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What made this book for me was the way in which the relationship developed between the, apparently unlikely, pairing of the lead characters - an inquisitive widow and a jaded Earl. The eroticism is enhanced because the sexual activity arises naturally from their relationship, rather than just being included at every opportunity for effect.
I was rather disappointed to find that this author has not (yet) published other stories in a similar historical setting.
Such a joy. The story pulled me in from the start. I loved how their relationship grew from sizzling sex to deep love despite the attempts of the hero to sabotage it. Would give it ten stars if I could. Utterly brilliant.
James...you rotten jaded scoundrel that you are!! And herein lies the irony - the more he tries to be hard and maintain his tutor facade, the more Elizabeth breaks down his walls - the walls that were erected since childhood due to his debauched father and absentee mother. This was such a wonderful and deep love story with the added eroticism thrown in. Ms. Dean wrote this story with such depth and feelings. It was clear the more James tutored Elizabeth in the carnal ways that he himself was learning how to live again. She slowly chipped away his hardened heart and when he truly felt threatened by his need for Elizabeth, he did what he did best - run. I loved Elizabeth! What an inquisitive creature she was - wanting to know everything - so misplaced in that era since women were expected to be meek, mild and docile. Her exuberance was so infectious and of course she infected James with her attitude. Poor James! He came under Elizabeth's innocent spell. The tutor slowly became the student in learning the game of love instead of just sex.
The author's writing made me feel an array of emotions: dislike, excitement, wonderment, playfulness, giddiness, heartbreak, sadness, tears and of course in the end utter happiness! This story had it all. It had plenty of hot sex but most important, it also had a deep plot. I totally recommend it!
I was a bit turned off when I learned that James, the hero of this story was so debauched that he even had sex with a man but as I got more into the story, I began to realize that James was a product of his upbringing. It did placate me to an immense degree to hear him tell Elizabeth later that it was not an experience he wanted to repeat. I read straight romance and like my heroes to be interested only in women but I saw the point of why it was necessary to the background story about James. Even though that disturbed me, I still had to rate this book 5 stars as it kept me entertained, waiting anxiously for James to fall in love with the ever inquisitive Elizabeth. Elizabeth was an endearing heroine and I absolutely loved her and James reminded me of the brooding Beast in the fairytale, a wounded hero in need of love.
You never know what to expect when you first read a book from a new author, but this story had all the elements of my favorite writers...believable and interesting back stories, a lack of constant rehashing of the same information, great dialogue and steamy love scenes.
This is the first book by this author I’ve read, and I’ll definitely be reading more from her, now one of my top five Historical Romance authors.
This book has it all, great characters, storyline, and hot romance. The story starts off with the heroine, Elizabeth, who is a widow that had a very unsatisfying marriage, waiting for her tutor to arrive for her first lesson in “carnal pleasures”, which she thinks will be taught through lectures from the Madame of the brothel. But the Madame arranges the Hero, James, who’s one of her best costumers, to tutor Elizabeth with “hands on” lessons. Their first meeting James whispers in Elizabeths ear what it will physically entail and all I could think was ‘yes please’, I couldn’t wait to read more! The storyline builds up the erotic, they ease into the actual sex. There is a lot of sensual whisperings, and conversations, and fantasying about the other, and leads up to sex. So the book is highly erotic without being just plain graphic.
The book is written exceptionally well, so well that even when things that are unrealistic happen, you tend to overlook it because it fits so well into the story. Some reviewers have mentioned the overuse of the “F” word, and cursing in general. I’m not a huge fan of excessive swearing, but in this case every instance it seems to fit, the use is quite appropriate for the storyline, there wasn’t one time where I thought that it was unnecessary.
Throughout the book you see the characters grow, though they try to resist it, especially James, who desperately tries to remain as he was. Again, the book is so well written, and the storyline progresses smoothly, with great character growth, that I felt every emotion; amusement, heartbreak, sadness, joy, desire, etc. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a well written historical romance that is also erotic.