Learning the arts of desire from a consummate rake
Historical erotica has never been as sexy as in Teach me. Elizabeth is a widow but that doesn't mean she's dead. She's interested in all matter of things. What she's been wanting to learn more about is sex and the physical pleasures with a man. Elizabeth goes about it in a daring way for a woman of her times. She finds a brothel madam to provide a teacher in the arts of desire. The Earl of Malvern is her assigned adult tutor. A jaded libertine, Malvern creates a sexy curriculum for Elizabeth complete with hands on lab work and experimentation. The Earl of Malvern finds plain Elizabeth to be a nice diversion from his usual spoiled mistresses. Perhaps she can break through his carnal ennui. Historical erotic books can be odd with funny euphemism for sexual body parts. Ms. Dean avoids this and pens a pleasing erotic romance. What is nice is how Elizabeth is shown as an odd bluestocking but it isn't pointedly stated. Many times, a lady who doesn't fit is incessantly stated as an "Original". With Elizabeth, it's understated as she is show to be one without realizing it. Her constant quest for knowledge is causing hardships for her family members and it takes a rude awakening for her to see it. Elizabeth is an interesting character because she's not a wilting flower nor is she flamboyant. She's charming in her explorative manner. Ms. Dean designs a winning combination with this innocent and inquisitive nature. Honestly, Elizabeth comes across as a rambunctious little who is just learning about the big wide world. Malvern on the other hand is an old tom cat with a beleaguered expression whenever he encounters Elizabeth. The sensual tension between these two starts off with little sparks and gently bubbles into a nice simmer. The sex is too vanilla for my tastes so it never becomes smoking hot for me. The sex scenes are well placed to help enhance the plot. For this period piece, it's the right amount and plausible. The sex scenes never felt forced. The conflict in this story is a popular one in historical romances. It's a rake who becomes reformed by the love of a good woman. What made this story more enjoyable is the utter devastation Malvern puts Elizabeth through. I liked it because she doesn't turn into a crazy viper nor does she turn into a fainting drama queen. Her response stays consistent with her personality and it's a bit heart-rending. As with all lovely historical romances, it ends with a mushy happily ever after. Recommended for historical romance lovers who want a little bit more oomph in the sexual foreplay between the characters.* Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.