Saturday, February 21, 2015

Enlightened (Enlightenment #3) [Murdo & David] by Joanna Chambers

Amazing conclusion to a beautiful love story. I couldn't be happier with this book or the entire series with how it progressed and the way it ended. Murdo and David are finally at peace with themselves, each other and as much as possible - the world around them. 

We finished the previous installment with Murdo and David heading to Laverock, the estate Murdo recently bought in Perthshire where David can recuperate from his broken leg. We start this installment 5 months later as David is getting better and their imminent breakup in on the line. At least as David sees it. When he is back to himself, he would be going back to Edinburgh, taking back the cases he left in the hand of Catherine Chalmers's husband - Donald Ferguson, now also a good friend. Murdo is reluctant to talk about what happens when David will getting back to himself, he keeps postponing the talk about the matter to a time when David is actually better.. 

In the meanwhile, there is much David can do in Laverock. He starts with mending the relations with Murdo's neighbors whom have been fighting with the previous owner on the land surrounding them. After that he joins Murdo in working on all the various businesses he owns. In short life is (almost) perfect. They spend their days together working, they spend their nights together as well with the clever way Murdo built the two main bedrooms open into a sitting room enabling them to share their bed without it being too obvious. 

As David is getting better and Murdo planning a trip to London he has been postponing for a while now, David realizes it's their time to say goodbye yet the the circumstances keeps them together for longer as David receives a letter from Donald saying Patrick Chalmers is dying and requesting his presence in Edinburgh. They travel together there and then continue on to London with Patrick's dying wish to help his daughter Elizabeth once again since it appears the abusive Sir Alasdair Kinnel is getting closer to finding her. 

London is where their relationship is truly tested when on meeting Murdo's father, David finds out the real reason Murdo came to London - to break his engagement (the one he made before they re-meet in the second installment), an engagement Murdo never even mentioned.. top this off with Elizabeth dire danger from her husband and there is a LOT of drama which Murdo solves all by himself in one swift motion that changes everything but not without some loses. It was brilliant and heart breaking at the same time, yet I can't complain of the end result.. :)

Murdo kept surprising me with how loving and caring he is. How much who we met in the first installment is a mask that I think most of the time HE didn't realize he was wearing. Only with David by his side is he truly happy and content. He realizes being with David has it's price and when push comes to shove he pays it all without looking back. Even though we got his POV only in the very short novella between the first and second installment, his intentions are always obvious from his action. While David struggles with his emotions and beliefs, Murdo is the one who is dropping his own past resolves one by one to be with David, he is the one that takes any chance to be with and hold unto David. Yeah, he is definitely my favorite of the two and in general one of my favorite male characters. 

In the novella between the first and second installment Murdo sees Ser William Lennox, who used to be David's "sweet heart" when they were teenagers. In that novella it doesn't seem Murdo realizes who he is.. yet he knows who he is now, and when they both meet him by Sir Alasdair Kinnel side, David finally has the option of confronting his friend from long ago but Murdo is caught totally of guard by David's reaction to their own confrontation on the matter.  

This book has been a true joy and impossible to put down. I kept reading and hoping for the best for them both, not knowing exactly how it could be possible with all the little things keeping them apart, even if some of them were in their heads and the fact they both still haven't confessed their true feeling for one another in the beginning of the book (meaning after living together for 5 months) as both felt it was all temporary and didn't know how to hold unto one another and if it is even possible. Yes, it was possible! and what a beautiful ride it was until the happily ever after. 

This series is HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended. I can't praise it enough. 
I'm going to miss Murdo and David yet couldn't have been happier when I finished the epilogue and closed my kindle.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 191 pages, 20 February 2015 / On GoodReads
Enlightenment by Joanna Chambers is a MM Historical Romance. It's my first attempt at Historical Romance and I have fallen in love with the genre through Murdo and David's story. The story of these two spans over 3 books (and 2 novels) than continues to new couples. I hope it never ends!

We begin the romance between the junior advocate David Lauriston who came from a small insignificant village and Lord Murdo Balfour who always had his desires in his reach in an insignificant sexual encounter not thinking much of it, and not expecting to either see each other again or the sparks that would still fly when they do. 

David and Murdo seems VERY different in their views of the world around them and not only because they came from a different background. It mostly has to do with the ideals each lives by. While Murdo confesses he expects to get married and fake a family life (while having men on the side) David doesn't plan on getting married or having a family since he couldn't possibly consider betraying his marriage vows. He also tries his best NOT to have sexual encounters with men but sometimes his desires gets the best of him, which is exactly what happened with Murdo. 

The series contains 3 rather short novels (round 200 paged) and one very short novella in between. It's not meant to be read separately - you only get the HEA in the very end. In the first installment it's mostly about convenient sexual encounters yet it slowly progresses into friendship in the second installment and on the third special circumstance temporarily allows them to actually become true lovers. Yet it feels that it could only be temporary. How can them manage a relationship in a world that doesn't accept gay people. Some things have a higher price than others, and some prices are totally worth the outcome.

It was beautifully written, the romance was touching and realistic. I loved both David and Murdo, yet Murdo is my favorite of the two. As I'm not a romantic person per se, I really appreciated Murdo ACTED on his feeling with true loving intentions, he didn't seem overly romantic when you think about it, which is exactly what I enjoyed so much. He was true to his heart and wasn't ashamed of wanting and claiming, no matter the price, what he truly craved - David. 

Joanna has gifted us the perfect epilogue of the two in The Bequest. You can read it for free through sighing up to her newsletter.

Unnatural is a spin off novel of Iain Sinclair whom we've met in the previous installment finally finding his HEA with James Hart his childhood friend. It can be read as a stand alone but I don't advice is if you plan on reading Murdo and David's story later on (there's quite a spoiler in the one scene Iain meets Murdo and David).
Restored continues the series with a new couple - The Duke of Avesbury - Henry Asquith and Kit Redford. We've me Kit before as he is the owner of the "Redford" (a club for men of a certain persuasion). Kit used to be Henry's "kept boy" but when Henry's life takes a turn he leaves everything and everyone who isn't his immediate family to a remote estate only to return 18 years later and realize what he had promised Kit all those years ago was broken leaving Kit, a man he has come to love even if was forced to leave behind, to fend for himself. It took Kit time and much pain to find his footing again and make something of himself. Now so many years later when Kit finds out what truly happened from Henry's perspective he is understanding but it doesn't change the past and what happened to him due to Henry's carelessness in trusting the wrong man. They both have changed so much, yet they are still the same  - they might want something different from what they had before but they never stopped loving each other. This TRULY can be read as a standalone and I don't have enough words to compliment how absolutely amazing it was. A MUST READ.
1. Provoked (Published 23 July 2013) ★★★★½
1.5. Season's Pass (Free Download here) (Published 24 October 2014) ★★★★★ 
2. Beguiled (Published 24 December 2013)  ★★★★★
3. Enlightened (Published 6 May 2014)  ★★★★★
3.5  The Bequest - Murdo and David's Epilogue (Published 14 June 2020)  ★★★★★ 
4. Unnatural [Iain Sinclair & James Hart] (Published 24 November 2015) ★★★★★ 
5. Restored [Henry Asquith & Kit Redford] (Published 28 October 2020) ★★★★★ 

No comments:

Post a Comment