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The Love Factor

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  60 reviews
A smart, opposites-attract, student-professor romance filled with nostalgia, edgy politics, and the forbidden thrills of lesbian love in the nineties.
Molly Cook is almost thirty, with dismal career prospects, and has given up on saving the world. It might be the nineties, and everythings shoulder pads, Doc Martens, and The X-Files, but people wont budge on gay rights.
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Paperback, 215 pages
Published July 15th 2020 by Ylva Publishing
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  60 reviews


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Lex Kent
4.25 Stars. This was lovely. After noticing the very good early reviews, I had some high hopes for this book. Im happy to say that if anything, this book exceeded my expectations. And what made this all the sweeter was that this is a debut book for Ivins. Im actually a little shocked that this was a debut. Its very well written and I didnt notice any of those newbie bumps that are so common for debuts. If Ivins debut is this good, I can only imagine how good her future books could be.

I knew
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Jude in the Stars
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ive been waiting for this book for what feels like forever. Its a debut novel but Quinn Ivins has been entertaining me on social media and with her blog for months.

The Love Factor is set in 1997 and 1998, which is both a while ago and not that far in the past. Its dedicated to everyone who came out in the 90s. Hey, thats me! I came out in 1993. This story isnt about me, however. At almost thirty, Molly Cook is a PhD student in political science in Maryland. Carmen Vaughn is her statistics
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R
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Molly was an almost thirty year old PhD track student at Maryland University. Carmen Vaughn was a 39 year old tenured political science professor. Molly was out to her friends while Carmen was deeply in the closet. When Molly took Carmens advanced statistical research methods graduate class, she excelled. Carmen then offered Molly a TA position for an undergraduate statistics class she taught. While working together, both women strengthened their bond on an intellectual and professional level ...more
Heinerway
Wow, this was awesome! This was one of the most memorable student-teacher romance stories I've read. But bear in mind that the student is a 29 years old PhD student.
The story is set in 1997. Wow, how time flies! We should not forget that not a long time ago things were a lot harsher for the LGBT community. A lot, lot harsher.
And hey, I'd almost forgotten about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Poor girl. I wonder what happened to her at the end.
Cammy Chareon
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED IT!!!

Ill try to keep this spoiler-free! The main plot can be summarized with a phrase Ill borrow from the book Two brilliant women with amazing chemistry working together to bring down a lying, cheating homophobe.

The story is set in 1997. Molly, 30 (29 at the start of the book,) is a promising and tenacious graduate student in the field of political science. She fights for what she believes in. Carmen, 39, is a brilliant professor who is known for being strict and hard to please. Carmen
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Hsinju
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Due to recession and her activist past, Molly Cook decides to pursue a PhD degree in political science. In advanced statistics by Dr. Carmen Vaughn, an aloof professor with incredibly high standards, Molly shows promising performance. When she stumbles upon a scandal of a homophobic faculty member, Molly seeks guidance from Carmen. The two begin to spend more time working together, and their professional boundaries blurs. But Carmen is closeted and would never get involved with a student. Little ...more
Wendy
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Usually, I avoid teacher-student romances, as it's not a trope I like to read. However, after reading good reviews from people here on GR that I trust, decided to give this a go. This story is set in 1997 when Ellen took the huge step of coming out kn her sitcom. I remember the hubbub surrounding this. However, being not woke then, I wasn't very aware of how big an impact this really had. This was also the time of Monica Lewinsky/ Bill Clinton scandal. (Side note: I appreciate the author making ...more
Amanda
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So I read this one a while ago and decided to read another book, then read this one again. It is really that good. Intelligent women are sexy...add a slow burn romance with a ton of chemistry and you have a book I will reread over and over. While I am not typically a fan of teacher/professor/student relationships, this one was done so well I think Molly and Carmen may be one of my favorite couples. A debut this awesome has me super excited for all the future books I am going to pick up by this ...more
Della
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Love Factor is the premiere novel by author Quinn Ivins and I hope there will be many more to come. When I set out to write a review I intermittently stop reading to take copious notes, however, after the first few chapters of The Love Factor, I was hooked as an engrossed reader and not a reviewer. I did not want to stop reading.
Molly Cook is an openly lesbian Political Science grad student working on her doctorate at a small town, Republican leaning university.
Carmen Vaughn is a tenured
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Betty
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quinn Ivins has definitely impressed me with her debut novel The Love Factor. For her first novel, she has created a really unique and appealing story set in the late 1990s during a time of great change for everyone, but especially LGBTQ+ folks.

