Published by Lyrical Shine on August 30th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Helen Lee has a top-secret dream: to publish a romance novel. There’s just one problem, and her most recent rejection letter doesn’t mince words: Helen can’t write a love scene to save her life. As Head of Reference at Willow Springs, Kentucky’s Pembroke College, Helen is hoping her library research skills will do the trick. But she may have to resort to a far more “hands-on” course of study. Luckily, there’s someone who’s more than happy to instruct her…
History professor Henry Beckham has noticed that his friend, Helen, is behaving strangely. Known for her laser sharp focus—not to mention her snorting laugh—she’s been oddly distracted. He misses that laugh. But it all makes sense when he catches Helen researching erotic writing and discovers her ambition. She seems to think her only option is to die of embarrassment or give up and surrender to spinsterhood in the company of her two basset hounds. Good thing Henry has a much more real-life approach in mind. And his tutorial just might teach them both a thing or two…
¬¬Reviewed by Amy¬¬
Librarian Helen Lee dreams of writing a romance novel. Unfortunately, she just received another rejection letter for her erotic story. The reason? It just ain’t erotic. Helen needs to spice it up. Perhaps she can use her considerable research skills to write the sex scenes.
Helen’s friend and colleague, Henry Beckham, is proud of his friend when he discovers her secret. Henry and Helen started out as colleagues, but they’d grown a real friendship. Helen always helped Henry with his historical research. He could help with her research as well. What would any good friend do? He’ll be her sensual guinea pig.
What a humorous, romantic tale of friends to lovers. The characters of Helen and Henry were delightful. Helen loved her job but it wasn’t challenging. She wanted to try her hand at writing. She hadn’t told anyone about it because she felt she wasn’t taken seriously as it was. She wasn’t a professor like so many of her friends and colleagues. She was a librarian and she didn’t think adding romance writer to her title would help. Henry could tell something was bothering Helen. They’d been friends long enough that he could read her moods. When he discovers her googling “how to write about sex”, he’s impressed that she’s giving writing a try and he understands her secretiveness. He knew how it felt to feel passionately about something that others didn’t take seriously. Like his research into the long ago Willow Springs brothel. While other colleagues teased him about it, Helen was always willing to help him with his research. So he decides to assist Helen with her research. This is where things get interesting and pretty funny too. The scene with Henry and Helen trying to recreate sex scenes using GI Joe and Barbie was hysterical. And since GI Joe and Barbie don’t exactly bend easily, you can imagine it was pretty unsuccessful. So Henry sees no other choice but to be her “research partner”. And for the first time, Helen saw Henry as a man. A man who had sex. And apparently a man who could really kiss too. The toe-curling, mind-blowing research seemed to work too. It was like working with Henry took everything Helen knew and loved about sex and made it legible. The problem though was that they were starting to forget this was research. That they were supposed to be acting out a sex scene in a romance novel instead of making out with their best friend. Were these feelings real or sex feelings? And was it worth risking their friendship?
I love friends to lovers plots because when the friendship changes, it’s so much fun watching the characters explore those possibilities. And we readers get to travel along with the characters on a voyage of surprising discovery. This is the latest in new-to-me-author Sarah Title’s Southern Comfort series. Though it can be read as a stand-alone, I’m eager to read the earlier books in this series so I can get to better know the other characters in this charming college town.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.