Ivy Smoak – The Hunted: Temptation (Review, Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway)

The Hunted: Temptation by Ivy Smoak

Series: The Hunted #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by Author
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

When Penny Taylor runs into a handsome stranger in a coffee shop, she believes her luck has finally changed. After having her confidence unwound by her ex, she falls hard for a true gentleman. But once she realizes that her crush is her communications professor, her world is turned upside down.

Haunted by dreams of the alluring Professor Hunter, Penny can’t seem to dismiss her fantasies and the temptation to have him grows deeper. Will the excitement, danger, and mystery surrounding Professor Hunter bring her to her knees?

Buy this Book:


A sexy New Adult forbidden romance.

“…You never know what you’ll find during a long walk in the rain.”

For anyone who has ever lusted after a professor.
For readers who crave passion and drama.
For smut-loving readers on a rainy day…

The Hunted series is written in an interesting format – It is planned out as a trilogy, and each of the three books are split into three parts.

If you enjoy reading serial series, you can read each of the nine parts as they’re published, or if you’re a fan of longer works (like me) you can read the bundled novels.

The Hunted  Temptation - Part 1 by Ivy Smoak

Off to a great Start!

This wasn’t a game. Flirting with him wasn’t the same as it was with guys my own age. Professor Hunter had an air of danger around him. He was intriguing because he terrified me.

I’m a sucker for sexy, broody professors, and Professor James Hunter is mouth-watering

This installment represents the very start of our adventure with Penny and her whirlwind affair with her Communications Professor. The majority of the text laid the groundwork for the series – We get to know Penny (who has the sole, 1st person POV) as well as her friends and suitors.

Penny falls into the pseudo-tropey shy bookish college student category. She’s not a virgin, but she’s fairly inexperienced. Her previous romantic encounters have been pretty disastrous.

She’s been dating boys.
Professor James Hunter is a Man.

Ah yes, forbidden fruit.

…I wasn’t a bad girl, but I wanted to be bad for him. Doesn’t that make me bad? I wanted to do things with him that would surely get him fired.

The story had a steady pace to it, and I was enjoying myself. The tension was building between Penny and Professor Hunter, and just when I though I would pass out from all the UST… The two had their moment.

Sweet Baby Jesus, it was phenomenal!

I had already determined that the series was worth exploring, but once we hit that glorious moment of sexiness, I was hooked!

The Hunted  Temptation - Part 2 by Ivy Smoak



I wasn’t just fucking my professor. I was in deep. I loved him. I’m in clove with my Comm professor.

I’d like to start by saying that this little story contains one the the most jaw-dropping first dates I’ve read in a while – It might just melt your Kindle, so beware of the hotness!

Penny and her Professor have given in to temptation – their illicit affair is in full swing. Penny’s feelings for James Hunter are growing, but we’re no closer to unraveling the mystery which surrounds the man.

This episode picked up right where part one left off. The couple’s hot and heavy desk-top romp was supposed to be the only moment of weakness.

Yeah Right!
The Professor wants more,
Penny needs more,
and I can’t help but crave more of them both!

Penny and her professor are doing a bit of dating in this installment of the series, which allows for glimpses into the mysterious Professor Hunter, but it also increases the tension a bit… Because their relationship must stay a secret.

There’s the whole student/professor dynamic,
The inexperienced and naive/ heartthrob sex-god balance,
and a fairly sizable age gap… Speaking of which, Penny has allowed her professor to assume she’s a senior, and two years older than she actually is…

We left off with a cliffhanger at the end of this story, so I’ll be jumping right into the next book.

The odds are definitely stacked against this couple, so I’m eager to see how it all plays out!

The Hunted  Temptation - Part 3 by Ivy Smoak


Penny Taylor, step forward to receive your Hot Mess award…

Brownies were second only to condoms on my list of favorite things that come in foil.

A lot that went down in Part 3 of Temptation, so let’s get going…

Penny left Professor Hunter’s Apartment at the end of the last episode convinced that James Hunter is a married man. It was a thoughtless tantrum that makes me want to shake the crap out of this girl.

Penny Taylor has a habit of making childish & shortsighted decisions. She loudly proclaims the moral high-ground from deep within the hole she’s digging herself.

