Reviews

The Honey is Bitter by Violet Winspear

The Honey is Bitter by Violet Winspear

Glorious, vintage romance packed with melodrama, glamour and sexual tension. Violet Winspear's "The Honey is Bitter" is a classic of its time: from an era of virginal, teenage heroines and rakish, worldly older men. Written in 1967 and published by Mills & Boon you're clearly not going to get explicit sex, but there's enough tension and "hunger" and "surrender" that it's pretty clear what's going on when the drapes are ...
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The Young Amanda by Sara Seale

The Young Amanda by Sara Seale

Amanda, 17, is an heiress, and Grant, 30s, is her trustee. This is actually one of the more credible relationships in a Sara Seale novel. It's a very slow build. The other woman is Becky, Amanda's lazy and spongeing cousin (along with her mother and brother). Amanda's one weak point is that she feels they should have got the inheritance, merely because they "expected" it, even though she was the ...
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Temptation by Charlotte Lamb

Temptation by Charlotte Lamb

This is an absolutely incredible romance, possibly the best Mills & Boon/Harlequin I have ever read. It is a wonderfully sweet, absolutely forbidden love at first sight, between Laura (17) and Joss (39). Joss White crashes his car near the remote Yorkshire home of Laura and her eccentric artist father. He stays with them for a few days, during which time he falls hopelessly in love with Laura. On the ...
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Everything Beautiful in the World by Lisa Levchuk

This is a strange and lovely and bittersweet book. Edna is seventeen, her mother is in hospital with cancer, and she finds herself becoming involved with her married art teacher. She's a pretty troubled girl, she can't bring herself to visit her mother in hospital, and there's an unknown mystery about her brother who died as a child. The central student-teacher relationship is well written. It starts with Edna's clear ...
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The Unknown Mr Brown by Sara Seale

The Unknown Mr Brown by Sara Seale

So I guessed who Mr Brown was on page 2. Was I supposed to? Was it supposed to remain a mystery? "Mr Brown" is the mysterious benefactor of orphan Victoria (then 14, but 18 when the book starts). It's a similar theme to Daddy Long Legs. Victoria finishes school, paid for by Mr Brown, and gets a job working for a widow called Kate, whose dark, arrogant barrister cousin Robert ...
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cloud castle sara seale

Cloud Castle by Sara Seale

A young girl lies about her age to get a job as secretary in a guest house somewhere in Ireland, and falls in love with the owner and proprietor. Judy is 20, Raff is 35, and the other woman is the glamorous Marcia. Cloud Castle isn't the most satisfying of Seale's novels. There are several problems. Raff is continually, thoroughly blind and resistant to be told about the way Marcia and ...
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A Forbbiden Finale by Georgette Gray

After reading A Forbidden Finale you'll be tempted to join a dance class and get your own hot, lean, muscled instructor like Mr Langley... My gaze flickered to his lips for just a moment. We were so close when we danced that I could have pressed my mouth to his in an instant. I wanted to, desperately. Dancing with Ethan was like nothing else. His hands holding my frame fingers ...
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Inferno by Kathryn Kelly

Inferno gets 5-stars for the level of heat. It's a very steamy read and a good choice for those that like taboo/age gap relationships. It's also a book with which you just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. The actual plot is beyond implausible. It may help if you realise from the get-go that Georgiana is the daughter of incredibly rich and famous parents herself, so her world ...
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Green Lightning by Anne Mather

Green Lightning by Anne Mather

Green Lightning by Anne Mather is OUTRAGEOUS. There is simply no other way to describe it. she's 17, he's 35 he's has been her guardian since she was a small child they're not blood related, but he is described as her "uncle" for 99% of the book at one point he spanks her bare behind with a hairbrush (to punish her for kissing him) he looks in on her while ...
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Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J Bick

A wonderfully written and moving book. It's not one where you really get to enjoy the forbidden relationship between student and teacher and it's certainly not a sexy book at all. It's more about two people in need, with messed up lives, finding comfort and a kindred spirit in one another. I wasn't particularly convinced about the attraction between them but the emotional link is definitely there ...
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The English Tutor by Sara Seale

The English Tutor by Sara Seale

The English Tutor is an interesting example of a "vintage" student-teacher romance. Irish tearaway Clancy is seventeen and her English (nationality) tutor, Mark Cromwell, is thirty-seven. Though "romance" is perhaps stretching it because - given the era and the imprint - there's minimal romantic tension and zero sexual tension. In many ways it's much more of a Coming of Age story. The relationship progresses very slowly, and doesn't move across ...
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Eighteen: 18 by J A Huss

