Friday, April 13, 2012

The Saga of the Family Mackenzie

My current release, THE DUKE’S PERFECT WIFE, is the fourth book in the Mackenzies series, which features (thus far), four brothers who are very close (so close they drive each other crazy). DUKE’s is Hart’s story (the oldest brother)

I’m thrilled that the book hit the USA Today and New York Times list its first week out. I keep saying that the arrogant Hart would think this appropriate. No one has laughed so far, but that’s OK; Hart and I enjoy the joke.

I’m often asked about my inspiration for this series:

The family Mackenzie just walked into my head. I remember sitting on the sofa staring out at my backyard, and seeing these guys in kilts tearing up Victorian London. The Mackenzies are bad, bad boys, decadent, in every scandal sheet--and they don't care.

I always pictured four: Hart, the leader; Cameron, the dangerous; Mac, the charmer; and Ian, the “mad” man.

I couldn’t get these brothers out of my head. They stayed with me, waking and sleeping. I reasoned that if I couldn't stop thinking about them, maybe readers wouldn’t' be able to either.

Coming up with the heroines was much harder. Isabella was always there--the woman who loved the Mackenzies but marriage to Mac nearly drove her insane. Eleanor was always there too--things didn't work out for her and Hart at first, but she's always loved him, and she is the only person to whom Hart has ever been able to open up.

Beth and Ainsley, on the other hand . . . It took me forever to find them! I wrote four different heroines for Ian, before he told me that Beth was the right one; and two for Cameron, before I settled on Ainsley (Cameron made me figure that one out by myself—he just snarls).

I’m also asked about what disorder Ian Mackenzie (the youngest brother from THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE). Ian has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is considered high-functioning autism.

I always knew, as soon as the Mackenzies took over my life, that Ian was "mad," or at least different from his brothers. I realized after watching him a while that he had Asperger's. I then did a lot of research on Asperger's, talking to people with it, or who had children with it, and reading many books, blogs, and articles about it.

I incorporated much that I learned about AS into Ian's characteristics. I wanted to explore how those in the Victorian world would react to Ian, when AS and autism weren't yet recognized. Ian turned into a wonderful character that many people love.

In Ian’s story, Hart, the oldest brother, clashes with Ian and his heroine, mostly because Hart worries about Ian. Hart appointed himself long ago as the person who keeps Ian safe.

In THE DUKE’S PERFECT WIFE, Hart comes to terms with his relationship with Ian—everything that he’s done for Ian, and everything Ian has done for him. The book is as much about Hart and Ian as Hart and Eleanor.

Hart had picked out Eleanor to be his perfect bride when he was young and ambitious—she had the right connections, the right social background, and so forth. He wooed and won her. Eleanor fell in love with the young and wild Hart, but he never admitted to himself his feelings for her. She broke it off with him, and he, young, arrogant, and angry, pretended to the world that he didn’t care (later marrying another young woman with the right connections and social background).

Now, years later, Hart again needs the perfect wife to stand at his side while he rules the country. He decides to draw Eleanor, still unwed, back into his life.

Eleanor, however, isn’t (and never was), a biddable, obedient young woman. Hart has his hands full with her, her absent-minded father, his own brothers and children, and danger to himself and his family.

Much is revealed in this book about Hart and why he’s done what he’s done over the years. It’s as much a family saga as a romance between Eleanor and Hart.

I’m also asked—What’s coming up next? Is this the end of the Mackenzies?

I reply: NO! There will be more.

The next book in the series is THE SEDUCTION OF ELLIOT MCBRIDE. Elliot is the brother of Ainsley from The Many Sins of Lord Cameron. Elliot has had a rough time of it--he was a wild young man who went to Afghanistan and India, and found a way to make money at being a wild adventurer. He was captured and imprisoned for a long time, and he's back in Scotland trying to recover.

Elliot discovers on his return that the girl he had a crush on as a boy is now getting married. He arrives at the church in time to see her left at the altar, and she, distraught, asks him for a big favor . . .

I call Elliot "The Untamed McBride". He is definitely a sexy, tortured hero. He battles the PTSD-like problems at the same time he tries to figure out how to be a proper Scottish laird. Juliana, his heroine, is never sure from day to day what's going to happen!

But Elliot's very hot and loves running around in his kilt (only).

Daniel Mackenzie, the son of Cameron, will have his story told in THE WICKED DEEDS OF DANIEL MACKENZIE. Motherless Daniel was raised alone by his father Cameron and three Mackenzie uncles, so he’s as decadent as they are. I fast forward ten years so he’ll be about twenty-eight in his book, and find the woman of his dreams.

There you have it! The Mackenzie saga. I hope everyone enjoys it. My website has a special section for the Mackenzies, including excerpts, character bios, and family trees. (See and click “Mackenzies” from the right-hand menu.)

Do you enjoy reading historical romances?  If so, what do you love most about them?  One commenter will win a signed hardback copy (Rhapsody edition) of The Duke's Perfect Wife!  


***Jennifer's winner is Maureen! Maureen, please email me at with your mailing info.  Thank you!***


Debby said...

I love reading historical romance because I can escape and visit a time I would never see if I did not see it through the pages of a book.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Carol L. said...

