When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.
That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.
Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.
Miss Riki’s Review:
Woah. This book is super dark and gritty, and was almost difficult to read at times. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really, really good, but man- my heart absolutely broke for Maise on more than one occasion in this book.
There’s something very immediate and raw about the writing that drew me right in, but the romance is so taboo and written so descriptively that I couldn’t help but feel like I was viewing something super personal- something I wasn’t mean to see. The forbidden aspect of the student-teacher romance is definitely played up here, to a tremendously unsettling effect.
What I loved most about this book is that Maise isn’t an innocent bystander in this romance. She doesn’t fall for the teacher in a submissive way. In fact, the power dynamics of the student-teacher romance are completely flipped around, with Maise being the aggressor. It’s an incredibly interesting twist to have her know exactly what she wants, even if it comes from a really messed up place. I waffled between thinking that she was being taken advantage of because she has a truly horrible home life and needs the attention and thinking that she was just an incredibly strong character who saw what she wanted and went right after it. Maise had to grow up real fast with her background, so it’s not implausible for her to be mature far beyond her years.
The romance itself is sexy as can be and not for the faint of heart, but it’s an interesting dynamic with compelling characters who both have a lot to lose. This book is New Adult like I’ve never seen it before.