Title: Provoked: Enlightenment
Author: Joanna Chambers
Narrator: Hamish McKinlay
Run Time: 5 hours and 52 minutes
At a Glance: The combination of McKinlay’s voice work and Chambers’ words are a perfect blend. You should not miss the chance to hear a good period piece with a fine mystery and budding romance between two equally strong-willed men.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: 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?
Review: David Lauristan is struggling to move from being a poor barrister to being well placed in the middle class as a lawyer of good repute. His last case ends in the execution of his clients and the deportation of others. His apparent sympathies lead some in Enlightenment Age Edinburgh to question David’s loyalty to crown and country. Add to that his being unmarried, and questions about him are bandied about regularly.
Lord Murdo Balfor has a reputation for being freewheeling with many things in life, with little care for Scottish conventions or decorum. He meets David at a local inn, and the two men find they have much in common but also much in contention. Murdo also has a desire for men which he does little to hide when he sees in David a kindred spirit.
David also has the despondent brother of one of his deported clients claiming his brother was, in fact, framed or provoked into uprising against the King’s peace. Every description of the provocateur seems to describe Murdo. Is Murdo a man of integrity with a desire for men, as is David, or is he an agent of the King sent to lead men into committing crimes for which they could very well hang?
Provoked is a well paced and researched book. Hamish McKinlay does an amazing job conveying the time and place the book is set. His ability to give voice to the wide range of characters is well above average. Listeners should be looking for his name on other books as well, because his voice acting is a real treat to the ears. Each character has its own voice and accents never shift, which is a welcome change from less talented performers.
The combination of McKinlay’s voice work and Chambers’ words are a perfect blend. You should not miss the chance to hear a good period piece with a fine mystery and budding romance between two equally strong-willed men. I recommend this book to those who like period stories that are more than just fluffy romance. This book does several things very well—The acting here is among the best. The story is easy to follow but hard to put down. The final reveals in the book are worth the wait. Buy it if you enjoy romance, mystery, or period books. You will enjoy it completely.
You can buy Provoked: Enlightenment here: