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Provoked

Enlightenment
Narrated by: Hamish McKinlay
Series: Enlightenment, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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This Story Is Seductive

Publisher's 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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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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great allure of Scottish history & good narration!

This is my first book by Joanna Chambers and I was intrigued by the storyline especially because it has the same feel as K.J. Charles awesome series of "Sins of Gentleman". I was hoping for something similar along the lines, especially given the way the author has covered the unrest in post-Napoleonic wartime in Scotland. But, the character development left me a little lost. The story has a pace and the main protagonists have chemistry too, but not tempting enough for me to pick this book again and again. Granted, it is not a HEA yet because it is a continuation. I am bringing Ms. Charles style again because her continuation stories make you want to jump to the next book right away. I was too tempted to read them to put them down. Not so with this one.

The main leads are an upcoming lawyer David Lorestan and the son of a Marquess Lord Murdoc Balfour who does not have a lot in common when it comes to their lives. They mingle in very different circles but had a chance meeting on the execution day of two rebel radicals. They (of course) did not know each other's true identities when their first meeting ended with quite delicious results. While David defended the radicals, Murdoc has a father who supports the suppression of the weaver/labor class and believes in the class division. Murdoc does not share these sentiments, but this part is revealed at the climax moments of the book. On the other hand, David sounded like a guy who was struggling with his sexual orientation and mourning (sort of) a lost love. He's staunchly principled and believes that he will never ever marry a woman if he cannot love her the way she deserves to be loved. Their his opinion clash with Murdoc who is not at all sorry to enjoy his encounters with men because it's his choice. David is not able to understand his attraction to Murdoc and the values that he clings to justify the way he lives. Some jealous antagonism comes from Murdoc when he sees David with another guy in an assembly and they end-up spending another sizzling night with each other. But, Murdoc is stubborn in his thoughts and David sounds too self-righteous to admit that he wants something more. They know that there is no future for them and book climaxes in this manner. So no HEA and to be continued -.-

Narrator - Hamish McKinlay surprised me and I love a good Scottish burr voice style :D. His performance was really good and he brought out some well-orated voice distinction for all characters including female ones with his Scottish accent. I enjoyed the book more because of his voice acting and may consider listening to the rest of the series. All in all a 3.5 rating.

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Amazing Story!

Wow, what a story!

Completely different in tone from the Mr. Winterbourne books, but (honestly) Provoked is even better.

From the opening scene, to the last moments with Davy and his family I was completely spellbound. The characters, the story, the pacing... it was fantastic.

Any fan of historicals needs to put this at the top of their list.

Also, a huge nod to the narrator, Hamish McKinlay, who did an amazing array of voices. He even did an American woman, and pulled it of splendidly.

Can't wait to listen to Beguiled and it's already downloaded to my MP3 player.

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A Romantic or Idealist

Where does Provoked rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The story is wonderful. The narrator really helped with the enjoyment of listening. I enjoyed that each character had a different tone/voice so it was really easy to keep up with who was who.

Which scene was your favorite?

Without giving to much away... I really like the whole conversation between David and Balfour during their walk after their second time meeting.

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

There are a few moments, but the last scene leading up to the last kiss. The emotions and passion from both gentleman every time they are together is really beautiful.

Any additional comments?

David and Balfour can really learn so much from each other and I cant wait to see how their relationship turns out. I really hope Hamish McKenleay continues to read the other books in the series.I was a little shocked that this is a HFN but excited I don't have to wait long to continue since the rest of the series is out.

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Very good! I must finish the series!

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

The story was engrossing from the very beginning. I never felt bored or wanted to stop listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Provoked?

The end floored me. I don't typically read (or listen to) much in the way of historical romance, so I didn't realize this was the first book in a series. While the end wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, I felt disappointed. This feeling changed once I realized there is more to this story.

What about Hamish McKinlay’s performance did you like?

Everything! This was my first audiobook with this narrator, and I found him very easy to listen to, especially when he was speaking as David.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this during my commute, but there were times when I arrived at work or home and found myself sitting in the car longer so that I could hear a little more of the story.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book. I'm someone who doesn't often enjoy historical romance, but I was interested enough that I will make sure to get the other books in the series. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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Excellent!

I cannot wait for book 2. Please bring it to Audible soon. I haven't enjoyed a story this much in a long time.

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Great Narration

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

The narrator had a great accent that worked for the characters and the setting. The overall production was high quality.

What did you like best about this story?

The interactions between David and Murdo.

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

This was not a heavily performed narration but all of the characters remained distinct. The voices of the two main characters were enjoyable to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

This was a great story that showcased the time period it was set in. The author does a great job with setting the atmosphere of the time and place and the narration added an authentic element. The story is not complete after this first book but the story of David and Murdo continues on.

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  • Jackie Thorogood
  • 08-19-17

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-27-19

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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  • Serin6
  • 12-26-17

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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  • BevS
  • 11-30-17

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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  • choccygrl
  • 09-01-17

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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  • RachelM
  • 08-21-17

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.