My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was my 1st read by Ms. MacMeans and her debut book, and it was a great start for both of us. :)
Emma Heatherston is forced to escape from London after she overhears her sleezy uncle's plans for her: she's to be sold to the highest bidder - a rich husband or a brothel, it doesn't matter - to fund his expensive lifestyle. Pretending to be Mrs. Emma Brimley, a young widow in need of a new life, she manages to get a teaching job at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies. Upon arrival, she's informed that she's expected to teach more than literature and poetry: she's to teach her innocent students to prepare for the intimacies of marriage. Shock and despair don't begin to describe Emma's feelings, but she can't risk being fired and sent back to London so she agrees to teach the girls all she knows about "bedroom etiquette" - which happens to be nothing!
Emma's salvation comes in the form of Lord Nicholas Chambers, the notorious rake known as Lord Bedchambers who lives right next door to the Pettibone School. Women are seen going in and out of his house on a regular basis, so Emma is sure he's more than apt to give her the information she needs to keep her charade going. There's more to Nicholas than she expected, though. He certainly knows his way around the bedroom, but he isn't the rake everyone thinks. He's "just" an artist and lets the gossip go around because it gives him the privacy to paint without being disturbed. When Emma (boldly) arrives on his doorstep and asks him to educate her on the intimacies of marriage, he makes her a proposition: he will answer all her questions if she poses for him. Obviously, there's a catch: he wants to paint her as the Greek goddess Artemis - a naked Greek goddess Artemis, to be more specific. After some negotiation, they strike a deal: for each question he answers, she'll remove one article of clothing. And thus, the education of Mrs. Brimley begins...
Oh, this book was fun! Nicholas and Emma were very likable, their chemistry was great and he was the best sex ed tutor she could ask for. Even though Emmas's "education" is the main focus of this book, it doesn't take over the story. I mean, this isn't an erotica/romantica novel, so the book isn't filled with non-stop sex scenes. In fact, the
Now, the premise of the book... Yeah, it's very unrealistic and you have to suspend disbelief to immerse yourself in the story. I'm not sure, but I don't think sex ed classes were taught in Yorkshire back in 1876. Anyway, I enjoyed this read enough to let that go. Mrs. MacMeans' writing was engaging, the story was entertaining and the characters were interesting. At the end of the day, that's what matters. :)
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