Series: Enlightenment, Book 1
Author: Joanna Chambers
Genre: Historical/1800’s Scotland
Length: Novel (218 pages)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (July 23rd, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5
Blurb: When a man loses his heart, he has no choice but to follow…
Enlightenment, Book 1
Lowborn David Lauriston lacks the family connections needed to rise in Edinburgh’s privileged legal world. Worse, his latest case—defending weavers accused of treason—has brought him under suspicion of harboring radical sympathies.
Troubled by his sexuality, tormented by memories of a man he once platonically loved, David lives a largely celibate life—until a rare sexual encounter with a compelling stranger turns his world on its head.
Cynical and worldly, Lord Murdo Balfour is more at home in hedonistic London than dingy, repressed Edinburgh. Unlike David, he intends to eventually marry while continuing to enjoy the company of men whenever he pleases. Yet sex with David is different. It’s personal, intimate, and instead of extinguishing his desire, it only leaves him hungry for more.
As David’s search for the man who betrayed the weavers deepens, he begins to suspect that his mysterious lover has more sinister reasons for his presence in Edinburgh. The truth could leave his heart broken…and more necks stretching on the gallows.
Warning: Contains mystery and danger set in 1822 Scotland, and a forbidden love between two men that will leave you on the edge of your seat—until the next book.
Product Link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/provoked-p-72886.html
Review: I know its a great book when I stay up reading until 2:30 in the morning on a work night! I couldn’t put it down, and I was sighing dramatically when I realized book two was not ready to devour yet! I will be begging for it, for certain. I really enjoy historical romances, I really truly love m/m romance, I get all hot and bothered over Scottish men, and I love a bit of intrigue…this book contains it all! The drama, the angst, the steamy hot and erotic sexual encounters. Chambers has really developed complex characters in both David and Balfour; they each have concrete reasons for being the way they are, how they react to their life situations, and how they see themselves in the peerage. The book opens with an intense scene of a public hanging and decapitation, and really sets the tempo for the tension I felt throughout the book. It’s edgy, it’s philosophical, and it’s exciting throughout.
I really enjoyed how the author is building up tension and magnetism between the two main MC’s, and that they are both drawn to and repelled by each other throughout the plot. I’m also surprised and intrigued by the fact that the bleeding heart idealist David is the rough and gritty lover, and the brutish lord Balfour is the more sensual, intimate lover. That was a nice twist. The drama unfolds as David and his bleeding heart agrees to help Euen, the brother of the executed men he advocated for in court. He wants David’s help tracking down the spy that got his brother killed, and that path may just lead to Balfour! You just know no good can come of it. You see the train wreck coming but can’t help but turn the pages even faster.
As the characters paths begin to align the book becomes nail-biting, and at the same time the sexual confrontation is also coming. The end of book one was at once painful, and settling. I really truly felt sorrow for David’s self-sacrifice for his ideals, and understanding in him accepting what love and family he has as his best comfort in the world. But I know I want so much more for him. I’m left irritated a bit with Balfour, and my mind is whirring with the many possibilities that may lie in store for David and Balfour in the next book! If you enjoy reading about the Ton and you love a hot, angsty romance, this book is for you! I couldn’t put it down!