An Introduction to Pleasure

Mistress Matchmaker, Book 1

Lysandra Keates is out of options. Her father is dead and her mother is sickly. She had found work as a lady’s maid but when she turned down her employer’s advances she quickly found herself unemployed and without references. Not only that, but he spread rumors which meant no one would hire her. She has no choice but to ask for help from Vivien Manning.

Vivien is a well-known courtesan. She no longer has the need of a protector but she is known for helping women find one for themselves. Lysandra intrigues Vivien and after a great deal of thought thinks she might have a match for her in Viscount Andrew Callis.

Andrew’s wife died three years ago, devastating Andrew. It has been a love match and Andrew retreated into the country, not keeping in contact with his friends. Vivien would like him to begin Lysandra’s lessons on how to be a courtesan. His first instinct is to refuse but his body has other ideas.

After agreeing, Andrew finds himself liking Lysandra, maybe too much. However, the lessons are going well and soon he will have to find her a permanent protector. He has one in mind but can he let her go?

Set in 1811, this historical romance is the first book in a new series, Mistress Matchmaker by Jess Michaels. This is not your typical historical romance unless you normally read erotic historical romance. So, expect some spice with this history lesson.

The characters are great. Lysandra knows what is right and correct and she also knows what she needs to do for her mother and her survival. While she’s never had sex, she is willing to do as she is told and do the very best she can. She also knows that her arrangement with Andrew is temporary and tries not to spend too much of his money. Andrew is still mourning his wife and while his head says that he doesn’t want Lysandra, his body says he does. He wants to do what is right for her and treat her well but he doesn’t want any emotions involved. He’s not sure if he can keep that separate though!

The historical setting feels right. There are houses for the rich, another for the merchant class and mistresses are tucked in where they aren’t real obvious. Family doesn’t mean that they will do something for free nor does it mean that they will let you forget your obligations. There is no welfare to fall back on when things are rough and options for women are limited. Marriages are usually arranged matters bringing assets to each party. Everything is in this story and yet if feels fresh and new.

This is an erotic romance and Lysandra is having lessons on how to be a proper courtesan so expect some explicit scenes. There is everything from the deflowering of a virgin to a bit of bondage. After all, she has to be well rounded! Don’t expect flowery language with little substance because you would be sadly disappointed. The scenes are graphic and detailed which may get you hot and bothered.

I loved this story. The characters came alive and their struggles became mine. The sex was hot and the historical details only added to the story. This was the perfect introductory book to what appears to be a totally erotic historical romance that feels unique and new. I can’t wait to see what the next book will bring because it’s going to have to be something really special to beat this one.

Book Blurb for An Introduction to Pleasure

An innocent lady’s education could be a gentleman’s wicked seduction.

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.

Warning: Includes training in all kinds of sexual positions and delights, as well as an emotional romance. May produce swooning.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 4.50