Dear Ms. Carmack:
After reading this book, I am starting believe that the professor/student kink is a real and popular thing. Not having any professors at my school that I thought were particularly lust worthy, it’s not one I understand given that the consequences to discovery of such an action basically ruination for the professor.
Bliss Edwards goes out one night to pick up a guy who will be the one to help her get rid of her virginity. An attractive senior college student in the theatre program, Bliss has held on to her virginity for far too long. She picks up the only guy at the bar reading a volume of Shakespeare. British native, Garrick Taylor, has locked himself out of his new apartment and he decides to go to a busy bar to read his novel while waiting for the locksmith to show up.
Bliss chickens out and leaves Garrick hot and ready in her bed only to discover the following Monday that Garrick is her new visiting theatre professor. The illicit love connection doesn’t come off as too prohibited as Garrick decides early on that he cares nothing for the ethical considerations and pursues a relationship with Bliss seriously.
The story is told from Bliss’ point of view, in the first person, so Garrick’s thought processes are unknown to the readers other than what Bliss can ascertain (or misinterpret) and what Garrick says. In some ways, the narrative relies heavily on Bliss acting like the ingenue, having no experience in reading attraction or desire in the eyes of another.
Bliss and Garrick’s relationship is played against the theatre class and the acting of the play Phaedra. One of Bliss’ best friends, Cade, has been in love with Bliss for years and chooses now to reveal his feelings after a late night of spin the bottle amongst the theatre students.
The story is fairly short. Six of the twenty-eight chapters covers the initial meet, the sex scene, and Bliss leaving. There is little conflict because of the forbidden love line is abandoned fairly early on. Garrick simply doesn’t care about his professorial position despite the fact he took this job because his acting career was suffering setbacks. When Cade and Bliss are on screen together, I wondered if Bliss was going to end up with the wrong guy because Cade’s role in the book was often filled with more conflict and angst than the forbidden relationship between Bliss and Garrick.
Bliss’ narration is breezy and amusing at times and the sex scenes are written well but the whole story felt superficial to me. There wasn’t any meat there and the characters are moved around on the pages artificially. Bliss needs to be a virgin but the reasons for her virginity are thin. We are told she is socially awkward but exhibits little evidence of this. Bliss and Cade need to have a scene in which their eyes are opened about his feelings for her so the theatre department plays spin the bottle. Bliss needs to meet Garrick and does so at a club, far away from their shared apartment complex where he is waiting for a locksmith and reading Shakespeare as if there is no coffee house near the college for him to do so. The artificiality and the lack of meat to the story made this limp along. Fortunately it was short. C-