Thursday, February 05, 2015

Review: Absolute Beginners by S.J. Hooks

Series: Absolute Beginners #1
Release Date: March 18, 2015
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Genre: Adult Fiction / Erotica
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★ ½

Professor Stephen Worthington's life makes perfect sense. 

He teaches classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. He has dinners with his parents on the weekend. He goes to the gym with his comically crass stepbrother, Matt, a few days each week. And every night, he heads home at a reasonable hour, alone.

There’s only one thorn in Stephen’s perfectly organized side: Ms. Julia Wilde. Never has Stephen dealt with a more unruly student. She’s rude, provocative, infuriating—and she dresses in a way that is completely unbecoming for a lady. Stephen can’t wait for the semester to be over, and then he’ll never have to see her again.

That is, until Stephen finds himself out of the classroom and in Julia's apartment. Suddenly, the student/teacher roles are reversed, and the professor receives a much-needed lesson between the sheets. Stephen thought his life made sense, but after his tryst with Julia, he finds himself changed in more ways than one. Maybe he’s coming down with something.

Or maybe, something a little out of the ordinary is exactly what this stuffy professor needs to really live.

*This novel contains mature content*

Let's get a little housekeeping out of the way up front.  Yes, Absolute Beginners was first written and available online as fan fiction.  No, I don't care.  My thoughts on fan fiction are this: Many authors get their start that way. It's a way for them to test if they can do it, a way for them to gain some feedback, some readers.  None of which I have a problem with.  If they do believe it's a career they want to pursue, all I ask is that they follow the steps.  Write, beta, cover design, edit, etc...

Okay, now on to the review.

Stephen Worthington is a prim Professor.  He's reserved. An uptight, Clark Kent type.  He's socially inept because his time is spent diving into classic books rather than pop culture.  He'd like to be in a relationship, eventually finding a wife and starting a family.  However, the few women he's dated never lasted past the first sexual encounter.  Leaving Stephen's confidence...debilitated.

Enter Julia Wilde.  Student by day, little spunky seductress by night.  Okay, only kind of.  Julia is a student of Professor Worthington's.  She's commandeered his attention with loud outfits and an even louder mouth, while in class.  She drives him nuts.

But one chance encounter off campus puts Stephen right where she wants him. In her bed.

So, Stephen's complete lack of experience and confidence is adorable.  He's a blundering mess but Julia takes it all in stride and tells him exactly what she wants and needs.  This is the part of the story I enjoyed.

However, that's about all I enjoyed.  Not to say that the relationship between the two of them isn't a huge factor to enjoy.  It is.  It's what the story is about.

My issue was there wasn't enough finesse to the story.  I needed more description, more emotion....just more.  It's a fairly clinical take on what could be a very fun but heartfelt tale.

Also, the end is just a bit abrupt.  It's a lot of relationship build that ends without a conclusion or a real cliff hanger. 

I hope Hooks takes a little more time in the next volume to really focus on the feel of the book.  I think it has some promise and I'd like to see it really take shape and come to life.

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