Recommended Read - My review originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/recommended-reviews/april-2012-recommended-reads/the-dukes-perfect-wife-by-jennifer-ashley
Powerful and persuasive, Hart Mackenzie is used to getting his way. The only person not related to him that Hart cannot seem to control is Eleanor Ramsay. She jilted him over a decade ago and Hart, now a widower, is determined to have her as his bride. He has a plan, but when Eleanor shows up at his doorstep demanding a job Hart has to think fast. Eleanor’s given him the perfect reason to keep her in his home: someone is sending her scandalous photographs of Hart that were taken long ago. But close quarters won’t automatically send Eleanor tumbling back into his arms. If this duke wants to win over the perfect wife for him, he’ll have to risk everything by opening himself up, heart, mind, and soul.
The imperious, managing Hart Mackenzie meets his match in the fabulous The Duke’s Perfect Wife. I’ve waited since the first Highland Pleasures book (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) for Hart to get the happily ever after he so desperately needs. Beneath Hart’s stone-cold façade is a man who’s hurting so deeply it breaks my heart. Even though he’s on the brink of having everything he’s wanted in his career, he’s losing himself in the process. He’s never fully opened himself up to anyone except Eleanor and it’s easy to see why she’s the balm to his soul that he needs. Eleanor, with her warm, affectionate nature, quick mind, and iron will is Hart’s other half. The two of them fit so well together that I was devouring The Duke’s Perfect Wife, desperate to see them find happiness. One might wonder how a pair that is ideally suited – and clearly in love – might stay apart. Though I won’t reveal what the obstacles in their path are, I can safely say that the roadblocks Jennifer Ashley sets up are completely logical given who Hart and Eleanor are and how they fell in love and broke up the first time (scenes Ms. Ashley weaves into the tale beautifully).
Hart and Eleanor are so wonderful and between the romance, the sexual tension, and character development it would be easy to go on about The Duke’s Perfect Wife for ages and never mention the secondary characters. That would be almost criminal. Hart’s family is a large part of The Duke’s Perfect Wife and though you don’t have to have read the other Mackenzie brothers’ books (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage, and The Many Sins of Lord Cameron) to enjoy Hart’s story, fans of the Highland Pleasures series will definitely enjoy catching up with the Mackenzies. Every member of the family is unique and loveable and seeing them in Hart’s book was like visiting with old friends. My favorite hero of Ms. Ashely’s (and one of my favorite characters of all time), Ian Mackenzie, plays a particularly large supporting role in The Duke’s Perfect Wife and there are some truly touching moments that involve him. The Mackenzie family dynamics are part of what adds heart to the Highland Pleasures series as a whole.
The Duke’s Perfect Wife is a sensual, gorgeous story that was captivating from the first page to the very last. I absolutely love Hart and Eleanor’s book and I cannot wait for Ms. Ashley’s next Highland Pleasures tale!