Monday, March 14, 2016

Release Day Blitz + Excerpt: Lessons of the Heart by Jodie Larson

Title: Lessons of the Heart
Author: Jodie Larson
Genre: Romance
Publish Date: March 14, 2016
Review Source: ARC


The first time we met, James Dumont knocked me off my feet.

He's sexy and smart, the classic good guy.... Exactly what I want, and everything I've ever dreamed of. The most perfect guy at Somerset High School.

He even makes sixth-period Geography interesting.

Everyone says high school is tough. Fighting my attraction to James? That's the hardest part, because this guy, my perfect match, the one who makes my heart overrule my head...

He's my teacher.

What if the greatest lesson you could learn in school couldn't be found in a book?

This is my first book by Jodie Larson and I loved it! The taboo storyline was an immediate draw in for me. Sometimes taboo stories can be cliche but this story was definitely anything but. First off, I love Britta. She is basically the me that I was my senior year, focused on her grades, reading and finally making headway to becoming a doctor.  Right away I was drawn to her character since it reminded me so much of myself. Secondly, James...whew. He is wonderful, sweet, intelligent. I'd fall for him just as Britta did, especially since he is so genuine. 
I love that Britta and James had no idea that one was a student and one was a teacher, it makes it harder to see their connection as something typically frowned upon. There is an undeniable spark between the two of them that they have a hard time ignoring. It is especially great that their attraction to one another goes far beyond sexual tension, it makes for an even more realistic, heartfelt story.
Not only are the main characters wonderful but from the first scene with Britta's brother, Liam, and her best friend, Penny, I had to know more about what was going on with them! They are so obviously suppose to be together. If there was one thing I could use more of, it would be these two. They were such great supporting characters! When you want more from them you know the author is doing something right.
Larson wrote a great story here, you are wondering from the moment the teacher/student bomb is dropped what will happen with Britta and James. You even find yourself thinking of ways to solve the predicament that these two are caught in and you'll be hooked until the very end.

Gathering up the assignment book, I start walking back toward Mrs. Davis’s desk when I run into something. I sprawl on the floor, my ass pounding in discomfort as the papers and book skitter away from me.

“Damn,” I mutter to myself.

That’s when I start to look up and see it wasn’t a something I ran into but a someone. A really tall someone. A really handsome someone with green eyes and a head full of disheveled brown hair. My throat tightens and my heart beats just a smidge faster as I look up from my squatted position.

“Are you okay? I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you there,” he says as he reaches down to grab my hand.

I place my shaking hand in his and am amazed how tightly he grips me. Not painful but strong, sure, almost as if he was meant to always hold my hand. The fit of our hands is perfect with just the right amount of symmetry.

“Yeah I’m fine,” I grunt as he pulls me off the floor. I brush the dust off my jeans and sweater.

“It’s my fault. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going and then I got turned around back here. It’s kind of a maze.”

“I hear you there. It took me a while to figure it out my first time back here. Are you new?”

He gives me a smile that has my heart skipping a beat. Whoa. That’s a strange reaction.

“I will be. I start on Monday, so I was just kind of wandering around trying to find stuff. I guess I got lost.”

I laugh, and his smile widens. “I guess you did. Well, what are you looking for? Maybe I can help point you in the right direction.”

He pulls out a piece of paper from his pocket and studies it for a second. While he’s looking over the paper, I take the moment to examine him further. He’s tall but not overly tall, and lean but not skinny. The long-sleeved shirt he’s wearing shows off enough to let me know he takes care of himself. Not buff but definitely muscular, judging from the way his body narrows at the waist. And he looks good in jeans. Really good. Damn good. Like the boy-next-door good.

I shake my head, shameful of where my thoughts were going. I have no idea who this guy is or how he ended up back in the teacher’s lounge. But if he’s a new student starting Monday I need to find out what classes he has. Maybe this school year can be salvaged after all.

“I’m looking for Mr. Herman’s office. Someone told me it was back this way.”

I shake my head. “No, not back here. He’s in the main office, next to Mr. Leonard’s office. Mr. Herman is the vice principal.”

He rolls his eyes and it makes me smile. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person who does that anymore.

“Of course. I should have known that.” He looks around for an exit and returns my gaze with wide eyes. “So how do I get out of here?”

“This way,” I say trying to suppress my giggle. I place the grade book and papers on Mrs. Davis’s desk and show the good-looking stranger the way out of the lounge.

“Why do they make this so confusing?” he asks.

“It’s difficult to say. My guess is so students don’t go wandering back here without permission. Unless you’re back there all the time, you never know whose office is whose or the way to get out without losing your mind.”

“I’ve seen labyrinths that were easier to navigate than this.”

I laugh and he smiles again at me. “Supposedly when the school got remodeled they forgot to add the teacher’s offices. So it was a last minute thing, throwing together walls behind this study room, hiding it from the students prying eyes.”

“So the teachers have an office and a classroom?”

I nod. “Yep. It’s better that way really. This way the students can’t break into the desks in the classrooms and change their grades and stuff like that.”

“Good idea.”

He’s wearing some sort of cologne and it smells like heaven. And it’s not overpowering like some of the other guys around the school. Walking near them is like walking by the Abercrombie store, just makes your head instantly hurt. But his is subtle, blending perfectly into him and whatever pheromones he’s giving off, making him that much more appealing.

“So this is the main office. They’ll be able to help you out with anything else.”

I look down at my boots and scuff them against the floor. For some reason, I don’t want to leave. I’m not sure why, though. Maybe because I don’t know his name yet.

“Thanks for your help, um. I’m sorry, I guess I never got your name.”

I laugh and hold my hand out to him. “Britta.”


He takes my hand again and another round of tingles travels between our fingers. The sudden jolt of electricity surprises me, and I pull my hand back abruptly. James looks down at me with a slight concern on his face, but I force a smile, trying to play off my strange reaction.

The bell rings again and I start backing away. “I better get going to class. Guess I’ll see you around.”

He nods and flashes one last smile in my direction as I back away. “Guess I will. Nice meeting you.”

Jodie Larson is a wife and mother to four beautiful girls, making their home in northern Minnesota along the shore of Lake Superior. When she isn’t running around to various activities or working her regular job, you can find her sitting in her favorite spot reading her new favorite book or camped out somewhere quiet trying to write her next manuscript. She’s addicted to reading (just ask her kids or husband) and loves talking books even more so with her friends. She’s also a lover of all things romance and happily ever afters, whether in movies or in books, as shown in her extensive collection of both.


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