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Provoked

Enlightenment
Narrated by: Hamish McKinlay
Series: Enlightenment, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Fiction, Sagas
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Summary

David Lauriston is struggling to build his reputation in Edinburgh's privileged legal world. His humble origins are enough of a hurdle, never mind his recent decision to defend a group of weavers accused of treason, prompting speculation that he may harbour radical sympathies. The last thing he should be doing is agreeing to help the brother of one of the convicted weavers find the government agent who caused his brother's downfall.

David's personal life is no more successful. Tormented by his forbidden desires for other men, and the painful memories of the childhood friend he once loved, David tries his hardest to live a celibate existence, castigating himself whenever his resolve slips.

But then into David's repressed and orderly world bursts Lord Murdo Balfour.

Cynical, hedonistic, and utterly unapologetic, Murdo could not be less like David. Whilst David refuses to entertain the prospect of entering into a loveless marriage for propriety's sake, Murdo is determined to wed one day - and has no intention of giving up the company of other men when he does so. But as appalled as David is by Murdo's unrepentant self-interest, he cannot resist the man's sway.

Murdo tempts and provokes David in equal measure, distracting him from his promise to find the agent provocateur responsible for the weavers' fate, and forcing him to acknowledge his physical desires.

But is Murdo more than a mere distraction?

Is it possible he could be the very man David is looking for?

©2013, 2017 Joanna Chambers (P)2017 Joanna Chambers

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    5 out of 5 stars

Really a gem

Really enjoyed listening to this book. With great narration by Hamish McKinlay whose voice was a great bonus.
This book is set in Edinburgh. David is trying to rebuild his reputation in the legal world. Murdo is determined to wed one day. But to a woman as back in those day Same sex was a taboo subject. But Murdo thinks he can keep his true feeling for men quite,
This is part of a series. It was wonderfully written with great care put into the characters. What's not to like. Waiting for the next audible.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I'm a harsh critic, it was nearly a five

Honestly so enjoyable. Offered to me as a gay romance, I expected simple, cheese, not much depth. But this is genuinely a STORY first and foremost, historically accurate seeming views of homosexuality, and then a little passion more than romance at this point. But it's a trilogy, thankfully!

Onto the next!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Set in Scotland, British writer, Scottish narrator

Plenty of historical back-story which sets up the two characters who have little life experience in common but understand each other nevertheless. The events in which both protagonists are enmeshed are just as important as their relationship but the balance between romance and history is fine, neither dominating while each aspect enhances the other. Well-written and brilliantly narrated with a range of accents. Makes most sense if you listen also to parts 2 and 3 for full development of characters and romance.

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Great narration from Hamish, really good story....

I've been putting off reading this series for quite some time, but thought I'd take a chance on the first audio...and am SO happy I did. Hamish McKinlay's narration was just superb, and yes, he's really Scottish, not someone pretending to be. 5 stars.

Davie is a wonderfully sympathetic character who always tries to see everything from all sides except when his own happiness is involved. He's ashamed of his feelings for men, and until he meets Lord Murdo Balfour, has only done the basics where uncomplicated things are involved. I can see further down the road that he and Miss Chalmers will become firm friends [once he's persuaded her that he's not the marrying kind of course]. As for Lord Murdo...well, I sense he's halfway to being in love with David Lauriston already, he just won't accept it, but time is a funny thing....

The secondary story regarding the weavers and Government agents was well done, and maybe we'll get to catch up with Ewan in subsequent stories?? Now onto to Beguiled...after I've finished Seven Summer Nights of course.

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Excellent but no happy ending.

This was one of the rare occasions where I listened to a book I hadn't yet read, and both the author and the narrator did an excellent job of holding my attention.
The narrator is excellent, with perfectly differentiated voices for the MCs and a great tone to his voice.
The story doesn't have a happy ending for our MCs, but there are two more books in the series before their story is finally finished so I guess I'll just have to dig them out of my TBR pile.

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A 5+ Star Listen

What made the experience of listening to Provoked the most enjoyable?

