Monday, January 16, 2012

Educating ElizabethEducating Elizabeth by Kate Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews. 4 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F, oral sex)

Gervase, the rakish Duke of Diable Delamere wins a game of cards, but his opponent, Mr. Forester, doesn’t have the funds to pay his debt so he offers the services of his stepdaughter, Miss Elizabeth Waterstone, as payment. Elizabeth goes willingly, but doesn’t realize she's expected to share the duke’s bed. After he comes perilously close to forcing himself on her, Gervase is struck with guilt and offers her refuge from her abusive step father.

Elizabeth refuses Gervase’s initial offer of monetary compensation, instead she asks that he teach her how to be a courtesan. She figures that information will serve her well in the future, as her reputation will already be ruined. She also desires a way to earn money in order to help provide for her invalid brother. Despite the Duke's considerable seduction skills, becoming a courtesan is not an easy transformation for her. Her body is willing, even as her mind resists. Elizabeth is intelligent, humble, strong-willed, hard working and thoroughly likeable. And of course, Gervase is not the shiftless rake he appears to be. He was hurt by his late wife and is guarding his heart, but he's an intelligent and passionate man.

There's a plot to assassinate the Prince Regent, and Gervase and Elizabeth are caught in the thick of it. He works for the government, exposing gambling cheats and cracking codes and Elizabeth cracks a code it took experts months to decipher. She isn’t completely forthcoming about needing money to pay for her brother’s care, and her relationship to the questionable Mr. Forester, makes Gervase suspect she may be a French spy. Gervase hopes she’s not a spy because he’s coming to care for the feisty bluestocking.

Educating Elizabeth will suck you right in as it leads you through the twists and turns of the assassination plot and the tempestuous relationship between Gervase and Elizabeth. As usual, magnificently talented Kate Pearce has written a powerful and tender romance that readers won’t be able to put down. Add a healthy dose of political intrigue and suspense, and you’ve got a must-read historical romance.

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