Upon discovering her fiance in a compromising position with another woman, Caroline Linford decides not to dump him, not to get even, but to enthrall him with her womanly wiles and keep him from straying ever again. Sadly, she doesn't have any such wiles, and decides that the perfect person to teach her some is her fiance's lover's fiance, Braden Granville, a legendary Lothario. All Braden wants is the name of his fiance's lover, so he can break his engagement without being sued for breach of promise. Naturally, a bargain is arranged between the slighted parties.
The main problem with this book is that there aren't enough likeable people. The hero, Braden, is excellent, and Caroline's brother, Thomas, and friend, Emily, are good, but every other significant character is hard, if not impossible, to like. Caroline's mother, barely thirty pages into the book, tells her daughter that while her own marriage was a faithful, loving marriage, Caroline shouldn't really expect anything similar, and ought to keep her mouth closed about her husband's affairs! While a certain amount of villainy and even cruelty can enhance a book, in this case it really just made me want to skip those pages that dealt with all the hateful characters. The heroine isn't UNlikeable, but she's just too naive and (a bit) self-centered to be really likeable. Only in her interactions with the (few) other sympathetic characters does she shine.
There are a few other odd things about this book; Caroline and Braden have no trouble meeting each other anytime they want, and often in complete privacy, which seems strange for an unmarried Victorian earl's daughter. Also, there's a "you lied to me, how can I trust you enough to marry you" plot device at the end which really served no purpose except to make Caroline look spineless (after all, everyone else in the book has lied to her and she hasn't lost any affection for them, but when she ASSUMES Braden has done so, she walks out on him without a second's pause). But Cabot is a good writer, and her prose carries some of the weaker moments. She's written much better heroines, though, and tighter plots, like Lady of Skye. I'll keep my fingers crossed for her next book, but Educating Caroline is not a keeper.