by Cheyenne McCray, contemporary (2007)
Ellora's Cave, $4.45, ISBN 978-1-4199-0982-5
Taking Instruction tells the story of Jessica Grayson, a freshman at the University of Arizona, who has a big crush on Professor Craig Bennett because he apparently looks like someone straight out of a fitness magazine. All semester she has been putting on her best "Come get me, stud!" clothes and she knows he gets the message she's been sending out to him, but alas, he doesn't feel comfortable dating a student. Actually, "dating" is too benign a word to describe what he wants to do with Jessica, which involves paddling and a sore behind. So, alas, Craig will have to settle for locking the door of the classroom after each fiction writing class and take matters at hand, if you know what I mean. Students, do you know what may have been spilled on that table you are resting your cheek on as you snore away while the teacher is talking?
But when Jessica tells him that she's all alone come summer break and maybe they can, er, get together, poor Craig proves that he has no moral fiber to resist temptation. Then again, maybe one can't expect him to say no when she's sitting naked on his desk in the classroom.
This book is supposed to have BDSM elements but it will be more accurate to say that the kink in this story extends as far as mild spanking. There's nothing too deep or hardcore here. In fact, there isn't even much of a story here. Jessica's not trying to get good grades in class - she's a grade A student, it seems - and she's twenty so it's not as if there is anything too scandalous here. I don't know why this book is released under the Taboo imprint because it's not as scandalous as I'd expect from the packaging.
The love scenes are nicely written with a nice balance of filthy and rough gritty-nitty elements and more conventional love scene elements one can find in a more conventional romance novel. Because there is very little plot in this story, just plenty of sex, I suppose this means that the book achieves what it sets out to do very nicely - to provide the reader a few moments of enjoyable, if forgettable, tale of titillation. This book is the literary equivalent of a better than average quickie in every sense - a "yeah, it's good but while I don't mind an encore with that same person, I honestly won't lose any sleep if I don't see him again" kind of thing.
There is a happy ending full of love and an engagement ring. Needless to say, I don't believe a single word of it.
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