Prof-essed, Nicola Rendell’s debut novel, is UNPUTDOWNABLE! As in, I didn’t sleep last night because I could NOT stop reading…
[For Mature Audiences; Some Spoilers]
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OK, I need to begin this review with an disclaimer because it’s a slight departure from my usual format. But I need to tell you *exactly* what happened over the last 16 hours to bring me to this point of being totally overwhelmed and discombobulated in the best possible way.
We So Nerdy gets notifications from various publicity agencies promoting upcoming books that we might find interesting.
Last night around 10pm I got an email about a novel Confessed by Nicola Rendell. The summary sounded super sexy with a juicy plot so I sent it to my homegirl Katie who agreed that we definitely needed to check it out.
The email also listed that Nicola had another book already out, her debut novel Professed. The title intrigued me, so I went to Goodreads for more information.
Lo and behold Prof-essed is a teacher/student forbidden romance… And you know how I have a weakness for taboo romance, especially in a university setting.
So after doing dishes and getting ready for bed, I downloaded Prof-essed and started reading around 12:30am.
I intended to just read until I fell asleep, an hour at most…
But that’s just it. I couldn’t stop reading; I couldn’t stop devouring this story. I was up all night reading, not a single moment of sleep.
I finally finished at 8am, yet, instead of going to bed, I picked up my cell phone and started typing out this very review. I knew I needed to share this book with you all as soon as flipping possible.
There aren’t words to describe how much I loved Prof-essed, how it gripped me by the heart and propelled me through the story. It was the definition of UNPUTDOWNABLE. I couldn’t read fast enough, but at the same time, I NEVER wanted it to end.
I’ve never read a book quite like this before. Prof-essed is dirty, downright filthy at times. And, of course, we all need a little (or a lot of) smut in out lives.
But Prof-essed is also profoundly beautiful, romantic, philosophical, heartbreaking, and inspiring… every single part! The characters, the plot, the words and sentence structure in and of themselves.
I’m in awe of you Nicola Rendell and so, so grateful. Girlfriend, you have me “swoony-devout”.
Prof-essed might be the best book I’ve read this year.
When Naomi Costa and Ben Beck meet at a masquerade party hosted by Yale’s Lux et Veritas Secret Society, it’s hot, bone-quaking lust at first sight.
Granted, both are just looking to have some fun before the semester starts, but neither can deny the attraction. And is it HOT.
Conversation leads to rhythmic sexy-dancing leads to steamy make-out session and near public sexy times. But it doesn’t end there! Naomi and Ben head back to his hotel for some of the most erotic marathon sex I’ve ever read. Keurig machines are sacrificed, body shots are consumed… There’s light bondage, spanking, biting, and OMG. It’s all-consuming and passionate.
Even though Naomi leaves her number before she leaves the next morning, she’s pretty sure this is a one-time thing, albeit a memorable one.
She’s back to the real world and ready to begin her Junior year as a philosophy student at Yale.
She doesn’t really expect to see Ben again, much less at a reception welcoming a new hotshot philosophy professor and Durham College’s new master. And, even more shocking, Ben is the guest of honor. OMG.
What are they going to do? What are they going to do?!
Well, it’ll be easy enough to just leave the past in the past and pretend they don’t know one another, right?
So, so wrong.
Neither Naomi nor Ben can stop thinking about each other and having a repeat of their first night. Yes he’s her professor, yes he’s almost 20 years her senior, and yes a scandal like this would totally destroy his reputation and cost her her place at Yale. But you know what they say: “dulce pomum quum abest custos.” Forbidden fruit is sweetest.
I completely adore Naomi! I love her spirit and how once she’s made up her mind, she just goes for it.
Similarly, I really like Ben. I enjoy his his humor, wit, and love of Poldark (a man after my heart).
But what really makes Prof-essed so fantastic is how Naomi and Ben together are perfect. Over the course of four months, we watch them get to know each other and fall in love so intensely. They can’t live without each other. It’s beautiful, romantic, and scary.
I love how this relationship renews their faith in the world. Ben who becomes famous for his take on nihilism comes to believe in love, that some things are worth fighting for despite the possibility of loss. Naomi learns depend on people, accept help and care, and believe in her own brilliance.
