Teach Me a Lesson: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? SPOILERS!


Teach me a Lessonby Jasmine Haynes
Berkley/Penguin April 1, 2014
E-Book/Trade Paperback: 320 pages
Genre: Erotic Romance, BDSM
Print book provided by publisher for review purposes.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

High school guidance counselor by day, sex therapist by night, Charlotte Moore’s passion is people—whether helping students with the realities in life, or helping their parents with their fantasies.

Enter Principal Lance Hutton, the perfect subject for Charlotte’s method in re-charging the sex drive—and it’s going to take some discipline. Considering this hot older man is her boss, it makes sense that he dole out the punishment. Besides, Charlotte’s begging for it.

But when Charlotte’s after-school extra-curricular activities are made public, it threatens her job, her reputation, and the career of the man she’s falling head-over-heels in love with. Now, if this town wants a scandal, Charlotte and Lance are ready to give them one—and a lesson in bad behavior they’ll never forget.  http://www.jasminehaynes.com/

My Take!

This book has some really good ground to cover outside the bedroom (car, park, classroom, office).  I was pretty dismayed by the lover’s behavior and her reaction to it.  But it really brings up a lot of important issues about work, double standards, harassment, practicing BDSM, and more. What it then does with those issues is where I had problems.

The main female love interest and the person who is most represented in the author’s POV is Charlotte. She is a therapist, seems to focus on couples and individuals in dysfunctional relationships, and she is a part time guidance counselor at the high school she attended..  She is also the friend of a woman, Lola who featured in a prior book (THE NAUGHTY CORNER) who has just discovered exciting new world of BDSM.  After talking to Lola, Charlotte starts to wonder if that would work for her.  She herself has a lot of relationship hang-ups after a bad relationship with an older man.   But, Lance, the school principal is hot, though older, and one day he spanks her to orgasm at her invitation. Ooh, I thought, this will be spicy!  Yup. Spicy.

CONTAINS SPOILER – Click and drag  over it to read. Quite a lot happens, but suffice it to say that even besides their relationship issues, politics become involved.  Before they are ready for “the lifestyle” he starts to assume a full time D/s relationship and he violates the minor rules they have agreed on.  At one point his behavior rolls into workplace harassment and another time he ties her up when she has used their safe word.  He is untrained and so is she and really they have no business ending up at the level of relationship they end up at.

Oh, sure it is fun to be naughty and experiment, but when the relationship goes awry in several ways I did not at all like the way the issues resolve.  Look, no book has to present a socially responsible, progressive conclusion, but I’m not going to like or recommend one I feel is not responsible and explains away both workplace harassment and BDSM activity that is totally not agreed upon. And, ugh, he has somehow divined that that was what she really wanted, but even if it were, that was not the agreement. At one point I thought it would end up as rape, thankfully we are spare dthat.

I didn’t much like the writing either, it grated on me. I don’t think I can really identify why other than I felt confused by tense. And that I didn’t like what was happening magnified anything I disliked in the writing.    In the end, I was amazed and appalled by how the relationship ends up and that it is presented as a good thing (The wolf in sheep’s clothing).

It’s rare that I don’t like something in a book, and although I had to force my way through this one, I did identify with the misconceptions and double standards we have about sexuality, sexual therapy, and sex.  Yes, Charlotte helps clients with issues in their sex lives, but that doesn’t make her a libertine. I have had an issue with reading and reviewing erotic literature and people thinking I have some type of promiscuous sex life. It was sure as heck interesting at my high school reunion. But, it is central in this book and it was probably the most important thing the author is getting at here.

Relevant Links At Penguin Jasmine Haynes
Amazon US  At B & N