Lessons in Indiscretion

Karen Erickson
Lessons in Indiscretion
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Carina Press
Release Date
June 2011
Book 1 of The Merry Widows
Erotic Romance, Historical Romance

Widowed Lady Julia Renwick is still young enough to crave a man's touch; but she's too old to think that the Earl of Bedingfield could see her as anything more than a family friend. Garrett Walker is handsome, charming and only 26 years old—the perfect catch for any one of this year's debutantes.

Garrett has no interest in the maidens vying for his attentions. He wants only Julia. With just two weeks left in the season, he makes a bold move by asking her to dance. When she counters with a shocking request of her own, Garrett eagerly agrees.

Soon, they are stealing away for passionate encounters at every society event they attend. Garrett introduces Julia to excitements she never knew existed, and her newfound confidence quickly attracts other eligible men. It's not long before Garrett realizes he must find a way to keep the lady all to himself...

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jul 13, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
381 people found the following review helpful
Sultry, scandalous and incredibly sweet, this is a short story that condenses all the emotion and enjoyment of a good romance into a one-sitting serving.

The widowed Lady Julia Renwick. Having finished her period of mourning, she has decided that it is time to start living once again, and has determined to take a lover. The only concern is that the man she has chosen—the only man she would ever choose—is Garrett Walker, who is 26 years old, handsome, dashing, charming, and consequently the most eligible bachelor of the London season. With his choice of far younger, lovelier ladies of much better standing than Julia, she is convinced she hasn't a chance with Garrett. But as the season draws to a close, and Garrett still has yet to show any interest in any of the matches being made for him, Julia decides to stake everything on one dance and on one question.

And it would seem that Lady Julia is not the only person thinking of a liaison. Garrett takes as much delight in watching Julia come into her own as he does in the more physical aspects of their affair. He has always known that there was a fiery woman lurking beneath the surface and, with each stolen moment together, each clandestine meeting, Garrett finds Julia even more seductive and fascinating. Despite their agreement, he can't accept that the end of the season means the end of their affair—but Julia is convinced that Garrett deserves a better, younger woman than she to share his life and actually, unbelievably, refuses him.

Considering the length of this story, I thought it was remarkable how much I came to care about both Julia and Garrett. She is shy and unsure of herself, but never comes across as weak. In fact, everything she does and accomplished through this story is a result of bravery. I did think she made a bit too much out of the difference in their ages (which was considerably less than I had assumed it to be), but I can understand how seeing Henry pursued by women even younger than him would make her feel quite ancient.

Garrett is all dashing and debonair (and absolutely irresistible, I might add), but beneath that, he's genuinely warm-hearted and sweet. I doubt his attraction to Julia was ever purely physical, but reading how completely captivated he is by all that she is and has become was wonderful. And when all seemed lost, the way he went about winning Julia back was spectacular and has me grinning all over again remembering it.

This was a splendid story, full of passion and heart and two genuinely loveable characters who were magic together—and the fact that I was able to savor it all in one sitting was an added bonus. If it had been longer, I don't think I'd have been able to put it down anyway!
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Book Review by CarolAnn
Sep 17, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
343 people found the following review helpful
Karen Erickson is a new author to me but I really enjoyed her charming, spicy novella, LESSONS IN INDISCRETION, the first in The Merry Widows series.

Widowed Lady Julia Renwick longs to experience the passion so lacking in her marriage to her late husband, a much older man. She contemplates taking a lover for the remaining two weeks of the season but there is only one man who stirs her, an old family friend, the handsome and charismatic Garrett, Earl of Bedingfield. But why would such a man, who could have any woman he pleased, be tempted by an older woman such as herself?

Julia is unaware that Garrett has watched and desired her for months and when she plucks up the courage to ask him to be her lover, he willingly accepts. What should have been only a temporary, no strings attached affair becomes something far deeper for Garrett as he watches Julia blossom into a radiant, charming and passionate woman. He soon realises he has fallen hopelessly in love with Julia but persuading her to become his countess will take more than mere words!

I was immediately captivated by this story and the interesting older woman/younger man theme. Julia is adorable and when she asks Garrett to be her lover, I love her nervous babbling, which reveals all her insecurities:

"I know you have other interests, other things you should be doing, such as searching for a proper wife. And I know I'm older than you, and you probably don't find me that attractive, and perhaps you just kissed me due to some odd, impulsive behaviour-----"

It is delightful to see how the time spent with Garrett gradually transforms her from a shy, insecure, inexperienced woman into a radiant, confident and passionate one. What woman wouldn't blossom under the attentions of someone like Garrett? He's not only gorgeous, charming and virile but also thoughtful and kind. I love the fact that he wants Julia so badly:

She was a fire in his blood. He didn't know what he'd do without her.

There is real chemistry between Julia and Garrett and their feelings always seem natural. I felt Ms Erickson made the development of their feelings for each other from pure lust to something far more profound very believable. For instance, Julia's thoughts suggest something far deeper here than mere physical sex:

It was enough to stare into his eyes and feel his body moving within hers. She'd never been so utterly connected to someone. The moment was fraught with intimacy, and she almost wanted to weep from the intensity.

The fact that they spent time talking, sharing their dreams, laughing, teasing and simply kissing all suggested a depth to the relationship making falling in love seem natural.

As you would expect with an erotic short story, the love scenes are steamy but never crude and Ms Erickson manages to tailor them perfectly, many scenes being implied rather than actually shown. This means the detailed love scenes have more of an impact and do help to move the story forward. My favourite is the carriage scene and I love Julia's reactions:

She'd never done anything like this before. Her husband had only made love to her in a bed while lying on top of her. This...this was shocking. Exciting.


I applaud Ms Erickson for giving me the chance to experience one of the most romantic final scenes I have read in a long time. To say any more would spoil it but it is certainly sigh-worthy!

If you are looking for a short story to curl up with on a rainy evening, I can certainly recommend LESSONS IN INDISCRETION. I am definitely anticipating reading the second novella in this series, Her Christmas Pleasure.
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