Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unnatural (Enlightenment, #4)” as Want to Read:
Unnatural (Enlightenment, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Enlightenment #4)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,386 ratings  ·  270 reviews
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 Kin
230 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unnatural, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,386 ratings  ·  270 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Unnatural (Enlightenment, #4)
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
I love Regency M/M historicals, but I'm used to the Ava March brand of sexy.

Joanna Chambers writes more subdued scenes. Chambers' prose is solid, but I never fully engaged with this book.

I have not read the Enlightenment series. Indeed, this was my first Joanna Chambers novel, and I was ... not disappointed exactly, but underwhelmed.

I find stories that alternate between the present and the past distracting, and I found the past scenes here particularly slow.

Iain is so concerned with appearan
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Fans of her Enlightenment series will be delighted: Unnatural is a typical Chambers. It’s a mellow, inoffensive romance that thrives on gay taboo fueled UST and guilt, and is set in the Regency era. What’s more, our old friends Balfour and Lauriston make an appearance in this book. They may even be important for the plot!

I feel like prefacing this review by mentioning that I was probably one of the very few people that had a somewhat lukewarm reaction to the Enlightenment series. Although I did
Written December 7, 2015

3 1/2 Stars - Touching romantic HR

A day with a new men loves men historical by Ms. Chambers feels like a good day. Yippie Yay! A weekend buddy-read with three nice ladies: Sofia, Maya and Alona.

Unnatural is a offshot of the Enlightenment three book series about David Lauriston & Lord Murdo Balfour. Romances I loved (4.5 - 5.0 - 4.5) and also always sincerely recommend all HR admirers. This fourth can easily be read as a standalone (you will not miss anythin
4.5 stars

Friends-to-lovers theme (and to that extend, second chances as well) is my weakness. I simply love it. It doesn't matter that often the issue that stops the friends to be lovers is cliché (i.e. doesn't want to change the friendship status) or that it becomes repetitive and frustrating, I will still choose to read them. Because then what matters to me is how the story makes me FEEL. Like, how many times I will feel my heart tied up in knots, even when I want to knock the character's head
The Enlightenment series is all kinds of awesome, and became one of my favourite MM historical series when I read it last year. One of the secondary character's from that series, Iain Sinclair, grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. So I was stoked to hear that Joanna Chambers would be giving us his story!

'Unnatural' was a great spin-off from Murdo and David's story.

Like the previous series, the romance/reunion between James and Iain builds slowly. There is a lot of anger and mistrust between
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing

4.5 stars


Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, series
***3.5 Stars***

It's... complicated...

Both, for me to find a rating that does justice to this book and also the relationship between guilt-ridden Iain Sinclair, who is determined to earn his bigoted father's love and pride at the cost of his own happiness and James Hart, who desperately tries to make Iain realize that he is more than just a little boy with a hero worship complex. 
17279725.jpg (320×220)

Where I loved the first 3.5 books in this series, I couldn't quite enjoy this story as much, but that is a
I didn’t like this as much as the other books in the series.
For one thing, I found the alternation between present and past distracting. And I wanted more moments, or at least some, of Iain and James acting at least partially as a couple.
Instead, there were some sweet moments when they were younger and then Iain being a jerk in the past and apologetic in the present, while James was sweet and open in the past and reserved and distant in the present. They never were on the same page at the same
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
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 langu
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love romance novels. Not the pornographic m/m novels that fall under the same "Romance" banner; I mean proper romantic, preferably period-setting, in the vein of Jane Austen, witty, intelligent, love blossoming, full-on romance novels......and here they are, from the pen (or keyboard)of Ms Joanna Chambers.
Unnatural is a spin-off and included within Ms Chamber's Enlightenment series Enlightened and a stand alone novel. I suggest however, that the Enlightenment series be also read, only because
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ku, lgbtq, historical
3,75 stars

I couldn’t quite get myself to leave David and Murdo’s universe yet, so I finally dived into the last book of this series.

Iain Sinclair is a friend of Murdo we met in a previous book. He’s what I would call a dashing soldier with a lot of charm. However, his heart has always been in the same place – with his childhood friend James, a gentle scientist with a big heart and the patience of a saint, not that this is something Iain can acknowledge.