But… But…. But… You know I can’t leave out THE SEX!!!!!!! HAVE MERCY.
The room looks like a small natural disaster blew through here. There are K-Cups everywhere, a condom on the floor. The sheets are a wreck, lampshades crooked, a chair overturned. I remember colliding with the chair as he carried me across the room. I remember it all like the sweetest sucker punch to the face. It went on for hours…. My ass is still sore from the spanks. Over his shoulder, I see his tie still knotted around the bedpost. The whiskey, the belly button, the way he came. We’d said all sorts of things. Best. Need. Fuck. Mercy. Yes. More. Now. Please, please, please. Beg me to come. Beg me.
It wasn’t a one-night stand. It had been the earth flipping around on it’s axis… The passion I feel, it’s fucking irrational. She makes me feel fucking… unscholarly. (*SIDENOTE* I need “She makes me feel fucking… unscholarly” on a t-shirt!)
I want to devour her. I want to ruin her. I want to fucking vandalize her.
We are beasts in the forest. I am rutting her raw. We get rude and ferocious, rearing through the leaves with out hands. I see her fingernails encrusted in dirt as I fuck her into the mud. I fuck her into the rocks. I fuck her until I can’t see straight. Until there’s nothing but Naomi, alone in the goddamned universe.
“I’m going to mark you,” I say low into her ear. She starts squirming again, but hanging on to my hands too.
“Do it, Master. Mark me. Do it.” … She’s the one. Right now in the filth and the mud, it’s all so simple. Coming out of this dark haze, I finally snap to… Seriously? How does she do this? How does she make me lose my logic, my common sense, my decency?… How can any living person do this to another?
It’s one thing to love someone in person. It’s one thing to love their flesh. It’s one thing to admire their eyes from across a lectern and pray to a god you don’t believe in that you’ll see her at the dining hall. But to want to know and love a mind too? To have some whisper of that hidden land? …. I know one thing is true. I need to be with her. I have to get to know her. Love her, lust after her, understand her, embrace her. Fuck the rules. Hear that sound? That’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames. She’s in my heart, and I’m withering away without her.
I CANNOT with all this passion! There were moments when I was reading that I had to pause and physically flail. It was just TOO GOOD!
But what are Ben and Naomi going to do when their relationship is discovered? And make no mistake, Nicola promises these two will be found out. At the same time, she also promises an HEA.
No spoilers, but the HEA is satisfying, though, given the underlying conflict/drama, things seem tied up too quickly and neatly. Alas, it doesn’t detract *that* much from the overall enjoyment of the story, so I choose to suspend my disbelief.
Incidentally, during those brief breaks I took, I read reviews of Prof-essed on Goodreads because I just had to see what other folks were saying. I found that several of the reviews commented on the difficulty of adjusting to the novel’s writing style.
And at first, I would agree. It took me awhile to settle into the cadence of the story… It was unfamiliar to me.
However, after thinking about it, I feel like it’s written the way we think and speak when we’re by ourselves. Sometimes disjointed… ideas broken apart and in the next moment several thoughts rushing together, overflowing with description and feeling.
We’re not used to reading prose like this. But truth be told, Prof-essed is goddamned poetry.
I wish I could read it for the first time again and am pretty heartbroken that I can’t. *SIGH* It just means I have to live vicariously through your reading!
I know this story isn’t for everyone, but forbidden romance and erotica fans *need* Prof-essed in your lives.
With that said, if you’re a contemporary romance fan who can power through the (slight) discomfort of the taboo, I promise you the love story is worth it!
Add Prof-essed to your Goodreads TBR list HERE and then run fast to download it and start reading!
As for me, I’ll be re-reading my favorite quotes, ordering a signed copy of Pro-fessed, and counting down to Nicola’s second book Confessed (Con- fessed?), coming September 14! This novel follows Naomi’s bestie Lucy (“Lucy. She’ll either become president or a notorious felon.”).
Hell to the yes, I can’t wait to leap into Lucy’s felonious adventures!
BRAVA Nicola and thank you!