Reviewed by Becca
SERIES: Enlightenment #1
AUTHOR: Joanna Chambers
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 202 Pages
RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2017
Tormented by his forbidden desires for other men and the painful memories of the childhood friend he once loved, lawyer David Lauriston tries to maintain a celibate existence while he forges his reputation in Edinburgh’s privileged legal world.
But then, into his repressed and orderly life, bursts Lord Murdo Balfour.
Cynical, hedonistic and utterly unapologetic, Murdo could not be less like David. And as appalled as David is by Murdo’s unrepentant self-interest, he cannot resist the man’s sway. Murdo tempts and provokes David in equal measure, forcing him to acknowledge his physical desires.
But Murdo is not the only man distracting David from his work. Euan MacLennan, the brother of a convicted radical David once represented, approaches David to beg him for help. Euan is searching for the government agent who sent his brother to Australia on a convict ship, and other radicals to the gallows. Despite knowing it may damage his career, David cannot turn Euan away.
As their search progresses, it begins to look as though the trail may lead to none other than Lord Murdo Balfour, and David has to wonder whether it’s possible Murdo could be more than he seems. Is he really just a bored aristocrat, amusing himself at David’s expense, or could he be the agent provocateur responsible for the fate of Peter MacLennan and the other radicals?
Whew…what a way to start this series. I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the other two. Hints of espionage and radical movements in a time where things like that got you killed. Plus characters with chemistry. Who can resist?
Dear sweet David is on the verge of being a lawyer. He works in law offices as what would now be considered an assistant. He works hard, is super smart, and has a secret he keeps hidden. He likes men. He has decided to lead a celibate life because he fears the way he feels about men will send him to hell. It is the way of the times and how he was raised. And he’s doing alright with it until he meets Lord Murdo, or as he calls him, Balfour. After a brief exchange of words, David finds he cannot resist Balfour and they end up in a dark corner eliciting each other’s services. And it has left David guilt ridden but so full of desire. But David must get on with his work despite the distraction Balfour is to him. When a young radical’s brother, Euan, asks for his help, he cannot turn him away. And it leads to a trail of agents, betrayals and more desire.
David is such a character. There is so much to him. He’s innocent seeming, naive, and so young in a world that is harsh, fast and most often cruel. But he is so lovable. And noble. And stands for his principles. He craves a relationship but knows he will never find it in the arms of a woman, even though that’s what everyone wishes for him. He’s even considered it but cannot. He knows he will never love a wife the way she needs to be and vows mean something to him. He would never be able to step out on a wife if he married, as most in society do. But his heart yearns for a family he knows he can never have. And I love him. He is such an upstanding young man. Even when ridiculed for his beliefs he still stands firm. When he helps Euan, knowing it may lead to nothing, he still wants to help the young man get closure. And when the closure turns to revenge, David puts himself in the line of fire. He’s so brave. He is the kind of person you want for yourself. I love everything about him. And his vitality and that spark that is him, draws people to him. So when Balfour incites those passions in him, Balfour can’t help but to keep coming back for more. And he hates it. But David is a flame that cannot be put out. No matter how harsh life gets for him, or how heartbreaking, he keeps shining.
This book is exceptional. I love the historic feel of it. You are drawn in by the writing and feel as though you are right there in the midst of them watching it all unfurl. I’m excited to move on to the next book and see what else is in store for David and hope that life doesn’t take away what a beautiful character he is.