5 stars for the sizzling action and the pacing, those looking for a red-hot read will certainly find something to enjoy here. As a student-teacher it only just squeezes into the genre: he's teaching her outside school, so there are no real "classroom" scenes as such and none of the usual conventions (sneaking around, strict parents, fear of getting caught, trying to resist temptation, etc). There's also zero build up ...
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The Gentle Prisoner Sara Seale

The Gentle Prisoner by Sara Seale

The Gentle Prisoner is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which the characters themselves are well aware of and constantly refer to. Selfish wastrel father Lucius effectively "sells" his teenage daughter off to a man more than twice her age, who lives in a huge house, collects things, and is a bitter recluse due to a scar from an industrial accent. The problem, and also the most forceful presence ...
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Red Hair by Elinor Glyn

Red Hair by Elinor Glyn

Red Hair, aka The Vicissitudes of Evangeline (1905) is a beautifully written, sparkling book. However, the plot is the equivalent of Elizabeth Bennet marrying Mr Bingley instead of Mr Darcy. If you can stomach that, you'll enjoy this book. Or at least the first half of it. It seems clear to me that Elinor Glyn changed her mind about the hero about half way through. Initially all the attraction and ...
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The Dangerous Delight by Violet Winspear

The Dangerous Delight by Violet Winspear

This is classic Mills & Boon and classic Violet Winspear. The heroine, Faye, is an English girl living in Portugal. She stumbles across a fairytale castle, and lo! it's owned by her schoolfriend's devastatingly sexy uncle, and her schoolfriend is holed up there as a recluse because she had a riding accident which left her with a scar on her cheek. So Faye stays to try and restore her friend's ...
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Force of Gravity by Kelly Stevenson

The Force of Gravity is the classic student-teacher romance: new hot teacher lust at first sight trying to fight the attraction giving in sneaking around nearly getting caught graduating/going public If you like student-teacher romance, all the elements are here. I would agree with other reviewers that the heroine Kaley seems a little immature to attract Mr Slate. That said I found her character pretty convincingly written for a rather ...
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Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank

Wow - this is one of the hottest books I've read, ever. The sex scenes are absolutely superb and the erotic power dynamic between 18-year-old Addison and her 32-year-old teacher Grayson McKendrick is red hot. This is a true student-teacher forbidden romance: the initial head-over-heels attraction, the attempts to resist it, the giving in, the sneaking around, the guilt, the exhilaration. It's super sexy when Grayson gets jealous of Addison's ...
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The Silver Sty by Sara Seale

The Silver Sty by Sara Seale

I don't understand why this book is titled The Silver Sty. Where/what is the sty? According to the dictionary, a "sty" is a pen or enclosure for swine, or a messy, dirty or debauched place. Unless I skimmed over some reference, I don't get the relevance here. Anyway, onto our protagonists. Sarah Silver is seventeen and beautiful (or becoming so) and rather idle and spoilt, getting into parties and clothes, ...
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My Heart's Desire by Sara Seale

My Heart’s Desire by Sara Seale

Gael is one of the most appealing and also credible of Sara Seale's heroines. She's only eighteen but a genuine "old soul". There's the usual unpalatable Seale guff to present her as even younger than that - the endless references to her child like form, and her being a "thin little girl". But she knows her own mind, she's brilliant with horses, and she's an amazing gambler. The problem in ...
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The Haunted by Cassie Alexander

This is an amazing, extremely hot read. Easily a five-star rating, 1. Beautifully written. It has the universal, timeless quality of many classic ghost stories. 2. Great plot. The main story is as strong and as interesting as the erotic aspects. Many erotic novels are sex scenes strung together with a thin storyline. This is a proper book. It's even scary at times! 3. So much sex - and so ...
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Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire

This is a very well-written and intense book, that will disturb and likely disappoint readers looking for a happy romance. Those looking for a challenging and engrossing read, with interesting and complex characters, will find much to absorb them. Sarah is only 14 when she embarks on a sado-masochistic sexual relationship with her 38-year-old English teacher Daniel Carr. (Bear in mind that the book is set in Australia, where the ...
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dear professor sara seale

Dear Professor by Sara Seale

Why must Sara Seale insist on making so many of her heroines plain? And in the case of poor Sarah, constantly harping on about her plainness through the mouth of every character including the hero. Honestly, one starts to wonder if she is somehow deformed. Even in the final few pages of romantic denouement, there's this backhander from hero Adam Soames: "For me you will always have charm, no matter ...
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The Lordly One by Sara Seale

