Summer Hemlock never meant to come back to Omen, Massachusetts…
But with his mother in need of help, Summer has no choice but to return to his hometown, take up a teaching residency at the elite Albin Academy—and work directly under the man who made his teenage years miserable.
Professor Fox Iseya.
Forbidding, aloof, commanding: psychology instructor Iseya is a cipher who’s always fascinated and intimidated shy, anxious Summer. But that fascination turns into something more when the older man challenges Summer to be brave. What starts as a daily game to reward Summer with a kiss for every obstacle overcome turns passionate, and a professional relationship turns quickly personal.
Yet Iseya’s walls of grief may be too high for someone like Summer to climb…until Summer’s infectious warmth shows Fox everything he’s been missing in life.
Now both men must be brave enough to trust each other, to take that leap.
To find the love they’ve always needed…
Just like that.
Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
Ugh….I feel like I’ve been harsh on a lot of reviews lately. For that, I am sorry. And unfortunately, the trend continues.
Summer Hemlock (for real, that is his name) moves back to his hometown to help his mother and to take a job at his old school. A private boys school he attended because the father he barely knew before he died was a teacher there.
I am not sure why he had to move back to help his mother because she seemed far from infirm when we met her. And apparently, the job is as a TA to a teacher who is retiring. So he will take over the position when he does. And according to that teacher, no one else applied for the job. Really? Teaching at a private school? Room and board also provided?
Ok, let’s look past those things. Summer is also riddled with anxiety and doesn’t look people in the eye. But sure, teach spoiled teenage boys. That will go over well.
Fox Iseya (yes, Fox. I don’t know either) is the retiring professor. It is never stated exactly how old he is, but he seems to be retiring at his 20 year mark. Half Japanese, he is a bit of a stereotype. Strict, very orderly, terrifies the students and faculty alike, but we also find out he is a widow of 20 years. His grief plays a big role in who he is. That was explored fairly well. But to go from a loner of 20 years to lust at first sight of a former student was a bit for me.
Sorry, but it was downhill from there. There’s a “kiss deal”, which is obnoxious. They make out and grind on the desk in the open classroom and are caught by the vice principal, but no big deal.
Add in seriously drippy poetic prose, over use of the word ‘ennui’ (a word like that should be used once in a book this length), no explanation of the eye contact thing, etc, it just didn’t do it for me at all.
Sorry, this is a pass. Which is a shame. Because it could have gone so much better.
2 Pieces of Eye Candy