The Dean’s List by Kelly Collins
Released: September 1, 2015
Genre: Erotic romance
Reviewed by Sarah
On the Flap
When does being naturally sexy become your best attribute?
Twenty-one-year-old honors student, River Roberts, knew her life had to change. With only forty dollars to her name, she was hungry, tired, and out of options. While seeking advice from her best friend Jade, she found something that could provide all she was looking for. Sexy, witty, charming and motivated, she met the requirements for The Dean’s List, a university society that offered alumni anything they desired. It was the perfect job for her.
But it came with a cost: secrets and loneliness.
After the death of his wife, enigmatic Jonathan Ferris lived in a world of acquisition and mergers, a world where he knew financial security, a world filled with desolating loneliness. That was until River Roberts. She was intelligent, beautiful, sensual, and when their lives collided, his world changed.
But then there was reality: she wasn’t truly his.
In a world of commodities and trading, River and Jonathan must fight to preserve what their hearts desire. But will that be possible? Will their collision be temporary, or will they overcome the many obstacles in their way?
I don’t remember how I got the ARC, if I had signed up for it I just know it was in my email one day. I read the synopsis and thought this can be an interesting book but probably something I’ve already read. I started reading it with the expectation I would figure out the entire plot before the end. Let me say this book is a surprise out of left field…and in a good way. It’s phenomenal. I started it late on a Sunday night which meant I was up past my bedtime on a work night to get through the first third. As soon as I got home on Monday I made myself cozy on the bed thinking I’ll just read a few chapters and do chores, housework, emails. This didn’t happen. I could not put it down. It put me that fantastic vegetative state; you know the one I’m talking about. There are cartoons of the stick figure on the bed in various positions on Pinterest.
River is struggling to afford rent, the costs of graduate school, food. She’s just not making enough as a bikini barista. So is it really hard to imagine stepping up to the role as an escort for influential men with ties to her field of study at the university. Let’s face it no one wants student loan debt. Even now while I repay my own, I think about what I would do for the money. River and Jade’s, her best friend, dialogue is spot on for a college coed. It’s often just that side of smutty, while the general plot is just on this side of the same line. The Dean’s List does something a bit out of character for erotic romance by spending the first 20% really lining up the details of what the list is. We don’t even meet the hero, Jonathan until just after that point.
River has meetings with several men but the story mostly focuses on three’ each have different qualities and contribute to her journey in their unique ways. Fortunately a large chunk of the plot centers on River and Jonathan. Their chemistry is immense and palpable from the outset but sadly a true relationship isn’t. She’s just sex and he doesn’t do permanent. The toil and angst propels the storyline and more importantly, the characters’ growth.
Collins does an astonishing job creating empathy for the world’s oldest profession. She torments with the will they, won’t they between River and her men. There will be tears from dejection, but also moments of belly laughter from “a cocktail followed by a cock”. It is sensuous and erotic but also manages to have heart. The Dean’s List got under my skin in the best way possible—and it won’t soon be forgotten.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.