When Hannah's caught watching her late husband's cousin debauch the maid in the library, she's mortified -- but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she's used to being ignored.
The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she's witnessed, but there's something about Leo that draws her to him.
When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous. Her own experiences have been uninspiring. Yet she can't bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she's losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends?
After Hannah’s husband died she had no family or means of support. Her late husband’s aunt agreed to take her in as an unpaid companion. While the aunt is napping one afternoon Hannah witnesses something very strange. She watches as her cousin by marriage has sex with one of the house maids. She knows she should alert them to her presence but she’s taken with the fact that the maid is giving Leo a blow job and actually seems to be enjoying it! Shocking!
When the couple is finished Leo calls Hannah down to see him. He was aware of her presence but when she made no sound and seemed so interested in the coupling he kept quiet. Leo and Hannah have a pretty frank discussion about what Hannah knows of sex and Leo is nearly horrified that Hannah’s mother and late husband made her believe that women should not enjoy sex – they should just endure. Leo offers to show Hannah the many different ways a woman can enjoy the different things that men and women can do together and both enjoy it. Hannah agrees and the lessons commence. The weeks fly by and the “lessons” continue but Hannah fears that she has lost her heart to Leo while his mother makes plans to wed him off to an Earl’s daughter.
I have to say that I’m always a sucker when it comes to books that have “lessons in love” tropes. I think because the ones I’ve mostly read have been somewhat secretive, illicit meetings that they have a sense of excitement to them that attracts me. This story was no different and I very much enjoyed it.
The story is told in the first person so we only get to see things from Hannah’s point of view. As much as I liked that I did miss seeing what Leo was thinking at the time. In this case I believe it was a good ploy by the author as we were left in the dark as to what Leo’s thoughts would be when their affair came to light. Although I’m not normally a fan of first person pov the writing was engaging enough that I didn’t notice it all that much – which was a very good thing!
Though we didn’t read too much about the romance portion of the book we did get to see enough of Hannah and Leo together to put it all together. Yes, their relationship was based, at first, on sex but the story told me enough about the couple that when the “I Love You’s” were spoken I definitely believed they were true. This was a lovely erotic novella and I very much enjoyed reading it.
Rating: 4 out of 5