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The Education of Mrs. Brimley

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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing... Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: She claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she's expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriageof which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place A little knowledge is a dangerous thing... Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: She claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she's expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriage—of which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place lies with the alluring Lord Nicholas Chambers, a neighboring artist whose behavior is scarcely consistent with that of a gentleman. True to his reputation, "Lord Bedchambers" offers Emma a scandalous bargain: He will answer her questions about anatomy and bedroom etiquette if she will pose for him...in the Grecian fashion. Though keenly aware of the dangers of such a scenario, Emma determines to best this noble roué—never thinking she may be risking her heart as well.


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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing... Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: She claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she's expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriageof which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place A little knowledge is a dangerous thing... Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: She claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she's expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriage—of which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place lies with the alluring Lord Nicholas Chambers, a neighboring artist whose behavior is scarcely consistent with that of a gentleman. True to his reputation, "Lord Bedchambers" offers Emma a scandalous bargain: He will answer her questions about anatomy and bedroom etiquette if she will pose for him...in the Grecian fashion. Though keenly aware of the dangers of such a scenario, Emma determines to best this noble roué—never thinking she may be risking her heart as well.

30 review for The Education of Mrs. Brimley

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    This was my 1st read by Ms. MacMeans and her debut book, and it was a great start for both of us. :) Emma Heatherston is forced to escape from London after she overhears her sleezy uncle's plans for her: she's to be sold to the highest bidder - a rich husband or a brothel, it doesn't matter - to fund his expensive lifestyle. Pretending to be Mrs. Emma Brimley, a young widow in need of a new life, she manages to get a teaching job at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies. Upon arrival, she's This was my 1st read by Ms. MacMeans and her debut book, and it was a great start for both of us. :) Emma Heatherston is forced to escape from London after she overhears her sleezy uncle's plans for her: she's to be sold to the highest bidder - a rich husband or a brothel, it doesn't matter - to fund his expensive lifestyle. Pretending to be Mrs. Emma Brimley, a young widow in need of a new life, she manages to get a teaching job at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies. Upon arrival, she's informed that she's expected to teach more than literature and poetry: she's to teach her innocent students to prepare for the intimacies of marriage. Shock and despair don't begin to describe Emma's feelings, but she can't risk being fired and sent back to London so she agrees to teach the girls all she knows about "bedroom etiquette" - which happens to be nothing! Emma's salvation comes in the form of Lord Nicholas Chambers, the notorious rake known as Lord Bedchambers who lives right next door to the Pettibone School. Women are seen going in and out of his house on a regular basis, so Emma is sure he's more than apt to give her the information she needs to keep her charade going. There's more to Nicholas than she expected, though. He certainly knows his way around the bedroom, but he isn't the rake everyone thinks. He's "just" an artist and lets the gossip go around because it gives him the privacy to paint without being disturbed. When Emma (boldly) arrives on his doorstep and asks him to educate her on the intimacies of marriage, he makes her a proposition: he will answer all her questions if she poses for him. Obviously, there's a catch: he wants to paint her as the Greek goddess Artemis - a naked Greek goddess Artemis, to be more specific. After some negotiation, they strike a deal: for each question he answers, she'll remove one article of clothing. And thus, the education of Mrs. Brimley begins... Oh, this book was fun! Nicholas and Emma were very likable, their chemistry was great and he was the best sex ed tutor she could ask for. Even though Emmas's "education" is the main focus of this book, it doesn't take over the story. I mean, this isn't an erotica/romantica novel, so the book isn't filled with non-stop sex scenes. In fact, the sexual sensual tension was very well developed and I was almost panting when Nicholas and Emma finally did it. It's so much better when the H/h are in love when that happens, isn't it? Now, the premise of the book... Yeah, it's very unrealistic and you have to suspend disbelief to immerse yourself in the story. I'm not sure, but I don't think sex ed classes were taught in Yorkshire back in 1876. Anyway, I enjoyed this read enough to let that go. Mrs. MacMeans' writing was engaging, the story was entertaining and the characters were interesting. At the end of the day, that's what matters. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rane

