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If You Can’t Be Good, At Least Be Charming

If You Can’t Be Good, At Least Be Charming
More Racy Books for Grownup Women!

More Racy Books for Grownup Women- even if you don’t read the books, the reviews are definitely charming! And good…

Lessons and Lovers by Portia Da Costa is not a new book, even if it is a relatively new e-book.  My late husband gave a paperback version to me as an impulse present in the early 1990s when it was released by Masquerade.   Due to the house I was going to move into being condemned instead, my books are in storage so I got the ebook rather than go to the storage unit and dig through fifteen book boxes to find one slim paperback to reread.  I must admit, it’s not that great or “good”, but I still enjoy it.

James and I always said that Science Fiction and Horror always had an advantage over comedy.  A bad Science Fiction or Horror story or movie could still often be, and often is very funny – and so you can still enjoy them.  A bad comedy really has nowhere else to go.  That being said, what I have learned from erotica and romance is: try for great, hope to achieve good, if nothing else at least be charming.  Lessons and Lovers is very charming.

The story is of Lady Henrietta Miller, a younger widow, who is conflicted about her feelings for her late husband’s, and now her servant, Starr…who she is having wild sex on demand.  This was  something that began at her husband’s insistence during his final illness when he was no longer able to freshen the missus.  This made Hettie feel guilty about her high sex drive and the truth that she really enjoyed sex with Mr. Starr enormously, (probably more than with Lord Miller).    Apparently the soon-to-be late Lord Miller enjoyed experiencing vicariously by having her tell him all about it.  Be that as it may, Hettie did love her husband very much and does genuinely mourn him throughout the story.  Which is why she isn’t sure if her feelings for Starr are love or not.

To prevent these two from having an honest conversation about the whole ‘since we keep having sex all the time, maybe we should think about getting serious – or at least, taking this seriously’ situation, Hettie gets a desperate call from her friend Renata in Milan while she is el flagrante.  Apparently, Starr must be a Gemini, since he doesn’t believe that the Mistress should ignore a ringing phone.  He must also have a Scorpio moon, because he also doesn’t believe anyone should stop having sex just because they are now talking transcontinentally to a melodramatic friend.  Renata has a young cousin who she has to kick out of her villa because her boyfriend is jealous… and she just has to keep the boyfriend because she actually has orgasms with him.  Rather than telling her friend that she’s in England, not Milan and that the kid isn’t her cousin, or even I’m having sex at the moment and I really shouldn’t have picked up the phone so let me call you back, or even saying Oh, for God’s sakes Renata buy a vibrator already, Hettie ends up agreeing to let a young man she’s never met come visit.  Who has suffered some injuries on an archaeological site that has given him some memory loss.  Oh, and by the way he’s wildly curious about sex.

What can possibly go wrong with this plan?

Well, despite the distractions of delectable Darryl, advice from a well-meaning and possibly bi-sexual psychiatrist, and then the arrival of Renata herself – who discovers that it is better to choose possible step-family over a bullying boyfriend, (orgasms aplenty or not), the only real relationship with sexual or emotional depth is that of Hettie and Starr.  They are only two that the reader should care about, because the rest of this book’s cast are like a bad soap opera, but at least so bad they are amusing.  Even  Hettie herself is written way over the top, as the stereotype upper class lady but without a trace of bitchiness.   In short, what a charming lady!  Despite being a likable character, there are times when she is lamenting about her life of luxury, complete with handsome lover who is constantly available and worries that she’s a sex fiend that this reader does want to cry out, “Oh, God, me you can’t curse with these problems??”

This reads like an early novel, with most of the care concentrated on the sex scenes, which are well-written, rather than keeping the plot simple and characters well-fleshed.  It’s supposed to be a love story born of tragedy, but is way too frothy over all.  It’s not particularly good, but it is charming, and is enough of the right kind of bad. Want to read more? Just click here > Enjoy!

About Kate Keene

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