Review: Unnatural by Joanna Chambers

James and Iain's story - offshot of the Enlightenment series.

Captain Iain Sinclair. Perfect son, perfect soldier, hero of Waterloo. A man living a lie. The only person who really knows him is his childhood friend, scientist James Hart. But they’ve been estranged since Iain brutally destroyed their friendship following a passionate encounter. 

Iain is poised to leave the King’s service to become an undercover agent in India. Before he leaves his old life behind, he’s determined to reconcile with James. An invitation to a country house party from James’s sister provides the perfect opportunity to pin the man down. 

James has loved Iain all his life, but his years of accepting crumbs from Iain’s table are over. Forgiving Iain is one thing—restoring their friendship is quite another. 

In the face of James’s determined resistance, Iain is forced to confront his reasons for mending the wounds between them. And accept the possibility that James holds the key to his heart’s desire—if only he has the courage to reach for it.

Ever have a bunch of people tell you how fantabulous something is and insist that you see/read/experience it for yourself? So you do and you keep waiting to be blown away by the fantabulousness?

This was one of those times.

I've witnessed so much squeeing over this author that I was expecting to be thunderstruck and it never transpired.

What I did like was her ability to create the Regency atmosphere that I love. She clearly has extensive knowledge of the time made evident in her usage of the language and customs. 

This relationship though... did not enrapture me.

James and Iain are childhood friends. Their story is told in non-linear fashion from the time they are boys to present. They have moments of intimacy but Iain inevitably pulls away from James. Time and time and time again. James is full of hopeful optimism and holds on to the dream of being a couple FOR YEARS! Iain comes back periodically from his military service and inserts himself in James' life only to leave him high and dry. Again. Once he decides that he's going to accept a position in India as a spy he vows to make peace with James. James puts him through his paces that's for sure. Rightly so!

I'm big on retribution, but I just didn't feel the chemistry between them. I wasn't WOW'd. I kept expecting to be gut punched with feels that never materialized. It would have been more successful for me had they spent more time together developing as a couple. Instead they were together for all of half a chapter which was insufficient to convince me of their longevity. Iain could've still high tailed it the next morning and I wouldn't be at all surprised. Because fickle pickle.

Nevertheless, I was impressed by the writing style. I love Regency novels and I will read something else by this author. In all likelihood, it just boils down to personal preference. I like my MCs to be together and not constantly fighting. If you don't, give it a whirl!

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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