    When Emma Brimley pretends to be a widow in order to work at a all girls school, shes shocked to learn shell be teaching more then literary, but getting the girls reading for relationship with their future husbands! Turning to the neighboring artist with a rep for being a rake Lord Nicholas Chambers, to help her teach the girls some bedroom etiquette, didnt prepare her for losing her heart in the deal! I truly lost my heart to this stunning book, I couldnt get enough of both Nicholas and Emma When Emma Brimley pretends to be a widow in order to work at a all girl’s school, she’s shocked to learn she’ll be teaching more then literary, but getting the girls reading for relationship with their future husbands! Turning to the neighboring artist with a rep for being a rake Lord Nicholas Chambers, to help her teach the girls some bedroom etiquette, didn’t prepare her for losing her heart in the deal! I truly lost my heart to this stunning book, I couldn’t get enough of both Nicholas and Emma and had to re-read it twice in a row! Emma Brimy is running away from a uncle who only wants to get rid of her to pay off his debts, stun all her life for being born on the wrong side of the blanket. Emma feels a deep lack of confidence. Emma comes up with a plan to fled her uncle, when she comes across a help wanted ad for a teacher. In widow weeds, Emma passes herself off as a young widow, and on the way to the school on a snow night, she meets a man very much in his cups whom spouts poetry. Only to find out later he’s a well-known rake whom lives close to the school, another shocker lays on Emma when she learns she must teach the young girls how to handle bedroom affairs with the husband when they marry- only Emma is as innocent as her students! Knowing her options are very limited, she turns to the neighboring rake and artist Lord Chambers, and when a deal is settled between them having Emma pose for his next panting, she never thought in her wildest dreams she lose her heart along the way.. Nicholas Chambers, known as Lord Bedchambers, due to always bringing women home, holds this image so he won’t be bother by anyone while he works on his artwork, trying to prove to himself and his brother and father. Nicholas is curious of the new teacher and young widow thinking it was all in his drunk head, but when she steps into his house asking for help to teach her students sexual interactions with their future husbands, Nicholas is very surprised this widow is very innocent, but also finds it a great challenge to find a way around her demand not to touch her and find a way to get her in his bed, while getting his painting complected, but the more time he spends with Emma the more he can’t get enough of her, and the more he knows he’ll never be able to let her go.... The Education of Mrs. Brimley hits on a lot of my loves in romance novels, not only did it have two memorable leads in Emma and Nicholas, bit it had s sexual tension that could be cut with a knife, with mere words and how Donna MacMeans set up the scene had me fanning my blushing face~! While from different walks of life, both Nicholas and Emma had a deep vulnerability the really drew them to one another, Emma lacked confidence in herself due to years of having been put down by her uncle and cousin, this didn’t mean Emma was without a backbone, far from it! She stood her ground over and over, but she never truly knew her own self-worth and inner light until she met Nicholas whom made her see her own beauty While at the same time she gave a gift of accepting Nicholas beyond what he wanted others to see, to accept his art. Nicholas was looking to find in his art a sense of self-worth, behind it all, he cared and loved deeply, and even going as far as to take care of his godchild from a distance. Nicholas wasn’t beyond being sly, with a wicked wit and the words he seduced Emma with, were beyond hot, without it being corny or icky. Very smooth. Both really gave each other up something in order for the other to be happy and to show their love, while things didn’t always go as plan as we like, it was still very beautiful to see them fall in love with one another. Another great aspect of this book, was while it couldn’t turn out to have things that’s been done before in other books, this book was all original, from Emma trying to bargain her way out of painting her only her slip and Nicholas getting fooled into having his painting shown. There was chances of having a huge misunderstanding, but MacMeans went the high road and made it very sweet and romantic with Emma and Nicholas showing their feelings and talking to one another then having to do down the “Oh!~ I misunderstood- road” With the secondary characters like the spinsters sisters to Nicholas brother (which am happy to learn gets his own book along with his comeuppance!) Moved the story along nicely, and while I was sad to see it end, I couldn’t help but sigh happily at seeing Nicholas and Emma’s HEA, and a peek into their continuing happiness. Overall: The Education of Mrs. Brimley was a true and enjoyable education with a deep and wonderful romance with two amazing leads. I give this book a few golden stars and an A+ !

  3. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    To teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies in Yorkshire, Emma Brimley lied on her application and said she was a young widow. This small fib lands her in big trouble when the schoolmistress informs her that the patron of their school wishes for the older girls to be taught about the intimacies of marriage. Emma doesn't know what to do then she remembers the man she shared the coach ride with from the train station. Known as "Lord Bedchambers" Emma turns to Lord Nicholas Chambers for To teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies in Yorkshire, Emma Brimley lied on her application and said she was a young widow. This small fib lands her in big trouble when the schoolmistress informs her that the patron of their school wishes for the older girls to be taught about the intimacies of marriage. Emma doesn't know what to do then she remembers the man she shared the coach ride with from the train station. Known as "Lord Bedchambers" Emma turns to Lord Nicholas Chambers for instructions. Nicholas has a weak leg and a passion for art that has put him at odds with his family but he loves painting and even though he's been turned down time and time again by the Royal Academy, he heads to his home in Yorkshire to paint yet another submission for the Academy's review. After his model deserts him, he's thinking of creating yet another dull landscape when Emma walks into his studio, requesting a portrait of a man's genitals. Once he recovers from a bout of hysterical laughter, he makes her a bargain. If she poses as his semi nude model, he'll answer all her questions about the intimacies of marriage. Maybe it's not very gentlemanly of him, but hey, alls fair in love and war. This was like strip poker but with a Victorian twist. Some of the questions and answers that Emma and Nicholas came up with were really funny. The scene where Emma asks questions about oral sex was really, uh, unique. Some of the questions that she asked weren't even discussed in my own sex ed class when I was in school. This was a sweet romance that was very naughty yet very nice. Don't get this book expecting a raunchy read, though. Nicholas was in actuality a very nice guy and completely misunderstood and maligned in regards to his reputation. Without the titillating question and answer bit, this was just another gentle, loving and traditional historical romance.

  4. 5 out of 5

    LibraryLass

    This is a great debut novel with a storyline which is not the norm. I liked the build up of the sensual heat between Emma and Nicholas. At first I thought I would be put off with the idea of her posing for an artist, but it worked really well throughout the whole story. The author built towards the end with a good rhythm and pace to her storyline. The essential secondary characters were well written and added to the story quite nicely. The only negative comment is that I thought the author could This is a great debut novel with a storyline which is not the norm. I liked the build up of the sensual heat between Emma and Nicholas. At first I thought I would be put off with the idea of her posing for an artist, but it worked really well throughout the whole story. The author built towards the end with a good rhythm and pace to her storyline. The essential secondary characters were well written and added to the story quite nicely. The only negative comment is that I thought the author could have (should have) fleshed out the relationship between Alice and Emma...only because of what transpires at the end. Overall though a great and enjoyable book which I read in one sitting. I look forward to her next book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    This book was a total surprise to me, and as a result, I'm struggling for how to review it. From the relatively low average rating and the title, I thought it was going to be a silly, fun, sexy story, but no, it was so much more than that. The hero and heroine are both likeable, with purpose in their lives beyond marriage and babies, and character flaws and past history. The story is also much better written than most HRs. There are one or two plot points which are fairly predictable, but the This book was a total surprise to me, and as a result, I'm struggling for how to review it. From the relatively low average rating and the title, I thought it was going to be a silly, fun, sexy story, but no, it was so much more than that. The hero and heroine are both likeable, with purpose in their lives beyond marriage and babies, and character flaws and past history. The story is also much better written than most HRs. There are one or two plot points which are fairly predictable, but the sensual, fluid writing and the way the story hung together so well were surprises to me. The plot develops at a measured pace, over a number of months, determined by the time to create the hero's Great Work, but it doesn't drag at all. 5 stars, all-time-favorites list and I'm keeping it on my kindle for sneaky re-reads.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nisha

