Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

Book Description:
A renowned rake, Cameron Mackenzie doesn't care if Ainsley Douglas has a virtuous excuse for sneaking around his bedchamber. He only cares that she's at his mercy. One kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. But what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam's own rules. 

So far I've loved this series about four Mackenzie brothers in Victorian London and Scotland.  I love Jennifer Ashley as an author too.  But what can I say, I was let down by The Many Sins of Lord Cameron.  I wasn't really crazy about the plot line itself and that was my main problem with the book.  Yes, yes, I understand, it's the story of a tortured hero who has been abused in the past and finds love to help him overcome his deep set insecurities from a dysfunctional marriage and tyrannical father - but it still didn't sway me.

Cameron is an over the top bad boy.  Yet beneath the rakish facade, he's a good man begging to be recognized as a father who loves his son.  A man with a talent with horses and someone who can love and be loved in return, in a happy, normal relationship.  But, because of the abuse he suffered as a boy growing up, thanks to his father, and his mistake of a marriage with a sadistic crazy woman, Cameron is afraid of failure.  Thus, he sets himself up as a dissolute ne'er do well whom no one will take seriously, despite the fact his teenage son needs and loves him no matter who or what he is.  Yet Cameron doesn't see this.  He's too blind with self loathing to see beyond his nose.  I just wanted to slap him upside the head and tell him to get over it!  

Third in the Mackenzie brothers series, the story got off to a good start as we learn of Cameron and Ainsley's previous history together.   Several years earlier, Cameron and Ainsley met under unorthodox circumstances.  She was married and faithful to her older husband at the time, but an unexpected encounter with Cameron in his bedroom led to a few memorable and mad, passionate kisses.    Now several years later, they meet again under very similar circumstances.  Ainsley is now a widow in the service of Queen Victoria.  She is trying to retrieve some embarrassing and damaging letters the Queen wrote to her well known Scottish servant, Mr. Brown.   Annoyed that she tricked him last time, Cameron thinks Ainsley is a scheming vixen, unaware of her true motives in searching his room.  He is angry with her, yet attracted to her nonetheless.  It's all a big mix up, but soon the two of them cannot deny or resist the attraction to one another.  But Cameron has this terrible reputation as a bad boy and Ainsley has a very respectable position in the Queen's household.  Plus, he's got this major complex to deal with regarding love and women and relationships!  However can they manage this conundrum? 

Cameron was not nearly as appealing a character to me as his brothers Ian or Mac from the previous books. All the Mackenzies have their problems, but I just wasn't as sympathetic towards Cameron as I was with his brothers.  Maybe it's because the background is a bit weak on him.  We never quite get a good enough reason of why he married his dead wife in the first place.  She is the bane of most of his problems later in life due to the trauma she caused him - and why did he let her?  I guess I'm just not a big fan of tortured  heroes with masochistic tendencies (except when it comes to Jamie Fraser).  Overall the book was pretty good, for I did like Ainsley, the woman who manages to rid Cameron of his inner demons, albeit she causes a scandal and risks her reputation in doing so. 

Overall, the story is well written and I enjoyed the setting and it kept my interest up to a point.   Once the hero and heroine married, the plot line fizzled.  Although the sex scenes were steamy and plentiful (perhaps a bit too plentiful), the plot slowed down half way through the book and lost it's momentum.  It just kind of meandered around with no real climax in the storyline.  

Still, I love the cover -wowza!  I'm also very eager to read the next in the series about the eldest of the Mackenzie's, Hart!  I can't wait until it comes out!


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