Lisa's Reviews > If You Believed in Love

If You Believed in Love by Staci Stallings
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: inspirational-novels
Recommended for: readers of academia and romantic classics lit

A university literature professor and a deeply grieving widower need each other to heal.

Stallings’ romance between a dedicated young professor and a widower who was challenged by his sister to get out of his downward spiral by auditing a college class will give the reader who loves the literature of Jane Austen, poetry, and British Lit a challenging, thoughtful adventure. I almost felt like I was taking another college class myself as I sat in on Elizabeth’s lectures and did the homework with Jonathan.

While I found Jonathan Danforth’s disturbingly obsessive mourning of his late wife to whiplash-like devotion to the professor a bit quick for my taste, Stallings’ revelation of Professor Elizabeth Forester’s personal story and her determined professionalism in light of her own growing attraction for her auditing student makes a nice twist on the usual romance. I very much enjoyed the author’s studious treatment of literature and cheered with the revelation that Elizabeth had worked hard to get where she is today in academia.

Stallings writes well and the story moves along at a good clip. Her characters will stick with you, and are sweetly drawn. The New York neighborhood college setting is exotic enough for this Wisconsin reader to visit vicariously. Her use of the classroom as another character of the story was a great tool to aid the romance and admirably done. I have to warn the reader of pure inspirational stories that Stallings uses the contemporary vulgarity common to young people, as well as some sensual tension that never goes too far.

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