Hello everyone! Today I am delighted to welcome author Joanna Chambers to the blog. I am a HUGE fan of her Enlightenment series so I am really excited to have her here today to talk more about it.
Book titles are important to me, and in the case of this series, the titles of the individual books – Provoked, Beguiled and Enlightened – were chosen to reflect the journey that the characters, David and Murdo, undertake together. The overall series name, Enlightenment, is a nod to the setting, the post-Scottish Enlightenment world of Edinburgh in the 1820s.
Of course, the Scottish Enlightenment had actually taken place the previous century, but some of the ideas that were discussed at the time – the questioning of authority and the elevation of human reason above all else – underpin David and Murdo’s journey.
Here’s an apt quote (courtesy of Wikipedia):
…the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment asserted the fundamental importance of human reason combined with a rejection of any authority that could not be justified by reason. They held to an optimistic belief in the ability of humanity to effect changes for the better in society and nature, guided only by reason…
David and Murdo come from very different backgrounds but the one thing they have in common is that they’ve been raised in a society that hates and criminalises homosexuality. A society that tells them it is not just unacceptable to love another man but fundamentally morally wrong.
When we first meet David and Murdo at the start of book 1, Provoked, they have reacted to their upbringings in different ways. David accepts the authority of the society that condemns what he is and struggles to suppress his desires in obedience to society’s demands. Murdo’s reaction is more pragmatic but in its way, just as destructive – he gives private rein to his physical desires but does not allow himself to consider that he could ever want more than sex from another man.
As I planned the story, I became convinced that there was no way David and Murdo were going to get through this journey in one book/ story arc. A man like David – principled and hard on himself – wouldn’t be able to undergo such a huge change of outlook over the course of a few weeks or months. He would need to undergo some significant event that would disturb his thinking in a major way, something to shake him up and question everything. Book one, Provoked, dealt with that part of David’s journey. Book two took place two years later because David needed time to question and come to terms with what had happened to him—to make him ready to truly open himself up to what Murdo could offer him. In book two, Beguiled, David gets a taste of true happiness, leaving Edinburgh at the end of that book to spend a few months with Murdo at his estate in Perthshire. At the start of Book 3, Enlightened, their time together is coming to an end, and the question is whether David will ultimately find the courage to seize his own happiness, rejecting society’s disapproval.
Unlike David, Murdo is worldly wise and cynical, and certainly not inclined to self-sacrifice as David is. However, in his way, he’s just as trapped in his world view. For Murdo, to admit that he is capable of finer, better feelings for another man is, at first, impossible. He can’t understand what drives him to act, over and over, against his own self-interest in his dealings with David. His journey throughout the series mirrors David’s – in book one, his encounters with David cause him to begin to question his long-held beliefs and that troubles him. By the start of book two, he’s had two years to try to forget David but hasn’t been able to. When they are reunited, he discovers he’s prepared to do anything to keep David coming back to him. As with David, the question for Murdo in book three will be whether he’s really prepared to cast aside society – and all the power and position he’ll have if he continues down the path in life he’s planned – in order to be with David.
Despite the pain of his injuries, David’s time with Murdo has been the happiest of his life. The only things that trouble him are Murdo’s occasional bouts of preoccupation, and the fact that one day soon, David will have to return to his legal practice in Edinburgh.
That day comes too soon when David’s friend and mentor takes to his deathbed, and David finds himself agreeing to take on a private mission in London. Murdo is at his side in the journey, but a shocking revelation by Murdo’s ruthless father leaves David questioning everything they’ve shared.
As tensions mount and the stakes grow higher, David and Murdo are forced to ask themselves how far they’re prepared to go—and how much they’re prepared to give up— to stay together. And whether there’s any chance of lasting happiness for men like them.
Joanna Chambers studied law, became a litigator, married and had two sons before she began writing. She knew she wanted to write since she was eight years old but never seemed to get beyond buying notebooks and sharpening pencils. Fortunately, after about twenty-five years of sharpening pencils, Joanna found her muse when she rediscovered her love of the romance genre.
Joanna lives in Scotland with her family. When not working, cooking, cleaning, packing schoolbags or writing, she can be found with her nose buried in an ebook.
- Website: http://joannachambers.com/
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3080608.Joanna_Chambers
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joanna.chambers.58?fref=ts
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChambersJoanna
There is a giveaway that will be available throughout all blog tour stops. The prize is all 3 ebooks of the Enlightenment series and a $10 All Romance e-Books Giftcard.