The Passion-Minded Professor
by Natasha Moore, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-181-0


I used to work in research, so before I started reading Natasha Moore's The Passion-Minded Professor, I made an effort to temporarily forget what I know about my previous career. I tell myself to expect certain... stereotypes, let's just say, of academics being lobotomized freaks. So, when I read about how Dr Daniel Jennings has happily tested what is pretty much a love potion on himself, I tell myself to imagine that I was a former buxom waitress in a honky-tonk bar and I saw Dr Bruce Banner did this on that TV show so yes, it is possible, who knows.

I don't know why anybody would want to waste time researching on a "love potion" unless there is a market for date rape drugs out there... wait, I was a former buxom waitress named Tiffany Hill, okay, I'm ready. Where was I? Oh yes, Daniel is happily getting "tested" when he is unexpectedly visited by our heroine Roxy Morgan, a Marilyn Monroe clone who is looking for Daniel's research assistant. Daniel has the hots for her, but now he has to figure out whether his chubby is the result of lust or the workings of the drug he has taken. He also has to figure out whether the drug is affecting her and causing her to be attracted to him.

Yes, a drug that he ingested that can somehow make a person react to him by being attracted to him. Nope, never been done before. I used to be a waitress in a honky-tonk bar. I can't even spell "pheromones".

The next thing I know, she's offering to help him find a passionate woman. Hold it. Even Tiffany Hill, the waitress at a honky-tonk bar, is taken aback at that development. And it gets downhill from there, as the story takes various turns and twists that feel so contrived as the author tries many ways to let her characters get naked and have sex while at the same time trying to have an excuse to do so that isn't "Hey, we feel like getting naked and having sex so we did it... HOO-YAH!"

It's a shame, really, because the only moment that doesn't feel contrived to the max is on that second to last page when Daniel finally tells Roxy that he loves her and what he has found in her is worth fighting for. Everything else about this story is contrived. The whole set-up about the love potion is ridiculous. The way the characters, especially Roxy, behave after they have had sex is silly. I want to tell them, "Look, you guys can think, right? You're not that silly, right? So why are you guys jumping through hoops like this?" Ultimately, I have to suspend my disbelief one time too many in this story.

Rating: 66


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