Throwback Thursday: Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley

Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage Narrated by Angela Dawe

Reviewed by Melinda originally on August 18, 2012


Jennifer Ashley created a fun new series of Highlander romances with the Mackenzie family, set in the late 19th century. The eldest is Hart, “the Scottish Duke”, and along with his three brothers, they are setting London high society on its ear. The third brother in line, Lord Roland “Mac” Mackenzie, steals a debutante from her debut ball on a bet, falls for her madly, and marries her within hours. After three years, she obtains a legal separation, which is where they are when the series begins.

Choosing Angela Dawe as voice actor for the series was perfect. She has a voice that is very easy on the ears, and switches flawlessly between the various accents required. This includes the brothers’ subdued English-tinted Scots accents, the heroines’ British accents, and all the characters from low- to high-born English and Scot. Her pacing is wonderful, and even though I began to feel a pattern in tonality, it was soothing instead of annoying. She managed to infuse the various characters with age-appropriate levels and emotions – all in all a wonderful experience.

As one of my favorite plots in romance is the besotted hero, this book is now one of my favorites. I fell for Ian Mackenzie, the autistic brother from The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, because his romance and his heroine were so beguiling, but Mac stole my heart away for his passion. Mac is an artist and lives his life scandalously, on the edge, with no impulse ever controlled, as witnessed by his impetuous marriage to Isabella. He also indulges in liquor to the extreme, and his out-of-control behavior becomes less and less charming and more damaging to his marriage. The story takes up when Isabella returns to Mac with a mystery – who is copying Mac’s painting style and selling them as Mac Mackenzie originals? Dawe’s narrative is almost as compelling as her characters, and you sense Mac’s frustration and desperation as he tries to convince Isabella they still belong together, that she is his heart.

Very enjoyable listen – now impatiently awaiting the final installment at Audible!

Note, September 2015: Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage is Book 2 in the Highland Pleasures series. The next installment, #8, is The Stolen Mackenzie Bride, which takes place over 100 years before this story, in 1745. It will be released in audio on September 29, 2015. with Angela Dawe as narrator again.


Story: A

Narration: A

Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in – on the hot side

Violence: Minimal, especially considering Mac’s temper and the era

Genre: Historical Romance

Produced by Tantor Audio




More #throwbackthursday – the following is a short chat Lea had with Jennifer Ashley and Angela Dawe, from June 2013.

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