header
   
 

The Education of Portia
by Lesley-Anne McLeod
ISBN 978-1-600174-061-8....... © 2008 ....... Purchase from Amazon.com

Reviews

From Long and Short Reviews:

Open the pages to Ms. McLeod’s book and step into the world of Regency England. I love classic literature especially that of Jane Austen and this book is definitely akin to that brand of story from the characters, plot and language. This is a historical novel that will not throw you out of the time period. You might just believe you are actually reading a period piece.

Wonderfully written in a style in tandem with the Regency period this historical novel will not disappoint. I recommend it as both a warm and fuzzy read on a chilly, winter evening but also as a romantic and touching story, sweetly written with just a touch of tension between the hero and heroine to keep the pages turning.
A keeper!
--Orange Blossom

From Coffee Time Romance:

Ms. McLeod pens an outstanding Regency. It pulls you back in time, where you can feel the era and the romance. Creative characters and important secondary characters set the stage for events. Mystery, intrigue and romance follow. Ingram's young daughters offered a lot of emotion to this tale as you could see their relationship unfolding with Portia and their needs being filled. Romantic and sweet, this romance is just right for a good bedtime read.
--Wateena

From Romance Reviews Today:

THE EDUCATION OF PORTIA is a heartwarming, solidly
entertaining traditional Regency romance well worth the reading
. Be sure to check out Uncial Press for this title and for Ms. McLeod's backlist as well.
--Jane Bowers

 

EXCERPT

The viscount urged her on, and opening the door, led her into a summer world. Portia was entranced. It smelled wonderful, redolent of wet earth, green exhalations of leaf and vine, and the sweet unseasonable smell of flowers. There was a narrow path between the ranks of vegetation which eventually opened to a small seating area warmed by braziers and lit with lanterns.

Intoxicated with the delight of summer within the winter, Portia smiled at Stadbroke. "It's wonderful! What a joy, and what a delightful thing for the girls to enjoy."

"They seem to like it very much. But they like your school better." He stood before her, at ease and far too attractive for her peace of mind. "Portia, you have been a true inspiration to my daughters. You have been their friend and an ally when they could not depend on me--or thought they could not."

She sidled away from him, and was disturbed when he followed.

"I wanted to thank you, for your understanding. And for helping me to better understand them."

He gathered up her hands, and when she would have withdrawn them he held them more tightly.

"You do so much for everyone, and so little for yourself. You have every confidence in your abilities, and none at all in your personal attractions. Portia, you are a handsome woman, perhaps not beautiful in the manner you believe you should be, but you have more lasting qualities than simple prettiness."

Portia was horrified by the turn of the conversation. He seemed to know too well her insecurities and her concerns. She tried again to pull away and he responded by drawing her into his arms.

"Portia, be still, and be told. You are an attractive woman. Why my compeers don't appreciate that, I will never understand. They look for superficialities I suppose. You offer true gold," he bent his head, and coaxing her with a questing finger under her chin, pressed his lips to hers.

Portia had been kissed once or twice, and assumed she had been found wanting as the experiments had never been repeated. She had tried so hard. This time she did not try at all, but followed her senses in appreciating his hard, yet tender mouth, and all the sensations it conjured within her.

When he ended the kiss, his breath came quickly, and Portia stared at him, overcome by a wash of desire and a surge of love. No, surely not love... Lust perhaps. She had known so little of these emotions, how could she tell one from the other? She closed her eyes to will away her confusion. "I should like to return to the drawing room, my lord."

"I should not," he said. "I should like to remain here and explore the interesting possibilities we have just discovered."

That brought Portia to her senses and a quick flare of annoyance. "It was a kiss, my lord. Nothing more or less, not a possibility at all."

"That's better. If we return to the drawing room with you all dreamy-eyed and bruise-mouthed, everyone will know what we have been doing. The spark in those wide eyes will convince them we have been at odds discussing gardening, nothing more."

To her horror, Portia began to laugh helplessly and continued to laugh as he led back into the beguiling library and up the broad stairs.

"You are utterly without judgement and conscience, my lord," she accused when at last she could command her voice to calm and quiet. She did not really believe her harsh words. "You take your pleasures wherever you wish."

"And you take yours not at all," he said, ushering her with a flourish back into the drawing room and into the conversations burgeoning there.