When graduate student Katherine Brenner walked into my class, I couldn’t stand her -- all perfect skin and big, blue eyes -- just like the woman who broke my heart.
If it wasn’t for that blizzard, if her car hadn’t broken down outside my house, if she hadn’t looked amazing by the firelight, I never would have kissed her. No matter how hard I try, every excuse I make not to see her comes up flat.
I can’t stop thinking of her lips. Or the way her curves fit perfectly in my hands. There’s a million reasons why this won’t work. I’m her professor. It’s against university policy.
As the daughter of a senator who will be running for president, Kate struggles to fit in. Her professor Dr. Drew Markham doesn’t help, at all. He is rude and surly, always demanding more from her than his other students. Their animosity has been going on for almost six years and Kate isn’t really sure what she has done to cause him to dislike her so. When circumstances arise that force them to spend time together their secrets are revealed and they make the change from enemies to lovers. Now they just have to keep it on the down low for a few weeks until Kate’s graduation.
This is a pretty typical professor/student romance without much in the way as a surprise. I didn’t like the reason for Drew’s attitude toward Kate. However, I felt the author moved the characters away from that initial obstacle in a believable manner. Their relationship was relatively smooth considering they were hiding it. When the ending arrives and everything is turned on its head the angst definitely kicked in.
This is a well-paced book with angst at the beginning and end, written in dual POV and included some but not much in the way of steam. If you are a fan of classical music or the musical arts, you will definitely enjoy this.
Check out that cover! Hot guy with glasses? Ummm. I had to read this book since sexy, smart guys are totally my thing. Blurb? A music grad student SNOWED IN with her hot professor! Ok, so I minored in music in college AND love the snowed in trope. Did Lauren Rico write this book with me in mind? Couldn't wait to read it at this point...
The Story- Katherine is a grad student who is almost finished with her masters degree in composing. She is under a ton of pressure with a politician dad that results in her getting followed by reporters and tons of shade thrown her way from other students etc. because of her dad's stances. On top of all that, her professor HATES her and gives her no slack when she is late due to her stressful job(s). When she accidentally gets snowed in with him, nothing good can happen, right?
My Thoughts- Lauren Rico is a talented writer. You should know that right away. She has a great way with words, super developed characters and drives the plot throughout. I was completely immersed in her world and identified with Katherine intensely. So intensely in fact, that I had some trouble when the hero was mean to her. Yes, Drew is insanely hot and damaged and smart and talented, but I had some trouble forgiving him. This could have been a quick and easy ride of super sexy fluff, but it ended up having so much more depth than I expected. So, if you are expecting a typical contemporary with a billionaire-type guy who seduces an ingenue, think again. This is more of a thoughtful tale with carefully-drawn characters who are flawed and have some real struggles. Is it hot? Absolutely. Does it still fulfill my love of snowed-in tropes? Yeppers. There just happened to be more going on than I expected. Was I disappointed in that? Not at all.
The Bottom Line- This is a contemporary with some great tropes and twists, but it doesn't happen to be a fun romp. This is more like a real relationship with ups and downs, smiles and tears, and complex characters, but ultimately extremely satisfying. 4 1/2 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review.
Drew Markham is a professor teaching music theory. Katherine Brenner, a politician’s daughter, is his graduate student. A look alike to someone he once knew, Katherine’s presence fills him with disdain.
Both characters are perhaps realistically flawed. Katherine is stubborn, yet determined, through and through. Drew, I honestly found nothing endearing about as a romantic hero in the opening. He put me in mind of a self-centered, big ego professor who most students have probably had at least a few times during their college career. He boasts inflexible policies and bullies certain students.
But this story is full of surprises—a suspense side plot in addition to a deeper tale of perceptions and loyalty. If you are looking for simply a smutty teacher-student taboo romance, that’s not what this is. And I came to respect that even though I did crave more sultry encounters.
Told via Katherine and Drew’s alternating first person POV, the plot utilizes the stranded together premise to change the dynamics of their relationship. It was a huge feat to pull off based of where these two characters are in the beginning and the details of their isolation are not without a lot of suspension of disbelief. But it pulls it off, doing a good job of showing two people with a terse and combative relationship getting to know each other and dealing with each other in a new light.
“‘You know, at first, I couldn’t believe my bad luck—to have you, of all my students, stuck here with me. Now, I realize what incredibly good luck it was.’”
I had my doubt about connecting with them in the beginning, but as the story went on it drew me in. There’s definitely no insta love or insta lust in this one. The duo really does have to work at a relationship and that was refreshing to read. There’s no ‘oh I’m so hard for her’ or ‘I’m so wet for him’ jargon that is starting to become clichéd in the romance market. The relationship conveyed here is more mature.
There are also some cute texts between them that help make the romantic relationship flirty while keeping the story from being too heavy. It also helped provide some well roundedness to the characters, depicting them in different roles.
“‘I can think of a few other things I’d like to put in your hot little hand.’”
Some complaints I had along the way trailed off once everything came full swing with the themes coming to fruition and the complexity of most all the characters reaching a pinnacle.
“‘Before things ever even start to go south, you need to have a good look at the people around you. Then figure out who has the most to gain from you losing everything. That will be the person who betrays you in the end—if you’re not prepared for it.’”
What is Katherine’s darkest day? And what’s Drew’s brightest?
I did enjoy the mystery angle, even if I knew the culprit from reading other reviews. And I came to both like and root for Drew and Kate.
My biggest critique would be Drew’s reaction at the climax. It seemed out of character for both a man of his intelligence and after the progress that had been made. Also, I wish the epilogue would have been longer/developed further, showing more of Drew and Kate as well as the supporting characters, one of which seemed like a dropped plot point.
Readers who have studied or are interested in music will find an extra bonus in this one. The author clearly displays her knowledge of that academic world.
Solo is a full length standalone contemporary romance/romantic suspense.
*I volunteered to review this ARC provided by Netgalley. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.
There was so much I loved about this book, not least because the subject matter had me so captivated. Not only was it the forbidden relationship that had developed out of an initially antagonistic one that drew me in, but the fact that it was built around and based on a love for classical music that had me turning the pages and losing sleep, bringing me back to a time when it’d played a large role in my life. It felt like a reminder of (or maybe even a stunning tribute to) the power of music and it was easy to be swayed when Lauren E. Rico’s clear investment in her characters and love for the subject shone through so clearly.
