Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love #3)
Author: Sally MacKenzie
Date of Publication: March 4, 2014
Kit, the Marquis of Ashton, is in a sticky wicket. He married young and for love—how naïve. He discovered his mistake the very day of his wedding, but he is saddled now with a wife he’s reluctant to trust. And however much evidence he gathers against faithless Jess, he can’t seem to prove her guilt to the final judge—his foolish heart.
Jessica knows she’s bobbled her marriage, however innocently. A fairytale wedding makes no difference if she hasn’t got the marquis charmed to show for it. Well, she’s had enough of accidental encounters with naked gentlemen and near misses explaining things to her husband. It’s time to buck up and go win her man back—even if she has to fight very dirty indeed.
Sally Mackenzie’s books just make me feel good when I read them. In this series, with the little pieces showing the Duchess of Love with her beloved Drew, it’s like coming home and being wrapped in a nice, warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. That’s how lovely I find these books.
Loving Lord Ash is no exception to that. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and finding out more about Jess and Kit and how/why they were estranged.
Jess was discovered in a very bad position with a rival/enemy of Kit’s on the day they (she and Kit) got married. This of course left him with very bitter feelings toward her and she never really had the opportunity to clear it up. To make things worse, the keep where he dumps her is run entirely by men (except her maid), and the town has speculated that it’s filled with all her lovers. The truth is decidedly different from the appearance.
I liked how Ms. Mackenzie handled the idea of gay men in this period, given the highly unaccepted viewpoint of that lifestyle that reigned supreme in this era. I also liked that even though they might be that way, the gay men that showed up were in no way “flaming queer” as we might think of them today (my apologies if that phrase is offensive – I don’t know how else to sum the gay-type I’m thinking of), but rather fully fleshed out men who have found themselves attracted to other men.
Without the gay men in her life, Jess might never have found a way (or gotten the push) to reconcile with Kit when he came out to demand (or at least let her know his intentions of getting) a divorce. These two clearly had problems that needed to be worked out and I’m glad they finally found their way back to each other.
The ultimate person responsible for the misunderstanding is handled in a great way. I always enjoy seeing someone get what they deserve.
The only thing dragging this book down for me is the fact that it took eight years before Kit and Jess actually talked to one another about the scene he walked in on. While I acknowledge the characters were very young, I was frustrated at how long it took them to talk, even when they were thrown in together once more. I know it’s a common device to use, the big misunderstanding, but really…I felt this one was an extreme.
That little issue aside, this was a fantastic book and I’m quite looking forward to whatever Ms. Mackenzie comes out with next. Four stars!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.