Joanna Chambers storytelling is spot on, I listened to this in one sitting and it's going to be one that I'll listen to again.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I think it has to be David, I love his voice, his insecurities and his strength, the way he always wants to do the right thing.

Which character – as performed by Hamish McKinlay – was your favourite?

Again I'm going with David although Hamish was wonderful with all of the characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The moment with David and his father, it's very touching.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait for the rest of the series, highly recommended.

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  • Keira Andrews
  • 12-11-18

Incredible narrator and compelling story

Hamish Mckinlay is so expressive—one of my very favourite narrators I’ve listened to. I adore this series. It’s the perfect mix of compelling story with a vibrant historical setting, characters to root for, and a swoony, slow-build romance. The emotional slow burn between David and Murdo is a delight. Brilliant series!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Viv
  • 19-04-18

A favorite series brought to life!

This series is one of my favorite series of all time. I have read it countless times and I was thrilled when the audiobooks were released. I was a little worried as Hamish McKinlay is a new to me narrator, but his narration was so good. His Scottish accents were beautiful and he had a wonderful voice for Murdo. I absolutely adore Murdo and David. David's journey from self loathing to acceptance makes this whole series worth reading. Moving onto Beguiled immediately!

2 people found this helpful

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  • MAB
  • 15-04-20

Not romantic. But good story.

MC 1 is a likeable character. However, MC 2 is a jerk. Their connection is about sex only. So if you're hoping for some romantic connection, there isn't one. MC 2 may eventually (future books in series) like MC 1, but I'm not into love stories that start out with the jerks using the nice guy for sex then getting possessive and then realizing they have feelings.

BUT the story otherwise is very interesting. As long as you aren't reading it for romance, it's a good read. I do recommend it. The narration is excellent.

Also, the story doesn't end at the end of Book 1. It's not a crazy cliffhanger, but it's certainly not resolved. If you stop at the end of Book 1, it won't be as good of a story. I wish the author didn't do that. Now we have to pay another credit just to complete the story. For a 6 hour book, that's a rip off.

Again, Book 1 is the beginning of great historical story and has great narration. It's just not a romance and it's not a complete story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sativa
  • 28-08-17

Moving

Historical romanance with a bite. I really enjoyed the build up between characters and can't wait for the next installment. The narration was clear and easily followed and a little sexy. This book was not light and fluffy, it touched on darker subjects and kept the listener engaged. Well worth the time and money to listen.

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  • Neta_BER
  • 20-08-17

One of the best MM books you will read

What made the experience of listening to Provoked the most enjoyable?

Hamish McKinlay was a delight! He has an amazing voice, with a great range od characters and fantastic accent that really made the story come to life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Provoked?

i can't choose one, it was all very good and unlike the books i usually read

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending, I think it really sets it apart from most MM Romance books, and most historical romance books I read – and I have read many in the last 10 years, it’s one of my favorite genres. I think choosing not to make it a HEA in the classical way was so smart, emotional and true to the story and historic period the book takes place at. I was both happy to realize it and sad because I am a sucker for HEA’s.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

it had smart funny banter and it made me laugh a few times.

Any additional comments?

This book is a MOST READ for any M/M and Historic romance lover. The characters are true to the era and their interactions are genuine as well. It’s a slightly tragic love story, not because it’s about two men in a time that relationship is taboo, but because of WHO they are. And to me this is the strongest point about the book, David made the right choice for his and not the easiest selfish one. It was so touching to me, David’s character and soul that were so apparent in the book and narration. It was an unlikely treasure in a sea of (albeit lovely) romantic fairy tale type M/M books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Troy
  • 16-05-20

Entertaining

Note: Review is for all three books in the series.
I totally enjoyed this trilogy. The couple are equal points hot, frustrating and engaging. Historical facts seemed right in. Narrator was perfect.

I was given these audiobooks in exchange for honest reviews.

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  • Retired 39
  • 15-05-20

A Promising Beginning to the Enlightenment Series

The story of David Lauiston begins in ‘Provoked' by Joanna Chambers, the first audiobook in her Enlightenment Series.

Perfectly narrated by Hamish McKinley, Lauiston’s world and the people who inhabit it are vividly brought to life.

