Saturday, May 17, 2014

To Professor, With Love (Forbidden Men Book #2) by Linda Kage with Giveaway, Excerpt & Review

To Professor, With Love
Forbidden Men #2
By: Linda Kage

Junior in college. Star athlete. Constant attention from the opposite sex.

On this campus, I’m worshiped. While seven hundred miles away, back in my hometown, I’m still trailer park trash, child of the town tramp, and older sibling to three kids who are counting on me to keep my shit together so I can take them away from the same crappy life I grew up in.

These two opposing sides of myself never mix until one person gets a glimpse of the true me. I never expected to connect with anyone like this or want more beyond one night. This may be the real deal.

Problem is, Dr. Kavanagh’s my literature professor.

If I start anything with a teacher and we’re caught together, I might as well kiss my entire future goodbye, as well as my family’s, and especially Dr. Kavanagh’s. Except sometimes love is worth risking everything. Or at least, it damn well better be because I can only resist so much.

-N. G.-

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Seeing him standing in the threshold of my office sent my nerves haywire. Lurching to my feet, I glanced wildly behind him, expecting to see Frenetti charging forward to fire me.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I hissed in way too guilty of a tone.

He stepped inside and shut the door, sending my heart crashing against my ribs in a panic, like a frightened bird desperate to escape its cage. I made a sound of denial in the back of my throat, but that was all I could manage.

“I came to talk about what happened...”

I gasped and crushed my hand to my heaving chest. He wouldn’t dare. Not here. Not about that.
“Between us,” he continued, “on Saturday night.”

Okay, so he dared.

But the worst part was how he looked as he dared. I felt ragged and raw, unsettled to my very core. And he looked utterly amazing. His dark hair remained fashionably messy as if he’d finger-combed it before leaving the house. His blue eyes with that precious hint of lavender were bright and alert, full of vivacity. And his body. Sweet mercy, I was freshly reminded how it had felt against mine, caging me to my bed as his mouth absolutely leveled me.

Rattled by the physical aspect of my attraction and unhinged over the fact he wanted to discuss the worst thing I’d ever done out in the open, in my office, I stared at him through eyes that refused to blink. But my vision went gray around the edges. God, I hoped I didn’t pass out.
Wait, maybe passing out would help me avoid this conversation. Would it be too childish to hold my breath right now?

“What’re your plans then, Mr. Gamble?” I demanded, horrified to realize I couldn’t control how quickly my breathing had picked up. “Blackmail me? Threaten to tell the administration that I came onto you in my drunken state if I don’t give you an A?”

His mouth fell open. “Wow.” He let out a short hard laugh. “But...” Running his fingers through his hair, he barked out another cynical sound. “Wow. You honestly think I’m that big of an asshole, don’t you? I just came here to make sure you were okay.”

Immediately realizing I was wrong by the way his eyes glimmered with—what was that, pain?—I gulped down my shame. No way could he fake such emotion.

Lowering my gaze, I held my breath as the idea of hurting him ripped me open. “I don’t... That’s not... You aren’t...”

“Breathe,” he commanded softly.

Surprisingly, I did, sucking in air, my body unconsciously following his commands and easing the tightness in my muscles that had been there all day. When I looked up, I opened my mouth to apologize for my accusations, but nothing came out.

“So, I’m guessing you’re not,” he said, lifting his eyebrows, “okay, that is.”

“Of course I’m not okay!” I exploded with a harsh whisper before glancing toward the closed door. “I got totally wasted and hit on one of my students.” Flapping my hands to show him just how okay I wasn’t, I hissed, “I’m completely wigging out right now.”

Noel did the worst thing he could possibly do. He cracked a smile. “God, you’re cute when you wig out.”

“Noel!” I screeched, scandalized by how well he was taking this. His blasé attitude only unsettled me more.

“Right.” Turning serious, he nodded and cleared his throat before he blew out a deflated breath. “So, what’re we going to do?”