The Lordly One by Sara Seale

This is the most moving of the Sara Seale novels I  have read so far. There's a bereavement in it, and it is very poignantly and movingly described. The heroine is 18-year-old Morgan, who really suffers and struggles in this book. The hero is 36-year-old Carey Lord, who's actually really nice - if insufferably stupid about his cousin's widow, the Evil Sally. Women rarely come as patently, obviously duplicitous as ...
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The Career of Katherine Bush by Elinor Glyn

The Career of Katherine Bush by Elinor Glyn

The Career of Katherine Bush is a staggeringly lovely and enjoyable story. Elinor Glyn creates a heroine who becomes more likeable as the book goes on. Her main ambition is simply to "be a lady" - and one has to remember that in the era the book was written, there was a near-impassable divide between the life paths open to "a lady" versus a woman of lower status. That said ...
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The Wood of Suicides by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

The Wood of Suicides features the pursuit and seduction of a middle-aged high school English teacher by a 17-year-old student with father issues. Those that like a more literary read with plenty of poetry, slower moving relationships and psychological character studies will enjoy it. Though a lot of sex happens it is not erotic, and it is not described in explicit terms. One issue that some may struggle with is ...
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Victoria Holt THE TIME OF THE HUNTER'S MOON front book cover image

The Time of the Hunter’s Moon by Victoria Holt

The Time of the Hunter's Moon was the first Victoria Holt novel I ever read, and it remains my favourite. The heroine, Cordelia Grant, is an educated and spirited young woman who actually has a career (in an era when many women didn't) and the hero is her intellectual match. He starts off rather arrogant and dastardly but does reform by the end and remains charismatic and attractive throughout. Even ...
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the reluctant orphan sara seale

The Reluctant Orphan by Sara Seale

What I love about Sara Seale is the unashamed absurdity of her plots. Here, we have a man in his mid-thirties, who due to an injury, bitterness and heartbreak (if he has a heart - it's never apparent) decides to go to an orphanage and pick out a girl to marry. He then chooses the least attractive and willing girl offered to him. I don't know how often this happened ...
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Beautiful Torment by Paige Laurens

A very sexy, highly charged student-teacher erotic romance, great for fans of the genre. On the scale from romance -> erotica, Beautiful Torment would be well towards the erotica end. There's so much sex that there isn't a lot of room for plot, beyond the sheer physical attraction of the protagonists. Even before Luci and Mr Harrington consummate, there's endless erotic imaginings and even voyeurism. The author, Paige Laurens, deserves ...
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Forbidden Fire by Charlotte Lamb

Forbidden Fire by Charlotte Lamb

An absolute corker of a vintage Mills & Boon. Virginal schoolgirl bride, endless smouldering sexual tension and an angry older alpha man-of-the-world struggling to control himself. Plus a wonderfully silly plot where after nearly ravishing her every few pages he marries her, and then tries to remain celibate because "she's not ready for marriage". You can imagine how long that resolve lasts! There are a lot of similarities to Return ...
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Folly to Be Wise  by Sara Seale

Folly to Be Wise by Sara Seale

Tessa, 18, pretends she is secretly engaged to the long-absent son of the manor house, to get rid of a creepy suitor. Then the long-absent son, Max, 34, shows up, somehow learns about the lie, and "claims" her as his fiancée. Once again, as with The Third Uncle, Sara Seale plays this one really close to the bone. Tess may be 18, which in fairness is legal and was considered ...
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Distraction by A E Murphy

This is one of the best forbidden student teacher romances yet. It has all the usual elements of trying (and of course failing) to resist the attraction, sneaking around, getting caught, and so forth. The sexual tension is amazing. That's really the standout here: how it builds and builds and they haven't even kissed until well into the second half of the book. The sex scenes are not overly explicit, ...
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Bab: A Sub-Deb by Mary Roberts Rinehart

We've all been Bab. At least to some degree, anyway. Stuck on that frustrating threshold of youth|adulthood, where we absolutely totally completely know how mature we are and ready for the adult world. And when we can't help but lament that no one understands us, nor how deep and soulful we are. Except we're not. We're still kids, as is poor Bab. Bab, who is clearly far prettier than she ...
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Mount! by Jilly Cooper

Marvellous "bonkbuster" from Jilly Cooper who is happily back on form, now she has returned to the world of horses. If you were disappointed by some of non-horse novels since Polo, you'll be delighted once again with Mount!. Rupert is back - and thanks to some apparent age massaging (the dates don't seem to be canon any more, so just try to overlook this - Young Eddie's age is a ...
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The Third Uncle by Sara Seale

