by Donna MacMeans

October 2007
ISBN: 978-0-425-21830-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

After hearing her uncle’s plan to sell her to the highest bidder, Emma Heatherston leaves London for the country. She assumes another identity as Mrs. Brimley, a young widow and a teacher at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies. The carriage ride to the school affords Emma her first meeting with the school’s neighboring rake, Lord Nicholas Chambers. It’s not much of a meeting, however, since he is nearly passed out drunk in a darkened corner. When she arrives at Pettibone, Emma is warned of the reputation of Lord BedChambers and forbidden any further acquaintance.

She is to teach Literature and Poetry to the young ladies at the school. This poses no problem for Emma being they are subjects of which she has a great deal of knowledge. When she finds out she must also teach what to expect in the bedroom Emma is frantic. The spinster sisters who run the school think the widowed Mrs. Brimley is the perfect teacher for such a class. What can Emma do but agree to the request?

The ever resourceful Emma comes up with a plan. She sneaks over to Black Oak to ask if she can make use of Lord Chambers’ library. Surely he will have helpful books on the subject. Instead of books, Nicholas has a proposal for Emma. He is an artist in need of a model. If she will pose for him he will answer any questions she has concerning the goings on in the bedroom. The lessons begin and it is Mrs. Brimley who is doing all the learning.

The Education of Mrs. Brimley is the debut novel by Donna MacMeans and what a debut it is! Both original and charming, the book is a sensual indulgence that reveals a promising new talent in the genre.

The tutoring scenes between Nicholas and Emma are effectually written. Most importantly, they bring Emma to discover that she is worthy of love. By the end of the book readers will believe the bond between the two and that it will last forever.

I look forward to Ms. MacMeans’ next book.

Reviewed in December 2007 by Rho.

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