Absolute Beginners (Absolute #1) by S.J. HooksAbsolute Beginners by S.J. Hooks
Published March 2015
Series: Absolute #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Forbidden Romance
four-half-stars
Format: eBook
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Professor Stephen Worthington's life makes perfect sense.

He teaches classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. He has dinners with his parents on the weekend. He goes to the gym with his comically crass stepbrother, Matt, a few days each week. And every night, he heads home at a reasonable hour, alone.

There’s only one thorn in Stephen’s perfectly organized side: Ms. Julia Wilde. Never has Stephen dealt with a more unruly student. She’s rude, provocative, infuriating—and she dresses in a way that is completely unbecoming for a lady. Stephen can’t wait for the semester to be over, and then he’ll never have to see her again.

That is, until Stephen finds himself out of the classroom and in Julia's apartment. Suddenly, the student/teacher roles are reversed, and the professor receives a much-needed lesson between the sheets. Stephen thought his life made sense, but after his tryst with Julia, he finds himself changed in more ways than one. Maybe he’s coming down with something.

Or maybe, something a little out of the ordinary is exactly what this stuffy professor needs to really live.

Stephen Worthington is everything you would expect from a literature professor: old-fashioned cord trousers, big-sized shirts, side-combed hair, and glasses. Except he is only 33 years old, and apart from his odd fashion sense, the only thing that’s wrong with him is the fact that he is socially awkward, averse to risk-taking, and a total neat-freak. That probably explains why his most brilliant student is also the source of his biggest irritation.

Indeed, Julia Wilde plays in a completely different league: she’s wild, loves heavy make-up, short skirts, ripped tights, and doesn’t mind voicing her opinion, even if it means a rude interruption.

However, as Stephen finds himself out of the classroom and in Julia’s flat, the roles are reversed. Suddenly, Julia takes over the role of sex-ed teacher for her very eager albeit experienced student Stephen. And in the end, he finds himself changed in more ways than one.

What I loved about this book:

  • The full-on male POV
  • The great characters
  • The humour

What I felt needed improvement:

  • Some important details, like the consequences of the student/teacher affair, were barely acknowledged
  • It doesn’t feel completely realistic – handsome 33yo teacher with barely any experience?

Absolute Beginners is another of my 2015 Must-Reads. From the cover to the book synopsis (and of course, the many Goodreads reviews), I knew I had to get my hands on it, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

In case you’ve read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, you’ll find that it’s quite similar (yet I don’t want to say that Absolute Beginners is a work of plagiarism, because it has a totally different feel to it, and the characters are fundamentally different). But you’ll notice that it’s a male POV only (yay!) and tells the story of two opposites, which are definitely attracted to each other and find their way together.

I absolutely loved the characters. Yes, I am a sucker for a good-looking glasses-wearing geek, even though I like alpha males like the next girl. Stephen was the perfect sexy geek: socially awkward but polite, with an old-fashioned dress-sense, intelligent as heck, and authoritative and assured in the classroom. And lets not forget that the guy works out, of course!. Yet, at 33, he is ridiculously inexperienced in the bedroom and relationship department!

And that is definitely not the case of his student Julia Wilde, who used to be his biggest pain in the classroom: with a bold fashion sense, brazen statements and impolite attitude, she used to be his nightmare. That is until she makes a move on him. Yet, I wouldn’t describe Julia as a slut: she is attracted by Stephen and tries her luck – but there is no hidden agenda behind it: she is a great student who doesn’t need to give favours for better grades, and she has no desire to harm Stephen’s reputation and career. And when she finds out that Stephen is completely inexperienced, she makes it her mission to teach him ways around the bedroom…

After having read quite a couple of alpha-male books, it was nice to read about vulnerable males where female taking charge After having read quite a couple of alpha-male books, it was nice reading about vulnerable males and females taking charge for a change!

The two of them totally completed each other and as the story moved on, Stephen became more carefree and daring, whereas Julia became more serious, although this has something to do with the story as a whole. To be honest, the story pretty much focused on Stephen and Julia (and their relationship) and didn’t really focus much on the forbidden aspect and consequences of the student/teacher relationship. I was surprised about this, since student/teacher affair novels generally talk this over like crazy, and there’s almost always something happening in the plot that threatens the relationship to be uncovered. I wasn’t missing it though, even if it made the student/teacher relationship seem very easy – almost too easy.

The writing was just perfect: the story flowed so easily I read the whole book in one afternoon-sitting! It was extremely enjoyable and humorous: Absolute Beginners definitely borders a bit on comedy, but can also be serious at times, and then completely captivating when it comes to the sexy scenes (which I totally enjoyed!)

Absolute Beginners ends in a mild cliffhanger: not one that wants you throw your Kindle at the wall, but one that will prompt you to pre-order the book’s sequel, entitled Absolute Lovers. Because if you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait to find out more about Stephen and Julia.

Detailed Rating
Storyline
4.5 Stars
Characters
4.5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: four-half-stars