Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Hamish McKinlay
Length: 5 hours, 52 minutes
Audiobook Buy Links: Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks
I still remember so clearly reading Provoked for the first time back in 2013. I was totally drawn in by David Lauriston and Murdo Balfour. I love the way these men are so different, how they approach the world in such different ways. I love the chemistry between them, and particularly how David is sure he must stay away from Murdo, but is drawn back in each time by this connection between them. There is something about Murdo that lets David be free in a way he isn’t with other people. David lives by such rigid rules and high expectations for himself, and I love how Murdo helps him widen his box just a little.
This is such a fabulous series and was a wonderful introduction for me to Joanna Chambers’ writing. The series was originally published by Samhain, but has now be re-released as a self pub. To read my full review of the book, check out my original review here or my reviews of the whole series here.
I listened to it this time around in audio, and though it has been a while since I had read the book, I found myself engrossed again right away. Hamish McKinlay does a wonderful job with the narration and captures the tone and the characters just right. Obviously a good accent is key to a story set in Scotland, and to my untrained ear least, he is spot on. I also noticed a nice variance in the accents to reflect the different social classes represented. Murdo’s voice is much silkier and more cultured, while David’s is more simple and careful as he tries to reflect his education versus his origins. It is easy to tell the characters apart, though there were a few times where McKinlay’s accent was strong enough I had a bit of trouble understanding the words. But nothing major and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment or overall understanding at all.
As I mentioned, David struggles with his internal moral compass, particularly with regards to acting on his homosexuality. For his part, Murdo sees no reason not to enjoy life and act on his interests and doesn’t believe he should be ashamed of them. As these men connect sexually, we see David take tiny steps toward bringing down his walls, particularly in the height of passion. I think McKinlay does a great job in these scenes showing how David is all caught up in his emotions, how he struggles internally but can’t help himself from pushing his boundaries with Murdo.
I will note that story doesn’t fully wrap up here. As I said, it is a trilogy, so this is really part one in the love story and things are left unresolved between Murdo and David. But don’t let that stop you from trying this wonderful series (and all three books are already released if you are too impatient to wait for the next audio). It is one of my favorite historical series and I think the audio is a wonderful addition. I can definitely recommend it in either format.
P.S. I love the new covers for this series. So gorgeous and this one totally captures David perfectly!
I like a good historical romance, and I’ve heard excellent things about this series. I need to read it! (So many books ….) Thanks for your review, Jay.