Thursday, August 14, 2014

Joanna Chambers - Enlightenment series

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.

Book 2:
David Lauriston couldn’t be less interested in King George IV’s first visit to Edinburgh. But with Faculty of Advocates members required to put on a minimal show of patriotism, David makes an appointment with his tailor for a new set of clothes—only to run into a man he hasn’t seen for two long years.
Lord Murdo Balfour.
Much has changed since their bitter parting, except their stormy attraction. And when Murdo suggests they enjoy each other’s company during his stay, David finds himself agreeing. After all, it’s only a temporary tryst.
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.

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.

Comment: I've had the first book of this trilogy to read for a while now and this month decided I had to read it. I was so glad I started it because it was an amazing read. I am familiar with the author's writing style but I wasn't prepared to love the first book as much. I would grade it an 8 in my personal scale mostly because the end is a bit of a HFN and doesn't leave things solved between the main characters. The story is rich and well developed and to my wonderful surprise, not focused on how many sex scenes there could be and was more concerned about their relationship. All these things we could see through little scenes and conversations throughout the book. There's sexual tension and chemistry which I think was really well done.

There's a main plot which is the base of each installment. In the first book David defends some radicals who want more rights to everyone and we see how devoted and honest and professional he is. 
In the second book David tries to help an old friend from an awful marriage and in the third story David and Murdo face the consequences of being together. But calm down, everything is don in such a beautiful and structured way, one can't help but accept and understand why everything happens that way.

The two characters, David and Murdo meet by chance in the first book, but each one leaves a mark on the other and when they meet again, it's impossible to hide the feelings that have started to develop between them As there's time passing between each story, we also have the idea nothing happens in a rushed way and is actually more than awaited and hoped for.
David is an idealist and doesn't compromise his beliefs and honesty for anything, even the possibility of loneliness and love. Murdo is the opposite, he's cynical and knows he's superior, but the wonderful thing about this trilogy is this is a romance, so we see the two guys change a bit who they think they should be in order to follow love. David remains the same but he finally accepts he can still be happy even if everything around him tells him he shouldn't. And Murdo embraces David and love and the idea that nothing else matters if you have that special person to be with you.

I really loved the romance, all the aspects of it, loved the pace of the story, which allowed me to dream with them and to follow their small steps towards love, it's really beautiful and amazingly romantic!!
Of course nothing happens fro free and to achieve the HEA we hope for during the books, there's some sacrifice to be done which made me cry a tear but honestly, it' nothing dangerous or definitive and it's just the way things were at the time. I was quite happy with the way the story ended in book 3.

I can't praise these books enough. This isn't a perfect 10 only because in the first book things were a still doubtful and the way it ended seemed a bit cold...but I couldn't wait to see what happened and jumped to the others one after the other. This trilogy is really one of the best things I've read this year and I hope anyone who likes the genre would give it a chance to see if this devotion I'm feeling for the characters and their story is contagious! I loved this and after finishing the three books I thought about it for a long time...this is so wonderful and beautiful and deeply romantic I can't even make an informative or polished comment, it's all about how much this is amazing and how much I loved it and you all should read if you want!

I loved this, I can't say it enough. So many wonderful scenes in the stories, wonderful moments caught in a page, it's a wonderful romance, really beautiful. 
My favorite scene? In a carriage, Murdo and David are sitting together and Murdo is nursing David's leg after an accident that left him hurt. Murdo is rubbing David's leg and David tells him his leg is ugly...after a moment, Murdo replies: "There's nothing about you that is ugly"...arghhhh oh my God, come on, go read these books!!!!
It's so great when you find something that just melts and energizes you at the same time!
Grade: 9/10

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