his home, his heritage, brothers and friends that he loved fiercely. Triumphant, because despite all of that he did not lose his ability to love and enjoy life. Celia is a delight. She is definitely not a woman of her times. She consciously risks the ostracism of Society to stand up for herself against her mother's cruel machinations. She knows her heart and she follows it unfailingly. I loved this story. Jennifer Ashley did not fall back on misunderstandings to drive her tale forward. Her characters were direct and did something novel. They talked to each other. How refreshing. I enjoyed the language, history and relationships set forth in this story and I look forward to Will's story whenever she produces it. I highly recommend this book to all Mackenzie fans. It is a worthy offering!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Lord Alec Mackenzie knows that Lady Celia is key to finding his missing brother. The trouble is, Alec is supposed to be dead, he was listed as dead along with his father & brothers after Culloden Alec will do anything to find his brother Will, including pretend to be a penniless drawing master to London aristocrats. The one man who might know where his brother is being held is a powerful duke, and that duke has a daughter who needs art lessons … Lady Celia is intrigued by the Scotsman, so obvious Lord Alec Mackenzie knows that Lady Celia is key to finding his missing brother. The trouble is, Alec is supposed to be dead, he was listed as dead along with his father & brothers after Culloden Alec will do anything to find his brother Will, including pretend to be a penniless drawing master to London aristocrats. The one man who might know where his brother is being held is a powerful duke, and that duke has a daughter who needs art lessons … Lady Celia is intrigued by the Scotsman, so obviously a warrior, who pretends he is not. She is also intrigued by his instruction on painting the human form, something no young lady should take an interest in. But Celia, ruined by The Disaster and already beyond hope, dares to let the Highlander teach her all he knows The story begins in 1892 when Ian Mackenzie is searching through family papers & is asked by his wife Beth to tell her Alex’s story which he’s gleaned from the journals, diaries, letters & sketches. This is the ninth book in the series & the first I’ve read, I didn’t feel lost at the start nor at any time throughout the book but the Mackenzie family intrigued me & I’ll now be buying the other books to read the series in order. The characters are well developed & have depth, Alex & Celia are very likeable & their attraction increases with each meeting. The author conveys the horrors of Culloden & the brutality of both sides of the conflict. The plot is very well paced & kept me turning the pages, as I was wanting Alec to find Will. I’m very much like Beth now waiting for the next story My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

  24. 4 out of 5

    Glittergirl

    When I read a Jennifer Ashley historical I can feel the air, smell the streets and river, see the furnishings and touch the clothes. I find myself transported into the story. She knows London as well as those who live there. Awesome, just awesome. Ian MacKenzie has been researching the family history and tells the tale of Malcolm's brother, Alec the artist, who leaves the safety of exile in Paris to locate his brother Will who has been missing far too long. You see this family was supposedly all When I read a Jennifer Ashley historical I can feel the air, smell the streets and river, see the furnishings and touch the clothes. I find myself transported into the story. She knows London as well as those who live there. Awesome, just awesome. Ian MacKenzie has been researching the family history and tells the tale of Malcolm's brother, Alec the artist, who leaves the safety of exile in Paris to locate his brother Will who has been missing far too long. You see this family was supposedly all killed in the war but William, Alec and Malcolm as well as their Dad, the 9th Scottish Duke of Kilmorgan have escaped to Paris. Will has returned to do his spy thing and is AWOL. Alec goes to London disguised as Mr. Flinn an Irish art instructor, to try to find and bring Will home. Lady Flora, the Dowager Marchioness of Ellesmere is sympathetic to the MacKenzies and has set Alec up in her London home. to teach. Enter Lady Celia, disgraced and off the marriage mart, daughter of the Duke of Crenshaw. It has been decided that Celia will take portrait lessons from Mr. Flinn so she may be useful to her father's political career since she's no longer marriageable. You see she refused to marry the man her mother chose to "compromise" her, forcing her into an advantageous marriage. Lady Flora's plan is to pump Celia for information, in any way necessary, for the location of Will. Her father, the Duke was the most likely person to know where he was being held. Ah, the best laid plans often go awry. This is the tale of how those plans derailed and Alec ended up falling madly in love with Celia and Celia becoming a partner in locating Will. Awesomely crafted tale as only Jennifer can accomplish. I was enchanted from the first paragraph. Thank you Jennifer for granting me this free ARC for my review. Perfection as always.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Rating this one was difficult. I so enjoy Jennifer Ashley's writing style. It is quick, and witty, with just the perfect balance of spice and suspense. I think I loved this one better than the previous book in the series. I liked the relationship and banter between the main characters, I think the conflicts were resolved neatly, and although I had a big moment of "ugh" when the portrayal of Alec felt more like lipservice than anything else (specifically, the fact that it was portrayed as if Alec Rating this one was difficult. I so enjoy Jennifer Ashley's writing style. It is quick, and witty, with just the perfect balance of spice and suspense. I think I loved this one better than the previous book in the series. I liked the relationship and banter between the main characters, I think the conflicts were resolved neatly, and although I had a big moment of "ugh" when the portrayal of Alec felt more like lipservice than anything else (specifically, the fact that it was portrayed as if Alec wasn't kind of a Nice Guy TM at some particular moments) but overall, this book was enjoyable. Not a bad story. Plus, we got a hint of Will and Josette's relationship. I'm curious now what's up with them and their story. One thing that really bothered me was that we also got to see a bit of Ian and Beth which I couldn't understand the reason for. This story is happening before they were even born. The only reason for including them in this story I see is for the pampering of the fans of the pairing and to get higher ratings because of it. Well not from me. 3 stars it is.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lindap

