Book Review: School Ties by Tamsen Parker

Title: School Ties
Author: Tamsen Parker
Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Pages: 231
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary

Erin Brewster is nervous enough on her first day of teaching at Hawthorn Hill. But the way Zach Shepherd looks at her with his dark and dreamy blue eyes really throws her off her game. He simply has to walk past her to send her heart racing. Although he’s eighteen and a senior, he’s still just a student—and very off limits. To let her eyes linger over his body, to fulfill her fantasies would be more than inappropriate. It would be career suicide.

Three years after his graduation from Hawthorn, Shep has returned as a member of the faculty—and he hasn’t forgotten his favorite teacher, the prettiest woman he’s ever seen. When they finally have a chance to get to know each other, they realize they share a common interest: kink. In fact, Shep has learned a lot about the subject during his time away and is ready to teach Erin a thing or two. He’ll soon have her begging to be held after class.
As their relationship comes under scrutiny, the ties that bind Shep and Erin may begin to fray. But some bonds grow stronger under pressure.
Reasons why I wanted to read this book:
1. Published by InterMix
2. Teacher/Student Relations
3. Did you see that guy on the cover?

The scoop.

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. Tamsen Parker took the taboo subject of forbidden teacher/student love, in a completely new direction that I was so not expecting. 

Most novels that touch on this subject always have a gorgeous male college professor and an equally gorgeous female undergrad. Not so with this book. Here we have a female high school teacher coupled with a male high school senior!

What makes this novel so special, is that absolutely nothing happens even remotely sexually between these characters until 4 years after they first meet! I repeat 4 years! Yep, this book takes place over a good long time period, ensuring there is none of that insta love shit. Insta hot ass attraction? Hell yes!

I cannot even describe the ridiculousness that occurs during senior year to our female protagonist, Erin. I mean, I was shocked as shit with what occurred. Nothing that I could have ever predicted in a million years! Coupled with what happens in her life the 3 years after Shep graduates from high school. Jesus! Nothing pretty at all. AT ALL!

That is, until Shep returns to his Alma Mater as a faculty member!

However, this is now where the author started losing me with the story. 

I don't know if this is a spoiler or not, but I feel like even if you feel like it's a spoiler, it does not take away from the story. So Shep attends high school, goes off to college, and through a certain situation, learns to become a dominant, with lots of practice. So with the time frame of the book, that puts Shep at about 21 or 22 years old when he returns to Erin...a virgin...yep...a virgin. Are you kidding me! I just could not wrap my head around this. Not even the slightest little bit. 

I also had some serious issues with the life choices that Erin made. She is forced to do something by her "loving" uncle that no woman in her right mind would chose to do, just to keep her job. Then, when the reason for being forced into her situation is removed, she still elects to remain in her horrible situation. I can't deal. I will never understand why female writes chose to write weak female leads, that are dependent on everyone but themselves. 

So, as you can see, my thoughts and feelings are all over the place with this book. I gave it a 3 Owl because despite some serious issues that I had with the novel, I was invested in the characters and wanted to know where the story would end. Not to mention the book invoked strong emotions from me, which is always a good thing, even if the emotions are not always positive. 


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