    As a debut novel, this is off the charts. I loved it. Unlike most of the historical romances I read, this one takes place during the Victorian, specifically the late 19th c. Out hero is Lord Nicholas Chambers, a man with a scandalous reputation and aspirations to be an artist. Still a player, but he's an artist, so I guess it is easy to forgive. Our heroine is just as awesome. She is Mrs. Emma "Brimley", the new girls schoolteacher of Literature and manners, along with the bedroom arts (aka. sex As a debut novel, this is off the charts. I loved it. Unlike most of the historical romances I read, this one takes place during the Victorian, specifically the late 19th c. Out hero is Lord Nicholas Chambers, a man with a scandalous reputation and aspirations to be an artist. Still a player, but he's an artist, so I guess it is easy to forgive. Our heroine is just as awesome. She is Mrs. Emma "Brimley", the new girls schoolteacher of Literature and manners, along with the bedroom arts (aka. sex ed). If only Emma wasn't a virgin. To get the knowledge required for her job, Emma goes to the one person who could give her the information, Nicholas. Somehow, they manage to form a bargain, she poses for his next piece while he gives her lessons on the male anatomy and sex. Obviously things never go as planned and the bargain becomes more in no time. This was such a pleasure to read. Emma was a virgin for about 3/4ths of the book, but the build up was great. Not only sensual, but hilarious (since somehow, her experiences are transferred into her sex ed lessons). Nicholas was such a cute hero, and a real nice guy, despite his many 'girls'.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This book was a delight to read! It was funny, cute and sexy! It was an easy book to read and just plain fun! So, if you are looking for a light entertaining story to read, this is it. The tension between Nicholas and Emma was PERFECT!! As a matter of fact, I reread SEVERAL of the scenes because they were so steamy! I thought that the h/h were perfect for each other and the book could not have ended on a more perfect note! Read it!! :) Characters: Nicholas- Colin Farrell [image error]

  8. 5 out of 5

    ♥ℳelody

    What a dud. Oy. The plot and set up had sooo much potential but the actual execution was really disappointing and fell completely FLAT. It took me forever to finish this. I just could not get into it and I felt the story dragged out forever. One of my main issues with this was the heroine, Emma. I'm not a fan of uptight prudish heroines, my patience runs really short usually when I'm stuck with a book that has one. It just dries up the story for me and makes it less enjoyable to read. But What a dud. Oy. The plot and set up had sooo much potential but the actual execution was really disappointing and fell completely FLAT. It took me forever to finish this. I just could not get into it and I felt the story dragged out forever. One of my main issues with this was the heroine, Emma. I'm not a fan of uptight prudish heroines, my patience runs really short usually when I'm stuck with a book that has one. It just dries up the story for me and makes it less enjoyable to read. But besides that, Emma's complete naivete and obliviousness to sexual relations and men in general just went a little extreme and unrealistic for me. To be honest, she came off a little TSTL at times and just wishy washy. The constant debating or questioning the hero's true intentions and calling him 'sir' through the whole damn book just drove me berserk. The man has made love to you, pretty much declared his feelings, has seen you naked yet you STILL call him 'sir'?? WTF? Just made me roll my eyes. Sorry genteel rules or not, it's too damn haughty and ridiculous for my mind to grasp. And as from a romance aspect?? UNromantic. Besides that, I really wanted to like the characters, love them but just couldn't. They came off very one dimensional and just meh. I barely got to know the hero in this, Nicholas. Through half the book you barely get his POV, get a fuzzy description of what he looks like *barely* and 80% of the book is focused on the heroine's shame, guilt and fluttering over her bad bad dark awful secret. RME. We keep getting Emma's POV constantly but barely anything on Nicolas until the last half of the book. It's like the author didn't want to spend time fleshing him out. He has a limp and walks with a cane, I was curious to know the story behind it, yet the author decided to wait to reveal that information near the end in a passing conversation to his BROTHER and not the heroine. Come on. Nicolas came off as more of a secondary character at times which is strange. What a waste. A male hero who's an artist is just all kinds of yum in my book. *sigh* And the villainous Uncle in this was just so incredibly vile and disgusting that I couldn't believe it. The only part that made me smile was that surprisingly sweet poem at the end. Made the inner-artist in me all starry-eyed. If only I had an artist write me such a beautiful endearingly sweet prose. :P

