Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Tour for Teach Me by Cassandra Dean (Review & GIVEAWAY)

It's a steamy day today with Cassandra Dean making a return visit today with her erotic Regency read, Teach Me.  Keep reading to get a taste of this book along with my impressions of it.  Learn what draws Ms. Dean to writing in this time period and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a ton of promo items featuring this book along with a $15 Amazon GC too!

Hi peeps.....
First off, thank you to Jody for having me. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cassandra Dean and I write historical romance ranging from sweet to steamy. I also play about in the eras, roaming from Ancient Rome to Victorian to the Old West and beyond. My books take readers on an emotional rollercoaster, from the lowest of lows to the joyous of highs. And, of course, my characters fall into the forever kind of love.
Today, I’m going to chat about what drew me to setting of TEACH ME, London in the Early Victorian period, 1846 to be precise. TEACH ME was the first novel I completed and prior to its writing, I’d always thought I’d set my tales in the Regency era. At the time, it was the period I read more than any other so it seemed natural to write in that era. However, for one reason or another— I’m not quite sure why—I chose to set TEACH ME early in the reign of Queen Victoria. I think it might have had something to do with the burgeoning technological changes that occurred in the Victorian era—possibly I wanted to have gas lamps? Anyhoo, I chose this era and I’m so glad I did.
As I mentioned, the Victorian era was a period of enormous technological upheaval, as well as social and agricultural change and innovation. It affords so many opportunities to writers, with any one of a thousand stories and a myriad of paths you could take during those tales. The period is rich with conflict for the characters, both internal and external. In TEACH ME, there is a delicious dichotomy between the prim and proper facade one must show in public and the intense eroticism of private life.
I’ve set other tales in the Victorian era, most notably The Silk Series, my series featuring those who work within the law. In fact, in the first book there’s even a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention of Elizabeth and Malvern! I love messing about in this era, learning about the changes and leaps this handful of years brought to Western society. Once I finish the Silk Series—and write a few sequels to TEACH ME—I hope to mess about some more, perhaps even play with the spiritualism the period is known for. So, all in all, I’m glad I stumbled into the Victorian era.
And I’ve still to write a regency.

Ever curious, Elizabeth, Viscountess Rocksley, has turned her curiosity to erotic pleasure. Three years a widow, she boldly employs the madam of a brothel for guidance but never had she expected her education to be conducted by a coldly handsome peer of the realm.
To the Earl of Malvern, the erotic tutelage of a skittish widow is little more than sport, however the woman he teaches is far from the mouse he expects. With her sly humor and insistent joy, Elizabeth obliterates all his expectations and he, unwillingly fascinated, can’t prevent his fall. Each more intrigued than they are willing to admit, Elizabeth and Malvern embark upon a tutelage that will challenge them, change them, come to mean everything to them…until a heartbreaking betrayal threatens to tear them apart forever.


“I haven’t actually kissed that many men, so I was wondering if we could experiment. With kissing.” She looked at him, all that was expectant and eager. “What do you think?”
Malvern didn't hasten to reply, much needed clarity arriving with her request. She wanted to kiss? Innocently kiss when he could instead pull down that thrice-damned bodice and encase her nipple with the wet heat of his mouth? Kissing was the appetizer to a meal, not the main course. But how was she to learn if he didn’t show her the error of her ways? “If you feel it will benefit your education, by all means, we should undertake it.”
Her brow creased, and he knew she wondered at his words. And then, she smiled.
Such a smile should not be so radiant. His heart, disturbingly, started to pound.
“Excellent.” She came toward him and, with little more than a soft touch, coaxed him to his feet. “So, how should we proceed?” Her gaze wandered to his mouth.
He ignored the rush in his ears. “Start, and if you require any instruction, I shall provide it.”
She nodded, her gaze still on his mouth. Her hand curled around the back of his neck and, lifting herself onto her toes, she touched her lips to his.
He restrained the shudder that threatened at her touch. Bloody hell, such a reaction was absurd. Slowly, she brushed her soft mouth against his, her lips parted, her breath whispering over him. His already laboring heart grew worse, setting his blood to thrum through his veins.
The response was incommensurate to such a pedestrian embrace. Remaining still, he fought to give lie to his reaction, to pretend she had not just reduced him to a green boy with nothing more than her lips upon his.



