“Before he could stop himself, the wish that she had wanted to see him, and not just for sex, slipped out. Silently, he shook his head. He had no right to need that. He already had their forbidden months together. Imagining that her feelings for him might be as strong as what he felt for her was a stupid, impossible dream. One that he needed to wake up from.”
– Big Mistake (Locations 1027-1029)
From Amazon: Planning a sexy surprise for her boyfriend one night, Jenny Carter doesn’t double check who she just grabbed in the dark, and in one big mistake ends up seducing her high school Math teacher, Mr. Smith. Trying to deny the out of bounds attraction she just sparked between them turns out to be futile. The consequences for being caught would destroy their lives. Teacher and student will have to decide what to do about their intense and forbidden romance, and the love growing wild in their hearts. Conventional wisdom says that if you love something, you should let it go, but nothing about their love is conventional.
This is a very well-written story. I was immediately enamoured with the characters, especially Jared (Mr Smith). The character was a good blend of calm and commanding, but not aggressively masculine. He was very rational. Very human. Jenny was young, naive and idealistic but all these qualities are so appropriate for her age and her life experience, without ever making the character seem shallow or like an airhead. she is an immensely bright girl, with an even brighter future ahead of her, making this relationship all the more risky.
The writing was fluid and so fabulously easy to read. Ms Draguer has the talent of story telling. I didn’t find any glaring errors, which is always refreshing!
“He’d never known she could tease like this. Never known how sexy her voice could sound, or how round her ass—No. Nope. Not going there. It was time to stop this. She’d be embarrassed enough as it was. He would be embarrassed enough.” (Locations 121-123)
“In a little less than a month she would start making her own college stories with someone her own age, and that was the way it should be. The way it had to be. She could never be his.
His kiss tasted more like desperation than lust as he lifted her up in his arms and she wrapped her legs around his waist as she answered it.
He couldn’t have what he wanted, so he would take what little he could get.” (Locations 1089-1092)
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and thought about it frequently in the days after I had finished it. Initially, I wasn’t sure which way the plot was going to go, and I worried that the narrative would eventually surround the characters getting caught in the act. The “getting caught in a compromising position” trope is boring and tired for this type of story. Whereas, infatuation turning into love, and the difficult decisions that come with that realisation is far more compelling to me.
I was able to put myself in both characters’ position. If I were a student in love with a teacher, who showed me kindness and attention after a life full of neglect, what would I do or want? If I were the teacher or the older of the two, and in love with a brilliant, budding, young mind, would I be able to let them develop into their own person sans my expectations and wants? These questions aren’t only relevant in relationships where there is a clear age difference, they are applicable to all relationships. Are any of us capable of being truly unselfish and putting another person’s happiness before our own? Even when that means that they have to hurt for a little while. I think that the author engaged with these problems and considerations very compassionately.
The sex in the story was fantastic. It wasn’t lewd or over the top but there was a variety of it. There was the rushed, broom closet type sexcapade, the frenzied infatuation sex in the privacy of a safe space, there was the raw, emotional sex that often comes with loss, and there was sweet, gentle sex with the reverence of appreciating your partner. I didn’t find any of it to be particularly kinky or even erotic, but it was right. The erotica and taboo come from the nature of their relationship, the potential for skewed power dynamics and the ever present risk of being caught.
If you’re interested in a genuine story with an age gap that might make some uncomfortable, give this a try. It’s a helluva lot better than some of those babysitter/businessman/billionaire crap rags floating around Amazon.
My rating: 5/5
Big Mistake is available on Amazon.
This review was requested by the author.