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    I found this book to be okay, but nothing special. At the beginning of the book, I did not find the hero appealing, but I liked him better as the book progressed. The heroine was mostly likeable, but I found her to be somewhat annoying. Her attitude towards the hero seemed to waver back and forth in a tiresome manner. Emma Brimley has been hired to teach at a school for young ladies in Yorkshire. Upon arrival, she finds that she is required to teach what young ladies should expect from marital I found this book to be okay, but nothing special. At the beginning of the book, I did not find the hero appealing, but I liked him better as the book progressed. The heroine was mostly likeable, but I found her to be somewhat annoying. Her attitude towards the hero seemed to waver back and forth in a tiresome manner. Emma Brimley has been hired to teach at a school for young ladies in Yorkshire. Upon arrival, she finds that she is required to teach what young ladies should expect from marital intimacy. This is a problem, as Emma lied on her application, is not the widow she claimed to be, and is an innocent herself. Hearing that neighboring Black Oaks is home to Lord Nicholas Chambers, whom the schoolmistresses find scandalous and shocking, Emma visits him with the idea of borrowing books of an intimate nature. Lord Nicholas, an aspiring artist, tells Emma that he will answer all of her intimate questions if she will pose for him. For each question asked, Emma will remove an article of clothing and pose for him in the resulting state. As Emma gains intstruction from Nicholas, he paints her, and they become attracted to one another. As they succomb to attraction for one another, they must decide if they can trust one another. I didn't dislike this book, but I didn't find it to be engrossing reading material. I didn't feel much of a connection between the hero and heroine, and was disappointed in that lack. There didn't seem to be much trust, liking, or chemistry between them. I will probably read more by this author only on the recommendation of someone with very similar reading tastes to mine.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ChloeLeeNH

    Sweet book... neat premise, with her needing the facts of sex for permission to paint her naked... I like that they have to play this almost strip poker everytime she has a list of question. It gets VERY interesting sometimes. It moves quickly and I was pleasantly surprised!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews The Education of Mrs. Brimley was my first read by Donna MacMeans and also her debut novel. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I picked it up. On the one hand, the premise sounded sweet and sexy, and I also discovered that the book won RWA's prestigious Golden Heart award. On the other hand, the GoodReads rating for the book is kind of middle of the road. I'm happy to say that I generally enjoyed the story and thought it was well-done for a first effort, but at the Reviewed for THC Reviews The Education of Mrs. Brimley was my first read by Donna MacMeans and also her debut novel. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I picked it up. On the one hand, the premise sounded sweet and sexy, and I also discovered that the book won RWA's prestigious Golden Heart award. On the other hand, the GoodReads rating for the book is kind of middle of the road. I'm happy to say that I generally enjoyed the story and thought it was well-done for a first effort, but at the same time, it wasn't quite perfect, so I could see why some of the lower ratings came into play. Our heroine, Emma, was born on the wrong side of the blanket. The author never really explains what happened to her father, but she was raised solely by her mother who passed away just a short time before the story begins. Emma and her mother lived under the good graces of her uncle, who treated them both poorly. He constantly berated Emma for being dowdy and plain, telling her she'd never snag a husband, and essentially using her as a servant to his own daughter. While Emma's mother still lived, she acted as something of a buffer between Emma and her uncle, but after her death, Emma overhears the uncle saying he's going to sell her to a man. At this point, Emma runs away. She responds to an ad for a teaching position at a girl's school far away in the country. The only problem is, they're looking for a widow to fill the job. After forging a reference and posing as a young widow, Emma gets hired. Then she finds out exactly why they wanted a widow: they need someone to teach “bedroom etiquette” or what amounts to sex ed. Of course, she knows nothing about the topic, but is desperate to keep the job. When the school library turns up no books that are helpful, she decides to risk a visit to the school's next-door neighbor, whom she's been warned is a rakish artist. Emma only intends to borrow a book, but soon finds herself making a deal with the “devil” to be the model for his latest painting in exchange for unlimited information about intimacies between a man and a woman. Emma is a sweet, bookish young lady with a bit of an intellectual streak when it comes to literature, the other class she's teaching at the school. She has a particular interest in poetry, and discovers her neighbor apparently does too when they share a carriage ride at the beginning of the story. Even in an inebriated state he seems able to complete lines of poetry she begins, creating an instant connection between them. I could relate very well to Emma being made fun of and looked down on most of her life. Given those circumstances, it makes perfect sense that she doesn't believe Nicholas at first when he tells her she's beautiful nor does she believe that someone like him could be interested in a nobody like her. I enjoyed watching her grow to become more comfortable in her own skin as well as to accept her own beauty and her being deserving of the love of a good man. She's a great teacher, who immediately becomes a wonderful asset to the school and a friend to all the girls. The only thing that would have made Emma better is if she'd come to realize Nicholas's love for her sooner. With her perceptions