Good-natured James has been in love with Ia
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
This book was my first experience with Joanna Chambers, and I think I need to read her Enlightenment series from book 1 to see more of what she is about.

The writing was easy and the historical details were beautifully done, but there was something so... remote about this story. It was a lot of angst, longing, and guilt and not a lot of action. I had trouble getting inside the characters' heads, and I think it affected how I felt about the story.

The time jumping was also very difficult for me.
4.25 stars!

I can't explain why I waited so long to read this one. I really, really shouldn't have. I loved this story!

Iain and Jamie didn't top Murdo and David, but that's a hard feat. They won my heart in their own right.

Read it!
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
What I liked:

The characters and the story and Chambers exploration of how making do with crumbs is not always possible but rather worse.

What I didn't like:

At first I liked the backwards and forwards mode of telling if felt ok. But then it went to such an extent that I felt that I was not moving and I began loosing the whole. Considering that there was no other plot except for the relationship between the characters, this was not a good thing.

Brimstone butterfly

BR 4th Dec always good sharing wit
Anyta Sunday
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to help beta read this wonderful story! :D I LOVE Joanna's writing, she's got something special!!!

**3.5 stars**
Even though it’s part of the enlightenment series, it can be read as a standalone.

Iain and James are childhood friends despite different characters and visions of life. And even though Iain seems to be the most at ease in his own skin, he’s plagued with the shame of being gay and the guilt over his brother’s death. And so, as much as he values James's friendship, he keeps pushing James away. And James, being in love with Iain for as long as he can remember, is resigned in grabbing

When I first met Captain Iain Sinclair in Beguiled alongside Murdo Balfour, I knew there was something about the man that I liked. When I read him, again, in Season’s Pass having a quarrerl with a young man named James, I was intrigued. When I realized that these two men, Iain and James were getting a book I was giddy and anxious about reading their story.

I adore it when the main characters of a story have a past that dates back to childhood. There is something about the friends to lover’s trou
Claudie ☾
Well. This one didn’t wow me like the first three books did. I personally think that Chambers should’ve made this a standalone or spin-off, not a continuation of the series… Maybe then I would've liked it more, I don't know.

Captain Sinclair made me curious when he first appeared in Beguiled, and later, when his chance (or so it seemed) meeting with a mysterious James in Seasons Pass seemed to shake him to his core, that curiosity only grew. Too bad their story turned out to be a bit of a disappo
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
4.5 Star Reviewage on Prism Book Alliance®

It wasn’t that he begrudged his hosts their happiness. No, the melancholy was all on his own account. It seemed he had a hitherto unacknowledged self-pitying streak that made witnessing their contentment strangely painful.

This gives you a good idea of Iain’s mental and emotional states as this story begins. This also shows that Chambers is on her game with her ability to get to the heart of the matter. And emotion. It opened the gates to connection for m

2.5 stars

I was so excited to read Unnatural as it returns to the world of the author’s popular Enlightenment series (Provoked). In fact, Murdo Balfour and David Lauriston make a brief appearance at the beginning of this story. They are good friends to Iain Sinclair and it’s fun to see the couple happy in their ‘ever after.’

Unfortunately, this is not so for Iain. Here, again, is the young man of society who must hide his ‘unnatural’ proclivities for the good of god, family, and country. He has d
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it
BR with the lovelies- Maya, Sofia and Ingela!

2.8 stars.

So, this was not at all as good as the first 3 books in the series.
But don't fret, if you did not read the first 3 books, you need to know that they are beautiful and complete, and that this book is about a character that was briefly intreduced before, and It can be read as a stand alone.

It starts sweetly with with James and Iain as childhood friends (9 and 13)
After a few pages it jumps to 'present day' as they are in their mid to late twen
Kade Boehme
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So much swoon. Read this. So much.
Sam (AMNReader)
This was an angsty, but lovely friends-to-lovers. There was so much push and pull, though, it made me hurt a little too much for James. Things just didn't feel even even-handed, and I worry about James's (lovely) vulnerability.

