Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
What a wonderful happy ending! If you’ve read the first two books, you will be so satisfied with this culmination of David and Murdo’s story. I’m a little sad to leave them behind, but there’s always another reread!
I also found that by the time I finished Enlightened, the titles of each book really started to have new meaning to me. Provoked introduced David and Murdo not only to each other, but to a new type of attraction that neither had experienced before. Beguiled showed them discovering new and increasingly fascinating aspects of each other, and letting down some of their internal barriers. Enlightened found them realizing that not only was a relationship possible, but absolutely necessary, and a source of more happiness and contentment than they ever imagined. The words, the titles, are a perfect description of the progression of their friendship and love.
The book opens with David still residing at Murdo’s estate at Laverock. Their time there has been idyllic – a time of quiet companionship, physical exploration, growing mutual respect, and surprisingly an evolving business partnership. Both men were aware of how fragile and fleeting this time was, but knew it had to come to an end eventually. The end, however, came in an unexpected and somewhat tragic way when David’s old mentor and Elizabeth’s father, Patrick Chalmers, made a dying request: for David to find Elizabeth and once again keep her safe from her abusive husband. Doing so required David to travel to London, and quickly, and leave their protected life in a bubble behind. Murdo had been putting off going to London for weeks, but he now had a good excuse to delay their parting, so he accompanied David.
London for David was just the place Elizabeth and Euan lived, a place for the job he had to do. But London to Murdo was so much more – the site of his father’s political machinations and the mistakes that Murdo made trying to live up to his father’s expectations. Also the place he hid a secret from David that he was afraid would tear them apart – the woman he was engaged to.
That is the only spoiler I will give in this review. Once that little nugget of information was dropped, the pace of the book sped up and the resolution to their problems was striking, shocking, complete, and perfect. I loved this description:
The knot of ropes that bound Murdo to his father was Gordian in its complexity and subtlety. Tonight, Murdo had swept a sword through it, disdaining its cleverness. Severing it with determination and without concern for the consequences.
With one swift stroke, all the pieces fell into place, and if there was sacrifice, it was worth it. And they rode off into the Scottish highlands to live in peace and happiness.
I still love the cover art for the series, the models were perfect, but I wish they would have incorporated both models onto this final cover. I thought Murdo deserved at least as much presence as David in this one…
Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published April 23rd 2017 by Joanna Chambers Books (first published May 6th 2014)
Series Enlightenment #3