by Samantha Winston, contemporary (2009)
Red Sage Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60310-403-6
Before you read The Wife School, you should take note that this story is a loosely based on the 17th-century French playwright Molière's Ecole Des Femmes. Like the play it is based on, this one has a touch of farce and over the top absurdity to it. If you are expecting a more serious story, you would have to adjust your expectations a little.
Ben Dover - which isn't his real name - has a plan. He blames Arnold Souche for ruining his father's business and leaving them with close to nothing, so he decides to accept a job offer at Souche Enterprises under his new identity. He will work to ruin Arnold Souche from the inside! As it happens, he happens to rescue a French personal consultant, Chrysalde Legend, from being beaten up while he is on his way to the job interview, and Chrysalde in gratitude decides to become Ben's best friend and personal fashion advisor. Chrysalde also happens to be good friends with Amelia Lawn, a young lady pretty much bought lock, stock, and barrel by Arnold Souche to be his bride.
It gets better. It is Amelia whom Ben will be working for - as her personal assistant since Amelia is dyslexic and therefore a personal assistant who takes notes and such for her will come in handy. This is Ben's perfect chance to seduce his enemy's fiancée and wreck havoc in the company... right?
Amelia is sheltered, but she is not naiïve or silly. In fact, she's the one who insists on getting the condoms. She doesn't mind trying to seduce Ben even if a part of her suspects that he is gay, which leads to some amusing situations early in the story as Ben mistakenly assumes that she is as sheltered and innocent as you may imagine her to be and reads all her signals wrongly.
The author tries to update the story into a more contemporary setting, so expect some liberal changes from Moilère's play. This story is, as I've said, a comedy with some farcical moments, so some suspension of disbelief is required. However, it's not hard at all for me to suspend my disbelief here as the story is too much fun for words. Both main characters are likable saucy types, and Ms Winston knows better than to drag the deception and secret identities for too long. The sex scenes are hot, the chemistry between Amelia and Ben is fun to follow, and all in all, The Wife School is a fun read.
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