Struggling to make ends meet, the widow Lady Charlotte has taken employment as the initial screener for Madame de Maitenon's School of Gallantry. Her first husband was a debouched fool, he had four mistresses and was killed by one of them in a fit of jealous passion. With his death she lost everything, her dreams of a family, her trust in men, and her money, thrusting her out of society and into ruination. Never wanting to go through such pain and humiliation again Charlotte has vowed to never let a man control her life again.
Alexander William Baxendale, the third Earl of Hawksfore, is a reformed rake, determined not to be the dissolute man his father was, to lead a good example and find respectable spouses for his siblings. When he meets Charlotte he wants her, no matter what persona he is trying to project to society, he means to have her.
While initially he had no interest in attending the pleasure school, he soon changes his mind as Charlotte promises Alexander that if he's accepted, she will allow him to pleasure her, no strings attached. Both vow not to open themselves to heartache or deep emotion, but can they really succeed?
I enjoyed following Charlotte and Alex as they explored themselves and their feelings for each other. They were determined to fight the lure of their passion, though of course they weren't successful! They had a wonderfully erotic chemistry that had me fanning myself. Alex was really sweet, he loved his sisters and would do anything to protect them, just as he wished only to protect Charlotte. He went out of his way to make things right for her. Charlotte had been hurt badly by her first marriage, Alex had to work hard to win her love and trust.
I felt Ms Marvelle writing was a little to over-the-top for me in parts. Such as when Charlotte's husband died, he left his family and his mistresses well looked after, but left her ruined and destitute; with the sexual conquests of Charlotte's husband and Alex's parents, who apparently had no inhibitions; and with Alex's FIVE sisters he's determined to get respectably married off, I felt that the story was just too busy. I don't like seeing so many situations set up to be to neatly wrapped up by the end of the book.
I felt that this read was a prequel to her first book MISTRESS OF PLEASURE rather than a continuation, I missed the interaction with the other students, though Alex's sisters were amusing, especially little Miss Morbid Mary. I would like to see how Caldwell and Caroline overcome their hang-ups and find love in each other, hopefully in the next book of the series. Ms. Marvelle has an excellent talent of creating interesting characters that I want to see more of. I look forward to reading more about the students of the School of Gallantry.
Alexander William Baxendale, the earl of Hawksford, used to a very big man. Quite literally. His girth made him only popular with his friends. Despite his weight, he considered his life to be charmed until he meets Miss Charlotte Jane Sutton. He quickly realizes winning the girl of his dreams isn't the same as eating chocolate rolls. When she rejects him and breaks his heart, he decides the best revenge is becoming the man of every woman's dreams. Unfortunately, he creates a name for himself even he isn't ready to embrace. Soon, far more than just Charlotte is knocking on his door. Will he survive his own revenge? He isn't so sure.
WARNING: This book contains strong language and sexual content that may cause respectable people to swoon.
This quirky, sexy and scandalous Regency/Victorian Historical Romance is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone.
DEAR READER: Having recently acquired the rights back to this playful, naughty book, I decided to do far more than slap a new cover on it. Even if you've read Lord of Pleasure, you'll find since its original publication back in 2009, this book has undergone a metamorphosis. This revamped second edition has countless new scenes, both romantic and hilarious in nature, which were added throughout the book in an effort to make you feel like you're reading it for the first time.