Title: Provoked, Beguiled, Enlightened
Author: Joanna Chambers
Publisher/GR Link: Samehain Press, GR series link
Genre: Historical, MM
Vice: Scottish rogues, serious lawyers, and historical yumminess
Rating: 5 Star Banned in Boston award!
Length: full length novels
Satisfaction: HEA, and each book left me satisfied but eager to read the rest. Do yourself a favor and devour them all back-to-back. Once you stop, there will be no stopping you!
Cover Impressions: I love them! Totally float my Regency-loving boat!
Best Line:“There wasn’t a bit of innocence or purity in him. He was sinful and cynical. Unapologetic. He cared nothing for the world. He just ate its fruits and roamed its wilds and didn’t need anyone.”
Synopsis: 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 harbouring 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.
In Book 1: 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.
In Book 2: Amidst the pomp and ceremony of the King's visit, Murdo's seduction is more powerful than David ever imagined possible. But when other figures from David's past show up, he is drawn into a chain of events beyond his control. Where his determination to help a friend will break his body, threaten his career, and put at risk the fragile tenderness he's found in Murdo's arms.
Impressions: These books are amazing! I could not put them down and I found myself immersed in Murdo and David's lives. The historical context was so well done, and very interesting in and of itself, but the connection between these two was amazing. I loved watching them grow and learn to recognize that they had with each other. I also loved that Chambers didn't do this completely out of the historical setting. These guys didn't have a concept that men like them COULD love each other, and watching them struggle to grasp that this was not just about fondness and sex, but genuine feelings was a beautiful thing to see. I really felt that they earned their HEA, and I believed in it each step of the way.
I'm glad I read them back to back, because I am not a patient lady, but each book was a set story that perfectly connected to the next. Definitely read them in order, and don't bother buying just one. Buy them all, download them and load them up...then get reading!
I cut my teeth in the romance genre on straight Regency novels, and sometimes there is nothing that will satisfy me like a very well done historical gay romance, and this could not fit the mold better. I found this to be so well done, it could be read as a great historical romance with an amazing gay romance that supports, and is supported by, the plot.
This was a series that just got better with each book, and it started off pretty amazingly! Definitely grab these and prepare to settle in on a cool fall evening and to get lost in a great world!