ILLICIT

AUTHOR:  Ava Harrison

TYPE: Contemporary Romance/Standalone

 REVIEWER Pistol Annie

Purchased by Reviewer @ Amazon

RATING:  4 Hot-for-Teacher Stars

 

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REVIEW:

The forbidden romance between a student and teacher is one of my least favorite romance sub-genres.  But the reviews suggested this new-to-me-author’s formula was different and included far deeper personal matters than just the usual underage taboo sex-filled hookups.  I took a chance and I’m glad I did – even though it will never be a favorite.

Carson Blake and Lynn Adams are both flawed and broken individuals.  They both have abandonment issues and other problems that plague their daily lives.

I’ve stopped wishing for extraordinary.

  I’ve stopped wishing for that one moment so profound it will change everything.

I know it will never happen, so there’s no point in dreaming. 

But like all things in life, extraordinary happens

when you least expect it, and in the blink of an eye, everything can change.”

Lynn, feeling rejected and unloved by her boyfriend, seeks solace on the beach away from a last hurrah of summer party.  There she meets  gorgeous stranger.  There’s a magnetic attraction between them immediately.  They share a little star gazing that ends in a night of passion.  Early the next morning, while Blake sleeps, Lynn sees their hookup for what it is, and sneaks out putting it behind her.  But come Monday morning, when the sound of the school bell rings welcoming students back for the start of Lynn’s senior year, SURPRISE-SURPRISE — the beach hookup is her first hour history teacher – Mr. Blake.

From there begins a complex and heart-wrenching entanglement that puts everything on the line.  I was relieved early on when it was revealed to my satisfaction that both student and teacher were of age.  No legal boundaries overstepped.  But school rules and regs, moral values and reputations are not so easily thrown aside.  And lets not forget a new career and college applications are at risk.  Both student and teacher are aware of the rules they are breaking, but as hard as they try to heed them, powerful feelings of attachment might just win out.  For Carlson, he puts up walls and tries to divert himself from being alone with Lynn.  But sometimes ignoring the situation is far too great — especially when each day begins facing your greatest temptation eye-to-eye.

“Instead, I build walls. Walls I have no intention of letting her breach. Now to keep them up.”

Lynn is younger and a bit of a tease, too.  She often confronts her teacher with enticements that are simply too much to resist.  When she overhears a female teacher with a speculative eye on Carson, inviting him to join her for a drink, jealousy raises its ugly head, and the situation becomes even riskier.  Lynn doesn’t handle the event well and chaos ensues — perhaps this, too, can be attributed to her immaturity.

“Carson Blake is affected by me as I am of him. This isn’t an illusion. I didn’t imagine this.

We both feel it, we both want this. It should scare me, but it doesn’t. Instead, I can finally breathe.”

Lynn’s life is filled with family drama and devastating secrets, and at one point causes Lynn to be self-destructive.  Her mother and father are divorced.  Mom is completely unavailable and unbelievably disgusting and selfish.  Dad keeps his distance, too.  His reasoning has some basis that you’ll find out when the time is right.  Carson is fresh out of college and starting his first teaching job.  He’s had his own version of harsh reality growing up, too.  He’s dedicated, smart and witty — but a dark shadow of anger and bitterness stemming from his past has left him with anger management issues. 

My attention was captured from the beginning by well-developed characterization, along with how well the story moved forward.  The profound range of emotions dealt with is mindboggling.  Dealing with a multitude of topics surrounding family issues, friendship, healing mind and spirit, coming of age, finding your purpose and making your dreams come true are all confronted.  There was never any doubt in my mind that these two shared a deep commitment and an intense desire for each other.

The book started off on a great run, then became a little slow, and finally ended on a rushed effect.  I had issues with a few incidents, as well as a couple of unresolved questions that should have been answered, but my interest never wavered.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story, heartache and all!  Because of the nature of the beast, adding a glimpse of Carson and Lynn five years or so down the road might give their story a more solid ending.  On the whole, it’s a well-written story, and one I think fans of drama and angst filled teacher/student romances would find a step above most.

 

 

 

 

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