Yet ‘Solo’ is also a story of two people trying to rise from the ashes after years of conflict and hostility—I wished the book cover and the suggestive and short blurb reflected this! After getting past my incredulity, the story took over and I gobbled it down hook, line and sinker, loving the complexity already written into this problematic set-up from the very start.
Drew Markham has it out for his graduate student (taking out his anger unconsciously on a woman who resembles his ex) while all Kate is trying to do is to lie low and distance herself from her ‘celebrity’ status as a Senator’s daughter. Serendipity brings a huge snowstorm to their small mountain town however, just as an assignment deadline looms large, and forces this switch that morphs into friendship, tentative attraction and eventually, full-blown affection.
I think the bottom line for me was that both Kate/Drew were sympathetic enough characters that it was easy to cheer for them as a couple. As an aspiring female conductor with enough gumption to get through grad school on her own, Kate gained my admiration early on, although it was harder to warm up to Drew’s volatile nature, especially when he wronged her too many times for my liking. Nonetheless, I liked how natural it felt as Drew and Kate took days to work out their differences—the injection of maturity and the communication really helped—but also how their HEA doesn’t come without consequences as well. The dose of realism that you could see coming miles away was painful to take in, though not unexpected and Rico doesn’t shy away from laying it out. But once Drew/Kate got going however, their rocky road together was far from easy and even as I’d hoped for a more conclusive epilogue, their happiness seemed hard-fought and consequently, deserved as they weathered the whole fall-out.
*ARC by netgalley (and am reminiscently grateful, mind)
Before I even start talking about what kind of marvelous things are going on between these pages, I think that we need to have a moment of silence for this cover because ... DAMN.
Moving on! There's always been something intriguing about the college student/teacher romance thing AND when you throw in how these two start off ... this book was the perfect storm of disasters for the characters. I just couldn't put this book down!!
The story was absolutely fabulous. It wasn't too heavy and weighted down with details that I couldn't care less about. The author just dives right into the story and then barely gives you a second to buckle up for the ridiculously exciting plot. There were more exciting twists in this romance novel than I experienced with the last thriller that I read! Every time I turned around, there was some shocking plot twist that knocked me on my ample butt.
OMG. The characters. I absolutely loved Katherine. I think maybe it was because I saw a bit of myself in her. Each time she would turn the other cheek, I loved her character even more. She was spunky when she needed to be and entirely too humble for her own good. And then the men in the book ... I don't want to spoil anything with names ... but the men in the book were written just as fabulously as Katherine. You hated some, loved some, loathed others ... they were all perfect. I found my views on each gentleman in the story changing as the novel chugged along. I definitely have my favorite but I'm not telling!!
I read this one in one sitting and I wanted to start it all over again after I finished the last sentence. I positively adored this book. I'll definitely be picking up other books by this author!
* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
I know this was published by Embrace and not Brazen, but I was still hoping for a little more heat in this one. The story of a grad student and her hot professor ended up being a little less hot than I would've liked it to be.
Solo is a story heavily focused on music, so if you're into that, you'll probably enjoy the atmosphere here. It takes place in a university music department and it follows music professor Drew and music graduate student Katherine--two people who hate each other.
Well, to be fair, Katherine has bigger things to worry about than hating Drew. He's tougher on her than on any other student in his class, but he's just one of her problems. Katherine also has to deal with the inconvenience of being the daughter of a Senator who's thinking of running for President; malicious journalists who never even learned what ethics mean; and the fact that she's so broke she doesn't have money to buy a new coat for the ruthless winter coming. Bottom line, Katherine makes it easy to relate to her and feel for her.
She has no support system—her father has practically kicked her out because she didn’t want to follow a “traditional” path and chose music over letting him mold her. She doesn’t have any friends, because she’s afraid people only want to be near her to get information on her father. She’s practically alone, but she doesn’t stop living. She goes to classes (even when she’s late), she works hard and she tries to follow her dreams. So, yeah, she doesn’t deserve how poorly Drew treats her.
And here’s where the weird part comes in… I love, LOVE the “enemies to lovers” trope, and I was truly interested in the forbidden romance aspect of this, but unfortunately I couldn’t connect with how these two elements were treated here.
Like I said, Katherine already had too much going on in her life. She didn’t need Drew treating her the way he did for no logical reason. Sure, there’s a reason he doesn’t like her, but it wasn’t strong enough to justify his actions, in my opinion.
So I ended up having problems with Drew, which meant I ended up having problems with the romance in itself.
Drew simply didn’t win me over. I felt sorry for what happened in his past and I understood he dilemma once he started developing feelings for Katherine, but I still didn’t love him. I still had problems with the way he treated Katherine at first and especially with his reaction toward the end. I didn’t think it was believable and, worse yet, made him look good. He turned on Katherine way too quickly without any logical reason and he didn’t do anything big enough to earn her forgiveness.
The chemistry between those two also lacked something. Maybe I needed more awareness in the beginning—something more than Drew’s hatred for Katherine or Katherine’s annoyance at how he treated her. I needed there to be something showing me that their animosity was a way for both of them to ignore their real attraction. But that wasn’t how it felt at all. So when they started falling for each other, it felt a little too fast.
Having said that, I liked seeing Katherine happy after they started spending some quality time together. And because I liked Katherine, her being happy made me happy, too.
I also liked the music theme. It felt different and original because of the academic angle, and I had the feeling the author knew what she was talking about. I wonder if she has music background or if he did her research. Either way, it worked well.
Overall, I enjoyed getting to know Katherine and following a small part of her life. I wish I had liked Drew, too, but he didn’t win me over.
This book just blew me away. It's intense, emotional and the writing could not have been more perfect. The storyline was channeled from the beyond by this author. It's so incredibly different. It's not "just" a story about some taboo relationship between a professor and his student. No, this book was light years beyond that. That never even entered my mind. When you pick up the book and start reading it, you'll know what I mean. And by all means, read this book. If you don't read anything else this year, read this. And don't judge it by the cover.
