Synopsis from Goodreads: Dorset, 1858 When Hannah’s caught watching her late husband’s cousin debauch the maid in the library, she’s mortified–but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she’s used to being ignored.
The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she’s witnessed, but there’s something about Leo that draws her to him.
When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous. Her own experiences have been uninspiring. Yet she can’t bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she’s losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends? (Novella: 22,000 words)
My Rating: 4/5 stars
**Please Note: this is an adult only read**
Juliana Ross’s Improper Relations is a quick naughty romp through late 19th century England. Following her husband’s death Hannah has nowhere to go, no money and no one but her late husband’s family to take her. Hannah has resigned herself to the knowledge that she will spend the rest of her days as the unpaid companion to her late husband’s mother. While Hannah is not happy in her position she does have a roof over head, a place to sleep, and the large family library to occupy her limited free time.
No one ever uses the library, at least not that Leo has noticed. What better place is there to play naughty with the maid than in the one place that no one ever uses? Except for Hannah, the one person no one ever notices. As the afternoon passes by Hannah finds herself trapped on the upper floor of the library as Leo and the maid both quite joyfully pleasure one another. Hannah knows she should announce herself or try and escape unnoticed but she just can’t seem to take her eyes off the couple. Everything Leo and the maid do to one another appears to be mutually pleasant and even exciting; it also looks like something Hannah has never ever experienced, even with her late husband. Hannah thinks she has gone completely unnoticed during the tryst but much to her great shock and embarrassment she soon discovers Leo was aware of her presence all along.
What happens next is something Hannah never imagined possible; she overcomes her shyness, embarrassment, and awkwardness and embarks on a variety of fun and sexually satisfying lessons with the more-than-willing Leo. Leo takes Hannah under his wing and opens her world up to a whole new realm of possibility, at least where sex is concerned. Hannah is an unpaid “burden” while Leo is a member of the wealthy family Hannah once belonged to and now works for. The possibility of the two of them together outside of the bedroom is absolutely ridiculous and all kinds of forbidden. Hannah knows this and thus determines that she will learn all she can from Leo, enjoy her forbidden time with him, and hope and pray she doesn’t become emotionally attached to him.
The Bottom Line: I enjoyed this quick (30-45 minute) adults only read very much. While I initially found Hannah to be a bit cold, her curiosity and enthusiasm for her “lessons” with Leo quickly overshadow her coldness. Leo initially comes across as man-whore but his attitude toward Hannah and his attentiveness regarding her needs and desires make him a much more likeable character. While the naughty bits of this novella are frequent they aren’t lewd or disturbing just descriptive and instructional J Yes, there are a lot of naughty bits in this novella but there is also a decent plot and a bit of drama to be had. In the end, Improper Relations was a good and satisfying read.