Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seasons Pass (Enlightenment #1.5) [Murdo & David] by Joanna Chambers

A short interesting novella told from Murdo's POV. I really enjoyed getting somewhat his side of the story though it's mostly the effect David had on him even though they didn't spend THAT much time together. 
This novella takes place 2 years after their last encounter. It mostly contains two scenes - 
The first, Murdo in a meeting with his father instructing him to return to Edinburgh for the king's visit.  It's a nice little glimpse into Murdo's head and state of mind. He is now engaged to be married, as he told David he is planning to be. 
The second scene is in a gay brothel (a sort of high society one) where he sees someone HE doesn't recognize but he was mentioned (even if briefly) in the previous installment and there is a very significant let's call it "information" that David would have been surprised to find out.. In the brothel Murdo is talking to someone who is going to Edinburgh as well, I guess it's suppose to prepare us to him being mentioned in the second installment, his name is Sinclair. 

It was very short but I think it did convey information about Murdo from his POV and a sort of introduction to what we are expected to deal with in the second installment. I should mention that there is some political plot planned with the king. As usual I didn't really get what the significance is.. since I don't know the areas they were talking about or what is planned to happen in the future (meaning what happened in the past..) in Scotland. I WILL admit that I wasn't even sure if Edinburgh is a part of Scotland or Ireland when I started reading the previous installment.. I hoped not get hanged and then beheaded for saying this.. ;) but I was never that interested in the history of England.. and since I also don't really read Historical Romance I don't get the information from my reading.. 

On to the next one!  

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 17 pages, 18 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) ★★★★★ 

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