I'm going to sail past the blurb and jump in, grad student Kate who is a Senators daughter is and has been the target utter disdain by one of her professors for the past 6 years. For reasons unknown to her, he singles her out every single time, humiliates her in front of the class and even goes so far as to threaten to fail her. She needs this class to graduate and graduation is fast approaching. Professor Drew hasn't one nice thing to say about her even in front of other faculty. Kate has an ally in the form of another professor, Russell, who has encouraged her along the way and he gives her the confidence she needs. He knows what she's up against. The backstory here is very important for both Drew and Kate and them together. Drew hates her because she looks like a carbon copy of someone from his past.
Kate despite being a Senators daughter lives like a peasant. An 18 year old car, a tiny one room studio apartment in a bad section of this small town, she works two jobs and attends school full time. She gets no help from her wealthy jerk of a father.Thrown out of the house at 18 and has been fending for herself ever since. No contact from Daddy Dearest. She is harassed by the press and is now a target by one member of the press in particular and things come to a horrendous upheaval. Her father visits the campus on a stumping campaign, he's pushing his bill to do away with funding for the arts.. something his daughter obviously is involved in. She says not a word to anyone or the press. What she went through and a couple of rounds with Professor Nasty had my stomach in a knot. If you read this book and don't feel anything, check your pulse.
When Kate gets sick and loses a day sleeping and realizes it's 4 pm and her paper is due at 5 or she fails the course, she dresses, battles the snowstorm and makes it to his house to leave the paper with a few minutes to spare. She can't move her car because of the ice and so she's stuck. So sick, she falls asleep and he finds her there in her car and brings her inside. When he realizes how sick she really is he takes care of her and during this blizzard these two come to an understanding. She hears his story and he hears hers. A mutual empathy develops. Along with some deeper feelings. They both also know that she needs to graduate, he's up for tenure. They both have much to gain and lose. As Drew begins to see her, he sees what she endures on a daily basis, the harassment from her fellow students. It's horrendous. She's grown used to it, he's livid.
When the bottom drops out and you have to know it will, Drew is a complete and utter bastard. I don't use that word often but wow is it ever fitting here. He makes every mistake possible, doesn't believe Kate at all and wishes her a nice trip to hell. Yeah, that's the kind of man I want a relationship with. Angry and determined to set her up to fail her oral boards he goes back 6 years to comb through the books to try and get her to fail, since he can't fail her. When he's informed her boards have been postponed he gets all snotty to his department head until she informs him that Kate's in the hospital which he blows off as well until he gets the full story. Off he goes to the hospital realizing the error of his ways but not yet fully until he runs up against her absentee Father who has been there with her. He calls Drew out on his behavior and also points to who is was that actually upended his apple cart. Kate is seriously ill. When she is alert enough to realize he's there, she tells him to hit the door. He says there is no way I can possibly say I'm sorry enough. Truer words never spoken. His behavior was reprehensible. While I am still not a fan of her father, I do appreciate what he said to Drew and how he spoke with him about her. His advice on betrayal and a glimpse at his own pain, insignificant as it may be in the bigger picture of this story.
The book could have ended there for me. Yes, I loved the whole book. Forgiveness was on the table for her, because that's who she was. I was a much harsher judge. The emotional pull of this book and the intensity of feeling Lauren brings out in her writing is just incredible. This is a character book, and she nails this with ease and perfection. It's flawlessly written, flows and will keep you involved in the story. This is my first read from this author, it won't be the last. I highly recommend this book. It will stay with you and so will Kate's words about perception.
Lauren Rico, you rock! I bow to you. Spectacular book!
**arc from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for a fair review**
I acquired this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I will be doing a more in depth video review on this, but for right now I will give you a brief overview of my thoughts.
I've read the Reverie trilogy by Lauren Rico prior to reading Solo, and I completely love the writing, the characters, and the classical music aspect as well. Every element complemented the other, so it made the trilogy really enjoyable. Solo also has the classical music element, it's set in graduate school, so it isn't New Adult, but it reads like it is. Plus, I'm a sucker for a good teacher-student consensual relationship, and this one is a great one because both main characters are mature and aware of what is at stake.
For the first half of Solo, I was enjoying the chase and the bickering between Drew and Katherine. It really moved the plot along nicely, but once I reached the mid-point of the book the plot became stagnant. I was still excited to continue reading, but not as excited as I was when reading the first half.
Overall, this is a really fast, quick read with fleshed out characters. If you are a music fanatic like myself, I can guarantee you that you will enjoy Lauren Rico's books. She gives us a modernized view into the classical music genre.
I really enjoyed this book. I am a sucker for enemies to lovers and this one had a ton of it. Katherine Brenner is a student in Dr. Drew Markham's class and he hates her and she knows it. So much so that when she goes to his house to leave an assignment and her car wont start she would rather stay in the car in bad weather rather than ask for help.I am not a big fan of student/teacher but this one worked for me since she was a graduate student and he was not much older than her. Kate and Drew where dealing with major issues between her dealings with her Senator father and his coping with the loss of his fiance. I loved the connection between these two. As always with these situations its going to end and be bad but I didn't think it was going to get that bad. My only issue with this book is the resolution to the story. I really loved the conflict. I felt it was true to the story and very realistic but I didn't really care for the conclusion to the story. It was just too rushed to me. After all that we get like a paragraph and all is good. I honestly thought it was going to end in a cliffhanger because I didn't see how everything could get wrapped up in so little pages. That just rubbed be the wrong way and have to ding the rating a little for that. Overall though it was a really great story and I would recommend it to others. 3.5 stars
Brava Lauren Rico! I really enjoyed the story Rico creates in Solo. The loathsome but hot professor. The poor, broke, talented, completely misunderstood college student. A forbidden romance. The complexities surrounding Katherine and Drew are very well done. We spend much of the book trying to figure out what exactly why Drew is so awful to Katherine and then what happened with the woman Katherine reminds him of. Katherine’s situation is equally complex as the senator’s daughter living in abject poverty while pursuing a master’s degree.
Katherine is so unique. I’m positive I’ve never read a book about a talented pianist who finds her true love is conducting. Or even a book about a woman conductor! She’s also easily sympathized with. She’s hard working, focused and puts and up with too much crap from Drew, her father and other students. She’s dignified and kind to all. How can you not like her?
