If he wants a job when he finishes grad school, Tanner Brown needs to get a foot in the door. But when he arrives at the country’s largest statistics conference to find he has nowhere to stay, he’s not sure it’s worth it. Especially when he realizes his hot faculty crush just witnessed his embarrassment from a front row seat.
Dr. Beckett James is happily focused on his career until one of his former students slides into his line of sight. Tanner is brilliant and engaging, and when he ends up without a room, Beckett has no choice but to offer him a place to stay for the weekend. Even if it means testing his restraint.
When their conference fling turns into an on-campus complication, Tanner and Beckett will have to control the variables that threaten to keep them apart or risk losing their chance at a happy ending before it’s even begun.
A Foot in the Door is the third full-length novel in the Open Doors series featuring a statistics professor who makes a mean curry, a ginger-haired student with a bright future, and an offer neither can refuse.
By Vinni George
The crack and hiss of an opening soda can sounded behind me, and I heard Tanner clear his throat as he poured the fizzy water into the glass. “So how did you learn to cook?”
“Oh, um, my mom. She’s Indian and a feminist and made sure both my sister and I knew our way around the kitchen. Though, honestly, I think that might have been in part because my dad is the kind of guy who can burn water, and she wanted to make sure we wouldn’t starve if she had a late class.”
Tanner’s brow creased. “What does she do?”
“English professor. Her area of interest is modernism. She’s doing a guest faculty spot at Oxford this year.”
“So is your dad a lawyer, then?”
I gave him a confused look. “No, he’s a computer engineer.”
Tanner spun his glass on the countertop between his hands. “Oh, I thought maybe since you went into academia like your mom that your sister followed in your dad’s footsteps.”
A laugh bubbled up from my chest because there was no way Tanner could have known how completely different my sister and my dad were in every sense of the word. “Nope. Trudy is her own person and a bit of an anomaly.”
“What about you? Are you following in someone’s footsteps?”
It was Tanner’s turn to chuckle, and I leaned back against the counter to watch as his face broke into a grin. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed the cut of his jaw or the fullness of his lips, and seeing him smile was a delight.
“Not at all. My mom does medical coding for a local hospital, and my dad is a mechanic. I’m the first person in my family to go to grad school, and quite frankly, neither of my parents really understand what I’m studying or what I hope to do.”
“I feel that. Even though my mom is in academia, English is a far cry from statistics. She doesn’t get why I’d rather study numbers than words.”
Tanner laughed, and the sound echoed through the kitchen and settled in my chest. “Like modernism is so easy to understand.”
“Right? But she’s obsessed. Has been as long as I’ve been alive and probably long before that. I mean, how else does a half-Indian kid end up with the name Beckett Eliot?”
“I was going to ask,” Tanner said with another laugh.
“Eh, my sister has it worse. Gertrude Virginia.”
Tanner grimaced. “Yikes.”
I’ve really been enjoying this series. All the men are very different and in different situations. Which, side note, HUGE props to the author on the timeline of these books. It isn’t easy to write a book where you can tell that something happens to another couple in “their book”, and keeping it within the timeline. It is easier, with a series, to have one couple go through their book, then move to the next. These books all have very intertwined timelines, and I just loved it!
These two met when Tanner was in Beckett’s class previously, but didn’t connect until Tanner is stranded at a conference and Beckett saves him by giving him a place to stay. Tanner, a poor grad student, is almost done with his degree, and ready to look for a job in his chosen career, and in fact he went back to school after working for several years, so he’s an older student, setting him with some real world experience with Beckett. He can only hope to work for the company that Beckett’s friend owns.
Beckett meanwhile never missed love, couldn’t have cared less about it, but in no time flat fell hard for Tanner. This led to the conflict of teacher/student at the same school, then later while Tanner was chosen to participate in a competition that would net him a job at the company of his dreams. I won’t spoil it, but what Beckett did was pretty cr@ppy, in my estimation. There could have been about 10 other options he could have chosen, and he went for the worst option…which, of course, they needed conflict, but this was not what I had expected, and it kind of left me heartbroken, as well.
All in all, though, I found the book entertaining, and enjoyed the geekiness of these guys when it came to numbers and patterns. They really were a very good match for each other. The cover fit the description of Beckett, to a T, as well.
I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, Brody and Phin. There was some serious tension going on with these two during A Foot in the Door.
4 pieces of eye candy
Vinni George has been a lover of romance novels (of all shapes, sizes, and colors) since she first got her hands on one of her grandmother’s Harlequins and has never looked back. She lives in Ohio with her two favorite guys (her husband and son) and, hopefully—one day—a dog. When not writing her own stories, she can be found helping to polish other people’s novels. In her spare time, Vinni dabbles in performance art, quilting, and various culinary pursuits and enjoys traveling.
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