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Friday, February 20, 2015

Beguiled (Enlightenment #2) by Joanna Chambers

Utterly beautiful. I don't even know where to start, all I want to do is start the next one and get to their happily ever after. Unlike the previous one which ended quite sadly, the ending of this one was so sweet and promising, it was the final ribbon rapping to the way the relationship between Murdo and David progressed throughout the book. 

The first installment ended with Murdo and David parting ways supposedly never to see each other again, yet the small novella "Season's Pass" written from Murdo's POV told us he will be coming to Edinburgh for the King's visit. It's not that he cares so much about the king or his father's request to attend the ceremonies as a representative of the family, it was the fact that there was a small possibility of seeing David again. 

They meet on a chance meeting at a tailor's store - both being measured up for the up coming festivities. They quickly resume where they started. Much and nothing changed in David's life. He still works for Chalmers, becoming more known and successful (and still highly appreciated), he didn't marry Elizabeth Chalmers as maybe Murdo would have thought, she married someone else.. and yet he is more accepting of himself and less harsh on his sexual cravings. Yet no casual encounter measured up to what he had with Murdo. What they had was theirs alone and now they can re-act on their emotions.   

Like the first book in the series, this one is written solely from David's POV, yet even without getting Murdo's POV as well, it's obvious that what they feel toward each other, what they see in one another is absolutely mutual. The attraction between them is much more than mere physical lust, the also crave each other's company as friends even with the distance between them in status and ideals. I loves watching them get closer to one another. It was done so well, in such a realistic way. They are both men of their time, I didn't expect them to open up so quickly, yet they are both very sincere which means at times they do speak up about the way they see/feel for each other even if the words seems "casual" they mean so much more. It was simply heart breaking witnessing how much David was afraid of their imminent breakup and the fact they couldn't hope for more than a few visits a year and here it was also obvious without needing Murdo's POV that he feels the same way yet he is reluctant to address the matter, he rather have as much time with David NOW. 

Naturally there is more to the plot that a mere continuation of a love story. There is also a surprise visit from Euan MacLennan - the same man who wanted to kill Murdo's cousin for getting his brother deported for treason. Yes, the same man who pointed a gun at David before running into the darkness never to be heard of again. When they re-meet David can do nothing but invite him into his house as he was hosting a meeting with his friends and shutting the door in his face would have seen rude. Coming inside, he meets Elizabeth, now Lady Kinnell and sees at the same time as David does the bruises on her skin and the frightened way she looks, unlike how she used to be before she was married.  From here on, Euan and David tries their best to help Elizabeth yet getting close to her isn't easy, and both David and Euan needs to be careful since there are people looking for radicals now that the king is in Edinburgh and since Euan IS a radical and is listed as one they might be watched.. putting not only Euan in danger but anyone he associates with. 

It was interesting getting the radical voice of Euan of speaks of equality between men and women at the timing of the book, I think it was wonderfully done. There is some references to the law and the fact that it doesn't always has the answers, the "right" ones. But David - unlike the radical Euan who wants to change the world - does believe in the same things Euan does, he just thinks he can be of help using the law in the most twisted way he can so it would be possible to help when there is a possibility of doing so. He says that Murdo thinks he is an Idealist, but truthfully Euan is the Idealist, he is a pragmatist and I agree. 

We re-meet Sinclair, who is on the king's security (we met him on Season's Pass). It was sweet seeing Murdo getting defensive when he thinks Sinclair might be interested in David. I think this moment in time, shows how much they went through together, the fact that they see in each other more now. They are on the brick of being in a relationship. Murdo is so much more than he lets anyone see, well, I guess David is different somehow as he starts seeing Murdo's expressions for what they are - truthful or a disguise. When they met in Chalmers house in the first installment, Chalmers calls him a "romantic" for wanting to buy a house due to the amazing view it has. Murdo says he isn't a romantic yet everything about him and how he acts toward David shows differently. I love him to pieces. He is SUCH a sweetheart! 

I really enjoyed this installment, it was so worth the heart ache of the previous one, it was exactly the way it was suppose to happen, not building the relationship too quickly or unrealistically and giving them both time to digest what was happening between them and what they are willing to do to be together. 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 197 pages, 19-20 February 2015 / On GoodReads

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