All that push and pull made for some unnecessary drama, but I guess I was in the mood for it. Did I mention it was angsty? 3.75 rounded up
4.5 stars!

I didn't expect to but I adored this childhood friends to lovers historical romance. The narrative switched between two timelines, one of the two boys growing up together and their present time, 1824. Sometimes the time jumps demanded concentration, but I loved how it was done.

I also loved Iain and his struggle with expectations versus what he truly wants, basically denying himself happiness for a long time. Lovely characters, beautifully written world. Would work fine as a standalon
☾ Dαɴιyα ☽

This was the year I discovered the awesomeness of historical romance novels. The stories I read I found so enchanting, I've been adding historicals to my TBR like crazy ever since, including those by Joanna Chambers. Now, while I'm still unsure about wanting to read the rest of Enlightenment books because they're not written in the POV of the character I'd have liked, I am glad to have read about Iain and James.

Those who are familiar with this series will recognize both Iain and James from the s
h o l l i s
I was stuck in this one for a few days and really struggled to push through to the end. I was both bored and frustrated by the characters. Glad my hold of book five is a while off because I definitely need a break from this series/author.
I'm going to go ahead and give this 4 stars even though this installment didn't turn out to be what I was hoping for.

I don't know if it was the non-linear story-telling or what that made me exceptionally frustrated with all of Ian's push/pull behavior, but it got old pretty fast. (I did have to keep doing the math in my head to figure out how old James was during each of the flashbacks and that didn't help either.) But their moments together, especially when they're exploring botany & entomology
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

2.5 stars

I thought most of the chapters were really good on their own but together they made the reading a bit tiring as the same conflict was played again and again. For me the story just didn’t have enough in it for a full length novel.

Buddy read Dec 4, 2015
Richard Derus
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled, quiltbag
Rating: 4.5* of five

A series that ends with a secondary character's starring role in a series novel is a very strong series indeed. This book takes a character from book 2 of the main series, Enlightenment, and gives him a star turn. Captain Iain Sinclair is King George IV's aide-de-camp, responsible to the newly enthroned Prinny for managing the flow of people seeking his attention all the while serving his army masters as a spy on His Pathetic Majesty's private life and thoughts.

I think this might be my favorite book in the series. But mostly because, unlike the others, it's a stand-alone.
I liked the push and pull between the two, the connection that comes from a lifelong friendship. I only wish there'd been an epilogue!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Buddy read Dec 4, 2015 - Sofia, Alona, Ingela, and Maya 74 18 Dec 07, 2015 11:30AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Kiss
  • The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting
  • A Gentleman's Position (Society of Gentlemen, #3)
  • King's Man (Outlawed #1)
  • A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentlemen, #2)
  • A Fashionable Indulgence (Society of Gentlemen, #1)
  • The Vicar and the Rake (Society of Beasts #1)
  • The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures #2)
  • A Minor Inconvenience
  • Bound by Deception (Bound, #1)
  • A Private Miscellany (Society of Gentlemen #3.5)
  • The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh (Society of Gentlemen, #0.5)
  • Bound Forever (Bound, #3)
  • Think of England (Think of England #1)
  • Unfit to Print
  • Wanted, A Gentleman
  • Bound to Him (Bound, #2)
  • His Lordship's Secret (His Lordship’s Mysteries #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Joanna Chambers' muse likes red wine, coffee and won't let Joanna clean the house or watch television.

If you came here looking for a copy of The Bequest you can get it here:

If you're looking for Seasons Pass, go here:

Other books in the series

Enlightenment (5 books)
  • Provoked (Enlightenment, #1)
  • Beguiled (Enlightenment, #2)
  • Enlightened (Enlightenment, #3)
  • Restored (Enlightenment, #5)

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
58 likes · 30 comments
“Life is not safe. Hiding means survival for them. And that’s the business of all living things, isn’t it? Surviving, I mean.” 0 likes
“And what if that thread broke? Finally broke, once and for all?
He wouldn’t be free. He’d be lost. Because he’d realised something true and vital today. The thread between them—the love between them—wasn’t a chain, or a tether.
It was a lifeline.”
More quotes…