(Enlightenment, #2)

David Lauriston couldn't be less interested in King George IV's first visit to Edinburgh. But with Faculty of Advocates members required to put on a minimal show of patriotism, David makes an appointment with his tailor for a new set of clothes-only to run into a man he hasn't seen for two long years.

Lord Murdo Balfour.

Much has changed since their bitter parting, except their stormy attraction. And when Murdo suggests they enjoy each other's company during his stay, David finds himself agreeing. After all, it's only a temporary tryst.

Amidst the pomp and ceremony of the King's visit, Murdo's seduction is more powerful than David ever imagined possible. But when other figures from David's past show up, he is drawn into a chain of events beyond his control. Where his determination to help a friend will break his body, threaten his career, and put at risk the fragile tenderness he's found in Murdo's arms.

Warning: Contains a lowborn Scottish lawyer with no love for the aristocracy, but more than enough passion for this highborn lord. Political intrigue, kilts, explicit m/m trysts, and men who epitomize "knight in shining armor."

'Provoked' opened the road and set the pace for this historical M/M couple - David is an unsure man who, while dedicated to his career, is convinced he'll probably end up alone forever. Still, he's come a long way since the first book. Years have passed, and he runs into wealthy, confident Murdo. Of course the relationship resumes again.

The relationship isn't the only focus of the book, however. There is Elizabeth and the boiling pot she's landed herself in since the last book. Sweet David tries to come to the rescue, and some of the moments with her and her father (who has become close to David) are some of the best parts of the book. It removes it being a romance or an erotica story and makes the characters feel more real, fleshed out, obtaining more of a drama piece with very real romance on the side.

While the couple's moments are sweet, they only push my erotic buttons once or twice. There's something sedate about them, I can't put my finger on it, but it works for a gratifying romance rather than a steamy one.

There's been character development, but unfortunately most of it was off page. I prefer no time gaps between series, but it fits into the author's timetable of how she wanted to set things up. Still, it makes me a little distant at the start and I have to work a little harder to get back into the "I care" mix.

Overall a good sequel worthy of the original, but not as many erotically enticing moments, the relationship grows sweeter but not urgent, and there's not quite that intensity of interest I held before.

   Book Quotes:

“There wasn’t a bit of innocence or purity in him. He was sinful and cynical. Unapologetic. He cared nothing for the world. He just ate its fruits and roamed its wilds and didn’t need anyone.”

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