Book Review – First Semester by Sarah Fischer

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TITLE: 
First Semester (Elton Hall Chronicles #1)
AUTHOR: Sarah Fischer
PAGES:  332 pages
PUBLISHED: Published April 4th, 2017
PUBLISHER: Limitless Publishing
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Forbidden Romance (Age Difference)

MY RATING: 3/5 birds
rating-3-birdnew
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SUMMARY:

The story begins with Violet, a freshman at Elton Hall who meets an attractive and alluring man at a casino who turns out to be her literature Professor. They have an undeniable attraction but anything between them is strictly forbidden. As boundaries are crossed and Violet’s life is threatened will she be able to contain this secret affair?

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MY REVIEW:

This is definitely not the first student/professor romance novel I have read and unfortunately this isn’t one I particularly enjoyed or would recommend.

The writing was a bit awkward and formal for university students and I didn’t really connect with Violet. I didn’t like how she was always acting with false bravado and the description on Goodreads doesn’t allude to any kind of love triangle but Violet hooks up with two guys and also has another one interested in her. That in itself isn’t too much of an issue but I wish the author had focused more on Violet and David’s relationship. There are too many side characters. The issues with Violet’s roommate came out of left field and probably could have been taken out entirely from the novel.

David was okay. He was British and hot and that is about it. He and Violet didn’t seem to have enough meaningful conversations for me to take their romance too seriously. They also had stupid miscommunications that had me seriously questioning Violet and her maturity. I was also slightly annoyed that David texted like a 14 year old boy. This isn’t 2002 anymore…who abbreviates you to ‘u’ anymore besides young teens? Especially someone in their early 30s who didn’t even grow up with a cellphone? Maybe people still do this but it is so unattractive to me.

And on the topic of age… I thought the scene after they slept together and he made her dinner was weird. He is making her pasta with red sauce and he tells her he has ‘soft drinks’ in the fridge. It made me instantly aware that she is under 21 and that their affair is a bit odd. Red wine would have been more appropriate with dinner but…she can’t even legally drink. Forbidden romances can be sexy or intriguing but Violet acted a bit too childish at times and it really made me wonder what David sees in her besides her looks.

Another issue I had was when writers pass time quickly by using lines like ‘the week was so busy and flew by…’ or ‘before we knew it, I checked the clock and it was after one in the morning…’ etc. It is okay every once in a while but I notice the author used it quite a bit, and I didn’t like it. Especially when David and Violet first spent real time together and instead of actually telling the reader how they bonded she just said they ‘talked until one in the morning’ and we are supposed to gather that they now feel closer.

The ending was very abrupt and again, instead of explaining, the author just summed up with rest of the entire semester and Violet’s relationship with David in one very short sentence. It definitely didn’t have a HEA ending.

As the author’s debut novel I am being very generous with three stars because although my review is quite critical the book did keep my attention (even though it took me almost 2 months to finish), and it wasn’t the worse student/professor novel I have ever picked up. I think some of the writing issues are things that the author can improve on over time so I wouldn’t write her off entirely (haha puns.)

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Do you enjoy the whole student/professor romance genre? Let me know in the comments!

View all my other reviews on goodreads!

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Book Review – Beautifully Broken by Laura Lee

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TITLE: Beautifully Broken
AUTHOR: Laura Lee
PAGES:  326 pages
PUBLISHED: November 15th 2016
PUBLISHER: LAN Fiction LLC
GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Forbidden Romance

MY RATING: 4/5 birds
rating-4-birdnew
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SUMMARY:

The story begins with our heroine Kat, drinking in a seedy bar on her 18th birthday when she meets Gavin. Or “Sparkles” as Kat dubbed him. We learn quickly that Kat has had a tough life. She has been in the foster system since she was a kid, never knew her dad, and has a heroin-addicted mother who is barely present in her life. Tonight she is trying to forget her problems and Gavin seems like the perfect distraction. Their attraction to one another is off the charts and neither of them can deny it.

Kat goes home with him and lies about her age and turns every question he asks –like what she does for work – into a game so he barely knows anything about her. Imagine his surprise when a few days later she is sitting in his classroom and Gavin a.k.a. Sparkles is also Mr. Cooper her English teacher! They both try to deny their attraction and know their situation is wrong even though he didn’t know she was in high school and she is eighteen, but fighting their feelings is harder than they thought.

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MY REVIEW:

When I first saw this book and all the 5 star reviews I was a little skeptical. The premise of a forbidden romance between teacher and student isn’t something I normally find appealing to read but something compelled me to pick this up and I am glad I did! This book definitely goes down as a guilty pleasure read.

Kat was really an amazing character. Life threw her so many curve balls and she took everything in stride. She was even more mature than Gavin in certain parts of the novel. And even though parts of her were broken, Gavin’s constant reassurance of telling her she is worthy of love and respect helped her feel whole again. It was such a feel good novel in that aspect even though there was a ton of seriously dark drama. This was definitely more real than I thought it would be from the blurb, which was a good thing. The dialogue was very well written as well. Their flirty banter was cute and believable and Kat and her friends acted and talked like real eighteen year olds.

I also liked the non-judgemental aspect of stripping in the novel. Kat described most of her coworkers as being college students just trying to earn a quick buck so they can advance in life. We find that some of the girls that have worked there have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, veterinarians etc. Although I think this is not the case for many strip joints, I think it is still a good lesson that you shouldn’t judge someone for where their life leads them.

I know some readers have a hard rule with cheating and I think this may blur the line….Just a forewarning but (view spoiler). Decide what you will about that. I didn’t mind but I know others consider once the two main characters have had any kind of physical contact another woman/man in the picture is unacceptable.

I was also really frustrated with the ending. I could completely understand Kat’s POV and why she chose what she did but Gavin really had no excuse.

Overall this was a really interesting and angsty read. If you are looking for serious drama but with a HEA then this is the book for you! Thank you Netgalley, LAN Fiction LLC, and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review!

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View all my other reviews on Goodreads!