In short, Penny Taylor is an obnoxious hot mess of a little girl… And for some unknown reason, I was glued to her story. Drama, drama, drama. I’m pretty sure I even yelled at my book a few times.

I’m a total sucker for the seduction of hot, brooding professors. That type of forbidden romance gets my smutty stamp of approval every single time.

The student/professor dynamic is plenty to work with in the angst department, but this story is determined to stack the odds against our MCs as high as humanly possible.

We’ve got a forbidden romance,
Obsessed professors,
Childish meltdowns,
Meddling friends,
& before this story concludes, we’ll be laying in a good ol’ fashioned love triangle.


…and I can’t seem to look away.

I can’t even fully articulate what has me so hypnotized by this overly angsty New Adult Romance. Penny Taylor is the kind of character that I want to rail against. She consistently makes wrong decisions. It’s pretty impressive, actually.

Of course, it helps that Professor Hunter is a total heartthrob. Wealthy, mysterious, gorgeous, and utterly unobtainable. I can understand how a girl might lose her senses in the face of all that perfection.

The Hunted series might be a case of ‘The Right Book at the Right Time’. I enjoyed the story despite the fact that it’s outside of my usual tastes.

Ivy Smoak is a new to me author, and I’m enjoying what she has to offer.

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The drizzle turned into rain as I made my way onto Main Street.

“Miss Taylor, is that you?”

My whole body froze at the deep voice. I was wearing the most inappropriate outfit I had ever worn, and now my white tank top was drenched and completely see-through. “Um…no. You have the wrong person.” I quickly started walking again, but my high heels prevented me from moving too fast.

“Penny, stop!”

I turned around and stared up at Professor Hunter, who was as unbelievably sexy as ever. He was wearing a pair of jeans that hugged him in all the right places, and a leather jacket with a plain white t-shirt beneath it. He looked the same as he did in class, except that he had a 5 o’clock shadow and an umbrella.

“Professor Hunter, I’m sorry…” I let my voice trail off and I folded my arms across my chest to help hide my most likely exposed breasts.

He lowered his eyebrows when I said his name, just like he had in his classroom. “You like to apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.”

I probably imagined it, but it felt like his eyes lingered for a moment on my legs. He moved toward me so that I’d be under his umbrella with him. “Is everything alright, Penny?”

My eyes were probably red from my angry tears. I was hoping he wouldn’t be able to tell in the rain. “I’m fine.”

“Then what are you doing out so late all by yourself?”

“I could ask the same of you.” I rolled my eyes at myself for being so immature.

“I was just going for a walk.”

“Me too,” I responded quietly.

He laughed. It was an enticing sound. I drew a little closer to him and let my arm brush against his.

“Are you cold, Penny?”

Cold and mortified. I nodded up at him. I liked the way my name rolled off his tongue.

He handed me the umbrella as he slid out of his jacket. Then he held his jacket out for me and I slipped one arm in and then the other. The leather held the scent of his cologne. He took the umbrella and held it above both of us again. He was such a gentleman.

“Well you really shouldn’t be out alone this late, Penny,” he said. “Especially in those walking clothes.”

“Neither should you.”

He laughed again. “Is your dorm near here? It would make me feel much better if I escorted you home.”

“I live in Sussex.”

“This way then,” he said, and placed his hand on the small of my back for just a second.

We walked in silence for a few minutes. Every now and then I’d stumble a little in my heels and his hand would briefly touch the small of my back again. Each time he did, I felt like my heart would beat out of my chest.

“I’m not good at giving speeches,” I said, finally breaking the silence. “I feel like I should just drop your class.”

“I wish you wouldn’t. If you ever need extra help, I have open office hours. I really am a fairly easy grader for Comm.”

“It’s going to be extra painful when you fail me, though.”

“Why extra painful?” He said “extra” slowly, almost seductively.

“Because you…I mean I. Well, you’re…” I let my voice trail off. I wanted to say, “Because you’re gorgeous and I have a huge crush on you.” I can’t believe I almost let him hear me say that.

“Well it does seem that you aren’t great at giving speeches,” he laughed again. “Like I said, you can come by any time.”

We walked along the length of the green. I had dreamt of having a date escort me back to my dorm room. But I only dated immature boys, not men. Professor Hunter was a man. I found myself once again wondering how old he was.

“Have you been a professor here for long?”

