FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Full Fathom Five (via NetGalley).
Series: Absolute #1
Publisher: Full Fathom Five on March 18, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult), Erotic Romance (Adult)
Professor Stephen Worthington’s life makes perfect sense.
He teaches classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. He has dinners with his parents on the weekend. He goes to the gym with his comically crass stepbrother, Matt, a few days each week. And every night, he heads home at a reasonable hour, alone.
There’s only one thorn in Stephen’s perfectly organized side: Ms. Julia Wilde. Never has Stephen dealt with a more unruly student. She’s rude, provocative, infuriating—and she dresses in a way that is completely unbecoming for a lady. Stephen can’t wait for the semester to be over, and then he’ll never have to see her again.
That is, until Stephen finds himself out of the classroom and in Julia’s apartment. Suddenly, the student/teacher roles are reversed, and the professor receives a much-needed lesson between the sheets. Stephen thought his life made sense, but after his tryst with Julia, he finds himself changed in more ways than one. Maybe he’s coming down with something.
Or maybe, something a little out of the ordinary is exactly what this stuffy professor needs to really live.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Professor Stephen Worthington has everything in his life scheduled, in order, and perfectly controlled. What he doesn’t have is patience for the messy, outspoken, flirty student who drives him crazy in every class. Julia Wilde is everything Stephen is not. She’s unpredictable, uncontrollable, and supremely confident in everything she does. And when she snags a ride in his car and invites him in for coffee, he knows he’s in trouble.
I think we all know that I usually avoid books billed as erotica. It’s not that I mind the graphic scenes; rather it’s that I get bored with the lack of plot, not to mention the almost instructional step-by-step sex scenes. But SJ Hooks always did better than that with her fanfiction stories, so I had my fingers crossed that publication wouldn’t mess with that perfection. And lucky, lucky me!
Stephen is comically uptight and rigid in every aspect of his life, but he’s also endearingly innocent and insecure. Sure, he’s no virgin, but what little sex he’s had usually signaled the demise of those few all too short relationships. So with his lackluster history in bed, it’s no wonder he doesn’t entertain thoughts of dating. He’s so used to failing with women that he seems to be erring on the side of self-preservation by avoiding them altogether.
Julia is free-spirited, completely in command of her sexuality, and not the least bit intimidated by her stodgy professor. She thinks he’s beyond hot, and when she finally gets him up to her apartment, she wastes no time in turning up the heat. However, as steamy as the scenes are, they’re also sweet in that he lets his inexperience show and she isn’t the least bit put off by it.
Their relationship is in many ways based on sex, but that’s not really a bad thing in this story. In fact, it draws out Stephen’s confidence, and even though Julia embodies most of what he doesn’t think he wants in his life, he finds himself falling for her. Since the story is told entirely from his point of view, it’s difficult to tell when exactly Julia’s own feelings come into the mix, but I suspect it’s pretty early on, as she steps out of her casual relationship zone and enjoys spending time with him.
It’s the characters that truly make the story, their relationship standing out as the real star, without a bunch of unnecessary outside drama creeping into the mix, so you’ll have to read it to see what I mean when I tell you how great it is. And for those that are like me and hate when novels are chopped to serialized bits, all ending on cliffhangers, I’m happy to say this book doesn’t pull that. While it is the first book in the group, there’s a full story arc, complete with a great ending. SJ Hooks spins a hot, sweet, wonderfully fun read in Absolute Beginners, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!