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Provoked (Enlightenment #1) by Joanna Chambers

December 29, 2013


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 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.

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.

My Review:

Lust didn’t make you forget all the reasons you shouldn’t do something. It just made you not care. It made you not care, even knowing you would regret your actions later.

I have mentioned before, Historical Romance was my first love. I devoured everything I could by my favorite authors in that genre and even tried a few new ones that fit fine for the moment. I have been overjoyed to find historical m/m romance stories that translate just as well and give me that oh so special feeling as I read them.

Provoked showed up when I saw Susan’s review for it. It of course pinged every check mark on my list for a must read book and I was surprised, humbled and overjoyed when “Santa” proclaimed that I “had been a decent-enough girl this year” and I was gifted not only this book but the sequel as well. If I wasn’t already on board with this I know had them both on my Nook and in my greedy hands.

I was hooked quickly with this book, how can you not be when a romance opens with an execution… but as gruesome and hard as that was to read, it was necessary. Told through the POV of our lovely and rather lonesome Ginger David Lauriston, a man who legally defends those who cannot defend themselves. A man who stands on being true to oneself and his principals and a man who continually beats himself up over his “preference” for wanting men sexually. Oh David. I got your over-thinking and analytical side but you just killed me.

Of course someone of David’s nature needs to meet his polar opposite and the night at the Inn he shares meal at the taproom with Mr. Balfour. Balfour notices David and notices the way David looks at him.

I noticed the way you’ve been looking at me. And I know that look very well. I believe I know what manner of man you are, Mr. Lauriston. I’m confident that you and I are similar, in certain ways.

Oh boy. That there leads to one hell of a hot scene regardless of the setting. It was not the most romantic setting but the words, the actions and the emotions that come from that was amazing. It wasn’t ideal but oh the way both men give in to the moment; I get flushed just thinking of it.

David was used to this, getting what he wanted from random men when he felt himself “lapse” and then he would continue on per usual. But this, this encounter with Balfour has left him shaken. It’s a really good thing that Balfour shows up again when David least expects it.

I loved reading this story. It was dark, not dark in the way you would expect but there was this cloud that seemed to hang over the book as I read it. A touch of melancholy not only in the setting and the political/social uprising that was in the back ground as well as the quest of young Euan for revenge but this was a heavy dark. David constantly chastised himself for wanting men yet preached that he must remain true to who he was yet denied himself the pleasure of it. Balfour, my holy romantic heart that man was simply amazing. Never a man for a repeat performance he can’t seem to let go of David. Their shared moments, the small demands and jealousy each played off each other had my anxiety level so high that once I finished this I dove right into book two. I had to know where these two were headed. They are so easy to fall for and so hard to let go of. I don’t stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading anymore, it’s the rare book that hooks me that deeply and Provoked certainly did that.

This book was a high point of my week. I was beautifully told; from the story of lust and want to the back story of David and his family. Oh the talk with his father was so touching. I adored that Jonathan and David were brought up as it has become one of my favorite stores from the Bible and the way the author tied it in was lovely. I just simply loved how this was told.

I would suggest if you read this you have Beguiled ready to go. This does not end on a huge cliffhanger but I can guarantee you, when you read that last page you will be digging into Beguiled just as I did.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

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