Drew is kind to some but not Katherine. Why? When she gets sick he takes such good care even while trying to talk himself out of putting them in a position that can be perceived as compromising and is at risk of becoming inappropriate.
Drew’s current, sort of girlfriend and almost in-laws and Katherine’s father all add so much color and a lot of stress to their lives. There’s even a good suspense element.
4.5 stars Solo by Author Lauren E. Rico is a student-teacher romance and enemies-to-lovers story.
"Listen up you James Bond wannabe. You're going to let me out of this car and I will never see you anywhere near me again."
He's the kind of character you love to hate. Drew...number one, class-A pompous extraordinaire. Upon first meeting the professor, it was like he was screaming, "I'm Drew! Look at me! I'm about to muss up your world!" And that he did. Poor Katie. He was her thorn in the flesh, but she was quick-thinking and fast-acting, give us nerve-splitting moments. Gah! I just knew this woman, Drew's student, was going to take the pages by storm.
"If you’re lucky, when the clock strikes midnight on the best day of your life, someone is there to warm you. If you’re lucky, it’s something you see coming. Something you can circle on your calendar and look forward to for days and weeks and months. If you’re lucky, people will remind you it’s coming. And, when that lucky day comes, you will wake up just knowing. I know."
I was literally glued to my Kindle throughout all of Solo, the dialogue grabbing me by my funny bone and playing to my musically-inclined mind . This was smart writing with a well-planned and creative story line that flowed seamlessly. There were depth and layers that allowed emotions to surface, one after the other, especially as the story progressed. It morphed from student-teacher hate to understanding and gentleness, unveiling quite a beautiful transformation. I could feel the rhythm of the characters, their story, and their music, and it was a privilege to experience the melody of life through their eyes.
"When the world splinters, shatters, and rains down around me, I know with absolute certainty that I will only ever be his."
Solo is definitely going on my favorite's list for student- teacher romance. This story was the tootsie roll in the center of the tootsie pop, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, complete with the little leprechaun. It lit up my student-teacher reader meter to the highest level.
Full disclaimer: I made a vow awhile back that I was through with New Adult books for good and wasn't going to read them anymore. The characters are typically too juvenile for my taste, however I totally broke that vow after taking one look at the cover for Solo. Wow! So with that confession out of the way, I must admit that although the cover is what drew me in, I completely loved the story inside!
Unlike most books set on a college campus, the characters in Solo were a bit older (she's 24 and he's 30). Drew is an associate professor, working towards tenure. He is broody, abrupt, and can't stand Kate because she reminds him too much of his ex-fiance, who betrayed him in a way that he is still struggling to get past. Kate doesn't know why her professor dislikes her so much, but she is too busy working two jobs and trying to dodge shady reporters who want information about her senator father to care. She only wants to pass his class so she can finish her masters degree and move forward with her ambition to become a professional conductor.
The back and forth animosity and tension between the characters had me turning page after page and it all came to a head during a blizzard when Kate, sick with the flu and a raging fever, attempts to deliver her term paper to Drew's mailbox in time for its deadline or risk failing his class. Her car gets stuck in the snow, and too sick to get out and search for help, she decides to try to ride out the storm inside. Drew finds her unconscious and delirious a few hours later and has no choice but to carry her into his house and take care of her. I loved, LOVED this part of the story! The author took her time building trust between the characters, having them get to know each other and let down their defensive walls, and the chemistry between them sizzled! Over the course of the days they spent snowbound together, they both learn that the other is nothing like either had originally thought and they realize that they are more alike than they could have ever imagined. The only thing standing in their way is the fact that Drew is Kate's teacher. Once the storm ends and they return to reality, they must find a way to finish out the semester without anyone suspecting they mean more to each other. And of course, that is where things get complicated....
Overall, this was a great story. I read the whole thing in one day because I couldn't put it down. I only deducted a half a point from a perfect 5 star rating because I felt like the slow burn that made the book such a page turner gave way to insta-love and the villain in the story was a bit too over the top. However, from my understanding, this is a debut novel and for a first book the author did a great job!
***ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. I did like the book, however I did have some issues with it. Drew, is Kate's professor, and he treats her like crap, and hates her because, one he is attracted to her, and two because she reminds him of his fiance, who committed suicide years ago, the same year he meet Kate in class, so all of his anger is placed towards her. Kate is a senator's daughter, and that senator is hated, and poor Kate gets the brunt of it. Her classmates are horrible to her, then she is stalked by a jerk of a journalist. Kate ends up in Drew's drive after dropping off her paper, and her car stalls and she has a fever, so he helps her, since there is a bad snow storm. Since they are stuck together, they end up talking about everything, and Drew can't believe he has treated her so badly and that she is not how he perceived her. They work thru their animosity, and act on there attraction, but know they cant let anyone know about it, because there will be serious complications. Drew starts seeing how the students treat Kate, and cant believe it, but he can't act differently toward her, or people will notice. It all comes out, of course, and he is led to believe that it was Kate who did this as revenge,and treats her horribly, and poor Kate is heartbroken. This is where my issue comes in. How could Drew believe this journalist, when he himself knew that the jerk of a journalist had attacked Kate previously, and had hurt twice and she had pressed charges on him. The things Drew said to her, and the way he treated her, he needed to seriously beg for forgiveness, but she gave in to fast, and that is one of the parts that bother me, she should have made him work for it. Kate was a great person, but she let those around her bully her, I felt she needed to stick up for herself more, but regardless, I liked her. Another thing that irked me was that Drew was quick to accept that Kate betrayed him, yet he gave Tessa, the benefit of the doubt, knowing that she was in love with him, and she gets an apology, because he should have told her he was not interested. The woman was horrible.
A great forbidden love story full of friction, angst, musical passion, and a bit of humour, too.
Katherine Brenner is the daughter of a highly unpopular Senator, who is rumoured to be running for the US presidency. She lives as low-key a life as possible, keeping her private life private, so nobody actually knows the true state of her relationship with her father. She just needs to keep dodging reporters and paparazzi during her final months of her Masters degree. In addition to all that, she also only has a few months left to put up with Dr Drew Markham’s baffling disdain, cutting tongue, and challenging classes – something she’s had to suffer for nearly six years. Determined to avoid any chance of failing, she drives through terrible snowy conditions to deliver her final assignment to his home.