colored by the lens of her uncle's cruelty, she has a tendency to often misconstrue things that Nicholas says or does and this continues right up until the very last pages of the book, which became somewhat tedious and frustrating. Nicholas has endured his own share of ridicule. His father never believed in his ability as an artist and frequently derided Nicholas for his continued pursuit of art. As a result, he's taken up residence in a country manor house practically in the middle of nowhere, far from his family. Aside from traveling around to the local taverns and occasionally bringing one of the serving wenches home to model for him, he's pretty much a loner, who's completely immersed in his work. I think what frustrated me a bit about Nicholas's character is that there aren't very many scenes from his POV (at least not until toward the end) and those that are present generally don't last for more than a couple pages. This made it somewhat difficult to get inside his head and understand what he's thinking. The author hints at a lot of things about him, such as family conflict, a possible connection with one of the girls at the school, sensitivities about both his crippled leg and his art, and what exactly happened to cripple his leg, but she takes quite a while to actually reveal much about him. Even when she does, some of the questions I had were merely answered and then over with in the blink of an eye. Some examples of this were nothing more than a very brief mention of what happened to Nicholas's leg and his father and brother instantaneously coming around to support his artistic endeavors after viewing just one painting (though granted it was a masterpiece). I just think Nicholas would have been a fuller richer character if more of these things had been explored in more detail. As is though, I did like him, most especially for how he's able to put Emma at ease and help her come to believe in her own beauty and worth. I also loved how he's so much more than the rake he's perceived to be, and in reality can be a true gentleman and a trustworthy secret-keeper. Where I thought the book could have really been improved is in certain aspects of the writing and plotting. From the moment I read the cover blurb, I was intrigued and thought the premise would lend itself well to being a rather steamy book, but unfortunately it didn't quite get there. Yes, there are certain parts that are rather sensual, but despite Emma modeling for Nicholas wearing (eventually) next to nothing, I didn't feel a great deal of sexual tension until quite a ways into the story. Part of the reason for this is probably that Emma is very prudish and even a little fearful in the beginning, so there's not much of a turn-on factor there. Once she begins to emotionally reveal herself to Nicholas, the sense of connection does improve dramatically, but just as things are getting good, the author takes a step back from their burgeoning relationship, leaving them dangling in the wind again. Then they keep doing this same dance throughout the rest of the story. I've never been a big fan of miscommunication or misunderstandings being used as the primary conflict in a book and here I felt like they were somewhat overused and at times felt rather forced. It seems like every couple of chapters one of them, usually Emma, is misconstruing something, which became rather tiresome. As to the sexual tension, my personal favorite scene is when Nicholas gets Emma to undress in front of him, telling her every little thing to do. That scene was exceptionally well-done. On the downside, after all this build-up of Emma and Nicholas frequently discussing sex and her modeling nearly nude, I was expecting some great love scenes that sadly never materialized. There's only one, which wasn't anything all that special and which was over in a matter of a few paragraphs. There were a couple of other little things that also bugged me. Firstly there are a number of incorrect words used. In most cases they're the type that sound and/or look similar but simply aren't the right word for the situation. Eg. soothed instead of smoothed, shuddered instead of shuttered, crumbled instead of crumpled, etc. I realize typos are to be expected in any book, but there are enough of these mistakes to call attention to themselves and to make me pause in my reading to figure them out. Also I found a factual error. Late in the story a character is kidnapped using the old cloth saturated with a drug over the nose trick, making them pass out. The problem is the drug used is stated at least three times to be laudanum. I immediately questioned the veracity of that. Upon looking it up, I discovered, as suspected, that there is no indication for the use of laudanum in that way and that it would only render a person unconscious if taken internally in a liquid or pill form. What the author should have and probably meant to say is chloroform, which would also match her description of the odor quite well. I freely admit that I'm not entirely certain of the historical accuracy of the premise of the story either. It seems somewhat unlikely that a proper girl's school would offer what amounts to sex education, but I was willing to go with it. Especially after it's revealed how that class came to be taught, it made a good deal of sense, so in the end, I felt like my trust wasn't misplaced. It certainly made for an entertaining premise even though the sexual tension of the situation wasn't fully realized the way I was hoping. Generally speaking, the characters were likable, and flaws aside, the story was reasonably well put together. I was somewhat confused by where the author was going with Nicholas's brother, William. At times, he comes off in a less than favorable light, but I guess he must be a pretty decent guy, because he becomes the hero of The Seduction of a Duke, the next book in the Chambers Trilogy. Although we barely get a glimpse of her, their sister, Arianne, the heroine of the third book, is seen as well. Overall, The Education of Mrs. Brimley may not have hit the heights of perfection for me, but it was still a pretty good read, good enough to make me continue with the series at some point.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Iza Brekilien

