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The Writer’s Scrap Bin Blog Post about 'The Professor'

WARNING: The Professor by T.A. Evans contains some scenes of a sexual nature and accidental overdose. If you are under 18 years of age, do not continue reading. If you are triggered by accidental overdose or sex scenes or otherwise wish to avoid such depictions, proceed with caution.

Happy Manic Monday, everyone! It’s been quite a busy few weeks for me, but what else is new? (Organized chaos works with writing, but not so much with freelance work.) Anyway, to kick off July, I have decided to bring you another book review. This time, I’m going to be talking about a slightly steamier work: The Professor by T.A. Evans.

Clare Brenton is a fresh-faced college student. After a life of emotional abuse from a narcissistic mother and constant fighting between her now-divorced parents, she is ready to dip her toes into the outside world. Independence. Self-reliance. Freedom from a dark, twisted past. Clare wants it all. When she meets the charming and devilishly handsome Andrew, she also becomes ready to nurture a couple other neglected parts of her life: love and sex. However, love and sex are rarely ever so simple as meeting that special someone—especially when that special someone is your professor and twice your age.

As she and Andrew grow closer and their fling is taken to the next level, Clare must face the inevitable and introduce her lover to her family. Old wounds are opened, manipulation tears into relationships, and long-buried secrets threaten to rock Clare’s entire world. With mommy dearest right there to pick up the pieces of her crumbling life, Clare has to wonder, who is really pulling these strings? From dodging creepy coworkers and selfish mothers to the tangling of hers and Andrew’s shady pasts, this beautiful and intelligent college freshman has her work cut out for her. Can her relationship with Andrew survive?

I found Evans’s work to be engaging and entertaining. The plot is not unusual for contemporary romance novels, but Evans manages to add enough twists from the typical “difficult” relationship as depicted in this genre that it kept me on my toes. Clare’s unhappy childhood and family life along with Andrew’s life before meeting her provide a variety of bonding moments and tension for them, some bringing them together and others nearly ripping them apart. I even found plot elements that could be pursued further and complicate characters’ lives in the future, should the author choose to make this novel into a series. In fact, I would highly recommend it. Some of these elements leave a tantalizing thread that any writer should follow, lest they do themselves and their readers a disservice.

However, what really hooked me in this story were the characters. While there are a couple characters that I dislike all the time, there are none that I like all the time, and to me, that’s a good thing. Even the protagonists have flaws that complicate my feelings for them as I hope that everything will turn out well for them. Clare is not exactly my favorite (that is reserved for her best friend and coworker, Evan Reed), but she is a character that I can relate to, empathize for, and judge all at once. I do not approve of all of her choices, but I also feel for her when it comes to some of the more unsavory parts of her life. (I can definitely relate to the fights between her parents—albeit on a slightly less violent level—and the discomfort caused by her creepy, perverted coworker, Collin.) Andrew sometimes borders on the stereotypical “Mr. Right”, but Evans manages to right that with revelations about Andrew’s past and rumors about his present.

Now, as the work is contemporary romance, there are some scenes that are not appropriate for younger readers. However, they are neither crude nor overly explicit. Rather, they are sensual and passionate with just enough details to ensure that the reader can picture what is occurring. In a way, there is more of a thrill from this underdeveloped imagery that would be missing if the reader were told exactly what is going on. If you dislike such moments in novels period, you’ll probably want to avoid this book. Those who appreciate tasteful, subtle lovemaking scenes, though, will certainly appreciate it.

Of course, as with most works, this book isn’t perfect. The plot itself and the characters, even with the occasional slip into the stereotypical, are solid. The writing, on the other hand, could use a little work. On a superficial level, some additional editing and proofreading would help the work tremendously. In particular, the narration sometimes switches between past and present tense without any clear reason for it, even midsentence. While a minor fluke, these switches can be distracting and cause some confusion in the timeline. There is also some confusion in the timeline that does not have to do with the shifts in tense, but this becomes less frequent after the first chapter.

The pacing is also uneven at times. The narrative is a relatively quick read overall, but the problem more arises with scenes such as Clare and Andrew’s first night together, which gets into the passion too immediately for my liking. Sometimes slow pacing bogs down the story as well. The first few pages, for example, presents too much backstory for Clare too soon, which delays the real start to the story, i.e. when Clare first sees Andrew. Nevertheless, these scenes are typically easy to overcome, and the plot and characters are enough to want to read the book from start to finish.

Overall, The Professor by T.A. Evans is an enjoyable read. The story is compelling, the characters are realistically flawed but relatable, and family drama and plot twists keep readers on their toes. While around 250 pages long, the novel goes by relatively quickly. The writing could be improved, but those just looking for a good, sensual story will want to give this book a try.


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