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Enlightenment Books In Order

Publication Order of Enlightenment Books

Provoked (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Beguiled (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Enlightened (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Seasons Pass (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unnatural (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Enlightenment is a series of historical romance novels written by Joanna Chambers. The novels follow a young attorney as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality in Regency England.

+The Story

The Enlightenment series takes place in Regency England, specifically during the reign of King George IV. The books are told from the perspective of David Lauriston whose story readers follow as he contends with his feelings for a nobleman called Murdo.

Readers are introduced to David in ‘Provoked’, the first novel in the Enlightenment series. At the time, life has given the protagonist quite the good kicking. Once upon a time, David was just a poor peasant boy with almost no prospects of significance for the future.

But then he lifted himself out of the gutter. He went to Edinburgh; he studied law and became a lawyer. However, at the age of twenty-five, the young man hasn’t really made that much of his life.

His reputation is largely nonexistent, and his lack of notable family connections means that he has struggled to find meaningful work in the country. David’s luck takes a turn for the worst when he loses one of his first cases.

The case was hopeless, to begin with. But David is still downcast over his failure, especially when he begins to ponder the fate of his clients.

David’s life changes when he meets a mysterious individual at an inn. This individual breaks every barrier David has worked so hard to build around his heart, seducing him in a dark alley and forcing him to face his repressed emotions. The individual then disappears into the night.

David is initially content to move on with his life, this despite the fact that he cannot forget the experience. But then, to his shock, the young failed attorney runs into his mysterious seducer at a dinner.
The seducer in question turns out to be a nobleman by the names of Lord Murdo Balfour. Murdo comes from a wealthy Scottish family, and he couldn’t be more different from his victim.

David has worked hard all his life to repress his desires for other men. He grew up at a time when such thoughts were frowned upon and considered unnatural. In fact, David had decided long ago that he would remain celibate for the rest of his life if only to adhere to society’s strict standards and, thus, protect his reputation and career.

Murdo is as hedonistic as he is cynical. He knows exactly what he wants and nothing ever stops him from getting it, not his friends, not his family and certainly not the moral standards of society.

And after a life spend immersed in all the pleasures that life has to offer, Murdo takes great joy in overcoming David’s repressed nature and forcing him to accept what he is.

David is initially thrown off by Murdo’s unapologetic attitude. And the nobleman’s selfish tendencies and brash behavior further alienate David, or so he initially thinks. It takes David a while to realize that his seemingly hostile reactions to Murdo are actually a defense against the desires igniting within him.

The first three books in the Enlightenment series tell David and Murdo’s story. Theirs is a slow romance. Joanna Chambers initially has them circle one another as they attempt to wear each other out.

She allows the electricity between them to build and only offers some release after it has been earned. However, the climax of David and Murdo’s relationship does not immediately give them their happily ever after.

They have each been wounded emotionally over the years and they must first come to terms with their respective weaknesses and failures before they can accept one another. Of the two, David fights the hardest against the burgeoning relationship.

His actions do the most damage to their bond. And as callous as he initially seems, Murdo isn’t quite as emotionally invincible as he appears. He will poke, prod and tease David but he will not force their relationship.

David has to figure out what he wants their relationship to become and how much he is willing to sacrifice to get it.

The Enlightenment series is slow-paced. Joanna Chambers takes a measured approach to her exploration of her heroes. She not only provides a glimpse into David and Murdo’ personal issues but she looks at the manner in which the social and political problems of the Regency Era affect their lives.

This is especially true for Murdo whose noble background brings with its many expectations and responsibilities.

Chambers attempts to tackle the political and moral arguments surrounding the homosexual debates. The author doesn’t really mince her words on the matter, and neither is she subtle.

In fact, some readers have accused her of becoming a little preachy, not only on the subject of homosexuality but also on the issue of feminism.

+The Author

Joanna Chambers has wanted to write ever since she was a child. Life kept getting in her way, though. She went to school, got married and had children. But she never stopped dreaming about her writing dreams.

And after spending several years looking at blank sheets of paper and wishing she could fill them with stories, a day came when Chambers got the courage to write that first word, which became a sentence, and then a paragraph and then a full-length novel.

Chambers is now doing what she loves.

+Provoked

David is a struggling lawyer in Regency England. For years, he has struggled with sexual thoughts and emotions that others have described as unnatural. But he learned to repress them and to live a controlled, austere life.

David thought things would continue as they always had. Then he met Murdo, a cynical, selfish, hedonistic nobleman who forced him to bring his desires to the surface and face them head-on.

For the sake of his career and his reputation, David would rather avoid Murdo. But he must look to the nobleman for help when the brother of a man David represented comes to him with a desperate request.

+Beguiled

David and Murdo parted ways two years ago. They encounter one another when King George IV announces his intention to visit Edinburgh, at which point Murdo’s father sends him North to represent the family.

As sour as their parting was, David and Murdo have both mellowed, and they show a willingness to spend some time in one another’s company.

Their personal lives take a backseat when figures from David’s past suddenly converge on the city.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Enlightenment