First off -- I've gotten really good at reading books and drafting their reviews by publish date... but due to my limited internet time, I've been having issues publishing said drafted reviews by publish date. I'm going to have to figure that part out, be more productive on my internet time. The biggest issue with that, though, is I put a good 30-60 minutes into a review post -- between writing down any additional thoughts that didn't make it into my phone-draft and finding the better quotes/excerpts... well, it takes time.
However, on the flip side, re-visiting days/weeks after sometimes makes me want to re-read the book yesterday. TEACH ME is just like that. If I didn't have a number of books due to be read in the next 3 weeks, I'd probably push them aside and re-read TEACH ME right now.
If there's something you may have learned about me (if you have been watching the blog for a bit), I tend to judge covers. You may also know that when I choose my NetGalley titles, it usually is a whim-request, only to look at the synopsis and really think about it afterward.
TEACH ME was very much that case. I was in a lag of books and new authors, and while the cover didn't appeal to me, the blurb did. Yes, in the case of TEACH ME, I read the blurb before hitting 'request'.
I still don't care for the cover... but that's really all right. The book more than makes up for it.
Teach Me by Ella Sheridan
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing (10/28/2014)
Series: Southern Nights, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: ★★★★★
A woman determined to heal…
Shy researcher Jess Kingston spent the last eight weeks recovering from her ex-boyfriend’s brutal attack. Body healed, she’s ready to put her life back together—except her ex isn’t ready to let go. She won’t cower in a corner while Brit tortures her, but she’s powerless to fight back.
A man determined to resist…
Ex-military security specialist Conlan James avoids commitment like the plague. His job, his Harley, and the occasional one-night stand are all he needs, until the day he rescues Jess from a tense situation and realizes he can’t get her off his mind. He can teach her to protect herself, but protecting his heart is another matter.
A madman determined to win…
As the deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Brit heats up, so does the hunger between Con and Jess. Safety might be found in numbers, but in bed, all bets are off—and the wrong move could lead to heartbreak. Or death.
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Oh this book.... You forget while reading the book that Jess & Conlan's was a fast courtship. Sure, in "real life", their quick relationship could be chalked up to a survivor/hero worship type of love but... It was written well. Really well.
Conlan is attracted to Jess from the get-go, and he does the 'crazy stalker' thing (or so I've been told when making sure to go to the gym at a specific time) and ends up at the coffee shop at the same time, same day of the week, just to see her.
'He hadn't seen those eyes in eight weeks, and yet still he'd shown up every Monday, like clockwork, hoping for one more glimpse and calling himself and idiot. Wasn't like he planned on asking her out.
'He was too busy figuring out when 'this' had become enough like a relationship in his head that he would think things like 'after so long apart.' Doe Eyes might appear prominently in his thoughts from time to time--especially certain times--but he'd never seen her outside of this coffee shop. And he wouldn't. A quick roll in the hay was one thing, but Doe Eyes wasn't the kind of woman who had one-night stands. He could tell that much just by looking at her. She was a relationship kind of woman, and he was a relationship-phobic kind of guy. Which meant he seriously needed to get a grip--and not on the part of him growing even harder at the idea.
'Idiot was right.'...but the seeking-out thing? It's pretty mutual.
'There were just things she was determined to make happen--like standing on her own two slightly wobbly feet. It was just...seeing the man she'd fantasized about for months wasn't one of them. Not now, while she still felt the imprint of every bruise, every cracked bone, every foolish dream across her healed skin. She felt ugly because what had happened was ugly, and no matter how hard she scrubbed, all these weeks later, she couldn't get the ugly gone.'Conlan's a pretty stand-up guy and he saves Jess, in addition to teaching her how to try and save herself, even though her story tears him up.
'Con thought his heart was going to break. As many women as he'd helped, he'd never wanted to give in, to stop teacher her to survive and just hold her and protect her and make sure nothing ever touched her again. Not until Jess. Forcing her to face her nightmares was killing him, no matter how necessary it was. Shuddering sobs echoed through the room, so loud they blotted out every other sound except his own ragged breathing, a rhythmic roar in his ears.'I love Jess. Even though she's been kicked (...literally) and pushed down, she still has fight in her. When the detectives tell her again and again that maybe she's wrong about her abuser (after all, Brit comes from a powerful family and his faults will get overlooked every time), she fights back.
She also knows that to become believed... she may end up making the ultimate sacrifice.
'"I know it was him! No one else cares enough to follow me around town, follow me home...What is it going to take for you to believe me--a body? Because he isn't going to stop."'The entire book was written so well... So well. I love the progression of Con and Jess's relationship. And while I'm sure Chapter 24 wasn't the easiest to write, it was written fabulously.
I'm pretty sure I cried the entire last part of the chapter...