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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Disappointed by a Favorite Author

The Untamed Mackenzie - Jennifer Ashley

Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie series has been one of my favorites for a long time, so I preordered this novella and was excited when it showed up on my Kindle, but I found it really, really disappointing.


My first objection is the fact that it's a novella. Police Inspector Lloyd Fellows has been a constant presence throughout the whole series. He is the half-brother of Hart, Cameron, Ian, and Mac, all of whom got their own full-length novels. The fact that he only rates a novella is insulting, as if he's less than the others because of his bastardy.


Second, throughout the series Fellows has been a dedicated officer of the law, a man of honor and integrity. Now, here he is falsifying evidence, lying to his colleagues and superiors, lying to his supposed beloved. It's very out of character for the man we've come to know over the course of the previous books, and this kind of behavior cheapens him. The story offers an excuse for him to behave this way, but frankly it wasn't enough: the Fellows I thought I knew would have found another way, or been way, way more tortured about playing fast and loose with the truth the way he does here.


Louisa, the heroine, didn't really seem fully formed as a character. She was trapped in a bad situation, but there wasn't much else to her: I didn't really understand her history or motivations, and I didn't feel like I knew her well enough to accept that she'd throw away her dreams of a proper marriage within her own social strata to be with Fellows just because she's got a case of hornypants. I don't mind romances across class or social strata, but in order for me to believe it and buy into the happy ever after, I have to believe that the characters have contemplated the consequences of bucking convention and decided that their love is worth all cost. I'm not convinced Louisa did that, and so I don't trust the HEA ending.