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The Learning Curve: Making the Grade: Prequel

(The Dean's List #0.5)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  27 reviews
She’s a wide-eyed dreamer. He’s an iron-willed dean. Can their rivalry turn into true romance?

After leaving her free-love commune for a New York college campus, Sandra Tierney realizes she can no longer survive on social currency alone. When she lands a job handling alumni affairs, she dreams up a far more tantalizing way to reward charitable donations. But first, she’ll h
Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published February 20th 2017
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Heather 123
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I have a love/hate relationship with Novellas. Sometimes I absolutely love them and sometimes I hate them.

This is one that just fell in the okay category for me. As is with most novellas I've read, I struggled to feel the connection beyond sex with the characters. Don't get me wrong, there were some incredibly HOT scenes in this novella but I felt like I needed more of an emotional connection between the characters.

I did appreciate how Mark tried to stay with Sandra even when she was being stu
Tanaka K (The Romantic Angel Blog)
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alpha, arcs, taboo
Kelly Collins has become my favourite contemporary romanxe author. She writes amazing and beautiful stories that you cannot help but fall in love with. Sometimes you need books that make you smile no matter how sweet and smutty they are. You need books that make you become so swept away by the magic of the story that sometimes you just become so touched with the book more. The Learning Curve was such a phenomenal book that I just could not take my eyes away from it.

The Learning Curve is a smutt
Sara Oxton
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The learning curve a curvaceous five-star read. Kelly Collins writes amazing characters, this book is the prequel to Making the grade, we met Sandra Tierney in the dean’s list, she is a powerful woman, and the powerful madam of a secret escort service, in this book we go back to the 1980’s when she was a young woman. A vulnerable girl alone in New York city.
Sandra starts college to make the most of what she has, and does she ever make the most what she was born with. She comes up against the de
Rebecca Austin
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sandra Tierney is one year away from finishing her business degree but she is running out of money and desperately needs a new job. When she is able to get a job as the secretary for the Dean of the University she hopes she will be able to earn off to pay for school.

Dean Mark Hollings is an important man who is used to being successful at his job and has never crossed a line before. But that was before he met Sandra. Soon he finds himself extremely attracted to Sandra but where do you draw the l
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great story from Kelly! I loved it. Sandra is a struggling student who manages to wiggle her way into a temp job as the Dean's secretary for the summer. She needs the job to make tuition for her last year of school. After futile attempts at e mails and calls, she stages a sit in, in his office and that gets her an interview. Certainly gets her noticed. Mark Hollings in the Dean, he seems to be interested in Sandra and takes her number telling her he'll call and let her know about the job. ...more
Karen Voitik
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
>Book review – The Learning Curve

>I am an independent reviewer. This book is a prequel novel in the Dean’s List series with an HEA. This prequel explains how the Dean’s List came into being. Sandra is probably the strongest female character I’ve read in a while. She came from a very different background which probably forced her to be able to take charge. She grew up in a nudist commune, giving her very different ideas of sex and what makes a person successful.

> As an intern, she begins a rela
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am so glad that I got to read this book first before I started the series. I like knowing how everything started. Now I will know more about the owner.

I really liked this book. Sandra was a little hard to understand at times. She kept going back and forth about Mark. I would have lost it if I was Mark. At least she knew how to get her way and boy did she know how to get her way with him. It was pretty cool how she came up with her idea to provide mentor's to men who can afford it.

Mark is the d
Fiona Leung
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Learning Curve by Kelly Collins is a prequel to the Making the Grade series of books. We first met Sandra in The Dean's List, now we hear her story in The Learning Curve.

Similarly to River's situation, Sandra is broke and struggling to make ends meet. She's been eyeing the position as the Dean's assistant for ages and she finally got the job over the summer. The Dean is an older man but sexy all the same. Soon sparks flew between them and one thing led to another. The Dean wants to separate
Teri Donaldson
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have not had the pleasure of reading The Dean's List so this was a perfect introduction to the series.
Sandra is struggling college student. Her assets are her body, her drive and her sassy attitude, not her bank account.
Mark is the young and sexy Dean of the college. Sparks definitely fly when Sandra convinces Mark to hire her for the summer.
Little did they both know that quick job interview would lead to so much more than filing and managing Mark's schedule.
Ms. Collins knows how to instantly
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a short sweet read that is a great introduction to the Dean’s List. I really liked Sandra she is a hard worker and is determined to finish school. She is a strong woman who stands her ground never giving up on what is important she might second guess herself but she stands proud and never gives up. Mark is doing a balance act trying to keep everything in his life on an even keel. It was a great buildup on their relationship watching him as he realizes just how important Sandra was to him ...more
Donna Keith
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was really good to find out how "the Dean's List" started. Sandra is an ambitious young woman who finds an opportunity to help pay for her college fees. A summer intern job with Dean Hollins is just what she needs, his secretary is going away on holidays and she fills in for her.
Mark (the Dean) is instantly attracted to Sandra and thinks he has control of her, he quickly learns this isn't the case.
Sandra comes up with a plan to help some of the other struggling students, she finds wealthy me
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great prequel and story of Sandra and Mark, how they met and how her idea of the business came about....I loved it. Sandra is a strong woman who is no holds barred when it came to her wants and needs and that included Mark when they first met when she was in school. She needed money to continue her schooling and got a job as Mark's assistant using her femininity and looks to secure the position. Mark noticed and their romance began. It's a story of their troubles as they define what their ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I haven't read any of the Making The Grade Series. Therefore, I had no preconceived ideas of Sandra. It was all new to me.