The book is an age-gap/opposites attract romance between a professor and grad student, so it touches on several romance genres. This novel could almost be considered a historical fiction novel, but I refuse to mark it that way. You see, Im about the same
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Anastacia
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book with stories set in academia. It seems to me, teaching at university is challenging, and falling in love with students is really something. But Quinn Ivins amazingly makes this story sound pretty and interesting. This book revolves around Molly Cook as a grad student and teaching assistant, and she's brave enough to fall in love with her professor. And yes the ending was fabulous!
Karen
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are a ton of wonderful reviews about this one and they are all true. While it wasn't a 5 star for me I can say that it was likely a 4.25 star romance. This is Quinn Ivins debut novel and she for sure has promising writing career if she continues to write like this.
Aj Smith
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Love Factor

I had been looking forward to this book for ages, it promised a lot; nineties nostalgia, an ice-queen, a chance to indulge my geeky side (we get to sit in on a probability lecture) and of course, lesbians! Despite all the build up The Love Factor does not disappoint. Our leading ladies are Molly Cook, an idealistic grad student who wants to change the world but is now beginning to think that a career in academia might not really be the way to achieve that, and Carmen Vaughn, her
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Marilyn
I missed several hours of needed sleep because I fell in love with these two characters and didn't want to interrupt their story. This felt like an authentic flash-back to the nineties. I *love* that there are references at the end. Well-written and lovable characters. I'm looking forward to Ivins' next book.
Renate
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely a interesting look at the nineties and very well developed MCs
Molly is a great character and Carmen needed a Molly to be finally herself.
The time of Clinton and Monica...the general attitude towards women..
This is a very well written story and definitely a recommendation.
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Linda
Nicely done! 😊 Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and it was nice to reminisce the 80s.... not that I can really remember all of it though and also cos I live nowhere near the States.... But that scandal at WH... that I remembered...And psst... I loved Carmens character; ice queen, intellectual, femme.. I mean, come on, who wouldnt right...Ok ok I get it, not everyone would like that but, heck, I do and thats all that matters 😊

Ratings: 4.25 🤩

Available in Scribd

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MiskaCZ
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
An ARC copy was given to me by YLVA for a honest review.

This is a story about coming out on job. This theme is today as actual as ever. Molly is a graduate student and Carmen is a docent in her graduate programm. At first they stand on opposite sides Molly is out and Carmen is closeted in the university. They shared they same moral principles and the work to proved a fraud from Carmens colleague bring them together.

I really liked the love story and fact, that on the end of the day truth wins
M the avid reader
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ice queen professor on campus (4.5 stars)
I didn't read the synopsis before reading the book (I rarely do) and I'd suggest that approach if you want to have more surprises in your reading.
Set in Northeastern USA during the late 1990's beginning with Ellen's iconic coming out scene on her eponymous TV sitcom and ending in the midst of the Bill Clinton era presidential election season, the book hits on many forms of discrimination prevalent at that time in history in addition to blatant sexism in
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Colleen Corgel
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, f-f-romance
I have been on a run where most of the books I read have surprised me with how good they were. This one was even more surprising because this is a debut from Ivins. It had a solid premise, with excellent pacing, compelling characters, and a really sweet romance.

This is not your typical student/ professor romance in that most of the time Professor Carmen Vaughn is somewhat ambivalent on how she views her passionate student, Molly Cook. Molly knows that she has a crush on Carmen early on, but is
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KarenC
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
An age gap/ice queen story set in the late '90s, just after Ellen came out and President Clinton was lying about Monica Lewinsky, both of which I remember very well. Although the teacher/student relationship is a hot button for some, I enjoy these stories as I lived it myself (41 years going strong). Carmen is not only a grade A ice queen, but she's an extremely successful, closeted, college professor who is unable to resist falling for her favorite graduate student (who is 30). But is does ...more
Alex
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, age-gap
I finish this like 2 hours ago and Im mad. I want moooore, it was a good ending but I like them! I dont want not knowing more about the fictional characters that obviously arent real, and thats great, go and read the book while I try to avoid a book hangover watching tiktoks.

