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Thursday, March 15, 2018
ENLIGHTENED, third Joanna Chambers historical novel in the Enlightenment series
JOANNA CHAMBERS (Enlightenment #3)
$3.99 available now
Rating: 4.5* of five
The Publisher Says: David Lauriston has been recuperating at Lord Murdo Balfour’s Laverock estate for the last five months. At Laverock, he has regained his health and confidence and has found—with Murdo—more happiness and contentment than he has never known before.
David is all too aware that some day soon he will have to leave Laverock—and Murdo—and return to his legal practice in Edinburgh, just as Murdo will have to return to his life in London. But when David’s mentor, Patrick Chalmers, asks David to return to Edinburgh to visit him on his deathbed, it seems that day has come sooner than either David or Murdo would have wished.
Chalmers begs David to undertake one last piece of business for him: to secure the future of Chalmers’s daughter Elizabeth. But to carry out his old mentor’s wishes, David must travel to London, with Murdo.
No sooner have the two men arrived in the capital than they encounter Murdo’s ruthlessly manipulative father, who reveals a shocking secret that rocks David to his foundations. What’s more, when David discovers Elizabeth is facing far greater danger than even her father feared, he is determined to help her, no matter the cost to his own safety.
As the stakes rise, it is Murdo who must choose what he is prepared to sacrifice to keep David at his side, and ask whether there is any possibility of lasting happiness for men like them.
My Review: Yes indeed, this is the way to end a series/long book. A completely satisfying and inevitable ending that managed to come about in a logical and challenging way.
The lead-up to the ending ain't half bad, either, but it's this ending...won't spoiler it for y'all, the Antispoilerization Brigade gets downright violent...that explains why I connected with this series of just-post-Regency-set books.
How to explain without giving the show away...geez...this is as rough as explaining what the fuss about non-masturbatory orgasms is to one who has never had one...okay, lemme see here, you know how your intimate loved one has this set of things you know they do and do well? Your Lovely Other, as a Kiwi friend of mine refers to her partner, operates in this expected way and you're happy with that (or you're the Remodeler and should be excoriated and shunned, if you don't like the house don't buy it), even proud of the high end of the range of behaviors.
Then comes the day when there's a lot at stake, the high end of the range that you love in them isn't going to solve all the problems but hey, pobody's nerfect, and...
...they come ripping through good enough and fly up to jaw-dropping otherworldly excellence-cum-terrifying gut-wrenching omigawd-we're-gonna-die recklessness...
...and there you are arms outstretched to catch them when the inevitable fall comes, praying you're strong enough to keep them at least alive...
...and they land light as a feather next to you, take your hand, smile and say, "shall we go home now, dear?"
And that, my friends, is that. You will never, ever look at another human being without thinking, "you poor miserable sod, My Very Own Love doesn't know you're alive but can't wait to get home to *me*," with a smug, superior smirk on your nasty little unfairly-lucky-rotter face.
Fortunately we have fiction to take us there. It's not the most common IRL experience, is it. This series/fairly long novel gave me that experience. Read the three main novels and it's just possible it might give you the same one. I encourage you to try at least volume 1, Provoked.
*cue evil cackle and commence addictive reading in 3...2...1...*