The Professor’s Pet by Tara Crescent
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by Author
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
***The perfect blend of bondage, dominance, submission and love ***
Have you ever been dangerously attracted to your professor?
Jake Ballard. He is smug and mocking, but his body is the stuff of epic fantasy. Now, through an unfortunate twist of fate, he holds my smut-filled Kindle in his hands.
I have a decision to make. Can Professor Ballard be my instructor in this world of bondage, dominance, and submission? And, eight weeks later, when my class is at an end, can I walk away from Jake?
Magic 8-Ball, is this book worth reading?
Answer: Outlook is positive.
The basic set-up is absolutely fantastic…
Emily accidentally switched out her Kindle with her former Professor’s while at a coffee shop. This is a great big problem for multiple reasons:
1. Emily just filled her Kindle library with smutty BDSM books (wouldn’t know anything about that myself, obviously. LOL).
2. She has a HUGE crush on her former professor (like everyone else in her department).
3. Professor Jake Ballard is a Dominant who takes BDSM seriously, and is not pleased by her taste in erotica.
4. The Professor decides to show her the difference between her fuzzy-handcuff bodice rippers and the reality of true submission.
Oh Hell yeah, how could I possibly pass this book up???
Professor Jake Ballard
“BDSM – in many ways, it’s a game. But like any game, the people that play it take it seriously. And then your Kindle was filled with fluff; the kind of books that trivialize and distort the games we play, and it bothered me.”
Dr. Emily McNamara
I’d sat in a class that Jake taught, starry-eyed. I’d worked on his floor for five years, barely able to say two words to him. And now, I was dancing with him in a bondage club, while men and women wandered around us in leather and rope.
“Real life,” he said. There was an even look in his eyes. “Always better.”
Do I have some complaints? Sure.
First off, Jake “drawled” the majority of his dialogue… While I’m sure this was meant to show that he was speaking more seductively than could be conveyed with a standard “Jake said.” or “Jake replied.” the frequency with which he “drawled” quickly became distracting… I began to credit him with a Scarlett O’Hara type cadence when he was from New England…
I also felt that the large lapses in time could have been more thoughtfully incorporated. Their time spent away from each other could have been the perfect opportunity to illustrate some character progression, which I felt was lacking at times.
Despite these issues, the story was highly enjoyable overall. The author added a great twist to the “Intro to BDSM” theme in modern Romance and Erotica, and I especially liked that we were working with two highly intelligent adults. While Emily was receiving a sexual education of sorts, she wasn’t virginal or emotionally immature.
Five years of class, teaching and research. Two solid months of writing my dissertation. Sixty minutes of cross-examination from my committee. Fifteen minutes of nervous waiting outside the room as they debated whether I’d done enough work to earn my PhD. And then, a few seconds of pure exhilaration as I learned I had indeed done enough to graduate.
I was finally done.
I thought I’d be ecstatic, but I was just weary. The happiness would come later; right now though, the adrenaline had drained from my body, and I just wanted a nap.
There was a Starbucks in my school building; I headed to it for a caffeine pickup. I had my Kindle and more than my fair share of bodice rippers; I was going to hang out and read in the lounge for a few hours, and then head home. Normally, we would have gone out for drinks to celebrate, but John, my advisor’s other PhD candidate was defending his dissertation tomorrow, and we’d just agreed that we’d all go out for a combined celebration tomorrow night.
“A tall café latte, please, with skim milk,” I said as I wandered up to the counter.
“Large coffee, please, room for milk,” I heard a deep voice say. I looked up through my eyelashes, and gulped. Professor Jake Ballard. He taught Pure Mathematics, and was hotter than sin. Black hair; blue eyes; the lean strength of a long distance runner. I had seen him in the gym once; he’d just finished a game of basketball with some students. He’d been drenched with sweat; he’d taken his t-shirt off to towel down, and umm. The Abs of Steel people should have been begging him to endorse their products. I’d stayed in the shadows and shamelessly gawked, and I’d touched myself frantically in the bathroom stall after. His body was the stuff of epic fantasy.