The way he said “we” stirred up an emotion that almost brought tears to my eyes. I don’t think anyone had ever used that word on me before. Not a parent, or friend, or...anyone. I’d always done everything on my own. Being part of a team, a pair—God, it was what I’d always wanted. But being a part of anything with him was wrong.

Blinking rapidly, I tried to control the racing of my heart by breathing deeply. Purposefully. “Well,” I said and took one more deep breath. “The right thing to do would be to confess. So, if you want to tell the dean of the English department what I did to you, so there are no secrets or lies, I...I’ll understand. I can go with you right now, if you’d like.”

“I don’t—” He dodged in front of me to block my way to the door as if he feared I’d dart past him to go talk to Frenetti without his approval. “I mean, whoa. Hey.” He gave a nervous laugh and lifted his hands. It reminded of me of an animal whisperer trying to calm a scared, cornered creature. “There’s no reason to do that. No one saw us. No one knows. And you certainly don’t need to get yourself fired because of this.” He squinted his eyes. “And you would, wouldn’t you?”

I nodded. “Yes.” My voice cracked when I tried to add, “I’d be...”

“Fired,” he repeated with a decisive nod.

When I managed a single stiff nod in return, his shoulders fell. “That’s what I was afraid of.” He sucked his bottom lip in between his teeth in a brooding gesture. It really was too bad he looked so yummy doing it. I just wanted to— Gah! I had to stop thinking that way.

“So, what do you think?” I found the courage to ask, since I really did like thinking in this collaborative “we” term.

He looked up, his eyes startled. “About what?”

I swallowed, flushing. “About what we should do.”

“Oh.” He exhaled softly. “Uh...” His gaze slid over me, heating as if he remembered how my skin had felt under his hands. The look he sent me said exactly what he wanted to do. The fervor that passed through me as his stare traveled down my form made my nipples bead up, tight and tingly.
“Are you insane?” I gasped, suddenly very breathless.

“Yeah.” He blew out a hard breath as he took a step back. “I think maybe I am. Just a little.” Then his gaze raked over me again. “Or maybe a lot. Jesus, I can see how hard your nipples are through that blouse.”

Slapping my arms around my chest to cover the girls, I glared at him, hissing, “We are not starting some illicit affair, Mr. Gamble.”

“We’re not,” he repeated, but he made it more like a question than a repetitive statement.

I flushed. “No! Oh, my God. would be unethical, dangerous, sleazy, and...and...and besides. We’re completely not compatible.”

“What?” The last comment made him blink back to reality and scowl at me. “You think not? And here, I can’t help but remember how very well we fit together.”

My Review: 4 1/2 stars
This is the first book that I've read by Linda, but as soon as I finished it I did go out and purchase the first book in the series to read. I'm pretty certain that many people will think of this as a book about a "wrong" love story. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with two people who love each other doing anything. I don't care if they're student and teacher, as long as they're over 18. They're adults, and I don't see why there's such a stigma about over-age relationships. I suppose there is that ethical boundary, but it is possible to remain ethical and have a relationship as well. 
Personally, I loved Noel and Aspen together. Their relationship, admittedly is rough from the start. I loved that she really wasn't that much older than him, and that she was the professor, which is a different take on the usual student/teacher relationship. I also didn't see that they were trying very hard to hide their relationship, once they did decide to go ahead with it. I enjoyed the easy banter between Noel and Aspen once they got past the initial awkward stage. I loved now Noel didn't want to give her up, never mind the consequences. Some things are just worth any risk. I loved that Aspen finally felt like a part of something. That Noel made her feel cherished and worthy of love. Their chemistry was freaking hot, and those love scenes were scorchers!! Of course, they have their ups and downs, and personal issues to overcome, but this was such a great book, I can't wait to read the first one, and then wait for the third one to come out. Linda did a fantastic job with keeping the story line fresh, her characters were interesting and unique and she put a unique spin on the whole book. I loved it, and can't wait for more from her!

Author Info

Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, toddler daughter, and their nine cuckoo clocks. She works a day job in the acquisitions department of a university library and feels her life has been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part her world, and she's thrilled to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.

You can find Linda on the web at:

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