RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley


Title: The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Publication Info: Berkley 2011
ISBN: 978-0425240496
Genre: Historical: European

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley This RITA Reader Challenge review was written by Jenn. This book is nominated in the Best Historical Romance category.

The summary: Cameron Mackenzie is a man who loves only horses and women – in that order – or so his mistresses say.

Ainsley Douglas is a woman with a strong sense of justice and the desire to help others – even if that means sneaking around a rakish man's bedchamber.

Which is exactly where Cam finds her – six years after he caught her the first time. Only then, she convinced Cam she was seeking a liaison, but couldn't go through with it because of her husband. Now a widow, she's on a mission to retrieve letters that could prove embarrassing to the queen. Cam has no interest in Ainsley's subterfuge, but he vows to finish what they started those many years ago. One game, one kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. And what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam's own rules – and heal the scars of a dark and damaging past.

And here is Jenn's review:

I fell hard for the Mackenzie brothers with the introduction of Lord Ian in the first book and kept falling with Mac’s story in the second. Loving the Mackenzies isn’t easy, because, well, let’s be honest. These four brothers could give JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood a run for their money on disfunctionality. However, it’s these very issues that make the Mackenzies so intriguing.

This is the third book in the series, and it’s clear that Lord Cameron – second son, father, horse whisperer trainer, virile lover of women, yadda yadda – is just as messed up as his brothers. He is an indifferent father who prefers to lavish attention on his horses to the detriment of his personal relationships, and past experience has taught him that women are to be used and to be distrusted. This perception is not helped when he discovers Ainsley Douglas searching his bedchambers for the second time in six years.

Ainsley Douglas appears on the surface to be the complete antithesis of Cameron Mackenzie. She is devoted to the memory of her long-dead husband and a paragon of virtue who selflessly serves the widowed Queen; indeed, she can be almost boring in her goodness. This doesn’t last long, however; what I adore about Ainsley is her strength and commitment to those she loves. When she gives in to Cam, she does so whole-heartedly and she connects with the whole extended Mackenzie family. She gives everything and expects the same in return, all the while knowing that trust is the most difficult of all attributes for Cam to give.

What I loved about this book was the characters and the failings they demonstrate.  Cameron is a deeply flawed hero. He isn’t a particularly great father, he suffers from the traumatic experiences of his past and he allows them to rule his present. However, he loves his family – and Ainsley – deeply and without reservation. He can recognize that he places his horses before humans and he makes no apologies for this, yet he’s genuinely hurt when Ainsley has to return to the Queen.

Ainsley is also not as perfect as she appears, as at times she suffers from Too Good To Be True syndrome. Both she and Cameron suffer from a Big Secret in their past, but the reveals are a natural part of the narrative, and both characters are able to accept each other’s past in order to move forward.

Less remarkable was the blackmail plot that was meant to reunite the pair. The intended blackmailer seemed to be an afterthought, and the matter was resolved rather quickly for the seriousness implied. Much more could have been made of this scenario, but when you consider the strength of the characters, it can be overlooked.

This is a great addition to the Highland Pleasures series, and can be read as a stand alone (although, why would you want to??).

Grade: A-

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    riwally says:

    I loved this book along with all the other MacKenzie brothers books.  I want more, more, more by Jennifer Ashley.

  2. 2
    kayjewel says:

    I wonder if the author knows that the name Ainsley has only been used as a girls’ name during the past 20 years or so (our time, not MacKenzie time.) Prior to that time, Ainsley was exclusively a surname.

  3. 3
    Laurel says:

    I loved all of those books! And, might I add, I owe it all to SBTB, without whom I would never have delved into historical romance!

  4. 4
    The Other Susan says:

    Um.  “Loves only horses and women – in that order -…” Am I the only person who thought…all kinds of disturbing things?  I’m getting all *kinds* of mental pictures.

    I guess it’s time to send my mind out for cleaning.

  5. 5
    kkw says:

    I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m looking forward to it.  I thought the other two in the series were great.  Apparently she writes books as Allyson James – anyone know if they’re as good?

  6. 6
    Kelly (KKJ) says:

    She also has a fabulous historical mystery series called Captain Lacey Mysteries under the pseudonym Ashley Gardner. The hero is a wounded war hero with all sorts of angsty issues and some funny but seriously f’d-up friends. The mystery bits are good too.

    I read on her website or somewhere that she rotates through her personas in a really complicated writing/editing/publishing cycle, so while she’s writing a Mackenzie, one of her paranormals is in editing, and a mystery is in production/promotion, and then it starts all over again.


    Great review, Jenn!

    ”…She gives everything and expects the same in return, all the while knowing that trust is the most difficult of all attributes for Cam to give.”

    Love that! The Mackenzie heroines are some of my favorites.

  7. 7
    Karin says:

    I’m sorry to say, because I loved the first 2 Mackenzie books, especially Ian’s story, that this one was almost a DNF for me. I couldn’t get past the total implausability of the spousal abuse plot, considering the times, when women were totally under the control of their husbands, physically and legally. And the lady-in-waiting and Queen Victoria stuff bored me to death.

  8. 8
    Jay says:

    I really like this book and thought it was better than Ian’s, which had the best reviews on Amazon. I’m liking this series but I’m not into paranormal romance, so I guess I’ll be waiting for a bit while she cycles through her other personas. But, now that I know about them, I’ll try her out.

  9. 9
    Robyn says:

    I love books that are set in historical settings.  I haven’t read these books, but love series books that build off the relationships of previous books.  I’m going to have to start this series next.  Love the comment about JD Robb’s Black Dagger Books.  I’ve always thought they need a good therapist!

    I recently read a really good historical fiction book that has paranormal and psychic elements.  It is called, “The Gift” by Slannyn D’Arcy.  It is the first book in a series.  I can’t wait for the rest of them to come out!  I love the plot of good vs evil.  I couldn’t put it down! http://www.slannyndarcy.com

  10. 10
    Michelle C. says:

    I just finished this book last week.
    Um…, Cameron Mackenzie…where do I find one?

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