Review: To Professor, with Love

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To Professor, with Love
To Professor, with Love by Linda Kage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A stirringly seductive story about a taboo relationship between an incredibly smart yet reticent teacher and a student who seemingly had it all but felt alone and desperate behind the façade.

“We were split between two worlds. She was the frumpy, genius professor hiding romantic hopes and dreams. I was the stud playboy football star working my ass off to save my poor, broke family.”

Dr. Aspen Kavanagh is the youngest faculty member ever to teach at Ellamore. She strives to be good, stern yet fair and professional teacher. She hides much more than her figure under frumpy clothes. She conceals her neglected but incredibly big, caring, fragile heart under a cold guise.

“It was always intense. Intense attraction, intense loathing, intense everything. I have been intensely aware of you since the first day you came into my life.” ~ Noel

Noel Gamble is the man. He’s the best quarterback Ellamore has had in years. His teachers and school want his for his arm, guys want to be him and girls want to have him. But underneath that glossy exterior lives a man that with a careless mother works nonstop to take care of his three younger siblings. A man that loves the game but is desperate that it will help him with his family. The “jock” label camouflages a man’s life no one knows.

“I’d let a woman I totally disliked into my innermost thoughts. Jesus, I’d spilled everything to her, all my fears and insecurities, my deepest wishes and dreams.”

They never expected to connect so deeply or to find in each other understanding and love because there was a very clear line of propriety separating them. Aspen could lose her job. Noel could lose his scholarship. Because teachers and students are not allowed to fraternize. What will happen when common sense is overruled by the heart? Is their love worth the risk?

“He wasn’t supposed to reach into my soul and get a handhold of my heart or squeeze these feelings out of me, exactly as he’d just done.”

You can’t know this from the blurb, but I do like to read reviews so I already knew that the age difference between Noel and Aspen was negligible and that the forbidden aspect was due to school policy and politics. But I liked the suspense and angst the taboo brought to the plot.

“I knew how it felt to find someone worth living for, to risk everything for that love, and to sacrifice everything for it. It was beautiful and amazing.”

I admired Aspen with each detail I learned about her. I ached for the abuse and indifference she suffered due to her unapproving parents. I loved that she found the courage to pursue her own life. And even though she was quick to judge Noel, she was just as quick to recognize she was wrong to do so when she got to know him.

“He obviously didn’t let many people know these things about him… And yet, he’d let me in. He’d shown me the real Noel Gamble, something he didn’t show just anyone.”

Noel was such a contradiction at first. Such a caring and responsible father figure to his siblings who defied the odds and proved wrong everyone who had put him down. But also trying to escape so much pressure by living up the college life. I adored how once he recognized the intense link between him and Aspen, he absolutely refused to give it up and fought to protect her and their love.

“You. Are. Mine… I don’t care how wrong we are for each other. I don’t care that I’ll never be good enough for you or that we’re risking everything to be together… Fuck it all. You are fucking mine. And I’m yours. And we belong together.”

I fell in love with Linda Kage’s writing her first book of the Forbidden Men series Price of a kiss. Her narrative is fun, witty and touching. A blend which makes the pages fly by while delighting not only in the character development but the overall plot which is heartbreaking, inspirational and sweet.

“She was everything. Everything I needed. And the way she clung to me and caressed me made me feel cherished and needed in return. We were perfect for each other.”

The romance was slow building but almost palpable with its acute sexual tension and deep-seated love. It was so entertaining to watch how their feelings snuck up on them at first. And then see them ignite like beautiful carnival lights once they gave in.

“How this one tiny little person could get me so instantly and completely riled, I didn’t know. But here I was, mad, turned-on, ashamed, alarmed and frankly disturbed by my attraction.”

I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every new secondary characters and their subplots. They rounded the story and teased me for future wonderful reads. Linda even brought back mason and Reece from the previous book.

And how can I forget the wonderful quotes that started each chapter and were strewn throughout, giving us thoughtful insight and a glimpse of what was to come. It made me want to have my own quote board.

To Professor with love is book 2 in the Forbidden Men series that can be read as a standalone. It’s written from both points of view and interconnecting characters from past books. I recommend it for readers that like touching and sexy romances with a sweet happy ending.

Amazon US -> http://amzn.to/1IsJKiJ

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Here are a few of the quotes from Aspen’s wall

“Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“I suspect the most we can hope for, and it’s no small hope, is that we never give up, that we never stop giving ourselves permission to try to love and receive love.” – Elizabeth Strout

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