Published by: Nine Star Press
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Alex
What to Expect: HEA’s from emerging writers, all exploring that forbidden attraction that occurs between the teacher, professor, tutor, or mentor. Several gems enclosed.
Nine Stories of Lessons Outside the Classroom
By Virtue Fall by Kashmira Majumdar – The rules have changed…and so have the consequences for breaking them.
Striking Gold by S.A. James – Sometimes when we think we have no choice, life brings something brighter.
Full Marks by Asta Idonea – When Jacob seeks out his favourite lecturer at a university reunion, will he get full marks?
Lessons for a Lifetime by Hudson Lin – A second language, a first chance at love.
Welcome to Ms Skinner’s Freshman Composition by Aila Alvina Boyd – After auditioning for a play, professor and student find themselves cast opposite each other as romantic leads.
Piece of Cake by Valentine Wheeler – All Richard wanted was a nice, quiet retirement. His kids aren’t going to let that happen.
Professor Ghost by Damian Serbu – An otherworldly mentor might be his way out.
Bare by Jack Harbon – When a passion for art turns into something more.
The Botanist’s Apprentice by Arden Powell – Don’t get too close to the flowers.
Most of us have secret crush stories, yes? Some of us more than one. The lure of the inaccessible makes the crushing part of the crush that must stronger, making the memory of such a feeling that much longer lived. How many of us have crushed on a teacher? Not that teacher? The other one. You know, from that year puberty hit. Or, the sailing instructor. Oh yeah, the comedian from remedial driving school that you had to go to because…well, that thing you do when no one is looking? Yeah, someone was looking.
The Teacher’s Pet anthology from Nine Star Press includes nine of these stories from up and coming authors. The stories have unique plots, unique inciting incidents, interesting character development, and, for the most part, manage to skirt the inevitable squick that comes with an imbalance of power that would genuinely be a problem when having a teacher-student affair.
Stories of Note:
Lessons of a Lifetime by Hudson Lin is a gorgeous romance featuring an Ethiopian immigrant musician and a Canadian-born ESL teacher. This HEA touches on the cultural differences one faces when finding a new life when going back ‘home’ is not possible, and of understanding each other’s cultural differences. Contains quiet moments of beauty. It, alone, makes this anthology worth the read.
Piece of Cake by Valentine Wheeler is the story of a widower unable to boil water without a clear set of instructions; he finds love and friendship when upon attending a cooking class. Features a bisexual father to a lesbian cisgender woman and a transgender woman, each of whom supports his affair.
The Botanist’s Apprentice by Arden Powell is a mix of Rappucini’s Daughter meets a young, earnest version of The Beauty and The Beast’s Lumiere who meets a dashing, broken introvert who begs to be undone. Bring on magic and dangerous plants, this live-in apprenticeship can only end one way.
There were things I liked about each story. Full Marks was the story I expected the most — a student who shows up at a reunion to pursue the teacher he’d long been in love with — and was both sweet and touching. Bare was the story of a young man who some risks beyond his wildest dreams and is rewarded. The editors did a wonderful job picking a diverse group of stories from emerging writers.
On the minus side, some stories did a wonderful job in setting up a world, in creating conflict, only for it to fall short due to going overboard with unnecessary detail, overblown plot, releasing tension too early.
Ultimately, the anthology is an enjoyable read and contains several true gems.
Alex claims to read more than any normal, healthy adult should though the rest of the Binge on Books team would beg to differ. You can read all of his reviews here.
Connect with Alex on Twitter: @Alex_deMorra
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