    4 Stars Ian MacKenzie finds writings from his ancestor, Alec, which tells the story of when Alec met Celia. Beth, his wife, goes up into the attic to see what Ian's up to and he proceeds to tell her the story.... During the Jacobite uprising Alec and his family lost a lot....from their home to family members. Those that survived have fled to France, including Alec. The English think Alec is dead, and he wants to keep it that way because he needs to find his bother, Will. Last Alec had heard Will w 4 Stars Ian MacKenzie finds writings from his ancestor, Alec, which tells the story of when Alec met Celia. Beth, his wife, goes up into the attic to see what Ian's up to and he proceeds to tell her the story.... During the Jacobite uprising Alec and his family lost a lot....from their home to family members. Those that survived have fled to France, including Alec. The English think Alec is dead, and he wants to keep it that way because he needs to find his bother, Will. Last Alec had heard Will was taken prisoner, but there is no sign of him. Where did they take Will? Is he dead? Alec knows Will was never tried, convicted and hanged, so where is he? Alec goes to England disguised as an Irish painting master and stays with someone that can help him investigate. They're going to use Celia to get info from her father to find Will, but who's really behind the capture 0f Will and other Scots who have diappeared.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia David

    I really enjoyed this story. Now I have to go get the other stories that are associated with this one. I want to know the story of Alec's brother, Malcolm. Alec is looking for his brother, Will. He thinks that Celia's father knows where he is. He just needs to get close to her to get the answers he needs. But, when he gets close to Celia, he finds out that things aren't what they seem. Celia is so much more. Celia's mother is always trying to arrange a proper match for her. Celia doesn't like th I really enjoyed this story. Now I have to go get the other stories that are associated with this one. I want to know the story of Alec's brother, Malcolm. Alec is looking for his brother, Will. He thinks that Celia's father knows where he is. He just needs to get close to her to get the answers he needs. But, when he gets close to Celia, he finds out that things aren't what they seem. Celia is so much more. Celia's mother is always trying to arrange a proper match for her. Celia doesn't like the men her mother picks and refuses. When she meets Alec, she knows she will only marry for love. Will Alec be the one? He comes with a little girl and a very big and loud family.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Ian Mackenzie effortlessly brings to life his ancestor, Alec, when he finds their diaries and sketches. The world of Alec and Celia slowly unfolds with the words, Once upon a time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rene

    4 Teacups / 2 Handcuffs

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rose Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-Gh Alec Mackenzie, his father, and his two surviving brothers are believed to be dead. Because of their involvement at Culloden, they are considered traitors, and fled to France until such time as they can return to their Scottish home. Alec's brother, Will, has left the safety of France and returned to England for some purpose unknown to his family. Having lost three brothers already, Alec is determined that he will not lose another, so he foll As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-Gh Alec Mackenzie, his father, and his two surviving brothers are believed to be dead. Because of their involvement at Culloden, they are considered traitors, and fled to France until such time as they can return to their Scottish home. Alec's brother, Will, has left the safety of France and returned to England for some purpose unknown to his family. Having lost three brothers already, Alec is determined that he will not lose another, so he follows. In England, he assumes the identity of Ansel Finn, an Irish painting instructor, and resides at the home of Lady Flora, who has her own agenda and reasons for helping. Alec hears rumors of Scottish men being illegally imprisoned, and that the Duke of Crenshaw is in control of that operation. Lady Flora arranges for the duke's daughter, Celia, to take art lessons in her home with Alec, as Mr. Finn, acting as instructor. The plan is for Alec to get close to Celia, using any means at his disposal, including seduction, to find out whatever information she may know of her father's actions. Lady Celia Fotheringhay has been persona non grata with society, and with her own mother, since "The Disaster." Celia's cold and class conscious mother arranged for Celia to marry an odious marquess, who is thirty years her senior. When Celia refused, her mother went so far as to arrange for Celia to be caught in a compromising situation with the marquess, with many witnesses. When Celia continued to refuse, her reputation took a beating. Celia is attracted to her very handsome instructor, and he inspires her talent to greater heights. Alec soon is enchanted with his pupil, and is loath to blatantly use her. There are numerous obstacles that seemingly preclude this couple from pursuing a genuine romance. Yet, their instantaneous rapport, liking, and chemistry makes them take a risk, and they hastily marry. While their physical relationship is steamy and satisfying, they still have to deal with Alec's status and Celia's father's probable involvement in the illegal imprisonment of Will. Alec is vastly underrated by his family, and he proves them wrong by showing his intelligence, skills, and daring in the rescue of Will. Add to that his charm, honor, and sexiness, and you have a hero to truly admire and love. Celia is a fitting match for him, as she has qualities of kindness, compassion, and honesty. Though she has been beaten down by her awful mother, she finally develops the courage to stand up to her. She also shows great affection for Alec's young daughter. ALEC MACKENZIE'S ART OF SEDUCTION is a wonderful, heartfelt romance, which also was very intriguing regarding the mysterious disappearance of Will. Jennifer Ashley wrote a book which held my attention at all levels. I love the characters and the fast moving story, but I confess that I totally melted over the beginning and end, which showed the beloved character of Ian (THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE) finding Alec's journals, and relating the story of his ancestor to his family. Beautifully done!

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