Beguiled (Enlightenment, #2) by Joanna Chambers
M/M Historical Romance
E book, 234 pages
Releases: December 24, 2014
Reviewed By Tori
Favorite Quote: “It had felt like forever, and it had felt like no time at all.”
In book one, Provoked, we met Junior Advocate David Laurenston whose actions in the Scottish Insurrection landed him onto some very powerful people’s lists. He begins an affair with a hedonistic and influential Scottish Lord, Lord Mundo Balfour. When their affair comes to mean more to them than was intended, harsh words are spoken and they part.
Beguiled picks up two years later. David is now a full fledged advocate and is required to make an appearance during a ball being given for King George IV’s visit to Scotland. A trip to his tailor results in seeing his ex lover, Lord Balfour again. They reconnect and soon David is swept up once again in Balfour’s glittering world of opulence and passion. When the past seeks him out, David finds himself drawn into a chain of events that are out of his control. Helping to correct a wrong will place David in danger and threaten not only the love that is developing between Belfour and himself but his career, and possible his life.
This historical series is told by David Laureston. There is a resolution of the main conflict but the romance remains questionable. David is a complicated man whose sexual preferences have cause him pain and confusion in the past. His ethics continuously war with his passions. He knows he should not be attracted to men but is unable to resist. Especially when he sees Lord Mundo again. Mundo breaks through David’s walls and has him feeling things that speak of romance, love, and a lifetime of pleasure. He makes him think of the future.
Lord Mundo is/was a hedonist who did not see his enjoyment of male companionship as a hindrance in his eventual marriage and procreation of a heir. It was merely an itch to be scratched. David is the only man who has ever made Mundo question his actions and feel something beyond physical attraction. He regretted his harsh words two years ago and in seeing David again, he does everything he can to bring him back to his bed.
Their romance is more passionate and emotionally based in this book. The chemistry remains intense but their dialogue and actions speak of their deepening feelings towards one another. When David walked away two years ago, he was not prepared for the bleakness that enveloped him. It almost crippled him. David fears it will be worse this time around as he knows there is no future for he and Mundo. As the story progresses we learn that David was not the only one feeling the separation and desolate feelings. Mundo also regretted their separation. Sensual love scenes and a well crafted ending gives readers a glimpse of hope that these two men may have a chance at happiness despite their political and social differences.
The main conflict is a tense filled plotline that addresses social injustices towards woman and the working class for this era. Chambers brings back two characters with whom David has strong ties with. A suspected traitor whose brother he defended and failed and a young woman whose unrequited crush on David caused her to make a terrible choice. David’s innate loyalty and sense of justice leads him to create a clandestine plan to save both people from those who seek to do them harm.
The ending is an action packed affair that wraps up the main conflict in an acceptable resolution but leaves David in dire straits. Mundo comes to his rescue and we are left at a pivotal point that will affect both men. I look forward to book three and seeing how Ms. Chambers will bridge the differences between our heroes and what will become of the two people for whom David made the ultimate sacrifice.
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