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C REVIEWS C+ Review Contemporary Romance

Review – Learning Curves by Elyse Mady

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

Leanne Galloway has no time for dating; her focus is on launching her academic career. Dragged along to her childhood frenemy Gillian’s bachelorette party at a male strip club, she just wants to get through the evening—but she can’t help interfering when Gillian sends a note to a sexy dancer proposing a hot hookup.

Brandon Myles is working backstage at the Foxe’s Den to fund his post-graduate studies in dance, but he’s forced onstage when the headliner fails to show up. He feels a surprisingly strong connection with a quiet woman watching from a table full of tipsy bridesmaids, and he’s delighted when she appears backstage after his set.

After a scorching spontaneous encounter, Leanne and Brandon agree to go their separate ways. But they’re both grad students on a small campus, and avoiding each other and denying their attraction won’t work for long, especially when a jealous rival appears, determined to ruin both their academic careers.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I loved the look of this new contemporary, brainiac woman who finds herself falling for an equally intelligent and sensual guy. What’s not to love about that? While I enjoyed it, there were some things that just didn’t quite work for me.

Leanne is working on her PhD, getting ready to defend her thesis, and is in the running for the super prestigious academic achievement of a lifetime. It’s been the driving force behind everything in her life recently, and she wants nothing more than to win.

Brandon’s not had the easiest life, and everything he has he’s had to work for. His part time job at the strip club as a manager helps to pay for his education. When he has to go on stage on night and perform, he doesn’t expect to be entranced by a woman in the crowd. After their quick one time affair, he expects to never see her again. Imagine his surprise when they both work and go to school at the same university.

Their one time affair quickly rolls into more than once and the two find solace in each other’s company. But when an outside force threatens both Leanne’s award and Brandon’s future, will their feeble relationship be able to stand up to the test?

I have to say that at times I was worried that Brandon and Leanne just wouldn’t be able to make things work. She was stubborn, pig headed, and at times seemed like the last thing she wanted was to have to lean on somebody. Brandon was also a little low on self esteem and self-sacrificing to the point where he was willing to forgo more than seemed necessary. The biggest hurdle in their relationship was their own hang ups.

That being said, I really liked their characters as well. Leanne was also passionate about her work, dedicated to her studies and an amazingly strong woman even when her friends and family berated her for her studious lifestyle. Brandon had to overcome so many obstacles: male dancer, difficult childhood, poor upbringing. I found his conviction to be an admirable trait, I just wish he would have owned it a little more.

Most of the secondary characters, with the exception of Leanne’s father, drove me absolutely crazy. Leanne’s mother was an absolute nut, and I found her condescending and patronizing tone to be hard to stomach. Then at the end when she has a change of heart and her attitude does a complete 180… Not likely… Also Gillian, the backstabbing, two faced beotch had me wanting to punch somebody. At least she made for a good villain.

While I liked the courtship and dating dance that Brandon and Leanne went through, I did have a little difficultly believing in the happily ever after, especially after they had only known each other for 7 days. I tend to have a difficult time with the rushed romances, but I could see how the two did compliment each other well and how nicely they fit together as a couple. It just seemed that their journey should have taken seven months, not seven days.

All in all I enjoyed my first Mady book. Her characters were engaging and realistically flawed in a way that made them fun and believable. The romance was both sweet and sultry (just the way I like it!) While I wish some of the secondary characters had been a little more developed, it was a pleasure to read.

I give Learning Curves a C+

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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