About the Book:
Title: Her Lessons in Persuasion
Author: Megan Frampton
Series: School for Scoundrels #1
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Jan. 24, 2023
Publisher: Avon Books
Synopsis: To Lady Wilhelmina Bettesford, the “game” of finding a husband is a competitive sport she wants no part of…until her much-younger step mama forces her to play it. So when her stepmother asks sexy barrister Bram Townsend to pretend to woo the amateur astronomer to boost Wilhelmina’s popularity, it’s up to Wilhelmina to navigate a fake courtship that will keep the family from forcing her into a marriage–any marriage–before she finally receives the inheritance that will allow her to live as she wants.
The trouble is every time Bram takes her in his arms she has a most difficult time remembering theirs is an act…the make-believe passion feels very real indeed.
Bram Townsend is a man on the way up: living for his books and his beliefs. Squiring Lady Wilhelmina through London’s dusk-to-dawn social whirl is hardly an ordeal–she’s beautiful, bright, and bold, everything he finds tempting in a woman. Their deal means he can meet the “best” people while she keeps her family at bay. The challenge is he quickly finds himself wanting her to say “yes” when she’s so determined to say “no.” She persuaded him to make this impetuous bargain, but how can he convince her to make it real?
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This is such a fun and refreshing historical romance. It follows Wilhelmina, an amateur astrologer with an aversion to marriage, and Bram, a barrister asked to fake a relationship with Wilhelmina in order to attract potential suitors. Bram is a career-driven man with a love of reading. He never expected to be distracted by a woman, but when he meets Wilhelmina, his life is irrevocably changed. As the pair navigates a fake courtship, they find they have many things in common, and their feelings for each other grow, but they both have to decide if marriage is in their future.
I love Wilhelmina and Bram. They both have interesting backstories, and their romance is fantastic. Bram (love him!) really sees and understands Wilhelmina in a way that no one else does. With a new stepmother (She’s the worst. She’s younger than Wilhelmina, which she points out all of the time! Ugh! And she’s pretty vapid and hurtful at times.) pressuring her to marry, Wilhelmina is frustrated. She has goals that don’t revolve around being someone’s wife, and she does not abide by the rules of society. She challenges the status quo, and she fights for what she wants. I think Bram loves this about her. She’s so different from the typical society woman, and she intrigues him as no other woman ever has. He’s so career-focused, and he feels he has no time for women. But that all changes when he meets Wilhelmina.
Wilhelmina and Bram challenge each other, and their banter is fantastic. And their first meeting is so awkward and comical! It definitely sets the tone for the story. Whether they are debating, discussing literature or astronomy, or arguing, their connection is palpable. They make each other think and grow and change and experience new things. For example, Wilhelmina, who doesn’t like change, has never been to the opera, but she ends up going with Bram. The wonder and delight Wilhelmina feels when she goes are so lovely, and the wonder Bram feels when watching her experience new things is just as charming. These two were made for each other.
Both Bram and Wilhelmina are virgins, and the attraction and sexual excitement that they feel are new to both of them. They explore these feelings and new experiences together, which I liked. I don’t read a lot of historical romances where the man is as inexperienced as the woman, and it was refreshing. It was also awkward at times and very sweet. Plus, Bram falls first, and I adore romances with this trope. The way he goes about trying to convince her that they belong together is swoon-tastic.
And Bram’s best friends/brothers are the best. They’re hilarious together, and you can tell they’re really close. They’re the type of friends that will help you no matter what, no questions asked. I think it’s great that these men found each other when they were all boys and alone in the world. They are more brothers than friends, and I’m super excited that each will be the focus of future books in the series. They remind me of Alexa Aston’s Second Sons of London – swoon-worthy and unique men with hearts of gold.
I also love that they have discussions about books and reading, and they often talk about their love of reading, albeit in very different genres. They have an interesting conversation about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and they discuss astronomy books that Bram reads to learn more about Wilhelmina’s passion. Romances that include characters who love reading and learning make me so happy. There are also some strong messages about family expectations, gender inequality, the treatment of different social classes, and more.
I thought this was a great start to Megan Frampton’s new series. It has great characters, a swoon-worthy romance, an amazing found family, and more. I would definitely recommend it to historical romance readers, and I’m excited to continue the series. I can’t wait to see which of Bram’s friends will be the focus of the next book!
Special thanks to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The talks about literature and reading.
- The messages.
- The friend group.
That is what great literature does, my lady. It makes you care about the monsters.
This is a great historical romance for readers who enjoy:
- fake dating
- hero falls first
- great banter
- female scientists