Elizabeth has been married, widowed and has taken a lover -- but she's dissatisfied with what she knows of love and what goes on between a man and a woman and feels that there is something more. She brazenly seeks out the services of a brothel, hoping the Madame could instruct her.
But the Madame has something else in mind -- and she sends James, the Earl of Malvern to oversee the young viscountess's education.
James has seen and done it all -- and he's bored with his dissolute life. Elizabeth comes as a welcome and refreshing diversion for him. He expects to scandalize the plain mousy widow with crude language but Elizabeth is not at all what he expected her to be.
And so the lessons begin --
Every Tuesday and Thursday night, the Earl of Malvern flaunts his expertise on the subject matter with indifference and distance -- keeping Elizabeth at arms length.
This was another wonderful story from Cassandra Dean. Mastery is the predominant theme -- In the beginning, James is in control of the situation, leading where Elizabeth follows. He sets the guidelines and the curriculum, the time and the schedule -- but, gradually, we recognize a shift in power. We see the blossoming relationship between our hero and heroine -- and we read on, with bated breath, to see the outcome as each one wrestles with the
Elizabeth was hovering on the edge of being too annoying with her lack of concentration and her too many questions. (It is forgivable, though, because her personality is consistent throughout the story.)
I also thought Bella (Elizabeth's sister) and her husband, the Earl of Burfield had an interesting story to tell. (Bits of it were revealed in the story -- but I'd love to read more. ^_^)