Author: Angela Meadows
Rating: 1 out of 5
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Recommended Reading: AGE+ 18 (for strong sexual content, including scenes of BDSM and strong language)
Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
OVERALL THOUGHTS: After last week’s review I was super excited to read The Education of Victoria. I don’t consider myself an easy reviewer to upset, but Angela Meadow’s accomplished it. I was extremely disappointed. The synopsis for this book is beyond misleading. It omits a huge portion of Victoria’s story that had I known about it, I never would have taken the time to read it.[divider top=”0″]
SYNOPSIS: Packed off to a continental finishing school, Victoria thinks she will be taught how to be a dutiful wife for a gentleman. She soon discovers she has a lot to learn in the arts of pleasure at the Venus School for Young Ladies. Under the guidance of strict Principal Madame Thackeray and her team of tutors, this sweet young English rose learns the finer arts of sexual pleasure.
On returning to England, she finds her father in financial difficulty, and must turn her newfound education to good use to save the family estate.[divider top=”0″]
THE LOWDOWN: Here’s the thing, the beginning of the book wasn’t bad. It begins with Victoria being caught in a compromising situation with a man who, according to her father, was below her station. Naughty Victoria is then shipped off to what he believes is a famous finishing school. This is where things get tricky, it’s not a finishing school in the way he thinks it is. Sure, she learns things about art, music, embroidery and how to run a household but that is all abstract and the reader doesn’t see a moment of it. What the reader does see are the lessons she receives in how to please her future husband.
Victoria’s education, which involve men, women and various sexual scenarios, are vividly described and sexy like you would expect an erotic novel to be. Up until this point there isn’t a whole lot of plot other than a girl of higher birth and means participating in things that normally would be forbidden to her, but it works because Meadows keeps the story moving through the movement of the characters. She has them traveling around Europe and that kept my interest, although I kept wondering on which trip she would meet the man that would benefit from all her training. The sucker punch I got next planted me firmly in the camp of, this isn’t a happy ending kind of book.
To be fair, Victoria was hit hard too. So much so that when she returned home on holiday, she ended up having to rely on her lessons to pay for necessities like coal and food. If the necessitation of prostitution was meant to soften the blow of what happened next, it didn’t work. Victoria was left desolate and upon returning to her school looking for help; she was sold to the highest bidder. That’s right, I said sold. Victoria ends up in a horrific situation where she is abused physically, mentally and sexually and there isn’t a damn thing she can do about. How could she from her place chained to the basement floor? I found none of this situation sexy at all.
I almost put the book down. There was no warning that it would include anything remotely resembling human trafficking, but it was there. Victoria’s closest friend from school does eventually come to rescue her. By then end everything just left me with a dark cloud hanging over my head. There wasn’t enough time in between her rescue and the end of the book to lift the darkness.
FINAL THOUGHTS: So, long story short, I’m not recommending this read and I am going to recommend that the author alter her synopsis. Some things you just need to mentally prepare for and this was one of them.