The fourth book in the School for Heiresses series.
When Madeline Prescott took a teaching position at Mrs. Harris's School for Young Ladies, it was to help restore her father's reputation. Instead, she's in danger of ruining her own. The devilishly handsome Anthony Dalton, Viscount Norcourt, has agreed to provide "rake lessons" to Mrs. Harris's pupils so they can learn how to avoid unscrupulous gentlemen, and Madeline is to oversee his classes. She has always believed that attraction is a scientific matter, easily classified and controlled -- until she's swept into the passionate desire that fiercely burns between her and Anthony. Nothing could be more illogical than risking everything for a dalliance with a rake -- even one who's trying to behave himself. Yet nothing could be more tempting....
When Anthony was a young boy, his father send him to live with his aunt and uncle when his mother died. They abused him terribly. And now his brother died, leaving him with the title and the estates, but his aunt and uncle have applied for guardianship of his niece Emma. He cannot let those monsters have another child to abuse. So he tries to become respectable, and if he can get Emma into the best school there is, he has a chance of gaining guardianship himself.
So he strikes a deal with the headmistress, mrs. Harris. He will give rake lessons to her pupils, and when she is satisfied with his character, she will enrol Emma in the next semester. What Anthony did not count upon, was Madeline Prescott. She takes the opportunity to blackmail Anthony in getting her invited to a nitrous oxide party, so she can finally meet Sir Humprey. He is the only one who can restore her fathers reputation.
But Madeline will not tell him her reasons for it. So he sets out to seduce her, to learn her secrets. Her father is being pursued by his uncle, so he just cannot know of their connection, it will damage his chances for getting Tessa. When Madeline realises the hell he went through, she tries to put her own goals back. Anthony however is determined to save them both: his niece and her father. So he decides to go back to that town he has avoided for over 20 years, to face his own demons and find out the truth about her father.
He loves Madeline, and he will do anything to get her to marry him. Even if it means loosing Tessa. But luckily, what he learns will set them all free.
Another good book by Sabrina Jeffries. Very original characters, and the plot was amazing. I have never read before about nitrous oxide, or the sins of Onania, and I have read quite a few books. As usual, some good love scenes, and real characters to care for. Sadly, I have only two more books by Sabrina Jeffries to read, so I will save them for a bit.