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REVIEW: The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson

Dear Ms. Williamson:

Front Cover for Education of Madeline
This is the first opportunity I have had to read a book by you. This story came to my attention when sybil blogged about it. As Sybil explained, it was a virgin story with a twist. Set in Colorado, 1872, Madeline Brewster is a spinster. She is 30 years of age and has never experience the physical pleasure of joining with a man. She is 6 feet tall and owns half the town.

Madeline comes across a hanging. She recognizes that the man who is charged with horse thieving is comely of figure and decides to take a chance. She gets the Sheriff to release the man in her custody until the owner of the horse can be found. She uses deductive reasoning to point out that they had insufficient proof to hang the alleged criminal.

The problem with your book lies in the juxtaposition of the sex scenes and the story. It was as if there were two stories being told in this book. First, the story of how Madeline fights back against the town’s conspiracy to take all her money and two, the story of Madeline’s instruction. Together those two storylines seemed disjointed and incohesive. After the second sex scene, I just stopped reading those parts all together. They didn’t seem to advance the plot and were recounted with an almost paint by numbers affectation. Lesson 1: Kissing. Lesson 2: Penetration. Lesson 3: Anal Pentration. Lesson 4: Bondage. Lesson 5: Talking dirty. etc. etc.

The storyline of Madeline and Teague falling in love, overcoming their fears and reclaiming Madeline’s life from the evil townspeople was good. I would be remiss in my letter writing if I didn’t make some comment about the epilogue. The epilogue read like you were tired of the story and wanted to move on. It consisted of about 2 paragraphs and told us about everyone’s life rather than showing us the happiness and completion Madeline and Teague felt. Did your editor come back to you and say that you need an epilogue and so you typed one out in five minutes, completely disgruntled, and sent it back? I have to give a C+ . I am sure that other readers won’t mind the combination of the two storylines but I thought it was distracting.

Best regards,


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Keishon
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 08:56:30

    I really don’t care for books that “teach a lesson in the art of lovemaking”. I find myself bored with them. Barbara Samual wrote one, I think it’s titled, Night of Fire, that I just couldn’t finish.

  2. Jayne
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 09:10:48

    From what I can see on the cover, it looks like this takes place in a Day Spa. A kinky Day Spa but a Day Spa none the less.

  3. sybil
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 16:52:51

    Hey I have this open to read! I am not sure I will like it because the hero sounds like a shit. Not much on the whole hired to screw the heroine over thing.

    But we shall see ;).

  4. Maili
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 20:29:48

    I am not sure I will like it because the hero sounds like a shit.

    His name should be a good clue. Known by name, known by nature — and all that. :D

  5. Jane
    Apr 16, 2006 @ 06:58:16

    He wasn’t really a shit like the excerpt promised. THere was no real grovel but I didn’t really need one. Let’s just say that the secret gets told before the end.

  6. Daniela
    Apr 16, 2006 @ 21:44:36

    Wait…so the hero’s a hooker?

  7. Jane
    Apr 17, 2006 @ 11:12:09

    This would be his first hooking experience.

  8. Beth
    Apr 21, 2006 @ 11:20:59

    Hello Jane/Jayne,
    I’m glad that you took the time to read The Education of Madeline. This story was a departure for me in that I let the characters lead the story rather than follow the story.
    The two story lines were both centered around Madeline and her education – one in life and the other in love.
    Teague’s lessons were meant to progress the relationship between them, as well as provide him a means to gain control back in his life. They also taught Madeline how to let go of control.
    Maili – Teague is the Anglicized version of Tadhg which means “poet” in Irish. This was the name of an 11th-century king of Connacht.
    Sybil – It’s hard to do blurbs and taglines when there is so much more to the story. Teague isn’t a shit, and I hope you do read it and let me know what you think.
    I love the discussion so far – hoping to see more comments. :)

  9. Rina
    Apr 21, 2006 @ 12:50:09

    I really enjoyed The Education Of Madeline. I thought Teague was one of those wounded heros that is saved by the love of a good woman. Now thatyou point out th simple step by step lesson thing I can see it, but when I was reading the story, I never noticed. To be honest, the sex scenes were so Hot I didn’t care what order they came in as long as the author kept them coming!

  10. Maili
    Apr 21, 2006 @ 12:54:39

    Beth – I don’t mean to be rude, but Tadhg does not mean ‘poet’. It roughly translates to ‘badger’.

  11. Beth
    Apr 21, 2006 @ 18:29:43

    Maili – really? LOL! OMG – that’s too funny! According to Behind the Name website,, it means poet. Hmmm… that’ll teach me to rely on one website for etymology!
    P.S. You’re not being rude. :)
    Rina – thanks for your kudos. I’m glad to know you liked it!!

  12. Maili
    Apr 21, 2006 @ 19:41:49

    Beth – ack. I should have explained it’s not literal. It’s used in a way that English speakers would use a word, such as ‘fox’, to describe a person. With Tadhg/Tadg, it’s a composition of classic traits of a badger. That it has a tendency to be determined to get to the core of something deep and can be very vicious if attacked. It used to have a reputation of being dark, scarily strong, and a killer [the nearest thing might be ‘assassin’, but not quite]. I am not quite sure why that site decided that it means ‘poet’. Poet = dark killer? I can believe that if it means the poet is terrible. :D

    Thanks, Beth, for being so good-humoured about this and for putting up with me. :)

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