Sandra was a strong woman who went after what she wanted. She didn't need a man to 'rescue her.' I wasn't always pleased with the way she did things but everybody is different.I didn't find the age difference to be a big deal. At 22 you should be mature enough for a 36-year-old man. Mark was a bit of an unknown. I think I would have given it 5 stars if the story had been told
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew Sandra from the other books in the series, but when I was reading those I kept wondering how does someone become the head of such an agency. She was a powerful, stong woman in these books. With this book being the prequel, I loved reading how she started, and seeing how she became the person she is. It is a really good story, and it is so sizzling hot. Dean Mark might have been in control at certain times, but Sandra was definitely in control in others. They were perfect together. I volun ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sandra was raised by her mother in a commune of nudist not sure who her father was. Her mother had a very open lifestyle and when Sandra became of age she was permitted to be with whom she wanted. She was ok with living in a commune but wanted so much more for herself, she started going to college but after her first year she need to find a way to earn the money to continue her studies. She applied for a part-time position working for the Dean of the college, Mark. The interview went well and sh ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The learning curve is the story about Sandra who is the madam of the excort service in the Dean's list. In this book you go twenty years back when she is a young girl. she needs money for her school and she knows she got the look so when the Dean Mark Hollins is looking for a temp she flirts her way to the job. The Dean is attached to Sandra and the soon begins to have a sexual relationship. One day she got this brilliant idea that she can open her own business. A Dating Service Called the Dean' ...more
Kristen Lewendon
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
An exceptionally well-written book. I loved seeing how Sandra's concierge services got their start and learning more about the woman behind the business. Getting to know the Dean was quite the treat too. I just have difficulties reconciling the woman she is in this book with who we see in the The Dean's List and Honor Roll. Even who Sandra is by the epilogue here doesn't feel like the same person who would treat River and Luca the way she does in their books. That disconnect kept me from loving ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ku-read, reviewed
A Fitting Beginning

This was a perfect beginningto a quirky series. I am glad I read the other books before I read this one, only because it made this one make sense. I had a lot of A-ha moments throughout the story and was especially impressed with how true to Sandra's underlying character the author stayed. This whole series was about sex but filled with quality writing and fitting endings.
Kathy  Knuckles
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What to say? HOOKED!!

Amazing book! A strong determined woman knowing what she wants and goes after it! I loved this story because it brings out a lot of truth!
Tough, Funny, Friendships, Negotiations, Love Struggles, Winning! It's all within this book!
Please read and leave a review!
Carissa Janes
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I haven't read the books in the Dean's List, but I will now that I've read this prequel. This book is taboo, sexy, smart, and you have to cheer for a heroine that goes after what she wants and gets it. I loved the dynamic between Sandra and Mark, and I admired the idea of creating a business to help women, albeit in a slightly immoral way. Can't wait to read the other books!
Katy Battisti
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked reading Learning Curve by Kelly Collins. It is the prequel to the Making the Grade series. I really liked the forbidden taboo storyline of Sandra, the intern and Mark, the dean. The chemistry between the two was hot! It was great to see the earlier life of Sandra and how she got the idea for her business. Learning Curve was a fast good read!
june allan
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I love this author. I hope to read all she has written. At least I am going to try. If you like sex, please pick this book and enjoy. Hot and reads fast. Thank you Kelly Collins, keep them coming.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Learning Curve
By Kelly Collins

When college debt and normal living expenses get to be too much, Sandra goes looking for a temporary job as the Dean's secretary. Her life would never be the same again.

What an interesting read...enjoyable and exciting. Definitely gets the blood flowing.
Brandy Harrison
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How it all started...

I really enjoyed reading Sandra's story. It was enlightening to read about how she came about her business. I'm glad she got her man. Even though I wasn't sure it was gonna work out for a while there.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this prequel to Making the Grade series we get to hear Sandra's story and how The Deans List came to be. I wish I could give this series more stars because its my favorite from Kelly Collins. I love that we have strong female characters that know what they want and go out to get.
Lyn Owen
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Sexually explicit and strong language. Good read, but those not inclined to same need to steer clear to this book
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Review of The Learning Curve by Kelly Collins

Sandra's story - 5 Stars

We finally get the back story on Sandra and how Concierge Services came to be. It was interesting to see where she came to be the person she was, from living on a commune to wanting more from life and fighting her way to the right to have an education. Her chemistry with Mark was almost instantaneous, but at the same time it was volatile. Definitely worth taking the time to read.

**Honest review voluntarily provided from a Pur
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International bestselling author of over 30 novels, Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping the love alive. Always a romantic, she blends real-life events with her vivid imagination to create characters and stories that lovers of contemporary romance, new adult, and romantic suspense will return to again and again.

You can learn more about Kelly at


Other books in the series

The Dean's List (3 books)
  • The Dean's List (Making the Grade Series Book #1)
  • Honor Roll (Making the Grade Series Book #2)
  • The Graduate)

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