“It’s easy to hate her. Much easier than liking her. I know it’s wrong. I know I’m wrong.”
Drew Markham knows that his dislike of the beautiful and brilliant Miss Brenner is unreasonable but he can’t help himself. It doesn’t help that she often bites back at him, riling him up even further. When he finds her fast asleep in her car, which is half covered in snow, right outside his house, he finds himself in a difficult position. Add in the fact that she appears to be very ill and, suddenly, he finds himself in an uncomfortable, intimate situation, and stuck with her company for a few snowed-in days.
“I think we have some unexpectedly strong feelings for one another.”
This was a fab, enemies-to-lovers read. All the sharpness and friction between Kate and Drew was the flipside of an amazing chemistry. I loved how they opened up to each other; how Kate let down her walls and peeled back layers of herself and made Drew realise just how wrong his misconceptions of her were, as well as the repercussions of his treatment of her. I loved how Drew, in turn, wanted to open up to Kate about his past. They had a fantastic connection once they’d put aside their differences and really started to ‘see’ each other for who they really were. Drew looked past Kate’s resemblance to the woman who broke his heart to the brilliant and gifted person she truly was, and Kate could look past her professor’s mean façade to the wonderful, caring man beneath.
“When the world splinters, shatters, and rains down around me, I know with absolute certainty that I will only ever be his.”
The forbidden aspect of their romance added a certain piquancy to the storyline, whereby they have to hide their feelings and budding romantic relationship for their own well-being, as well as their careers and reputations.
This book is very much about how people and situations aren’t always what they seem. It’s also about forgiveness and moving on. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I didn't know I needed to read this book until at the end of Talk British To Me, I read the other book blurbs by Entangled publishing, and next thing you know, I'm on amazon ordering it for my E-reader. Romance and New Adult are my new guilty pleasures, except I feel zero guilt, and muchos satisfaction.
So let's start with that opening. I was like, holly shit, is this the thing that was blurbed about in the description of the novel. I can't believe we're opening with that, it feels really sudden. But then I re-read the blurb, and I'm like nope, this is car trouble, but not that car trouble. I was like who is this sauce as fuck guy? And than BANG! Antagonist. Clearly, if you didn't seam him as that right away from that scene you must be blind. It's written in neon writing.
And then we get to the professor, and you can see how stubborn Kate is, and how they but heads. Oh you can see it.
Then we have them at this place, and it's this dance of breaking down those walls. I mean she would have chosen anywhere but there, but of course it's a snowstorm, and of course everything leading to them being snowed in makes perfect sense. It's a perfect domino effect, and I 100% believed it (in that way that you totally believe this could happen to you if only you where living a romance novel- so a little off the beaten path of normal, but 100% normal when it comes to believable plot development).
And I was like, when are they going to get to the hot and heavy part. But then I started to fall in love with them falling in love. Like yes, I still wanted the steamy bits, but watching them get to know each other. It was so heart meltingly sweet. I had a dopey happy grin about it all.
Oh, and that ending. I just. Nope. It was good. It punched me in the feels hard. I cried. But I get why it ended where it ended, but I think I could have used a few more chapters of happily ever after at the end. I could have used seeing the nemesis go down. I could have used seeing them set up a happy little cocoon of a life in New York. You know. Just more of that warm happy bubbly feeling at the end.
There is only one small thing that hung as a loose nail for me. It was Kate flinching, when Drew stretched out his hand to her to take her fever. It felt very much to me like a person who flinches because they have been physically abused in there past. I thought that was a deep dark secret she would be hiding about her father. It's not. I'm glad her and her father have some sort of resolution. But I feel like it has the potential to be tentative. I'm still not 100% on board with that resolution.
Is is wrong thatI hope that if there is a sequel, it's not about tearing them apart so they can get back together. If there is a sequel, I want a whole new couple to fall in love with, and I want snapshots of how awesome Kate and Drew are doing together. Off to go see what the author has next, because I so need more of this happy making feeling.
Set within a university music department, Solo follows a growing, forbidden romance between a postgraduate student and her professor.
There is something about Kate Brenner that rubs Drew Markham up the wrong way. And it is nothing to do with her resemblance to his ex-fiance. Kate is constantly late to class, probably hungover, and yet primed to challenge him at every turn. It's not that she isn't smart: she seems to have an answer for everything, but she's just so...entitled. Well, what else would you expect from a senator's daughter?
Kate Brenner is not what people think she is. Yes, her father is a senator, but he cut her off when she enrolled in a music program against his wishes. She now works two jobs to pay her way, living in a run-down apartment in a bad neighbourhood. Her car is on its last legs, and she is constantly hounded by reporters looking for comment about her father, and harassed and bullied by classmates who assume she supports his hard line politics. If that isn't bad enough, her music theory professor, Dr Markham seems to have it in for her. He's always been harder on her than the other students in her class, but now he's threatening to fail her for being late. It's hardly her fault a stalker/reporter held her captive in his car, but she's not about to tell Dr Markham that.
All this changes when Kate drives to Dr Markham's house during a blizzard, just to get her assignment in on time. Suffering the after-effects of a probable concussion (she couldn't afford the hospital fees), she is dazed, feverish, and slipping in and out of consciousness. Finding her parked outside his house wearing yoga pants and flip-flops in sub-zero temperatures, Drew has no choice but to bring her inside. Cut off from the outside world by the snow, he manages to bring her fever down, and nurse her back to health. Snowed in together, the animosity between Drew and Kate begins to soften, with something much more dangerous taking its place: mutual attraction, and affection.
I loved the slow-burn/forbidden romance at the heart of this novel, and the gorgeous tension between them as they first noticed their attraction. Both Drew and Kate are really well-drawn, complex characters, and I had a lot of sympathy for both of them (though Drew's habit of letting his emotions inform his treatment of his students did raise an eyebrow).
Apart from the romance and drama of the main plot, one of the things that really impressed me about this novel was the way it captured the mildly hostile atmosphere of a small university department; the gossip and the competitiveness, the two-tier environment of the tenured and the non-tenured, and amongst it all, the few good people trying to keep it all hanging together. This is not a main focus of plot, but as something I happen to know a little about, I had a wry smile for the accuracy of the setting!
