ARC Review: When It's Love by Emma Lauren +Excerpt

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When Sydney Morrison learned the dark truth about who she really is, her whole world turned black. Tormented by her identity and deeply depressed, she confides in no one, not even her hot and adoring best friend, Henry.  But Sydney does tell Henry about the epic crush she has on her famous writing teacher, Professor Sparling. 

Convinced she doesn’t stand a chance with the professor, Sydney is shocked when he takes a special interest in her. The two begin a torrid online affair that pulls Sydney out of her shell and makes her feel desired and daring. And as Sydney tumbles into a journey that’s erotic beyond her imagination, her relationship with Henry gets complicated.

Then Sydney’s darkest secret begins to hunt her down just when she thinks she’s escaping it. Suddenly nothing is what is seems to be and Sydney finds herself torn between truth and love.

Professor Sparling is so out of my league.  What he could he possibly see in me?  But he sees something, obviously, because he reached out to me, and I don’t want to lose his interest.  What I feel for him is pure passion and I’m exploding with it.  Of all the intense emotions I’ve 
experienced in life– rage, fear, depression and frustration – this passion is the only one that’s felt impossible to contain.

My hands are shaking as I type: Professor Sparling, I wanted to impress you because I’m drawn to you.

If only I could write just how drawn I am to him.  But that would come across either way too romantic, or way too forward.  It’s not like I can just write to my professor that I spent half of the time in his classes thinking about either kissing him for two hours straight, or unzipping his pants. I can’t even say that I’ve been waiting fourteen weeks for him to really notice me. But most of all, I can’t tell him that he’s the one I believe can lead me out of the dark places where all I feel are shame and grief.  I want to end my internal ache, push the pain away, and live the life of a normal college student.  College years are supposed to be carefree, but I haven’t gone to any parties. I never even go out for dinner unless the Harts invite me over to Ottawa Estate, or Henry drags me somewhere.  All I’ve wanted to do at Addison is be at home alone with my cats.  My most social activity is watching movies with Henry.  This little online flirty exchange, though, is giving rise to the part of me that has been totally shut down.  Apparently along with the sadness inside my body lives a full-fledged diva, and these emails are waking her up like a kiss from Prince Charming.  The diva’s voice is nothing like that of my withdrawn, anti-social persona who always dresses in gray and thinks she can’t compete with the Melanies of the world.

I stare at my computer screen waiting for a reply.  It comes within seconds.

Sydney, Please call me Paul.  And tell me, to which part of me are you drawn?

Call him Paul?  No way.  I can’t think of him as Paul.  Not yet, at least.  Part of the appeal, after all, is the fact that he’s my professor.  I bet he’d like it if I dressed up as a schoolgirl in a teeny pleated, plaid skirt.  I’m sure he would teach me a lesson or two!

I can’t believe this is happening.  I am flirting with Professor Paul Sparling, man of my dreams, or at least man of my sexual fantasies.  I wished for this a million times, but I never expected it to come true.   And I never imagined it would begin with email.

My Review:

Sydney is a college student who has a major crush on her English professor. She hasn't been into the dating or hooking up scene in a long time but the professor brings out her inner minx. Her best friend Henry, mega hottie by the way, is always there by her side supporting her through everything and anything.

Just when she thinks a relationship with her professor is out of reach, things begin to heat up. As the situation gets spicier and spicier, a new person starts to show interest in her. 

The story started off a bit staccato for me. I sort of felt pushed into the story. I had a hard time getting absorbed into it and though the teacher/student crush can be sexy, in this case it just came off a little weird. The entire time I kept wondering if poor little Sydney was blind because she never paid any attention to her hot stud of a best friend.

About a third of the way through, the story began to flow a bit better. Despite the obvious direction of the plot, I still enjoyed reading through the character interactions. There were some climactic moments that revealed secrets, but for me they weren't all that riveting. Sydney's past was supposed to come out as a big deal, but it simply wasn't for me. Some things were somewhat confusing, as well. 

This book was however filled with some steamy scenes. Very, very hot!

There were moments where the story dragged on a bit slowly and then the pacing would level out again only to be rushed in a few sections. The ending left us with a cliffhanger that I'm not sure was entirely necessary. The plot had a lot of potential but ended up lacking. 

*An eARC of this copy was provided by the author for an honest review. This has in no way affected my review/opinion.

My Rating: 2.5 kisses

 About the Author
Emma Lauren has lived in Texas and Michigan. She met the man of her dreams when she was only 18, and 7 years later she married him. They now have three rambunctious kids who keep Emma on her toes. Emma loves animals, romantic stories, 80s music, chick flicks, and cupcakes. When she's not writing she's probably doing laundry.

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