I finished a really good book yesterday, I love it, so I wasnt really expecting liking this a lot, and I cant say I liked this because of the low expectations I had starting it, no, it was THAT good. It felt relevant to
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hubsie
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best line ever: "An all female a cappella group was performing a medley of Whitney Houston songs and not quite hitting the high notes, generating enough background noise for a clandestine conversation."

RIP Whitney.

A rather fun blast from the 90s book, reminded me of many a times of high school et al. The characters were interesting for a slow burn (and boy it was slow), but I found the stats-talk very dry. Me, stats, math, equations means major glazed eyes, not my forte at all. But the content
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Jaie
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pub-ylva, read-2020
4.5 stars
I was an undergrad in the late 90s when this book was set, so the college setting felt familiar to me. And it was a good reminder of how much has changed since then!

I can't necessarily list here what I liked about the book without spoiling it. So let me try to hint at it:
For a professor/student relationship this was handled very ethically.
The closeted-ness of the professor was completely understandable.
The indecisiveness of the student in her career was particularly relatable.


Gail
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic debut book from the author.
Set in the late 1990's with main characters Carmen (no nonsense professor) and Molly (carefree grad student) the believable storyline has slow burn romance, angst, pressure with male/female inequalities and the delicious take down of a homophobic faculty member. Oh, the frustrations of those times. Hooked from the start, I read through the night - fully satisfied at the end. Kudos Ms. Ivins, I look forward eagerly to more from you. On my re-read shelf.
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Bonnie
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Carmen Vaughn wanted one thing and one thing only and that was to earn her way by being awarded tenure as a professor in the political service department in the small university situated in Maryland. The year is 1997 and shes deep in the closet fearing not only her colleagues finding out but her very conservative parents.
Molly Cook was brought up by a pair of hippies who like most of their friends finally decided it was time to stop protesting and start working. But that doesnt mean they have
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Jasmine
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Molly decides to take on her doctorate, but in her conservative university she finds that tackling real life injustices takes up more of her time. Her life takes a turn when she brings one of such injustices to the strict and sexy Professor Carmen Vaughn and the two work together to expose the homophobic colleague. The two women grow closer, but does their relationship have a place in the school and in the city where they live?

I was very very pleasantly surprised with this book - I had all sorts
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Jane Clements
I hope Quinn Ivins can continue to write books as good as her debut novel The Love Factor. I really enjoyed it and was disappointed when I finished it so quickly. At 70,000 words its the average length for a romance novel, but I was so hooked on the story, the pages and the time seemed to fly by.

Although I suffer from mild dyscalculia and Im hopeless at maths, Ive had to study statistics for both psychology and law subjects. So I knew about the coin toss example its elementary statistics. I
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Carol Hutchinson
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING!!!

Molly finds herself signed up to Grad School in an attempt to try and find her way in life at almost thirty. When she meets Carmen Vaughn, who is her Professor, Mollys head is turned away from her studies. Carmen is no nonsense, she makes it very clear from the start but she finds a connection with passionate Molly. As Molly and Carmen work together after making a shocking discovery about a study and data collated and published by one of Carmens less favourable colleagues, it is Molly
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Karen
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I really enjoyed this novel! It was engrossing as a book, reading about both Carmen and Molly, but it also brought back a lot of memories of the late 1990s. Carmen teaches statistics in a poli sci department and Molly is a grad student working toward a PhD in that department, hoping it will open some career doors for her. Carmen has a reputation as being tough as nails but Molly enjoys the assignments and admires the professor. While is there mention of statistics, its not overwhelming but ...more
Michelle
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Great first book for a new author. An engaging read that I actually finished in one sitting. Student-professor storylines are always a fun read and this one was done tastefully and didnt disappoint. It was interesting to read something set in the 90s. You usually have either historical or contemporary and for this to be set in the late 90s was a fun throwback that was relatable. The storyline fit perfectly with the time period and seamlessly integrated significant events like Ellen coming ...more
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Quinn Ivins has been addicted to reading romance since she was a teenager, when she stayed up late on school nights to read more X-Files fanfiction. After romance novels, her top vices include sugar, booze, cable news, and country music.
Quinn lives in the southern United States with her wife, their young son, and their adorable cat. When she isnt working her day job, writing fiction, or chasing
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“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
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