Lysandra Keates is running out of options. Her father is dead, her mother is ill, and her efforts to find respectable employment have ended in failure. With her small savings bleeding away, she swallows her pride - and her terror - and turns to Vivien Manning, an infamous courtesan, to match her with a wealthy protector. For years, Viscount Andrew Callis has lived a monastic existence at his country estate, hardening his body against the snobbish, lazy young man he once was, hardening his heart against grief over the deaths of his wife and infant son.
When Vivien asks him to spend one month training a young woman in the ways of a mistress, his mind resists . . . but his body responds with an ache he thought long dead. As Andrew begins his gentle tutelage, he finds himself falling under the spell of Lysandra's innocent charms. And as they give in to the powerful hunger, the last thing Andrew ever expected, or wanted, forms between them. An emotional connection that could carry them well past the training period - if only Andrew can open his heart to the possibility of love.
©2012 Jess Michaels (P)2013 Tantor
"To whomever loves 19th century historical romance this is sure to become a series that you will want to read." (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews)
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"Last Half Lost it a 5 Star rating"
3.5 stars if I could give 1/2 stars.
I was really into this for the first half and was hoping I'd finally found a piece of erotica that I could rate 5-stars. Normally I find them far too short on plot and character building to do so in good conscience.
This one had a plot and there was genuine emotions. I teared up a few times. The sex was also hot. What dampened my enthusiasm was the last 1/4 of the book, partially because I was so stoked about the earlier chapters. I Here's my whine. As always, YMMV.
1) I didn't think the hero's big 'secret' was enough to justify his brooding, pity-party behavior. Here's his "big secret"....
his wife died in childbirth and he blamed himself because he felt he had treated her badly. The 'badly' is the part I was disapointed in. I assumed he cheated, etc. etc. but all he did was go out on the night she went into labor. He did go out with his old crowd, but he wasn't doing anything he shouldn't be doing. I get that you'd feel guilty about not being there, but how that translated into his treatment of the h is what I wasn't sold on. Seriously, WHY couldn't he have kept her as his mistress? She wouldn't have expected more and would have been THRILLED with that arrangement. The reasons were too flimsy for me.
2) The fact that he gave her away to another protector really irked me. Of course, she never slept with the other guy, but it would have served him right if she had. I think it would have been great if he'd given her to the other man, then immediately thought WTF!! and chased her to London in full John Wayne 'True Grit' run the horse to death fashion to stop the "consummation". (just kidding about the horse, I hated that scene in BOTH versions of the movie). But, I was highly disappointed that he moped and emo'd around for weeks fully believing she was getting it on with his friend doing all the kinky things he'd trained her to do.
3) The magic wand at the end. EVERYONE was all 'go love, f the Ton, even his father the fricking EARL. Okay, I'd have bought it if one character (his brother) would have supported him marrying Lysandra, but when everyone including her enemy's wife jumped on the 'go love' bandwagon, I was calling bull. Her supposed new protector was just too good to be true as well. Not only did he not sleep with her, he still paid all her bills and kept her in a house because he couldn't betray a friend (not the H but the h - whom he'd just met). I know it's fantasy, but this was ridiculous. People are far crappier than that.
I wouldn't have been surprised if the Earl hadn't been all for his son keeping her as a mistress, but his easy acceptance of a marriage was just an anachronism to me. Suddenly everyone had modern, very non-classist views and that's just not remotely realistic. I'm not an expert on Regency England, so I'm not trying to be a historical accuracy snob. I don't care if the furniture is wrong for the period, I just want to be able to remain in the fantasy.
4) There should have been a grovel at the end, but she just fell back into his arms and it was a very abrupt ending too.
i enjoyed the lusty parts of the story. and the story line was great
at the wnd when the due professed his love for her and wanted to marry her
great narrator, loved all off the chacters.
love is for everyone
Ok... so this really can't be described as Historical, as the verbage used just wasn't correct for the time period...but you know what... I actually liked that about this book. It was great... I wish some of my current favorite Historical Romances, add a F*** or D*** it, here or there...
