ARC-Review: THE LESSON PLAN by Jackie Barbosa

Despite her imminent debut, Miss Winifred Langston has no interest in trying on expensive ball gowns, learning intricate dance steps, or perfecting the one piece she can play on the pianoforte. Freddie would rather don a pair of breeches and go target shooting, fishing, or horseback riding—astride—than be anywhere near a ballroom or high tea. Rather than waste the last few days of her freedom on such pursuits, she invites her two closest friends to join her in one final caper.

When Conrad Pearce learns of Freddie’s plans, he decides it’s past time to teach his younger brother’s partner-in-crime a well-deserved lesson. But when he intercepts her, disguised as a highwayman, to demonstrate how dangerous and ill-advised her stunts are, he can’t resist the sensual beauty hidden beneath the maddening tomboy’s exterior. What began as one sort of lesson becomes quite another, as Conrad embarks on a comprehensive erotic tutorial of his surprisingly enthusiastic and adept student.

Now, he only has to convince the irrepressible Freddie to trade her breeches and madcap ways for the gowns and domesticity she despises.

Title: THE LESSON PLAN
Author: Jackie Barbosa
Series: Lords of Lancashire, book 1
Genre: Historical Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Year of release: 2011, December 25
Format: eBook
Source: Received an e-ARC from author for review

First line: The Honorable Miss Winifred Langston had achieved, through a combination of blind luck and careful contrivance, the prodigious age of twenty-one without ever having suffered the indignity of a London Season.

Memorable Scenes:
– the stay in the shelter during the ‘kidnapping’ > awesome and subtle little hint of BDSM
– Conrad’s proposal and what followed > beautiful and hot!

The hero and heroine of THE LESSON PLAN are as much opposites as anyone could imagine. Winifred “Freddie” Langston is an impulsive and willful wild child and Conrad Pearce is composed, sensible and reserved. Freddie and Conrad are the quintessential opposites that attract and Jackie Barbosa spun a lovely tale around them. The sex scenes are exquisitely done. The sexual tension is built up slowly and gradually to the brink of snapping and when it does, the heat flares.

This novella didn’t have a lot of secondary characters and I didn’t mind that at all as the focus remained on Freddie and Conrad, their chemistry and the development of their romance, which is something I like in historical and contemporary romance.

This being said, I was very happy to hear from the author that there is a story for Nash, Freddie’s older brother and there are stories coming for Walter (Freddie’s twin brother) and Thomas (Conrad’s younger brother) because these brothers intrigued me to no end, even if they weren’t in the limelight that much.

I was hesitant to start reading THE LESSON PLAN as I’d just finished a sublime historical romance and wanted to avoid the inevitable comparisons if I immediately read another historical. So I read some contemporary romances to cleanse the palate and then started THE LESSON PLAN. I shouldn’t have worried because if I go by this book alone Jackie Barbosa writes great historical romances and I’ve been missing out by not having read them sooner. Her writing has this something to it I cannot pinpoint but I know I love.

THE LESSON PLAN is an excellent historical erotic romance infused with subtle humor and delivered through crisp writing with characters that you can’t but love.

Favorite Quotes:

Quite simply, Conrad fascinated her by virtue of being everything she wasn’t—levelheaded, self-contained, urbane, reserved—and that air of perfect, impenetrable composure seemed both a careful façade and a deliberate challenge. Unsettle me, it dared her. Muss my never-out-of-place hair, put my impeccably knotted cravat askew, overset me with passion and recklessness. She found it impossible to believe he was as imperturbable, as detached as he appeared. Beneath that cool, polished exterior, she believed there lurked a kindred soul, and she ached to set him free from his prison of decorous self-restraint.

As if any male with operational vision could mistake the owner of that slender waist and gloriously rounded arse for a boy. He certainly hadn’t been able to since the summer he’d returned from Cambridge to discover that the tomboyish urchin who’d played with his younger brother was no longer a leggy, boisterous child, but a leggy, boisterous young woman with a figure that would have been right at home in Miss May’s Pleasure Parlor.

And that was how, a few seconds later, Conrad discovered that the Honorable Miss Winifred Langston intended to visit Miss May’s Pleasure Palace just two nights hence. The reason in order to learn “what all the fuss is about.”
Conrad had a mind to show her. In the interest of not being called out for pistols at dawn by Nash Langston, however, he went upstairs and showed his hand instead.

The moment of Conrad’s surrender was one Freddie was sure she would remember—and cherish—for the rest of her life. She hadn’t been sure she could manage it. Even when she was taking off her breeches, preparing to offer herself to him, she’d doubted her ability to breach his reserve and make him throw caution to the wind. Even when he’d slipped his fingers between her thighs and groaned with undisguised delight, she’d wondered if he would finally be able to unleash the truest angels of his nature.
The angels that were devils.

He was a seething mass of contradiction on the matter. He wanted her. Ached for her. To the point that he lay awake at night, stroking himself until he was spent as he replayed every wicked moment of their encounter. He doubted he would ever again find a woman whose craving for submission and surrender seemed so perfectly to mirror his own need for domination and control.

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