Lord Gabriel Cecil, Earl of Cranborne had never given much thought to marriage, but when he sees how intimate and happy another man in his social circles is with his new bride he is suddenly fixated on the idea. At a wedding he becomes enamored of a young woman who is just about to near the age that she can make her debut in society. Vivian Stafford is not from a rich family, but she happens to be attending a wedding full of impressive members of Victorian society. From the moment she has a chance encounter with the dark and handsome Gabriel she is swept up in a new life full of learning experiences.
Marriage Training is an erotic romance set in the seemingly straight laced society of Victorian London, or at least what appears to be the Victorian period to me. When Gabriel decides that he wishes to marry Vivian he secretly pays for her education at a very special institution, Mrs. Cunningham’s Finishing School. In her first year she receives a standard education, with a number of other young woman, but when she is about to start her second year she learns that she will be taking part in new courses designed to ensure she will be a proper wife for her husband. Over tea she learns that she has been arranged to marry Lord Cecil and that in doing so her entire family will benefit. Vivian is granted the ability to break this arrangement at any time, though as this is a story focused on submission, this never occurs. Over the course of her new training Vivian is opened up to what it will be like to be a society lady, but also what her husband will desire in a wife. In her evening lessons the subject delves more into the practice of BDSM and she learns a great deal more about what can happen in the bedroom than she would have any where else.
This book is exceptionally steamy and does not stray away from including frequent scenes of sexual gratification. What is interesting about the plot of the story is that Vivian begins her education in a slightly more clinical way. With Gabriel’s specific desires noted by the the head of the school, there is someone else who actually prepares Vivian initially named Mrs. Banks. Gabriel is later introduced to these scenarios and more scenes are added as the wedding day comes closer, but I had not expected there to be someone else involved in Vivian’s education. Safety is taken into consideration during these scenes and there are periods devoted to Vivian’s aftercare following her punishments, which I found helped to balance the events of the book. The author, Golden Angel, has taken time to show that Vivian is loved and cared for within the relationships. I also enjoyed the fact that Gabriel is also having to learn how to restrain himself and curtail his desires for his soon to be bride. I believe romance readers who enjoy novels set in aristocratic London society would enjoy Marriage Training and I also think readers who enjoyed the Fifty Shades books would enjoy these, especially since what is presented in this book is a far more informed example of BDSM practices. Marriage Training comes out in May so keep your eye out for this romantic and passionate read.