Another thing I loved, and which I'm sure will have me seeking out more books by Lauren E. Rico, was the insight into the world of classical music, and classical music education. I am not a musician, but the passion with which Kate's conducting, for example, is described was just wonderful, and the way her piano playing formed part of the growing connection between her and Drew (she plays a piece that he composed) was lovely.
Solo is my kind of romance: the academic setting, the forbidden passion, the complex characters, all came together to make a really great read. The only criticism I have is that Drew wasn't the perfect romantic hero for me-- he was a little too led by his emotions, and much too quick to think ill of Kate, even after knowing her better. Even so, I really enjoyed this book, and would absolutely recommend it!
Note: A free e-copy of this book was provided by Entangled Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
Lauren introduces the two protagonists Katherine "Kate" Brenner and Dr. Drew Markham by letting the story be told by their perspectives. Kate is a conducting student while Drew is her professor, good looking but not one of the nice ones, well at least at first. Kate is popular as her father is a politician, but she is not popular in the "students and teachers like me way" which is mostly thanks to her fathers political actions and his wish to defund the Arts. She broke with him years ago managing her life on her own, working hard while suffering the cruel comments of her students and her teachers. On top of all of that creepy journalists are trying to pick up dirt on her and especially on her dad. When a snowstorm comes and Kate needs to deliver her assignement to Dr. Markham. While doing so she gets stuck in front of his door. Which takes a surprising turn in hers and Drews relationship. But what is in Drews past that makes him hate Kate? Does he really hate her? What obstacles will they face? And will Kate forgive her father?
Lauren tells the stories of two people struggling in their life's and how those too can help each other and find each other. She shows the ups and downs without sugar coating them as they usually would have been in most New Adult books. And although I struggled a bit with certain parts of Drews character developement, especially his not so smart and professional moments, the story really dragged me into it and I was secretly on the "give me the romance stuff" site. No need to say that Lauren's descriptions of music are making me feel and hear it which is exceptional.
This is a romantic fast paced read that tells a story beside all that romance but since I struggled a bit with Drew at certain points I give it a 4.25 stars out of 5.
I love this book, and it came for me at a perfect time when the weather is lovely and I got to read it sitting outside soaking up the sun!
I love these types of Contemporary romance, and this one was so so good! Katherine and Drew were so good (I kept repeating that!!), I was not able to put my iPad down until I finished Solo.
It was an easy read, really well written and great steady pace, not a dull moment my friends and exactly what the doctor ordered for me after a crazy busy week at work. It was one of those books that put a big smile on my face even during the more dramatic moments because you just know those 2 were meant for each other.
Like I said above Katherine and Drew were fantastic characters, well developed and with plenty back story for both of them to make them really likable and relatable on so many different levels.
You are going to think I am crazy when I say this, but after I finished the book there was a huge part of me that made want to go back to the start and read it again! That does not happen to me very often and on the rare occasions it did, it was for The Hashtag Series, The Fallen Crest Series and The Royals Series! Those are my 3 go to books/book series I always go back and re-read when I have the time to do so and I know that Solo will be joining them in that category.
Now I have to hunt down Lauren’s other books to read because as I started with Solo; I have really high expectation regarding her other books. Will there be a follow up to Solo do you think?
Solo is wonderful and I am going to very highly recommend it to you all! I hope you love it as much as I did!
When I saw this book I knew Instantly I just had to read it . The Synopsis just drew me in and made me want to know more , so when I got the chance I dived into this story and It was fantastic. When we meet Katherine and Drew , It is quite clear that they do not like each other and then the fact she is his student and He is her professor in away makes it worse . Katherine is always perceived as this person she is not mainly because she is a senators daughter and the senator is not well liked by her peers because of his stance of many things especially the Arts , and that is ironically what Katherine is perusing a degree in an art , music and she is doing this all without her fathers help, but no one really knows that , everyone just sees her as a rich entitled girl because of what they think they know , Including Drew. However when these two get snowed in together and get closer, they realize not all is what it seems and of course face the attraction that is brewing between and this really where this story takes off.
I loved the romance in this book , It was swoon worth , sexy and fun , one of the things I loved is the way they opened up to each other in this book . I felt that Lauren E.Rico wrote the perfect romance for these two characters . But besides the romance there was so much more going on in this book , the reporter , everything with Katherine's dad and so much more constantly kept me on my toes because there was never a dull moment . I loved this story , nothing felt rushed . I love a good Teacher- student romance and if you are looking for a new one to read you should definitely pick up Solo.
Solo was my first encounter with Lauren E. Rico's novels. As a former musician (who also has a geeky habit of conducting wherever I go if the music is good enough), I had high hopes for this novel for that alone. To say I was pleasantly surprised by this novel is an understatement (in fact, this is my first ever review, so that is saying something).
I expected to get a romance story with musical elements intertwined, but what I got was so much deeper. Lauren's writing was excellent and the story easily draws you in. The relationship was addicting to read- c'mon, intelligent, attractive teacher alert! The classical musical elements were done extremely well and made you wish you were there watching as the main character immerses herself in her passion. I actually listened to some of the songs mentioned after reading the novel, and it was a wonderful addition (okay, I might have just wanted to be involved in this world for a little longer). As the novel progressed, I felt there was good character development both for the two main characters individually and as a unit. I appreciated that there was backstory to them as well so the reader can understand why they are the way they are, which is a rarity in novels of this genre for me. I liked the involvement of side characters as well and thought the ways in which they are involved with the main characters was thought out well and surprising. Each character seemed real to me rather than just characters written on paper for the sake of a story. It is more than just a romance story, it is a story of passion (both professional/career as well as love) and also healing. I could not put this novel down.I definitely need to get my hands on the Reverie series asap because I definitely need more of Lauren's writing in my life.
WOW! A realistic, smart, well thought out, deliciously taboo romance, Solo was an amazingly intense read. It features two characters who are extremely damaged and don't really like each other that much, at first...