“Not long at all. I do love it here, despite how much it rains. Besides, you never know what you’ll find during a long walk in the rain.” He smiled down at me.

Is he flirting with me? It seems like he’s flirting with me!

Before I knew it, we were at my dorm. I stepped out from under his umbrella and let the rain fall on me again.

“Here,” I said and pulled off his jacket.

His eyes drifted for just a second to my wet tank top. “No, you can keep it.”

“I’ve been stealing all your clothes. Soon you’ll have nothing left.”

“That does seem to be your plan.” He had a mischievous look in his eyes.

“I insist,” I said as I held out the jacket to him.

He took it reluctantly.

“I’m not in trouble, am I?”

“You’re a senior, you’re of legal age to drink, and you’re allowed to wear what you like. Why would you be in trouble?”

But I wasn’t a senior, I was a sophomore. And I wasn’t over 21, I was only 19. I took a deep breath. He didn’t need to know that. “You’re right. And I was only walking, after all. Thank you for escorting me home, Professor Hunter.”

He lowered his eyebrows when I said his name, just like he always did. But this time the action made me hold my breath. I was wrong about how he looked. He didn’t look angry, his eyes looked hungry. I had to remind myself to keep breathing.

“I’ll see you at 8 a.m. sharp, Miss Taylor.”

“It’s a date.” My eyes got huge and I put my hand over my mouth. Had I really just said that out loud? I turned quickly away from him and fumbled with my sensor pass to open the door. Finally it clicked. I threw the door open and quickly went inside. I turned around at the last moment to see Professor Hunter staring at me intently, surprisingly not at all perplexed. The door closed with a thud.

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An Interview with Ivy Smoak


Sell your book in five words or less:
That is one sexy professor. 

What was the spark of inspiration which led to this book?
It would be awesome if my inspiration was my own super sexy, illicit affair with a professor.  But that’s not the case.  What actually happened was that my fiancé had been encouraging me to try writing erotica for awhile.  I had written books in other genres and trying to figure out how to market them was a nightmare.  I liked the idea of writing erotica, but I didn’t think my imagination was dirty enough to be good at it, and I was feeling discouraged from my other writing attempts.

And then came 50 Shades of Grey.  When it blew up, I was like…hmm, maybe I should read that to see why this is such a big thing.  So I did.  And then I read the second and third.  And I couldn’t figure out the secret sauce to the wild success of the series.  Do you know?  Really, what was it?!

But something else clicked.  I was just like, I can do this.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have such respect for E. L. James.  She made her books a huge success.  But I just felt like I could write really well in this genre.  I’m a super competitive person, and it made me think, if she can do it, maybe I can too.  And then before I started writing, I just started reading tons of erotica for research.  Like an inappropriate amount of erotica…

And then I wrote about the only thing I really could.  A student/professor relationship.  Because seriously, who hasn’t had a crush on one of their teachers?  I used my own experiences of being in college for the background of the story.  I channeled the university I attended for the background of the story.  Everything else just fell in place, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

How did you come up with the character, Penny Taylor?
I really feel like you have to write from your own experiences.  All of Penny’s reactions are what my own reactions would be in the situations she’s in.  No, I have not had an affair with one of my professors.  But if I had, I could see it going down like this.

What about enigmatic Professor James Hunter?
Oh James.  I just thought of every super sexy, forbidden, delicious, dangerous, secretive thing and packaged them all into one hot professor.  He’s smooth and sophisticated, but a little broken on the inside.  I wanted him to be human.  No one’s perfect.  He’s made mistakes just like the rest of us, but has that gorgeous face to hide behind.  It’s not even fair.

Did you ever have a crush on a College Professor?
For the most part, I was cursed with professors that were either old or gay.  Bad luck I guess.  But I definitely had crushes on some of my high school teachers.  It’s easy to daydream in class, and even easier if there’s someone in front of you worth daydreaming about.  It’s such a forbidden dynamic.  It’s taboo and dangerous, which makes it that much sexier.

Do you have any experience in the Education field? What kind of research did you do to prepare for writing this book?
I do not.  All the information about classes and professors is just information I channeled from my own college experience.  And I looked up tons of different school policies about professor/student relationships…which, by the way, are really hard to find.