    It was not exactly what I expected it to be, but it turned out better than I thought ! I don't think it was historically completely accurate (who would leave a woman, even a widow, alone in the company of a rogue and think nothing of it), but who cares ? The story was good, the romance was very good, I enjoyed reading it immensely and am happily looking forward to reading the next :D

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emery Lee

    A very well-written and atypical historical romance. When Emma Heatherston, masquerading as the widowed Mrs. Brimley, accepts a position as a teacher at Pettibone's finishing school, she has no idea she will be expected to prepared the young ladies for their conjugal duties. Desperate to acquire knowledge she doesn't have, rather than be dismissed, she turns to a neighboring rake, Lord Nicholas Chambers aka Lord Bedchambers. In need of a semi-nude model for his latest painting, Lord Nicholas A very well-written and atypical historical romance. When Emma Heatherston, masquerading as the widowed Mrs. Brimley, accepts a position as a teacher at Pettibone's finishing school, she has no idea she will be expected to prepared the young ladies for their conjugal duties. Desperate to acquire knowledge she doesn't have, rather than be dismissed, she turns to a neighboring rake, Lord Nicholas Chambers aka Lord Bedchambers. In need of a semi-nude model for his latest painting, Lord Nicholas strikes a bargain with Emma - if she will pose for him, he will tutor her in the aspects of physical love. What I loved about this book was that the sexual chemistry between the main characters, Emma and Nicholas was palpable fromt the start, and continued to build with every encounter even though they barely touched for half the book. This was the magic for me- when Nicholas set out to educate (seduce) the virgin Emma by using only the power of words (and an occasional paintbrush!) Since I read it all in one night, I have to give it 4 stars!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I enjoyed this book, even though the premise is completely ridiculous and some of the things that happened made me roll my eyes. It kept me entertained the whole time, and sometimes that's all I need. A 3.5 rating, I'd say.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    I struggled with this one. The plot is of (a) a runaway maiden pretending to be a widow so that she can take a position at a school where (b) she finds out she is expected to teach the girls about their "wifely duties," of which she is also (unbeknownst to the headmistresses) ignorant, so of course (c) she goes to the local rakish recluse (isn't that an oxymoron in and of itself?) for "lessons" on said "wifely duties," which (d) he agrees to provide in exchange for her posing for his paintings. I struggled with this one. The plot is of (a) a runaway maiden pretending to be a widow so that she can take a position at a school where (b) she finds out she is expected to teach the girls about their "wifely duties," of which she is also (unbeknownst to the headmistresses) ignorant, so of course (c) she goes to the local rakish recluse (isn't that an oxymoron in and of itself?) for "lessons" on said "wifely duties," which (d) he agrees to provide in exchange for her posing for his paintings. *deep breath* Yes, it's completely implausible and preposterous. Thankfully, there weren't multiple drawn-out scenes of Emma's teaching the girls about "wifely duties." I don't think I could have gone any further in the book if those scenes kept popping up. Even so, what is included left me feeling squeamish and "WTF-no-way-this-happens-in-Victorian-England" incredulous. The characters also left me kind of cold. Nicholas was a decent "devilish H" with more dimensions than the other characters, and the author does a good job of showing his strong feelings for Emma through his actions. (view spoiler)[At one point, he waits out in the rain all day to prevent her from leaving after she had mentioned running away to the Continent. (hide spoiler)] The other characters felt a little cardboard to me. Emma just annoyed me half the time, mainly the times when she (a) bemoaned her plain looks in the first two chapters (view spoiler)[(Surprise! She's not plain and her devious uncle was just being a rat bastard in trying to convince her that she wouldn't ever get herself a husband.) (hide spoiler)] before she finally came to terms with her looks on account of Nicholas's reassurance that she is quite beautiful, (b) veered off emotionally in all different directions, which (c) almost led to the above-mentioned spoiler TSTL moment when I was like "are you kidding me??" She was sweet in her own way the other half of the time, but then she would turn around and do something that got on my nerves. The other characters seemed pretty one-dimensional, with the villainous uncle (we could have at least had more on his motivations for his nastiness?), the wide-eyed spinster headmistresses, etc. In terms of the story, once I wasn't as distracted by the "no-way-in-hell-would-this-happen-in-Victorian-England" line of thought, I liked the romance between Nicholas and Emma, particularly those interactions in his studio. There was delicious tension, but also mixed with a lighthearted and playful feel. I come away from this story with an "it was okay, but not great" feeling. I'd say 2+ stars, but not enough for me to say "I liked it." P.S. In case this stuff matters to you, there were also some glaringly misused homophones (e.g., "different then all the others" or "wile away the time") that ended up being somewhat distracting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    The premise of the book sounded promising, but I had some problems with the heroine. Emma ran away from London and her uncle who wanted to sell her to the highest bidder. To get the job at the academy she had to lie and claim that she was a widow. A little unusual requirement, but she didn't hesitate. And then she found out the reason for it. She is to teach her students about the intimate side of the marriage. She found herself in a bad position. As a virgin she had no idea what to say. The premise of the book sounded promising, but I had some problems with the heroine. Emma ran away from London and her uncle who wanted to sell her to the highest bidder. To get the job at the academy she had to lie and claim that she was a widow. A little unusual requirement, but she didn't hesitate. And then she found out the reason for it. She is to teach her students about the intimate side of the marriage. She found herself in a bad position. As a virgin she had no idea what to say. Thankfully there's Nicholas, a painter and a rake who's willing to teach her anything in exchange for posing for him. Nicholas is a second son who wants to prove to everyone, especially his father, that he is a good painter. To do that he has to come up with a masterpiece. And Emma would make a magnificent subject. Emma was just too much. I know that the debutantes were sheltered and naive, but she is simply unbelievably so. It's a wonder she even managed to get away from her uncle. I didn't like her at all. As a matter of fact I almost gave up on the book because of her. Nicholas is a brooding artist and likable. Of course a bit too trusting as it turns out (view spoiler)[it bothered me that he just took his brother's word and went on his merry way, instead of asking to see the picture (hide spoiler)] . And I didn't really like the ending, too much drama for me. It's a cute book, with a highly unbelievable plot. But if you can get past that and like that type of books you may like it better than I did. I usually need something more serious so that I could really enjoy the book. Rating: 2.5 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sia McKye

    This was such a fun story! What I like about Donna MacMeans stories is her ability to put you in the time period she's writing. She never preaches but you do learn to see the time period accurately and especially with this story and what women did and didn't know. Emma, Mrs. Brimley, is very much a product of her time, always covered head to toe as befits a lady, in possession of proper behavior, and very little knowledge of the opposite sex. Donna MacMeans gives you that viewpoint with well This was such a fun story! What I like about Donna MacMeans stories is her ability to put you in the time period she's writing. She never preaches but you do learn to see the time period accurately and especially with this story and what women did and didn't know. Emma, Mrs. Brimley, is very much a product of her time, always covered head to toe as befits a lady, in possession of proper behavior, and very little knowledge of the opposite sex. Donna MacMeans gives you that viewpoint with well written scenes. It's that lack of knowledge that makes this story a delight. Emma is pretending to be widow to take a position in Yorkshire with Pettibone Girl's school and escape a nasty uncle. She discovers, once she arrives, that one of her roles is to prepare young ladies of good breeding for their wedding night. A widow would have that knowledge. Emma is not a widow. How she goes about learning and how she employs that knowledge into lesson plans is hilarious. Nicholas Chambers is a son of a Duke. He is also known as Lord Bedchambers for obvious reasons. He's not supposed to want to be anything plebian like an artist. Yet, he is a very good artist and craves that recognition and one way to do that is have his work accepted by the academy in London. He has a deadline and no model. Enter Emma with a deadline to teach a class of girls and no knowledge. If you like your stories serve up with laughter, a good romance, and a few surprises, you're really going to love this story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Belinda Kroll