This book was put together so well. It was very well researched, and the author clearly knows what she was writing about. Solo was unique,while a typical trope, it's done incredibly well and different from what you normally read. It had a very mature vibe, with characters who are very realistic. Katherine is resilient and strong. Drew makes you love to hate him. The story line was well paced and kept me sucked in, dying to know what was going to happen. The suspense aspect was intriguing and a great addition to the story. It added just another layer to an already well rounded book. The only reason I decided to give this book 4 stars was that it felt very rushed at the end, and I would have been left more satisfied if it wasn't so rushed. I would recommend to the taboo reader, looking for a realistic set of characters and something very different than what they are used to reading.
*Review copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads*
I'm going to start with the delectable speciMAN on the cover ....damn girl you're lucky and I can't say I blame you!
Dr. Drew Markham ....delectable professor, he's dark and bloody with a chip on his shoulder, filled with a burning desire and need for one of his students .
Katherine , daughter of a politician, is having a rough time finding her place and fitting in and her surly and difficult professor doesn't help matters either .
Look ,I'll be honest it's not fair taking out his resentment on her for the damage caused by someone else and it rubbed me up the wrong way at times but give him a chance there's a good man there .
Things take a turn for them when Katherine finds herself at Drew's mercy after a snowstorm .....
I really enjoyed this read for many reasons. One of them being the love of music, I played the violin for 12 years so you can see why Solo appealed to me . In some ways Drew reminds me of Beethoven in the movie " Immortal Beloved ".
At the end of the day there are consequences to their actions but that's is life , it's not a bed of roses and E Rico reminded us of the reality of life
I'm used to the old school, trashy romance novels...lots of swooning and over the top sex scenes...not a fan. I read this based on a recommendation from The Reading Wallflower on YouTube and I'm glad I did. Such a nice balance of hate-to-love, sex and actual storyline. I want to give this book five stars but I can't. When I think about the books that I gave five stars last year and so far this year its close but not a book that I loved so much that I want to recommend to friends or gush about to anyone that will listen. But alas a fun, good read - 4.5 stars.
This book really surprised me. I was expecting a very fluff kind of romance, and this book offers much more. (Personly I think the cover doesn't do the story justice). I like the both the Hero and Heroine very much. I think the author did a fantastic job creating the background for their love affair, I love all the music extensive details and I just love her writing. It's smart and emotional and feels well rounded. I did have a bit of a problem like previous commenters wrote with the premise of the book (He dislike's her because she looks like his dead fiance') but once the story gets away from that it's very good. I am definitely going to look for more from this author.
Kate, aka the daughter of Senator Satan, has no idea what she's expecting to find while looking under her car's hood. It's not as if a sign will point the way, telling her what's wrong. When the unexpected voice startles her, she turns and can't help the "wow" that goes through her brain when she sees who that voice belongs to. She can tell he's definitely older than her, but can't resist sliding a little flirting in to the conversation. Upon finding out where she's headed, the hot guy, err Kevin, offers to give her a ride as he's a teaching assistant. *Yes, my mind went kinky too, but it's too soon for that, but we know it's coming. See what I did there? LOL* Unfortunately for Kate, Kevin isn't who he says he is, and views Kate as a story, due to her father.
Drew, aka Dr. Markham, notices Kate, and has since day one. He knows it's wrong, blaming her for another woman's actions, his former fiancee, Casey, and she can't help her uncanny resemblance to said woman, but he can't resist needling her every chance he gets. Today is another example, she arrives late to class, a pet peeve of his, and he refuses to allow her to explain, instead trying to humiliate her in front of the class. But then he notices the blood on her temple, as well as the fact she appears shaken. Of course, that doesn't stop him from again punishing her for being late, with his words and by throwing away her completed assignment.
When Kate gets sick, she almost misses the deadline to turn in her midterm, making it with only minutes to spare. Unfortunately, due to the weather, she's not going to make it back home. Which means she's now stuck with Dr. Evil, err Markham, until the snow stops and gets plowed.
Drew can't believe he now has to deal with Kate. Just what he needs, a Casey lookalike in the house they shared, before she left him. However, it doesn't take long for Drew to push that aside as he realizes Kate is really sick and needs help, of which only he is able to provide. Then, after Kate's obvious delirium sets in and she earnestly apologizes for her unknown actions, Drew realizes he has in fact taken pleasure in essentially tormenting her for six years, for things that have nothing to do with her.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean it. Whatever I did to make you hate me, I didn't mean it." - Kate
After her fever breaks and Kate is able to comprehend the situation, she realizes what Drew did, and the risk to his career he took for doing it. When they share a meal, and Drew learns why she was late that day, his opinion of her, or at least some of his attitude, begins to change a little, well, until one verbal misstep on her part she wasn't aware of. But, unable to allow his harsh behavior toward her because of it, he apologizes and explains why he's acted as he has in regards to her for the past six years.
As the storms continue, Drew and Kate talk, actually talk, which not only dispels previous misconceptions, but also begins to change their thoughts about each other. That's not the only thing that's different though. They're suddenly seeing one another in a more personal light, one that includes an unbelievable chemistry.
"It's like I was born to be connected to this woman." - Drew
Does Drew still see Casey when he looks at Kate? Or has he only ever truly seen Kate for herself, and that's what has led him to keep his distance? How long can Drew and Kate deny their fate? Will they succumb to the passion between them? If so, can they maintain their usual behavior toward each other while in public? Will Kate accomplish her dream and be accepted at a school in New York? How far will one reporter go for a story? Is Kate safe? What happens when Drew and Kate's relationship is revealed? Will Drew lose his job? Who exposed them and why? Does Drew really believe Kate is responsible? Can Kate ever forgive him for thinking her capable of the betrayal and his treatment of her because of that belief? Or has Drew lost Kate forever, in more ways than one? Is a HEA possible?
One-click now and follow along as a forbidden love becomes a forever one.
On a purely personal note, I really didn't like that as Drew is talking with Casey's Dad, he admits he thinks he loves Kate, then refers to Casey as the love of his life. Wow. So, Kate is what, a runner-up or consolation prize, someone that will never measure up to Casey? That's harsh, and not at all fitting a romance book. Also, it was never rectified, not once did he mentally rethink it and say Kate was in fact the love of his life or that he never felt for anyone, not even Casey, what he feels for Kate, or that the love he had for each of them is different, etc. This oversight bothered me, a lot. It makes me view Kate as his second choice because he couldn't have the woman he wanted, the one he never stopped loving, nor ever would. No one should be looked upon as not good enough, and yet with Drew's one sentence, that's how he labeled Kate. He never fully let go of Casey, and honestly, that impacts my belief in the level of his love for Kate. For this reason alone, I lowered my rating. Otherwise, I could've easily seen myself giving it five stars. But when the hero refers to someone else, not the heroine, as the love of his life, and yes, this is fairly close to the end of the book when it happens, I lose some of my joy in the romance. If that one sentence is ever removed, I will gladly change my rating to a five.
