To Read is To Live
I picked this book up as part of my own Personal Historical Month Challenge. Straight-up historical romance (without any element of paranormal) has never been a favorite genre of mine (either male/male or male/female). Provoked was recommended by a friend, MandyM, and since she loved historical romance, I trusted her judgment.
Initially, I had issues -- what can I say, my brain seemed to start doing mental blocking when I read historical. I was moaning and ready to bitching about the sense of 'old' language (one of reasons why I don't like historical) -- I was worried that I would get confused with all the period terms used. But this was a challenge, I must powered through!
And I am so glad that I did.
Because WOW. This book is really good!
I was charmed with the great writing, sense of place, SEXUAL-TENSION(!) and the characters, especially David. There was a kind of Harlequin-esqe feeling of it as well, with Balfour as the arrogant aristocrat while David is the kind blue collar man, which I wholeheartedly found alluring.
Young David Lauriston was honorable and idealistic and had such gentle heart. He was sympathetic with the cases he took, the men he defended. David was willing to help a young friend, Euan MacLennan, to find the person who betrayed Euan's brother, even if David thought it would be a lost cause.
I was deeply touched (and rather sad) with David's perception that his indulgence with men was a sin (which was part of the consequences of men living in that era). But at the same time, I was proud of David for not willing to "live a lie" by marrying a woman because he thought it would be unfair to the woman.
While Lord Murdo Balfour was pretty much David's opposite -- he was overbearing, brash, and unapologetic on his 'time' with men. There was something delicious and raw when these two men met for the first time, doing it in the alley (David on his knees) and later on when they met again due to circumstances.
I am already been warned that the romance is pretty much unfinished (there's not even HFN here) ... but I definitely will be there in December for the sequel. Because I cannot wait to see how the story moves on from here: How will they meet again? What will Balfour do? Will there be compromise in their relationship?
I guess the 1st book for my personal historical month challenge is a success!!