It wasn’t just me. Every single woman who saw him had a thing for him. His class actually had an equal number of women and men in it; and given that he taught Pure Math, that was entirely because of how good-looking he was. God knows I’d taken his class many years ago for the same reason.
He looked around, bored. He nodded when he saw me, smiled politely.
“Dr. McNamara. I hear congratulations are in order.”
I turned into a blithering idiot every time I saw Jake; this time was no exception. I blushed deep red, and mumbled my thanks, tongue-tied. Great.
The girl arrived with my coffee, and I started scrambling for change; juggling my backpack, my Kindle, and my smartphone, resting my Kindle on the counter as I tried to find some change to pay for my coffee. I could see the girl’s well-concealed irritation; could sense Professor Ballard rolling his eyes. His coffee arrived; he handed the girl at the counter his credit card.
“Put both of our coffees on this, please,” he drawled.
“Umm, I have change somewhere,” I said, red-faced.
“I’m sure you do, Dr. McNamara. I’m just as sure that the line behind you would prefer that you find your cash before you get to the counter next time.” He nodded to me, took his coffee, and left.
I looked at his retreating back, profoundly irritated. Superior jackass.
Deep breath, Emily, don’t let him get to you, I said to myself. I wasn’t going to let Professor Ballard take today away from me. I had a few hours of uninterrupted reading time, and I was totally looking forward to it.
Right before the bulk of the writing had started, I had downloaded Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. I’d been saving it as a treat, and I reached for my Kindle eagerly, anxious to lose myself in a world of erotic fantasy.
Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell. Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson. What the heck? I scrolled through the books, wondering what had happened to my books. A creeping dread hit the back of my neck as my mind slowly put the pieces together, and I scrolled back to the Home page.
Jake Ballard’s Kindle. I must have grabbed the wrong one when I was doing my crazy hunt for coffee change.
I was deeply, utterly fucked.
Q&A with Tara Crescent
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
Aargh, this is a hard question… Sheesh, you don’t start easy, do you? Hmm. Let’s go with Fantasy, since this book is basically one of mine.
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
I had a really hot professor once that was a source of much private fantasy. His first name was also Jake. This book was a homage to my rich inner fantasies from that time.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
Sadly, all the time, especially when it comes to writing sex scenes, which I find quite tough to do. To escape it, I procrastinate by writing a different book. That way, I’m at least still writing.
5. Your all time favorite book?
Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones. Though it is a little embarrassing, I secretly really enjoy reading children’s fantasy.
6. What made you pick that one above all others?
Howl’s Moving Castle? Sophie is smart and funny. Howl is kind and caring. This book has everything – fantasy, adventure, a evil witch, romance!
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
There’s several stories that I’ve sort of thought about for years, but I’m not sure if a failure to write them down can be counted as working on a project. Once I start writing, I do just plow through, if nothing else other than to just get it done.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
On the positive side, it’s really great to finish stories, to put work out there, and to have people respond to your writing. That’s a great feeling, absolutely.
On the down side (and these are completely minor, I love writing!) I’ve become a bit obsessive about tracking sales/rankings/reviews. I have less time for friends and other hobbies, and my cat hates my laptop.
9. Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
This particular book was fairly easy to write – I spent a lot of time fantasizing about my professor and had plenty of imaginary material to draw on!
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
There’s work, of course, to pay the bills. I work in the corporate world, doing corporate stuff. (Sorry – that is vague, but I don’t think my corporate employers would be very happy that I moonlight as a writer of erotica.) In addition, I have a non-demanding boyfriend and a demanding cat.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I grumble to my boyfriend. And then, I let it go. Once I hit the publish button, I forfeit the right to control my work, and I recognize that. Bad reviews sting, but that’s what drinking is for! I’m joking a little. Drink responsibly. 😉
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
I’m solidly hoping that by September, I’ll have two other books out related to this. Several people have mentioned that Anna and Sanjay seem ripe for a spin-off, and I totally agree! I also want to write about Grace, Jake’s sister, who is briefly mentioned in this book as working with Doctors without Borders.