    I devoured this book. The chemistry between Emma and Nicholas was charming, scintillating, and sexy. Emma has the predicament of having to teach her students about their wifely duties. As a young widow, one might assume she knows a thing or two about this. And no doubt she would, if she were the widow she claimed to be. Enter the hero, Lord Nicholas "Bedchambers" Chambers, the lord next door with a penchant for artistry. Emma turns to him for instruction and guidance, getting that and more. This I devoured this book. The chemistry between Emma and Nicholas was charming, scintillating, and sexy. Emma has the predicament of having to teach her students about their wifely duties. As a young widow, one might assume she knows a thing or two about this. And no doubt she would, if she were the widow she claimed to be. Enter the hero, Lord Nicholas "Bedchambers" Chambers, the lord next door with a penchant for artistry. Emma turns to him for instruction and guidance, getting that and more. This was a great debut book. I feel as if Jane Eyre had been written today, it would have been this book. We have a spunky heroine who is determined to do right by her students, and a brooding lord who, while not having a crazy wife locked in the attic, has a few secrets of his own. I think what I loved most about this book was that even though Nicholas could have completely taken advantage of Emma, he always gave her a choice. Now, he could have been a true gentleman and not required Emma to pose for him, but then the story wouldn't have been nearly as interesting. Talk about foreplay... the slow undressing of the heroine for months built up the tension between them like crazy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    In this delightfully sexy debut, Donna MacMeans vividly portrays the importance of a well-rounded education... Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: She claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she's expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriage--of which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place lies with the alluring Lord Nicholas Chambers, a In this delightfully sexy debut, Donna MacMeans vividly portrays the importance of a well-rounded education... Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to teach at the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: She claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she's expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriage--of which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place lies with the alluring Lord Nicholas Chambers, a neighboring artist whose behavior is scarcely consistent with that of a gentleman. True to his reputation, "Lord Bedchambers" offers Emma a scandalous bargain: He will answer her questions about anatomy and bedroom etiquette if she will pose for him...in the Grecian fashion. Though keenly aware of the dangers of such a scenario, Emma determines to best this noble roue--never thinking she may be risking her heart as well... A fun, sexy, little romp. A bit of a surprise for me. I didn't expect to love it but I did.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cissa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was... OK. The basic plot device wasn't bad. There were some inconsistencies in peripheral facts about minor characters, plus inconsistencies in the way those characters acted. The use of language was sometimes, it felt to me, just a bit off- plus, doesn't laudanum have to be ingested to work? If you want an inhaled soporific, ether or chloroform were current, I think. The worst part, though, was the frequent use of misunderstandings as a way to keep the hero and heroine apart for the It was... OK. The basic plot device wasn't bad. There were some inconsistencies in peripheral facts about minor characters, plus inconsistencies in the way those characters acted. The use of language was sometimes, it felt to me, just a bit off- plus, doesn't laudanum have to be ingested to work? If you want an inhaled soporific, ether or chloroform were current, I think. The worst part, though, was the frequent use of misunderstandings as a way to keep the hero and heroine apart for the requisite amount of time. To me, these often felt silly, awkward, and implausible. And thus I deem it OK. I've read better, but there are certainly much worse!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Hartzler

    If you love historicals and have at least one "hot" romantic bone in your body, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Well written, beautiful character development. The protagonist, Mrs. Brimley, isn't exactly who she says she is, and the problems that evolve in this prim and proper English school-girl setting, makes for a page-turning story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    What fun! This Victorian Romance is a bit wittier and funnier than the others. The heroine is a bit geeky - by circumstance and nature, and the bohemian artist hero is a perfect foil. Charming - this was Macmeans first (published) novel, I cannot wait to read more!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I usually like historical romance books, but this one was not the best :(

  24. 4 out of 5

    L N

    Look! A paperback! I read this here historical romance novel after going through the box of books I received the other day and organizing them according to how much I wanted to read them. This one came out on top. The basic plot is that Emma has gotten a job as a teacher at a girls school under false pretenses. She is claiming to be a widow when she is in fact an innocent virgin. Unfortunately it turns out she is meant to teach the well to do young ladies at the school how to best please their Look! A paperback! I read this here historical romance novel after going through the box of books I received the other day and organizing them according to how much I wanted to read them. This one came out on top. The basic plot is that Emma has gotten a job as a teacher at a girls’ school under false pretenses. She is claiming to be a widow when she is in fact an innocent virgin. Unfortunately it turns out she is meant to teach the well to do young ladies at the school how to best please their future husbands. Not knowing a thing about the topic, she decides to sneak over to the nearby Lord’s manor. He is a reclusive artist with a bad reputation, and she decides to ask him some questions. And also for some naughty art. In exchange he wants her to pose for a nude painting. So if this isn’t the absolute best setup for a sexually charged extremely hot romance then I don’t know what is. I was caught, hook, line, and sinker. I am a huge sucker for the “sex lessons” trope. Sure, the plot sounds eye-rollingly unbelievable. But I am willing to look away in exchange for some good smut. But in the end it all just fizzled out. This book had lots of “tell don’t show” moments. “She asked him all her questions”. Uh huh. What questions? What was his response? What was hers? Why am I being denied the better part of this conversation? And why is the one (1) sex scene so brief and why does it happen so abruptly and pointlessly with no build up when it does? I know romance… especially mass market paperback romance… isn’t always focused on smut. Nor should it be. But when you have such a good smut premise and you totally squander it like this, it is a bit of a let down. Furthermore, the plot issues that I would have been willing to overlook (with a sly wink to the author) in a hotter book, was brought to stark relief when there was so little focus on sexual tension and lustful conversation. The main characters development felt shoddy and inconsistent, the side characters felt wooden and pointless, and the plot was almost absurdly unbelievable. It had some good moments, sure. And it didn’t feel like a total waste of my time. But ultimately it was a bit of a let down for me. As for Problematic Things, this book was written in 2007 so as far as the stereotypical bodice ripping stuff, we are well past that era. There is one “surprise unwanted kiss that she resists until it turns her knees weak” at the beginning, but otherwise everything is consenting and uncoerced, and when they do finally bang she knows what she is doing and is making an informed decision. It does feel like she wanted it and so her innocence becomes more of a fun trope and less of a patriarchal purity kink like certain other books I may have mentioned in the past. So all in all I am giving this a 6/10. Tess unenthusiastically recommends. It wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t get what I had hoped for out of it. I say snag it if it is in a yard sale or something. Otherwise don’t go out of your way to read it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Estridge

