David and Murdo: it’s all about them in this third installment of the Enlightenment series, and hoo boy, do they deserve it after all they’ve been through. I have no qualms in saying these are two of my favorite characters. Ever.
Title: Enlightened (Enlightenment #3)
Author: Joanna Chambers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
The cruelest duel may not spill a drop of blood…but it could break their hearts.
Enlightenment, Book 3
Five months ago, David Lauriston was badly hurt helping his friend Elizabeth escape her violent husband. Since then, David has been living with his lover, Lord Murdo Balfour, while he recuperates.
Despite the pain of his injuries, David’s time with Murdo has been the happiest of his life. The only things that trouble him are Murdo’s occasional bouts of preoccupation, and the fact that one day soon, David will have to return to his legal practice in Edinburgh.
That day comes too soon when David’s friend and mentor takes to his deathbed, and David finds himself agreeing to take on a private mission in London. Murdo is at his side in the journey, but a shocking revelation by Murdo’s ruthless father leaves David questioning everything they’ve shared.
As tensions mount and the stakes grow higher, David and Murdo are forced to ask themselves how far they’re prepared to go—and how much they’re prepared to give up—to stay together. And whether there’s any chance of lasting happiness for men like them.
Will love finally win out?
David and Murdo, Murdo and David. Just looking at these two names, together, makes my heart skip a beat. What a winding, grinding, delicious, anxious, humorous, intimate, and yes, enlightening journey these two have been on. I loooooooooooooooove that I got to go on it with them.
By the time we get to this third book in the Enlightenment series, David and Murdo know each other rather well. They can read each other’s manners and emotional reactions, they know each other’s tendencies and foibles. They do still have things yet to learn about one another, both in terms of history and how they can try and live their lives together, to have a future.
As much as they each may still close the other out sometimes, they each have learned how to also allow the other in when they need each other. This story is mostly about that, about their relationship, whether they can make it work, make the choices that would allow them to spend the rest of their days together, happily. Truly, that’s what it’s all about. With, of course, some excellently concocted obstacles, emotional and otherwise, to test these two. Even as I type this, I have a knowing smile on my face.
Besides their internal conflicts, there are still external forces at play. They both propel David and Murdo towards each other and threaten to separate them once and for all. Ms. Chambers knows these two men, which means details are unique to them, to only them. There are no overused or rehashed tactics or storylines here. Refreshing, it is, completely refreshing.
She also manages to make it feel like, as the reader, I’m right there with David and Murdo as things happen, as revelations are made. In other words, there are very few instances when we learn something and then, for pages and pages, we’re left to shout at our screens with the likes of “tell him, already!” and “no, don’t do that!” I like experiencing things with them, not at their expense and detriment. Immediate. It all feels immediate.
The idea of growth, as an individual and as part of a couple (no way would David or Murdo admit that they are one… yet) is a large part of this journey. These two have been through so much and I’ve loved every word of it, no matter what it did to me.
If you feel historical novels are not really your type of read, but you’ve been thinking of trying it, I highly recommend this series. What an excellent place to start. Ms. Chambers’ writing is fluid, delightful, earthy, and supports a story arc of this length in a way that more than keeps your attention. Here is my review for book 1, Provoked and then book 2, Beguiled.
Let me put this another way: I can get passionate, feel passion for a book, we all can and do. I’m passionate about this series, including this utterly fulfilling final entrant. At least, I think it’s final… is it? maybe not? I will always be hopeful for more David and Murdo! Anyway, passion. Passion for these characters and their story and I could not recommend this book more if I tried. 🙂
I would like to thank Samhain Publishing for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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