Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1)
Author: Delilah Marvelle
Release Date: 1 September 2008
REAL PLEASURE CAN'T BE TAKEN.
Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle de Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother's school in London where gentlemen receive instruction—in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent, free from men and the shackles of marriage. But when Maybelle lays eyes on Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford, at a soir e, and hears of his scandalous reputation, she decides he's the perfect person for her to have a tryst with no strings attached.
IT MUST BE GIVEN.
Unbridled passion has again muddied Edmund Worthington's family name. After his very public dalliance with the strikingly beautiful and sensual Maybelle, his mother insists he marry her. But much to the Duke's surprise, Maybelle scoffs at his proposal. Never has he encountered such a brazen—and maddeningly irresistible—woman. But when Maybelle's grandmother falls ill, forcing Maybelle to take over the operation of her school, Edmund devises a plan to make her his. He enrolls in the school, where no one other than Maybelle must give him expert lessons in carnal pleasure.
Maybelle is determined to leave behind England and fulfill her dream of working to uncover the treasures of the pyramids of Egypt. Her unconventional upbringing and family has left her independent, strong-willed and completely uninterested in relationships or love. All she really wants is to lose her virginity and move on from there. A chance meeting with the Duke of Rutherford, Edmund, soon disrupts all of her plans and could alter the course of her life forever.
I really loved Maybelle's character. She's determined and more than a bit bull-headed, but it's admirable in her since it's so unusual to see these traits in the average ton Lady. Despite her independent spirit she also has a vulnerability to her that helps to make you really understand her and her motivations.
Edmund is living his life as honourably as he possibly can after the shame of his father's debauchery. So when a young lady wants to have sex with him and move on he's shocked and determined to offer marriage to the lady he's 'ruined'. Edmund and can be very sweet, loyal and protective but he also needs to learn how to seize the moment more.
Edmund and Maybelle are really a perfect couple- not just because they have amazing chemistry, but also they balance each other out really well. Maybelle teaches Edmund to enjoy life more and relaxes him, whilst Edmund shows Maybelle what she's truly worth and that she doesn't have to settle for anything.
As always, Delilah's writing is in turns hilarious, sexy and sweet. The relationship between Maybelle and Edward builds steadily as the two work towards understanding each other and accepting their feelings for each other. I'm never disappointed by this author's work and I'm so happy I (finally) had a chance to read the beginning of a series that I've loved the sequels of so much.
*I received a review copy from the author for my honest opinion. Thank you!