And finally, I sent a little teaser of a short story called the Professor’s Girlfriend to subscribers of my mailing list. It features a Jake and Emily scene once Jake moves to San Francisco. I’m tempted to flesh that out into a full story as well, but we’ll see. Re-visiting characters can get a little tricky! (Also – sign up for the mailing list!)
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
Right now, I’m working on the next part of my Doctor Dom series, tentatively titled Relapse. Right after Relapse, I’ll work on the final part of this series (tentatively titled Recovery.) There’s a trio of books set in Venice planned after that, and then the Anna/Sanjay + Grace/Luke books mentioned above.
14. What made you decide to become an Indie Author?
I’ve always written bits and pieces my entire life, and I love how there’s now an easy path to self-publishing through Amazon. But mostly, the Indie thing is me just not having enough patience to submit work to a publisher, wait eight weeks to hear back, etc. I might still go that route, but for the moment, I’m pretty happy with the path I’ve chosen.
15. What would you say was the toughest part?
Getting discovered. I’m still working on this. I’m sure it’ll be an ongoing battle.
16. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I do have a volunteer editor (Hi Jim!) who is pretty awesome. I use James at GoOnWrite.com for my covers (who is pretty awesome as well. I format myself – I write on Word, and Kindle does a pretty good job converting formats.
17. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I found Jim through Literotica. (Side note – I write a lot on Literotica – I preview a fair bit of my work there. My Literotica handle is funinthesungirl19.)
18. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
Counting the writing part? Hmm. It takes me anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to write the novel. Once that’s done, I do my first full round of edits (I do edits as I go along, but then I read the whole thing from end-to-end). Then, I send to my editor who is pretty awesome at turning things around quickly – I’ll get edits back from him in a couple of weeks. The cover gets done the same time my editor is working on my manuscript. Once all of that is done, I re-write the bits I need to, (which takes about a week at that stage), and then publish on Kindle.
On average, I’d say three weeks after I’m done writing, my work is live on the Kindle store.
19. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
Right now, it’s Amazon only. As I get more visible, I’ll broaden the distribution channels, but I find for the moment that the benefits of the KDP Select program (promos + free days) outweigh the negatives of being only in one place.
20. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I’ve been reading erotica for at least ten years. Maybe fifteen. I wish I’d tried my hand at writing erotica a lot sooner. Beyond that – I’m having a great time on this journey, and there’s nothing – yet – that I’d do differently.
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
Is it really boring that I wish that my house was always tidy, and my refrigerator always stocked with food? I loathe house-cleaning chores with a passion.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Ooh. A toughie. I don’t think I can actually narrow it down; I love to read!
3. Name your favorite fruit.
4. Coffee or tea?
5. Favorite season?
Summer, without a doubt.
6. How about favorite time of the day?
I love evenings and warm summer nights.
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
8. Favorite food for breakfast?
Guilty confession – I know I’m supposed to, but I don’t eat breakfast. I just drink loads of coffee instead!
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
I just finished reading The Bride by Abigail Barnette. Loved it!
10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Do books count? I’m actually a reformed pack-rat. I collected anything and everything when I was younger, but after multiple moves, I’ve learned the value of simplicity.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Red. (That could be because of my boyfriend’s reaction when I wear red though.)
12. Drama or comedy?
I tend to default to comedy, but I always enjoy drama when someone else suggests it.
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
Albert Camus – In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.
14. Cats or dogs?
My cat wants to know who these dogs are that you keep referring to.
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight, no contest. I’m the worst dancer in the world.
***The author generously gifted me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***