An Introduction to Pleasure
By Jess Michaels
Mistress Matchmaker series Book #1
Erotic Historical Romance
Amazon - B&N
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.
This story reads like an erotic version of Pygmalion. Instead of Lysandra Keats being taught the proper way to speak the King's English, Viscount Andrew Callis has agreed to teach her the ways of a proper mistress. Lysandra has come upon desperate times and becoming a mistress is her last resort to adequately provide for her fragile mother. Andrew, once a libertine, has been a recluse since his wife's death three years ago and sees this only as a temporary "assignment."
There are certainly many steamy and erotic moments here but the story is at the forefront. Lysandra and Andrew are meaty characters and their love affair was borne out of the her poor circumstances. I was drawn to the story and these two lovers against the backdrop of 19th century England. While some of the actions weren't necessarily consistent with the norms of that period of society, it wasn't so far fetched to detract from my enjoyment. It's a good, interesting story, especially if you like the classic tale, and a highly erotic one. The best erotica are those that don't forget the romance element, which was always top of mind in every scene. They were not only erotic but...romantic!
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
(I was provided an ARC from the author)