3.5 to 4 stars.
There is something so alluring about forbidden love stories; I am compelled to read them even if sometimes the theme is just wrong on so many levels…. But when it comes to romance and love, everything is valid.. after all “All’s fair in love and war”.
Student/teacher stories are hard for me to read and ultimately understand.. I teach high school kids so it just rubs me the wrong way. Even seniors before my eyes are still immature, young children who need lots of guidance and have no idea about their place in the world, much less what they want out of life.
Having said that, after reading this book and experiencing a story about an 18 year-old damaged girl and her 32 year-old world history teacher, I definitely had to mentally prepare myself in order to read this for what it is: Fiction, romance and finally, a story were love conquers all.
Addison (Addy) is a sad girl; she has severe OCD issues with time (tick tick tock) and counting due to a traumatic incident involving her younger brother. She has made it her goal to seem perfect, to be perfect for her parents (who are not very good to her), school and everyone else around her. She is dating the school popular jock; she is the star of the track team; she has good grades, etc. Perfect. But inside she is a broken mess and the only positive thing in her life is her Doctor (Doc). Her senior year begins and she meets Mr. McKendrik… time stops (literally) and she is determined to have him, even if it means going to the point of becoming a bold, cunning, and über stalker.
McKendrik, is just a 32 year-old man, who ends up teaching in that particular school in Denver because his father is sick and dying. He is there to be with him until the end. When he meet Addy, he was attracted to her, obviously she is pretty and alluring but he dismisses the attraction immediately. He never stands a chance against her bold advances… he ends up giving in.
Now to the book itself: the writing was great!! I loved how the book jumped from present to past. Reading about present events was the only thing that helped me warm up to Addy a little bit. I was not a big fan of her, not really. Despite her issues and needs and the way she felt with McKendrik, I couldn’t seem to shake the fact about the way she came on to him, I mean yes teenagers and 18 year-olds are sometimes sexually active, more than we care to admit obviously, but, just thinking about a daughter of mine behaving that way… NO NO NO. Even if she is “legally” an adult (which I believe is an understatement, because at 18… nope, they still do very very stupid things, very un-adulty-ish). Therefore, I had a hard time warming up to her character, I found her slutty, instead of forthcoming or just sure of herself. She made it her goal to seduce and lure the guy…
Him, on the other hand, tries to stop her. He never reports her though… why? Well because he actually threw ethics off the window and gave in to temptation. Enough said.
Did I like the book? Yes and sort of. I can give a solid 4 stars for the writing and execution, but the 3.5 is for depth. I still would have liked interactions with them before the sexy times, to actually start off with some sort of friendship. For him to make an effort in order for her to open up and stop being so bold and throwing herself at him. For them to form a connection/love/understanding/feelings before sex… the way it is written is just lust and then.. poof! Magically after a few weeks they love each other…. This may work with other books, with other couples, but here, given the situation and the forbidden part of it, and the risk of jail time.. it didn’t work for me.
Also, the epilogue was… not an epilogue. I definitely needed more resolution. The ending left me wanting more of them, together, to see them interact without the baggage but, we didn’t get it and that irked me.. badly.
All in all, I recommend the story if you are into these kind of books. It is good, sexy and easy to read; Ella Frank doesn’t disappoint, maybe you will find my peeves to be your delight!!!!