Review: To Professor with by Linda Kage

TO PROFESSOR WITH LOVEReviewed by Shelly

I find myself enjoying the YA/NA genre more and more, especially the ones written by Linda Kage. Indulge me for a moment as I reminisce. I read her stories in the Tommy Creek series which are still some of my favorites; I’ve re-read those enough times that if they were paperback, they would already be dog-eared. When I saw a new series was started I couldn’t resist because her writing style is good enough to make the story genre irrelevant. And that, dear reader, is how I ended up enjoying this genre. Now on with the review.

As book 2 in this series, you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read book 1 because it’s pretty good. As a matter of fact, I’m still crushing on Mason Lowe just a little bit. In this story, we’re in Ellamore, Illinois, at a local university where football is king. Noel Gamble is the star (and starting) QB. The junior and campus stud is working his way through college for all the right reasons, his brothers and sister. The only things holding him back are those pesky low grades and the professor who keeps issuing them. Aspen Kavanagh is Noel’s literature professor and she’s not too fond of either him or his QB status. As the youngest professor at her college, Aspen can’t afford to have any scandals tarnish her already fragile standing and she’s certainly not going to fall of the charms for this football player.

I’m not a fan of professor student relationships, but in I went nonetheless. One of the first things I noticed and really enjoyed was the POVs; both Aspen and Noel have their own very distinct voice. Noel is the typical star football player in his pursuit of the most sex he can get. He’s got the foul mouth that’s typical of both his jock status and his nighttime gig as bartender. Except for his very humble beginnings, there’s not too much that Noel is ashamed of and he’s clearly the more experienced of the two. On the other hand, Aspen’s had a very troubled past that’s left her a behind the curveball on what a healthy sexual relationship or any relationship actually should be like.

I enjoyed both of these characters. I can’t even say who I liked more. I appreciated their struggles – separately they had their issues and challenges to overcome and then there’s the potential consequence of them getting together as a couple. I’m sure it happens much more frequently than I would ever know about, but the ethical concerns that manifest in a professor/student relationship are understandable as some people choose not to control their actions. Kage handled that well in the way Aspen managed her classroom and grading system.

Now what had my jaw dropping was the way that Aspen and Noel would talk about managing their relationship in order to keep both the school board and his coach from finding out and then not follow their own advice. Everyone (okay, that might be stretching it) knows you don’t go out during the day, certainly not to the park (and hold hands) and you never, never, never have any relations (vertical or horizontal) anywhere but behind locked doors, drawn blinds/curtains and lights out in a private home. As many books as Aspen read, I expected more of her and Noel was just thinking with his you-know-what, all his blood kept rushing south so he was useless there. I expected and got a lot of buildup especially in the getting to know each other phase – that worked really well for me. But there were moments when Aspen’s presence would completely overwhelm Noel and he just couldn’t wait; that lead them to keep taking chances after chances – which made me frustrated to no end because I could see it coming. And when I say it I ain’t talking about the sex.

I truly enjoyed the other characters – from Mason’s roommate to his co-workers (there’s a nice surprise which the series fans will enjoy) and their friends and families. Overall, this was a well done story and I’m excited for Book 3 to come out (it’s going to be Pick and Eva’s story).

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

To Professor, With Love
by Linda Kage
Release Date: May 13, 2014

 

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