I love Historical romance. Like Debby it's transporting back to a time we could only imagine but get to live it through the Authors story and research.Ian Mackenzie is one of my favorite characters. The way you wrote Ian's story was to me "just amazing". I have never been so emotionally drawn to a character like I was Ian. I love him. :)
Very exciting to read that Elliot and Daniel get their own stories. I thank you Jennifer for writing stories that have stayed with me all this time.
Carol L.
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

host said...

I realy enI really enjoy reading historicals, I think that's because I get to effortlessly learn new interesting things about certain part of the history. Mackenzie brothers sound very interesting, especially Ian. I would give them a try :)

Michele L. said...

Historical romance is hot! Authors take the reading (writing) to the next level with the romance and sex part. Something about the allure of the victorian era, the macho men, demure & innocent(?)women, and the equisite settings gets to me everytime.

Lil said...

Historical romance has a special appeal to me. I love the feminine clothes, the strong-protective heroes, the close knit communities in the smaller villages of the times and the excitement to be had in the city. It may sound like the same reasons I would love a contemporary story, but the historical romances seem to sweep me so deeply into times far removed that I feel like I have had a complete break from reality for just a little while.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for your post, Jennifer. I read romances in any subgenre to experience the power, beauty, and wonder of love. It's most powerful, beautiful, and wondrous when the focal characters must brave dangers, endure hardships, overcome obstacles, and break the rules for the sake of love.

History provides a great many possibilities for this. Therefore I read historical romances. I think they're at their best when they exploit these possibilities to the fullest. And at their worst when they don't.

Good luck with "The Duke's Perfect Wife"!

maryannelanders at centurytel dot net

Jane said...

Congrats to Jennifer on the new release. One of the best things I love about historical romance is seeing the how the characters from different social classes interacted.

erin said...

Thanks for the fun post and giveaway! I love HR b/c it's literally an escape. Different time, different social setting/requirements. I love losing myself in reading about a more romantic, simplistic time. I have read such awesome reviews about this series and I would love to read it!

pamerd said...


Great interview about these books. I have read the first two in this series and I am looking forward to reading more. These are the types of books that are bringing me back to reading historical romances. I have recently started reading this genre again, I love that you can escape to a place you could never visit.

Thanks for the chance

Leni said...

I held off for some time before reading historical romances. But when I found out that many of the authors I liked wrote historical romances I started reading them and found out that I enjoy them.
Being transported to a different era and learning about some events that happened are some of my favorite reasons for loving this genre. Also, seeing how some of their problems are similar to what is going on today.

*yadkny* said...

Oh I absolutely love historical romances and in fact The Duke's Perfect Wife is on my wishlist! I had no idea that it was part of a saga, so I will definitely have to add the others:) Congrats on the latest release and I love that you incorporate interesting traits into the characters. I think it's much more memorable that way especially for a historical romance.

Barbara E. said...

I love historical romance because I've always enjoyed history and learning more about how people lived in all the different eras is fascinating to me.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Dina said...

I do enjoy reading historical romances b/c of the era. sometimes wish I'd live then

Chrisbails said...

Love historical romances. My favorite genre, tied with paranormal. I love the fashion, the history, the time-period, and how times are so different. I sometimes think about what it would be like in that era. Thanks for the great giveaway.

marybelle said...

I always the the rules & etiquette for courting. I also love the characters who bend & break these rules.

Laurie G said...

I like historical romances. They take me to a different mindset where even though woman were treated differently today's authors are able to make the heroines a bit more feisty and independent. They stand up for themselves, speak their minds and think for themselves. They go after what they want!

I like to experience the aristocracy(the Ton)of Regency England, the Norman invasion of England, The English invasion of Scotland, Medieval Europe...

CrystalGB said...

Your book sounds great. I love the cover. I love historical romances. You get to see how it was in a different era while you follow the couple's journey to finding their HEA.

BookObsessedChicks said...

Hi all... When I first began to read several years ago I was strictly into paranormal... Not so anymore. I LOVE historical romance and I think it's because I have a fascination with history. Combining Romance and History is a heady combination. I love the manners, the way things are said, the coquetry of the females... i could go on forever, LOL
Kim Rocha

Eli Yanti said...

HR is my very fave genre book so i love and love reading HR probable the first reason i love HR because HEA ending :)

Jen B. said...

I do read historicals. I think what I like the most is the glimpse of a time past. There were so many rules and everyone had a place in the structure. It is so interesting to me. jepebATverizonDOTnet

Maureen said...

How exciting that Hart's book is out although it is hard to imagine him as being part of a couple since he seems so all alone. I do enjoy historicals and I think it's going to a different place and time where things seemed simpler although that is obviously not the case.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Penfield said...

Congratulations on making the bestseller's list. I like historical romances because of the glimpses into prior eras and there is always a happily ever after.

alainala said...

i do love historicals.. my first romance ever was a historical (julie Garwood... lyons lady).. i also love learning historical facts.. i love the research that goes into historicals, and learning new things with every book

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

lag123 said...

I guess I am a history nut and that is why I like them.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Naomi H said...

I love historical romance, just imagining being in that time, being in a time where there was tones of royalty! Ok to visit it in your mind, but I don't think I could deal without running water and a toilet that flushes!!