Not only does 19-year-old Gilly go to stay with a 30-something "uncle" she has never met, she also decides to masquerade as a 14-year-old gymslip-wearing schoolgirl. Written in 1964, you can imagine how this one progresses. The hero, Oliver "Uncle Noll" Blunt, is a schoolmaster at a minor public school in England. The heroine, Gilly Flower, is the daughter of a late business tycoon whose capricious (and legally implausible) will ...
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The Dark Stranger by Sara Seale

This is the second Sara Seale novel I've read (after The English Tutor). I was expecting much of the same again, and I got it. Seale is from the "vintage" Mills & Boon/Harlequin era, when heroines were frequently in their late teens and the heroes were usually much older, and everything is incredibly innocent. The problem is that because the heroines - in this case Clementina "Tina" Linden - are ...
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That Hagen Girl by Edith Roberts

That Hagen Girl is a curious read. I managed to source a copy (they are rare and it was expensive) because I had seen the movie a couple of times and it bewildered me. That Hagen Girl (1947) stars Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan, along with a supporting cast of other well-known stars. But it’s uncomfortable and odd viewing. In the film, Tom Bates, the male lead, is suspected by ...
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His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls

His Lady Mistress by Elizabeth Rolls

Absolutely wonderful book that deserves a higher average rating. I've read it four or five times now and can never put it down and always find myself weeping. We have a heroine, Verity, who is given pretty much the most miserable background ever. Despite this and her young years she is spirited and brave and capable of immense love and generosity. Then we have the most glorious, heroic, dark and ...
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Love's Charade by Jane Feather

Love’s Charade by Jane Feather

Hugely enjoyable historic romance with a rich plot, exciting adventure and a sexy age-gap marriage. Love's Charade by Jane Feather is a must-read for historic romance fans. As well as enjoying the love story, I learnt a lot about the French Revolution and enjoyed the detail of the setting. Seventeen-year-old Danielle de St Varennes is rescued from the streets by 36-year-old Justin, Earl of Linton. There's rather a lot of ...
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Reckless Angel by Jane Feather

Reckless Angel by Jane Feather

A wonderful, well-researched historic romance with an age-gap frisson. Reckless Angel deserves a far better blurb than the vague, generically florid one here. It's a surprisingly interesting and moving book set in a very eventful historical era (English Civil War/Roundheads vs Cavaliers). Fifteen-year-old Henrietta "Harry" Drummond is rescued by 29- year-old widower Sir Daniel Drummond. He ends up marrying her partly to save her from her abusive father and being ...
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Protecting Her by Georgette Gray

Protecting Her by Georgette Gray

Georgette Gray's latest student-teacher romance is a real page turner: there's not only the illicit intrigue between Violet and Mr Brennan to enjoy, but also a plot with heaps of twists and turns and danger. The build up to their forbidden romance is realistic and steady - he's holding back for obvious reasons - so when he finally gives way the results are pretty explosive. The emotional dimension is also ...
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Resistance by Cordelia Scott

Resistance by Cordelia Scott

This is a wonderful student-teacher novel. Jasmine and Sebastian have huge chemistry. 25-year-old Sebastian hires 18-year-old Jasmine to be his "fake girlfriend" to make his terminally ill father happy. Jasmine is so desperate for the money, as she wants to study music at college, that she lies about her age to get the job. Despite being only a business arrangement, their relationship soon gets steamy... and then high school starts, ...
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Her Teacher's Temptation by Alexandra Vos

Her Teacher’s Temptation by Alexandra Vos

I first read Her Teacher's Temptation on Wattpad (where it was titled "Light of the Morning") and loved it. It's a classic student- teacher romance with lots of sexual tension, supressed feelings and twists and turns. Set in the UK it's gritty and realistic in parts, with a lot of drama in Maddie's home life. This gives it a rich plot: there's a lot going on. But above all, the ...
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The Not Gate by Tammy Bench

The Not Gate by Tammy Bench

This is an AMAZINGLY hot student-teacher affair book! It's very sexy, very romantic and very realistic. 16-year-old Alice (17 by the time they get it on) falls in love and lust at first sight with her 31-year-old English teacher Tom Chambers. He tries to resist for ages, but when he finally yields... hold on to the edge of your seat! The sex is wonderfully written even though even more would ...
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Larkspur: A Necromancer's Romance by V M Jaskiernia

Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance by V M Jaskiernia

A strange and beautiful story of love and very dark magic. There is something dreamlike about it, as though the whole story could be a nightmare of death and life, sleep and wake. There were moments when Elizabeth and Pierre recalled Madeline and Porphyro in Keats' The Eve of St Agnes. There is a bitter chill in Larkspur, but it is also painted with jewel-like colours, secrecy and passion. The ...
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