The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Rating 4

Reviewed by Rose

This book is the first in Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzie series that features a hero from the next generation.  We first met Daniel as a boy of fifteen in The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, his father’s story.  It’s now 1890, and Daniel is twenty-five years old, and a man of the world.

Daniel has been gambling, and winning, and the losing gambler wants to pay Daniel by taking him to a private reading with Violet Bastien, a successful medium.  Violet is very good, but Daniel recognizes that she’s a fraud.  Instead of exposing her, Daniel is interested in learning how she engineered all the tricks she did.  After everyone else has gone, Daniel confronts Violet, and gets a little too close for her comfort.  She panics, hits him with a vase, and believes she has killed him.  She packs up herself and her mother and flees the country.  Daniel was only unconscious, and sets out to track down the woman who so intrigued him.

Violet has had plenty of experience in running. She and her mother have been acting as mediums under different names and in different towns since Violet was 16.  She was brutally attacked at that young age, and in over a decade since then, has avoided any encounters with men.  She’s afraid of them, and doesn’t trust them.

Daniel is a hero in every sense of the word.  After he finds Violet, he realizes how skittish she is of men, and that she struck him only because she was mindless with fear.  Very slowly, he begins to woo her.  He takes her on adventures, he asks for her help in designing a car he’s building, he gets her accustomed to his touches.  Daniel is mature for his years.  He knows women, and he is almost too perfect to be true.  His patience as he waits for Violet to accept him is wonderful to see.  Every time they start to make progress, Violet eventually shrinks back.  He never gets angry, and manages to keep his frustration hidden.

I loved Daniel, and this book was a joy to read.  Daniel’s patience and care paid off, and Violet was able to put her fears in the past.  It’s not necessary to have read the other books in the series to appreciate this one, but it is well worth it.  This is one of my favorite series, with heroes to die for.

Review published on The Season Blog

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