Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoyBlack Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy
Published May 2015
Genres: Forbidden Romance, New Adult, Office Romance, Romantic Suspense
Format: eBook
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After an erotic one-week fling with a musician she meets in a bar, Thea Cunning never expects to see Levi Black again. Then Monday morning comes around, and she discovers that her former lover is not only her professor, but he’s also one of the top criminal lawyers in the state of Massachusetts.

With everyone in class vying to be one of the twelve disciples—a group of twelve students that Professor Black takes under his wing—tensions run high. Thea considers dropping his class, given their passionate week together and their undeniable chemistry. After all, there are other (less infuriatingly sexy) law professors on campus.

But to accomplish her goal and get her father out of prison, Thea knows she needs to learn under the best of the best—and that’s Levi Black.

But can she learn under the best, without being under the best?

When she met musician Levi Black at a random bar and agreed to have a full week of no-strings-attached sex , Thea Cunning had no idea Levi was actually Massachusetts’ number one hot-shot criminal lawyer and her law professor – and the man she has become infatuated with despite their initial agreement.

As the semester starts and they stare into each others’ eyes the first time since their 1 week fling, realization suddenly kicks in. It is especially hard to bear given the fact that neither of them could shake this feeling off that there might be something more between them.

But for Thea, this infatuation can absolutely not get in the way of her goal: learning from the best lawyer in the state to finally get her father out of jail.

What I loved about this book:

  • The unexpected twists and turns after the initial discovery
  • The characters and their development along the story
  • The very varied and meaningful side-characters

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The editing. The book was full of mistakes, missing words and incorrect punctuation!

Black Rainbow is my first J.J. McAvoy book and the hype around Black Rainbow was exceptional, so I thought I would give it a go. And frankly, there’s nothing I love more than a good student/teacher romance – which actually changes into an office romance! Yes, I am a sucker for forbidden romance – what can I say?

The characters really did not disappoint. Thea was definitely a very strong and unusual character, as she was black in ever sense of the way: from her ethnicity to her feelings, she oozes black. The only thing that has her lighting up is her sister, who she loves more than anything, and her resolve in getting her wrongfully convicted father out of jail, and out of death row, given that no lawyer is interested in taking up his case. Now Levi was as interesting a character as Thea. He’s extremely intelligent, a self-made man and lawyer, with a soft side and great guitar-playing skills.And with killer looks, too.

“Looking him over, I noticed he was wearing a simple pajama and a light cotton shirt… but he also had glasses on. Even when he wasn’t trying to be sexy, he was sexy.”

Levi used to be a player, not interested in long-term relationships after his divorce from a cheating wife, but meeting Thea and spending a week with her changes him, and he looses his resolve. Even though she and him agreed on a one-week stand only, he can’t stop thinking of her afterward.

Now as far as the story is concerned. It was extremely good and full of suspense. Of course, the fact that Thea and Levi’s relationship turns out to be appropriate was pretty much predictable from the blurb. But what wasn’t predictable at all was both their reaction to the revelation.

“Things like this didn’t happen to me. I worked hard, had a few hook ups here and there, and then I went back to work. But never n my life had I been so infatuated with someone.”

When he notices that Thea is actually his student, Levi plays some pretty fucked-up mind tricks, and does what he can to kick her out. Because rumor has it that a few weeks into the semester, Levi usually narrows down the class attendance to 12 students, his twelve disciples, who will follow his heels throughout his cases to gain some practical insight. His dirty tricks include making her a target for other competitive students and dishing out her intimate confessions on her family and past.

“Levi Black. You are such a fucking sadist.”

Knowing that he still has feelings for her, he believes it’s best to get rid of her altogether because he hates the feeling of loosing control. However, Thea has her own agenda and desperately needs to make it through this class – with out without him, no matter how hard he is treating her. And given her stubborn personality, she’s pretty brilliant at what she does, so Levi won’t get rid of her so soon. Nevertheless, as they work closely on his various cases, it’s difficult to tell whose resolve will snap first.

“When you find out that someone you care about was hurt, how do you help them? How do you help them after pouring salt into their wounds.”

So yes, the storyline and the character development here was absolutely great (this also includes the strong side characters). One thing that annoyed me tremendously though, was the lack of quality in the editing (not the writing). I found a lot of grammatical errors – missing punctuation, missing words, two verbs in the same sentence but in a different tense – at every 3rd pageturn or so you would find a least one or two editing mistakes, and especially towards the end. Now given the buzz around this book and the author, and the fact that I was reading a purchased copy (and not an ARC) – I would have expected better editing quality…

In the end, the way things fell into place or were uncovered felt slightly too coincidental, which leaves the reader second guessing (even though not for long) Thea’s motives. I would have enjoyed an added twist don’t urn in the story around just that, and how either her fellow students or Levi/his partner Tristan start wondering if Thea was not evil-mindededly using them. But then again Black Rainbow was definitely awesome and did not lack depth or suspense at any moment or page.

I will give this book the full 5 stars rating because the characters and the story were really good, but I would very much advise the author to do some more editing because the mistakes were almost so annoying that they cost this rating a star…

Detailed Rating
5 Stars
5 Stars
4 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: five-stars