Release Date: February 27, 2015
Pages: 280 (Paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Amazon • Goodreads
On the outside I seem to have it all. A promising career as a law professor, family money, and my good looks, but my life was full of secrets. I knew how to put up a good front; it was a mask I’d worn for a long time. I kept a rotating door of women to help me forget, but my efforts were futile. I was haunted by guilt, my always lurking, underlying darkness. I thought I had control, but there were things I had no control over.
Then I saw her.
Emma was the light to my dark, a beacon that called to me when I knew I should stay away. I avoided this kind of connection for a reason. The sins of my past left me with scars and not all of them were skin deep.
People thought they knew me, but in reality, they knew nothing.
My first thought upon starting the book was the dark intensity was amazing and I was in for a treat! Professor Cline's details and attitude were intriguing, to say the least. So, of course I kept reading.
Then I started to realize, this reminded me of a popular book with the number 50 and the words Shades and Grey in the title, except Ms. La Rocca could write. But due to the overpowering similarities in the plot, it turned me off a bit. However, not enough to stop reading it.
Professor Mason Cline has a dark past. He has lived through things that would have sent me to the insane asylum for the rest of my life. There are chapters that take him into flashbacks and dreams, with the story then being told through his little boy perspective, or his teenage perspective, as to events that were unfolding in his life at that point. Though, mostly, the story takes place presently, with Mason hiding himself from the world. I won't lie, I cried for childhood Mason, my heart broke for him.
About every other chapter is split off to Emma's story. She's a clean spirit, innocent in many ways, and meets Mason's immediate attraction to her with one of her own. She is a very naive character who may or may not have caused me to roll my eyes. Okay, so she did cause me to roll my eyes quite a few times. While she is intelligent, she doesn't listen to herself very well and makes some awful decisions. However, those decisions are what make up the story with this studly, hardcore professor.
As the story continued back and forth between the two characters' perspectives, which were both in first person I should add, I had no trouble keeping up with them. The plot was fast paced when it came to the relationship between the two. But when it was just Mason, it was steady and heart wrenching. The pain he felt internally, mixed with the pain he bled out, caused my stomach to ball up into knots for him. He is without a doubt, a very strong character.
I cannot give much away in my review for fear of creating a spoiler, however, I will say, I was not a fan of that 50 book at all, though I did read it all from his point of view from the abusive childhood he came from. This story, I did enjoy it for the most part. Until the very end. I was left hanging! WHAT? Ms. La Rocca, why did you do this to me? I am not a fan of cliffhangers. Okay, so really I am, because I have to rush to find the next book, or pine for the several months for the next one to be released. Since Professor Cline Redeemed is already released, I will be returning soon with a review on it also.
**Warning: The story does contain sexual encounters, self-mutilation, and dark scenes, some that revolve around sex, and some that do not.**
J.M. La Rocca was born in Chicago, IL. At an early age, her family relocated to lower Alabama where she began her love for writing. She currently resides in Pensacola, FL with her husband and twin sons. As a stay at home mom, La Rocca was able to pursue her love for writing. It was always an unrealized dream to write her own books. With the love and support from her husband Tony, family, and friends, she set forth and fulfilled that dream.
Aside from writing she also loves to read, listen to music, drink wine, indulge on chocolate, chase her little ones around, and spend time with her family and friends.