David is a young lawyer trying to build a reputation for himself in Edinburgh’s legal circles while at the same time attempting to deny his homosexual desires.

That desire quickly overtakes him in the form of Murdo Balfour whom David meets one night in a dark Edinburgh alley.

Only later does David learn that Balfour is actually a titled Lord who, like so many men of that time, is set on marrying upward, raising a family, and continuing to satisfy his own sexual desires on the side. David vows he could never do that to a woman he cares for.

Book 2, 'Beguiled', is next up on my listening list.

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  • Lulu Miami
  • 12-05-20

history!

"You never did take the easy road. It makes me want to weep for you sometimes."

Story: 9
First MC: 9
Second MC: 8
Secondary characters: 5
Mystery: 5
Sexual tension: 4
Humor: 5
Hotness: 5
Product placement:
Ridiculousness: 2
Annoying: 1
Audio: 10 (5h 52min)
To re-read: 10

I love awesome parents, warms my heart..many books with horrible parents pisses me off

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  • Clau
  • 14-04-20

EXCELLENT!

I loved this story! I'm already half-way the next book and it's quite obvious that this one works as an introduction for the series and the characters, so be aware that you shouldn't read this book if you aren't willing to read the rest of the series.

One of the aspects I enjoyed the most is how different the two main characters are. Not only in class, but in ideology and the way they see life.

David loathes himself, feels that his homosexuality is a defect, something that will condemn him to Hell. And yet he refuses the way of the times: he will not marry. He knows he won't be able to keep his votes, and he isn't a man who will break a promise. There is something truly heroic but also tragic about him. He is, as Balfour tells him, an idealist and a romantic (and you can be sure none of those was meant as praise).

He is a kind, gentle soul and a loyal friend; he is an honest man, and he knows he will spend the rest of his life alone. He accepts it, and focus himself in his job. He is an advocate, and he cares deeply for the people he defends.

Murdo is the total opposite: he is hedonist, cynical, and self-assured. He doesn't make excuses nor is ashamed by his taste for men. But he is also willing to do as is expected of him, and get married. After all, he is not under any illusion about what marriage means to all the involved, and it has nothing to do with love.

And yet, as different as they are, you can feel the tension sizzling around them. And that strong sense that they feel the pull, and it's different to everything they felt before. And they hate it!

And yes, there is no resolution in this book, there is not HEA, and that made me love it even more. Because, at this point, these two are not even close to solving their issues: personals and with each other. No magic solution for them, which is such an excellent choice!

And the writing is simply great: the general sense of the time, the very intriguing plot and subplots, the passion... Simply great.

And let's not forget Hamish McKinley's extraordinary narration. Superb job, really.

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  • MelRose@BlueRoseAudiobookReview
  • 27-01-20

Loved it very much

4 Blue Roses
4 Blue Flames

Narrator Hamish Mckinlay delivered a lovely beautiful regency romance. His authentic Scottish brogue made the experience so much more enjoyable, causing me to submerge myself in the first three books of the series in one sitting. As I traveled back in time with David and Murdo. The longer I listened the harder I schemed and came up with a master plan.

OMG, this man made me hot all over, where has he been hiding? If you see this man take the following steps:

1. Call me
2. Look for rope, with one eye while the other eye is still on the target
3. Keep the rope, don’t approach you might scare him off
4. I will bring additional abduction parafernalia like a net, stun gun and of course some duct tape
5 Monitor him until I tap you on the shoulder, that would be your left shoulder, you are my right hand man.
6. After the shoulder tapping, I will tell you when it’s time to take action (LOL, please know this is only a joke, if some dumb fucker try to do this, it’s because of your own stupidity, you are on your own)
Back to the author, I absolutely loved the world building denoting British architecture, clothing, and furniture of the Regency period. The language and characters were contemporary to late 18th Empire style and many of its features.

I liked the audiobook mainly because it’s not unending drama and dialogues, but rather intrinsic story lines by multiple secondary characters. Hence listening to all three books in one sitting.

I do recommend this series, it’s perfect for a lazy rainy day and big glasses of Port to sip on.

Happy Listening