The Hunted series is set up in a unique way. What made you decide to dissect each book of the trilogy into individual parts?
I have this terrible problem where I always want to go back and change things.  Breaking the book up in smaller parts has made it possible for me to keep moving forward rather than getting my feet stuck in the mud.  It lets me write faster and it makes it seem like everything in the books has actually happened.  And then my reactions while writing make it that much more real.

What is your favorite quote or moment from this story?
The whole build up between Professor Hunter leading to this point:

“You’re infuriating, Penny,” he whispered into my ear. 
“Then punish me, Professor Hunter.”    

Is there a song which you feel perfectly complements your story?
I actually cannot write without listening to music.  And I tend to listen to songs over and over again while I’m writing, so there are a few I used as inspiration.  Which I’m sure has resulted in them being a perfect soundtrack to the story.

Lots of Taylor Swift songs.  Especially Blank Space (I kind of pictured Professor Hunter as Sean O’Pry.) & The Last Time ft Gary Lightbody (For the blossoming addiction between Professor Hunter & Penny).

Sweater Weather – The Neighborhood, Do I Want to Know – Arctic Monkeys, & Love me Like you Do – Ellie Goulding (These songs are like pure sex to me.  They’re playing in the background every time Professor Hunter and Penny hook up.)

Riptide – Vance Joy (For all the buildup, anticipation, and excitement.)

The Heart Wants What it Wants – Selena Gomez (Well…this one kind of sums it up.)

If you were offered the chance to turn this book into a Hollywood movie, would you take that opportunity?
Absolutely.  When I write I definitely picture the scenes actually unfolding.  I don’t know enough about directors to choose one.  But ideas for actors:

Penny:  Rose Leslie was awesome as Ygritte in Game of Thrones, so as long as she could do an American accent, she’d be great as Penny.  And based on her work in GoT, I’d say she isn’t opposed to doing some of the sexy scenes.  Emma Stone would also be a good fit.  So would Isla Fisher.  Are there any other young redheads in Hollywood?  I think that might be the entire list.

Professor Hunter:  Jamie Dornan.  Because he likes starring in erotica movies and he’s sexy as hell.  Plus, I really want him to randomly have a British accent during half of the movie and have the charisma of a sandwich bag filled with iceberg lettuce…not.  #NotMyChristian.  So maybe John Oliver?  Actually, I don’t think he’d be a good fit at all, but I love him.  I have a mega crush on him.  So I’d definitely give him a shot.  And John Oliver seems to hate Jamie Dornan, so I’d love to see them fight it out for the part.  Without shirts…

What can we look forward to next with this series?
You can definitely get excited about Penny and Professor Hunter’s relationship developing.  There’s so many impending issues building up that there has to be a tipping point or two in the future.  Professor/student relationships can’t just be easy.

Ivy Smoak on Writing:

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved reading.  It was my passion growing up.  And in college I started writing and I fell in love with the process.  It quickly became my new passion.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first full length novel I wrote was in college.  It was about first loves and loss.  I’m sure if I read it now, I’d think it was horrible.  I like to romanticize it in my head, though.  Despite tons of publishers rejecting it, it started me on this journey.

How do you keep your creativity flowing?
I’ve become a media junkie.  I get so much inspiration from music videos, TV shows, other novels, and movies.  Before I started writing erotica I had no idea how dirty my mind was.  But it’s filthy.  Right now it’s easy for me to come up with new story ideas.

How long did it take for you to write the first book in The Hunted series?
The Hunted – Temptation only took a few months for me to write.  I can write about 10,000 words a week when I’m not distracted by other annoying, superfluous crap like my primary source of income.

We’re loving the cover of this book! Who designed it?
The photo on the cover is by Rangizzz.  But the cover art was done by my very talented fiancé.

What advice do you have for new authors? Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
My advice would be to try out a bunch of different genres to see which one feels right.  I wrote mystery and fantasy (both with a healthy dose of romance mixed in) before trying erotica, but when I started writing erotica, I knew it was right.  It just flowed so easily compared to the others.

How do you deal with bad reviews? Any advice for other authors in that regard?
I never get bad reviews!  Just kidding.  Actually, getting a bad review is really hard to swallow.  I’m so devoted to the characters in The Hunted that it feels like I actually know them.  And it physically hurts me to read a bad review.  But as long as I know I put out the best product I could and I’m proud of it, I can’t let it get to me.  The haters gonna hate, hate, hate.

