Book Review, Comedy, Historical, Romance, Series

Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1) by Delilah Marvelle


Granddaughter of a renowned courtesan, Maybelle Maitenon has no interest in her grandmother’s school in London where gentlemen receive instruction–in the art of seduction. Her only desire in life is to remain independent and free from men and their overbearing expectations. But when Maybelle lays eyes on the Duke of Rutherford, who is well-known for his gentlemanly ways, she can’t resist. Neither she or the duke are prepared for what their attraction is about to do not only to their sanity but their hearts.


I have to admit that historical romance is one of my favorite genres and when one adds humor and hot romantic scenes, it is even better! 

Delilah Marvelle has extremely lovable, entertaining, and fearless characters and once you read one of her books in the School of Gallantry series, you will not hesitate to pick up the rest. I am reading the books out of order (see my review for Lady of Pleasure) which is perfectly fine, but I recommend you start from the raucous and heartwarming beginning to learn what this utterly tempting school is all about. You will not be disappointed!

I adore Maybelle’s boldness, bravery, and principles. After the public spectacle of her dalliance at a soiree and despite her growing attraction for the respectable and proper Edmund Richard Worthington, the sixth Duke of Rutherford, she sticks to her convictions to not marry and put her future children through the ridicule that she suffered all her life. However, the very endearing and confused Edmund has other ideas. His pursuit of the alluring and captivating Maybelle Maitenon is charming and full of LOL moments. The best being when she substitutes as headmistress for her grandmother’s School of Gallantry which Edmund discreetly attends along with four other distinguished gentlemen of the nobility. Lessons at the school include Maybelle’s critiquing of the men’s nightshirts (i.e. Edmund doesn’t wear one), and the hilarious and uncomfortable demonstration of one of the uses of a dildo.  May I add the other four gentlemen (a rake, a flirt, a virgin, and a new husband) attending the school are very intriguing in their own right with some interesting and sordid histories of their own.

As for supporting characters Maybelle’s grandmother is a force to be reckoned with and a philosopher in her own right. Her advice to her granddaughter is shrewd with an underlying purpose and we also get a glimpse into her grandmother’s compelling past that results in a happy reunion. Edmund’s mother is also a wonderful addition with her support for Maybelle and her motherly lectures toward Edmund.

The School of Gallantry is a brilliant idea. After all, giving men lessons on seducing and wooing a woman is deliciously taboo in 1830 London and bound to draw out some fantastic stories. In addition, the reader is pleasantly treated to a lesson in every chapter.

I am delighted to recommend this captivating tale of love between a daring heroine and an honorable hero that is teeming with enticement, angst, pursuit, intimacy, and side-splitting hilarity.  I guarantee you will read this book in one sitting.


Mistress of Pleasure

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Delilah MarvelleI spent my youth studying various languages, reading voraciously, and playing the pianoforte. I confess that here ends the extent of my gentle breeding. I was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to my room on many occasions due to these misadventures, I soon discovered the quill and its amazing power. I scribed endless stories that almost invariably surrounded the topic of love, for I felt an inane need to be rescued from a family that did not understand my lust for life. In my mind, King Arthur became my true love and I waited for the day when he would come riding upon his steed and invite me to sit at his round table, not as his queen, but as his knight. To my distress, King Arthur was never to be found anywhere except for in the tip of my quill. And so I led an imaginary life for many, many years.

When I finally came of age, my family was further horrified to discover that I had fallen in love with an American. An American King Arthur who became my knight, my husband, my all. I have been blessed beyond reason and am grateful for each day I have with him. What is equally amazing is that I now have the opportunity to share my passion for stories with the public. The reason why I write romance is that it allows me to touch upon the subject of love on a much deeper, more intimate level.

Many of the stories I write, many of the stories I will continue to write, will always evolve around love. And yes, gentle readers, it will also evolve around sex as I have no intention of becoming my parents and restraining my characters from what it is they truly desire to do. I challenge you, my readers, to let loose of those corsets that have been strung too tightly due to convention and enjoy 1830 to its fullest.

Ms. Marvelle can be reached on FacebookTwitter, and on her website.

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