    Unmarried Emma needs to escape London and the twisted domination of her uncle. She discovers an advertisement for a teaching position in Yorkshire, but the successful applicant must be a widow. Desperate, she applies anyway, forging a reference that wins her the job. Then, attired in her late mother's widow's weeds, she heads for Yorkshire. There, she discovers why the spinster sisters who run the school wanted a widow. Their benefactor has read a study indicating that young women who are Unmarried Emma needs to escape London and the twisted domination of her uncle. She discovers an advertisement for a teaching position in Yorkshire, but the successful applicant must be a widow. Desperate, she applies anyway, forging a reference that wins her the job. Then, attired in her late mother's widow's weeds, she heads for Yorkshire. There, she discovers why the spinster sisters who run the school wanted a widow. Their benefactor has read a study indicating that young women who are prepared for their wedding night are more likely to conceive and he wishes the students to be familiarized with the appropriate details, which neither of them know. Nor, unfortunately, does Emma. She solves the problem by approaching the reprobate artist whose estate borders the school grounds. He needs a model, so he offers her a bargain--he'll answer one question for each item of clothing she removes. This creates a book-length striptease, which manages to be both sexy and hilarious. It's easy to see why this book won the 2006 Golden Heart®.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Emma Brinkley is not the widow she says she is. Will she be able to fake it. The Miss Higgins have asked her to teach at their school because she is a widow and can teach the girls about what to expect in the marriage bed. Lord Nicholas Chambers has a bad reputation but she feels because he is an artist that he can help her. He decides she will be a great model for him. He will answer her questions honestly if she will pose for him with not much on to protect her modesty. Then there is her uncle Emma Brinkley is not the widow she says she is. Will she be able to fake it. The Miss Higgins have asked her to teach at their school because she is a widow and can teach the girls about what to expect in the marriage bed. Lord Nicholas Chambers has a bad reputation but she feels because he is an artist that he can help her. He decides she will be a great model for him. He will answer her questions honestly if she will pose for him with not much on to protect her modesty. Then there is her uncle who wants to sell her to the highest bidder to pay off his debts. Though she worries about him finding her she has made a life for herself at the school. Emma is drawn to Nicholas more and more as time goes by but he seems to only care about his art. Can they find each other?

  27. 5 out of 5

    The Glassed And The Furious

    The book was okay. Nothing special, nothing extraordinary, but it was well written and had some lovely scenes. I guess I struggled most with the entire premise. I don't know anything about English school, such as it is portrayed here, so I don't know if it's at all believable, but I just found it weird that you would basically hire a sex-education teacher for girls at this time. Is that a thing? And then Nicholas sort of teaches her a lot of unnecessary things. Okay, so prepare young women for The book was okay. Nothing special, nothing extraordinary, but it was well written and had some lovely scenes. I guess I struggled most with the entire premise. I don't know anything about English school, such as it is portrayed here, so I don't know if it's at all believable, but I just found it weird that you would basically hire a sex-education teacher for girls at this time. Is that a thing? And then Nicholas sort of teaches her a lot of unnecessary things. Okay, so prepare young women for their wedding night? Fair enough. Teach them about the basic anatomy? Fine. Teach them about what to expect? Absolutely. But do they need to know about the different positions? Hmmm, maybe not. It's probably just nitpicking on my part, but it bothered me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zena

    This is a really well written historical novel. It has romance and some very interesting scenes where Mrs Brimley is being educated on the male anatomy and on the sexual act. These are so cleverly and amusingly written that I found myself smiling at their directness. Talk about turning the tables on the educator and making her the educated. The main characters are strong in their own rights, the theme is deliciously naughty but nice and I just have to give this a five star rating for the way the This is a really well written historical novel. It has romance and some very interesting scenes where Mrs Brimley is being educated on the male anatomy and on the sexual act. These are so cleverly and amusingly written that I found myself smiling at their directness. Talk about turning the tables on the educator and making her the educated. The main characters are strong in their own rights, the theme is deliciously naughty but nice and I just have to give this a five star rating for the way the story comes across. More of this type of book please, Ms. MacMeans. This is a winner!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Meeks

    Better than I expected from a cheap romance paperback. Too much coercion for my taste..."a no can become a yes with enough convincing" is a pretty gross approach. That aside, the characters were written pretty well, the scenario MacMeans set up is nice. The plot leaves a lot to be desired, but it's not poorly-developed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Lester

    How nice to read a story with a surprisingly different theme This story was based on how a young female of the ton has to enter marriage with no knowledge of what is expected of them in the bedroom. I really enjoyed how Nicholas and Emma interacted.

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