**I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.**
Five stars was not enough to give this book. I found this story a breath of fresh air. It was so much more than a teacher/student romance. Kate is such a strong female lead, but I didn't find her to be annoying. Drew's anger along with the walls he has constructed made for an interesting twist. I would recommend this story and am interested in reading other books from this author.
Note, I did receive an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
i'm not sure i have the words to explain how much i loved solo. but i will try, because i have to share how good this is. this embodies one of my favorite romantic tropes, enemies-to-lovers. i love the sexual tension and the angst and how these stories show how thin a line exists between hate and love.
to start with, drew markham is a total jerk. he's a super brilliant musical theory professor and he's made a ton of assumptions about his top student, katherine brenner. he thinks she's disrespectful and entitled. and he's done his best to make her life miserable every chance he gets and still she never fails to meet his challenges head on. he's so wrong about her in every possible way. mostly he's angry because she reminds him of his dead wife. and also partly because her father is a senator who is intent on eliminating arts programs.
but when katherine gets stuck at his home in the midst of a blizzard while deathly ill, the forced proximity brings down their walls and they discover a sizzling attraction and that they have more in common than they ever realized. they also realize that all those assumptions and preconceptions they had about each other were totally wrong.
but he's a professor and she is his student. and they need to keep this quiet, for both their sakes. it would ruin his career. it would cast doubt on her own academic successes. but with katherine's father possibly seeking the presidency she's got increased press attention, and keeping their attraction a secret is more difficult than they could have ever imagined. things get a little crazy, but in the end they figure out what really matters.
i loved so many things about this—the way music informs the narrative, the depth of emotion that builds between these two characters, just everything about this worked for me.
**solo will publish on may 8, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (embrace) in exchange for my honest review.
A very quick read! Sweet and funny. Within the first few pages, I was hooked. For someone who has very little knowledge of classical music and sadly lacks any musical ability, I just LOVED the classical music element. I found it fascinating. The author made it easy to understand and appreciate.
Katherine is working her butt off to get her degree and finally be able to start living her life away from her unpopular Senator father and show everyone what she’s really made of. Just one more semester and she’ll be free. Free of the assumptions, jokes, and especially the disdain from Dr. Markham. She just has to stick to the plan, pass her finals and keep her head down.
Drew Markham knows his harsh knee jerk reaction to Katherine isn’t her fault. It’s not even about her. She’s just a constant reminder of the fiancé he loved and lost. His grief and his anger just found an easy outlet with the spoiled Senator’s daughter. But it turns out that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Katherine and Drew never sees it coming.
Two people living totally different lives finally collide when disaster strikes. Trying to avoid at all costs any confrontation with Drew, Katherine, determined but running sick gets stranded while delivering her final project at Drew’s house, right in the middle of a blizzard! With nothing to do but weather the storm together, Drew nurses Katherine back to health. The vulnerability and close quarters finally tears down walls neither had planned breaking down.
This story had elements that I really enjoyed. For one, their love hate relationship was addictive. Katherine wasn’t a pushover, I loved that she stood her ground, that she worked so hard to prove everyone wrong. I shared the satisfaction of knowing she wasn’t any of the things that were assumed of her. I was just as proud of her as she was of herself for putting up with so much BS and still coming out on top. As for Drew, holy cow can this guy dish some attitude. I seriously borderline hated him in the beginning. When we find out the real reason behind his antagonism, I softened towards him. His life wasn’t a walk in the park and I appreciated how he finally allowed himself to apologize and admit he was wrong when it came to Katherine. Their relationship was anything but conventional but they were so in sync that you kind of just go along for the ride. Their friendship and love for each other wasn’t instant, it happened over time, without them even knowing it on a subconscious level. With a teacher/student romance you know you read it waiting for the other shoe to drop and this one was no different.
Which brings me to what I didn’t like . . .
I love me some good old fashion angsty drama and Solo had it in spades. Obstacle after obstacle cropped up and the ending was fast approaching! My nerves were shot because I was sure that with everything that happened there was no way this would be resolved, wrapped up and tied with a HEA. At 96% I was sure this was going to be a series with part two “coming soon”. And I hate series or books broken into parts but I was so invested in Katherine and how Drew could possible make up for his huge mistake that I was willing to overlook it. Color me surprised when the book resolved every huge obstacle and gives a rapid (at warp speed) ending. Don’t get me wrong the ending was cute and emotional but come on! After everything that Drew puts Katherine through, where was the groveling? The begging for forgiveness and proving to her that he was capable of loving her without doubt or lies clouding his declaration? And poor Katherine! I seriously have a soft spot for her and tbh I’m kind of still peeved on her behave. I get she loves him and Drew made a mistake but again I say Come On! Katherine deserved to hold a grudge or at least a small kernel of anger and resentment towards Drew for the emotional (not to mention physical!) turmoil he subjected her to.
Bottom line is the ending was too rushed. I’m a girl who believes in balance and when someone has been wronged or made to suffer so drastically I expect a huge, emotionally charged period of groveling. It sounds cruel but I want them both to suffer equally so that they can have even ground between them. No way did Drew earn back Katherine’s forgiveness that fast and I’m bummed that the author decided to give him such an easy out when Katherine pretty much suffered all the rejection and pain alone. She was practically a saint by the end and it just left me feeling drained and unsatisfied.
The writing was great and I loved the musical aspect of it and I can definitely see myself reading more by this author but this one fizzled out for me with the fast pace at the end.
*** ARC provided for an honest review ***
* * * Safety * * * Ages: Drew 30 and Katherine is 24 No Cheating No long separation Does have OW drama: No groveling worthy of such fast forgiveness. HEA/HFN: Ends with a HFN in an epilogue a few months down the road.