From their unconventional initial meeting to their continuing emotional encounters, the journey to HEA for widow Elizabeth and hardhearted Malvern is one full of twists and turns.  Both of them are not what they first appear and only through their increasingly erotic encounters do reader's discover another side to them that makes for a compelling read.

Elizabeth is an unexpected heroine with her inquisitive nature and desire to experience life to the fullest.  This goes against what most women of the time are taught and leads her to a sexual exploration with the fully debauched Malvern who tries to keep things cold and clinical.  Elizabeth is an outspoken woman full of energy and warmth who's not afraid to form connections.  She doesn't want to flaunt her desires, as she worries about what her family thinks of her, but she's not willing to ignore them any longer either.  I applaud her standing up for what she wants, even though she's quite shy in their early encounters, and I enjoyed seeing the pupil become the teacher when it came to matters of the heart.

Malvern was rather difficult to like at first as he was very cold, detached, and unemotional.  He sees women as mere amusement and when they don't want to play he discards them, as he's done to two mistresses.  His father taught him at a VERY early age about sex and all the hedonistic intricacies of the debauched lifestyle.  There's nothing he hasn't done when it comes to sex which has led to boredom, boredom of life with all his previous encounters very superficial.  He never took the time to know those he had sex with as he wasn't taught how to form positive relationships but with Elizabeth she forces him to open up just as she opens up to him.  It's heartwarming seeing him become a better man, a more emotionally open one, though his emotional rebirth hits a rocky patch towards the end of the story.  Against what I thought possible I came to like Malvern and was sympathetic towards him with his dysfunctional upbringing and loved seeing him truly come alive with tangible emotions on display.

Ultimately this is a story about two lost souls finding one another.  Elizabeth is lost in a role dictated by society who longs for more and Malvern has had his emotions buried by a coldly detached father which left him living but not at all full of life.  Their increasingly erotic encounters ultimately led to a deep and abiding connection where both are allowed to fully embrace who they've become.  Though parts of the story seem unrealistic Ms. Dean has a way of glossing over those issues to fully immerse you in the character's outcomes.  She doesn't shy away from the gritty and steamy side of sex and had me seeing the Victorian-era in a whole new light and I definitely recommend this to fans of erotica.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.
Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.
So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels.
The love affair exists to this very day.
Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.

WEBSITE:  http://cassandradean.com
BLOG:  http://cassandradean.com/blog-2
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  1. Hi peeps,

    Welcome to TEACH ME’s book tour! First off, thank you to Jody for having me on her blog and I hope you enjoy learning about me, TEACH ME and of course entering the giveaway.

    Fun fact: I live in Australia so I might not be around much as I’m probably a) asleep or b) at work, but I will check in and answer your questions and comments.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the tour!

  2. What a great review. I can hardly wait to read this book.

  3. Great excerpt and review, thank you.

  4. Very interesting excerpt and a fantastic review. Congrats Cassandra!

  5. Nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Ohhh~~ Nice, nice... lol... thank you for the contest! :D

  7. I love historical romances. Anything set in the 19th century pleases me, but I'm especially partial to the Regency era. And since Downton Abbey became so popular, I'm beginning to love the early 20th century too. I'm sure I will enjoy reading this book. Thanks for that review.

    1. Snap, Karen! Me too!
      I do love the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. There's so much change and upheaval, and it's just rife for a grand, sweeping romance. Love it!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

  8. Absolutely spot on review~ makes me want to dive right in to the story. Thanks for sharing.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

    1. That's awesome to hear, Elise-Maria! I hope you enjoy :)

  9. This book sounds amazing. I loved the review!