Publisher: Breathless Press (February 24, 2012)
Blurb: When the much younger Ethan moves in to Ida's neighbourhood, an innocent flirtation quickly becomes passionate. But who is educating who in this cougar encounter?
Ida Deloraine intends to build herself a new life and a new catering career after a painful divorce. When the much younger Ethan Holt moves in across the street, an innocent flirtation quickly becomes serious when the two realize their age difference is no barrier to all-consuming passion. But Ethan is the exact opposite of what Ida is looking for in a sexual partner. In her eyes he is young and vibrant, with his life and his dreams still ahead of him, whereas hers are all in the past. Can Ethan, who is fighting his own demons in the form of a car accident, failed marriage, and forced career change, convince Ida to overcome the past and live for the moment?
My review: Educating Ethan is the type of novella you want to read while taking a leisurely bubble bath. The kids are with their grandparents, the hubby is with his friends, and you're with. . . . A bottle of wine and Ida and Ethan. Pop the cork, fill your glass, sit back and soak up Jennifer Lynne's words.
This story is hot in just the right way, sweet, and special. Ida could be so many women: alone, hurt by a previous relationship, burdened with a secret that causes shame, and still living, wanting, desiring someone to hold, love, and accept her for who she is. The length of the story may be short but the author does a good job of establishing her characters. Ida is independent, a successful caterer, okay with being on her own. Until she spots her new neighbor. Something comes over her and she's peeking through curtains, taking in every inch of this hunk. Ethan knows he's being watched and does something about it. He crosses the street to introduce himself.
Chemistry. Instant attraction. Simply knowing there's something about that person you need to have more of. In love, age shouldn't matter as long as it's real and powerful. Told from the perspective of both Ida and Ethan, we understand who these people are and what they find so appealing in each other. Well paced, Lynne lets Ida be real and I enjoyed her moments of self-doubting herself, worrying she's too old, and then letting her heart decide what's best. Ethan may be the guy across the road but he's a good, honest man. There's no way you can't root for this couple to get together. My only problem was with Ida's name. To me, Ida is a kind of frumpy name and not as endearing as this character is (and I don't mean any disrespect to anyone named Ida).
The next time you need a quick literary fix of something romantic, spicy, and liberating, download a copy of Educating Ethan. As for me, there's a bottle of vino to finish.
Rating: I liked it.
Cover comment: I love the pose of this couple, how he's cut off but we get to see her face. Her expression sums up Ida succinctly.
Favorite excerpt: "As she studied him with obvious interest, he grinned, and it seemed as if he could read her inquisitive mind when he said suddenly, “Cook for me again and maybe I’ll tell you.”
Her mouth parted in surprise, but his grin was infectious, and she found herself smiling back. His effect on her was so much more intense than anything she had felt in a long time. And it was definitely not conducive to innocent, motherly thoughts. The most sensible course of action would be to steer clear of Ethan Holt altogether.
But she was so tired of being sensible.
“Maybe I will, country boy,” she said.
“I look forward to it.” His gaze flicked down to her lips and then back up again. He cleared his throat before looking away. “I’d best be getting back to unpacking, anyway. No rest for the wicked, they say.”
He flashed that contagious grin again, and for a moment, he did have a faintly Faustian cast to his features.
A timely reminder that there are some things one should not do, he thought. Selling your soul to the devil, like poor old Faust, for one. Lusting after a younger man when the result would be inevitable heartache? Definitely another."
Book source: Received from publisher for my honest review during a book tour.