What additional projects are you working on?
I’ve started two other series, The Roommate & The Blind Date, in spurts between focusing on The Hunted.  So I’m currently working on sequels to both of those.  And I’m always working on sexy, fantasy driven short stories, like Cloudy with a Chance of Sex and The Vacation.  The most recent one I’m working on now is The Neighbors.  I’m right in the middle of it and it is so juicy.

Ivy Smoak on Reading:

What book have you read more times than any other?
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series as a whole.  I will forever love Ann Brashares for writing this.  I fell in love with all of those characters and could completely relate to everything they went through.  I laughed, I cried, and I read them all a million times.

What is the latest book you’ve bought and read?
The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.  The rest of the books I’ve read recently have all been free downloads or given to me by my mom.  And no, the ones that my mom gave me were not erotica.  That would be awkward.

What was the last book you absolutely fell in love with?
After I started writing, for a long time I felt like I lost my love for reading.  It was like I was in editing mode and couldn’t turn it off.  But then I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I loved that book.  It helped me take off my editing hat and enjoy reading again.  And it’s such a good story.

Is there a book you keep meaning to read, but haven’t gotten around to it? Don’t worry, we all have ridiculously long TBRs! (Please give us the title and author)

I’m obsessed with the show Game of Thrones on HBO.  So I want to read the books.  And usually I’m really good about reading books before I see movie/show adaptations.  But I somehow slipped with this one.  I’ve read the first couple pages several times, but I just can’t seem to focus.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.  I’m sorry, George R. R. Martin.  I’ll try again soon.

Do you recall the first piece of Erotica you ever read?
50 Shades of Grey.  Is that cliché to say now?  I read other books before that had some pretty sexy scenes, but I don’t think they were classified as erotica.

Do you recall the first piece of Romance you ever read?
Most of the books I love have romantic elements in them, but I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that is purely classified as romance.  Maybe Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte counts?  That book was so unbelievably frustrating though.  Don’t associate me with that.  I hated it.  Jane and Mr. Rochester are the freaking worst.

Do you have a favorite Book Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
I seriously have to pick Professor Hunter right now.  I love developing his character.  But one of the main reasons I picked him is because my fiancé hates him.  He reads through my chapters and just gets so mad that Penny keeps choosing Professor Hunter.  I’m pretty sure he’s just jealous because Professor Hunter is my book boyfriend and I love him to death.  That’s a pretty serious relationship right there.

Comment by Ivy’s Fiancé:  Gross.  #TeamTyler

Ivy Smoak on Play Time:

When you’re not hard at work writing, what do you do with your time?
I feel like I should have a super exciting and sexy answer to this question, but I do not.  In the summer I’m always hooked on The Bachelorette and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  And I also own an ecommerce business, but let’s be honest, I’m usually writing erotica or watching TV.

What’s the first thing on your Bucket List?
I want to go to Italy so badly.  There’s just something so romantic and exciting about Italy.  I don’t even know if I just like the idea of it now, of if I actually would like it.  But I want to go.  It’s at the top of my bucket list, hands down.

Do you have any pets?
My fiancé and I don’t have any pets together.  But he has a cat that he got in high school named Titty.  I feel like this was important to mention for some reason.  Who names their cat Titty?  That’s so weird.  The answer is, someone who’s going to marry an erotic novelist, of course.

Comment from Ivy’s Fiancé:  Her full name is Tittalonius, thank you very much.  It’s just such a distinguished name.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I love to binge watch TV shows, but I’ve gotten a bad habit of blurring the line between free time and writing.  Most recently I started watching The Walking Dead, which is this horrifying zombie show.  And the whole time I’m thinking, “Oh those characters should totally hook up.  They’d be so cute together.”  And then I realize the show I’m watching is not supposed to be romantic.  It’s about slaying freaking zombies.

Favorite Swear Word?
Fuck.  But like the raw, sexy version of it, not the cursing for cursing’s sake version.

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Ivy Smoak has graciously offered to give away an eBook copy of The Hunted: Temptation to one lucky Smutsonian reader. Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author:

Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Ivy Smoak is an entrepreneur with very fickle tendencies. After much encouragement from her fiancé, she finally decided to dive into her true passion and began writing erotic novels. She lives with her fiancé in Philly.

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