Very smexy book... this boarders on erotica...but the whole historical twist makes it a fine and extremely smexy romance...
Well worth a credit..I enjoyed it.
Narration was great too.
"Not as good as I had hoped"
The author kept using current terminology for this historical romance. That was a bit distracting. In addition, the story was too simple. By that I mean not much imagination was put into the storyline. I actually found it boring. I normally LOVE passion and sex in my books and even that could not help this book. Though it contained lots of sex, it lacked a gripping storyline so it fell very short. I can not recommend this book. Save your money or credit for a better book.
"very, very sensual w/ romantic undertones"
This historical erotic romance was great. This was my first from this author, but it, likely, won’t be my last. The story came to sensual life with the words of this author and the great narrator. There was a perfect balance between the two. There was a lot of sex, once they got started, which wasn’t long into the story. But the sex was not gratuitous. If it bothers you, you should know that the explicitness was in both the description of the sexual encounters, somewhat, and in using the terms f**k and pu**y (not puffy!) but nothing else. Again, it was more sensual than purely erotic. And, because of the romantic undertones, it came across with warmth and not sexual rawness alone. During one sexual encounter there was a small bit of control play. Another aspect of this story that I liked was that the mystery in Andrew’s life was revealed slowly and in the right way and time. It easily held my interest and spurred me to continue listening. In fact, I didn’t want to stop listening. Finally, I liked that this story is a telling of how a couple comes together and grows and how a woman, Lysandra, grows too, not a weak, whiny woman. And the story is just the right length, no extra or frivolous parts for length and not substance.
In historical novels, the historical accuracy doesn’t matter to me much, so I can’t really address that aspect beyond stating that nothing seemed glaringly out of time to me. Also, as was common then—as well as now, unfortunately—the story included class warfare and issues of power and sexism where the woman, albeit at the hand of another powerful man, wins. Still, I love it.
The only reason I don’t give this book a 5 is that it will not stay with me long past the end of this story. After all, it is a HEA romance that was obviously that from the beginning. It also didn’t provide some kind of new or interesting insight to me. So, on my scale, it didn’t make it to a 5. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"Explicit and hot historical fiction!"
This book was more explicit than most historical fiction. I love a hot steamy romance where the story is more than just sex. It starts out with sex but the two main characters slowly build a relationship with emotion and chemistry. I liked the premise: well written & spicy! 🌶
"Hot and Spicy"
Thanks KD for a great review that peaked my interest in this book.
Wow what a listen!
If you're looking for a great historical romance that's bordering on erotica go no further! Very well written, nice story and character development intermixed with some of the hottest scenes I've come across in this genre.
I will definitely pursue other titles by this author! I'm often disappointed when trying new authors and I come across those that are heavy on the emotion, holding hands and building relationships. You definitely won't feel that way reading this novel!
Best enjoyed when you have time to read it all in one sitting as you won't want to put it down!
Carmen rose was fantastic with the delivery of the story
"This book is NOT rated G."
This was a great story, but you must like lots and lots of hot and steamy sex in your books. The story line was good, I would have liked there to have been a little more story to this book though. It was definitely less story in between the tutelage of being a mistress. I liked the characters very much. It was a hot and steamy romance for sure.
if you like this book you would like Her Husbands Harlot, Mayhem in Mayfair series by Grace Calloway all three of those books were very good.
I thought the narrator did a excellent job.
"introduction to a great series."
Okay, yes, an entire book written about becoming a mistress in regency London doesn't exactly sound inspiring. But the writing is excellent, the characters seem real and the sex is scorching hot. Add the talented Carmen Rose's performance and you strike a rich vein of gold in a sea of historical romances all too much a like. There is not a single Ton ball in the tale yet title rank and class are the surrounding influences to the theme.
I believe this is well worth my credit. I've just listened to it for a second time and still find it pleasing.
"definitely a page turner"
I found at the beginning that the dialogue was read rather monotone, but it improved. Well read during the romance scenes. If you're interested in a story with a very uncomplicated plot and lots of physical romance then this is your book - definitely a distraction from everyday dulldrums.
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