Book Review: Learning Curves (Elyse Mady)
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.
The fantasy of a male strip club is what might happen if you were alone with one of the men. But what if you actually found yourself in that situation? Me, I'd probably blush and run out the door. But Elyse Mady doesn't disappoint her readers when she brings this fantasy out in Learning Curves. Leanne takes the opportunity and runs with it when Brandon corners her in the dressing room after his performance. What better way to start off a novel than with a steamy hot sex scene between a delicious male dancer and an unassuming doctoral student?
I liked the characters, Leanne and Brandon. Leanne was highly intelligent but the author writes her in a way that she is relatable to most women. She has all the insecurities, stresses and ambitions that many people have. She has specific goals and works diligently to attain them.
When Brandon isn't dancing, he seems like an average guy, although very good looking. He's a college student as well, with his own goals and dreams. He comes from a tough background and it only fuels his drive to achieve more in his life. He's passionate, caring and down to earth. I liked that he hit it off with Leanne's father because every girl knows, Daddy is important!
The story line was good, although the focus on Leanne's doctoral canidacy did leave me scratching my head at times. Maybe it was a little too detailed for me to understand, but I guess if you're familliar with that kind of process, it would make the story more believable. I also liked the relationship building between Leanne and Brandon, the feud between Leanne and Gillian, the fondness between Leanne and her father and the tension between Leanne and her mother. All of these elements aided in plot development and moved the story along without slowing down the reading process. The only thing that bothered me was all the doubt and excuses that Leanne and Brandon made about why they couldn't be togeter. Especially Leanne. Through the story, it seemed as though she was embarrassed by (or thought her reputation could be tainted by) the fact that Brandon was a dancer. But, the author does address that issue by the end of the book and was relevant for the development of the final few scenes, so while it was frustrating to read, by the end I was ok with it.
The characters were relatable, the plot was believable, and the sex scenes were steamy. Oh, and did I mention, Brandon is a male stripper? I mean, really, what more could you want?
Breaking a sweat!
Passionate, sexy, detailed but not raunchy. A dressing room encounter, a strip tease and some car nookie. Gotta love variety!
This book is a part of my Sizzling Summer Reading Challenge book list.
A copy of Learning Curves was provided to me for review by the publisher and netgalley.com