Review: “Teaching Ben” by Shae Connor

TITLE: Teaching Ben
AUTHOR: Shae Connor
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 218 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback


Learning to love means a study in patience.
Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.
David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.
As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….

I don’t quite know what to say about this book except that it was a really lovely, feel-good story, which was an incredibly enjoyable read. I loved the plot and characters from the first chapter of reading and found myself thinking about the story long after I had finished the book. I’ve never read anything by this author before, so wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I can happily say that this definitely won’t be the last book I read from her.

The blurb says more than enough about the story, so I won’t go into any further details as this would be spoiling the experience of reading the book for you. What I will say, is that the supporting characters (except one) are just as amazing and loveable as the main characters, and add a real depth and authenticity to the story. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll be left wanting more.

The romance between Ben and David is a slow-burn, so it isn’t going to appeal to everyone. But I found that it was the reason that I enjoyed the book as much as I did. They started out as friends, and the relationship grew from there. From the first glimpse of each other in the lecture hall, the first conversation, the mutual attraction and compatibility, and then the joint self-imposed abstinence, it all added to the build-up and anticipation of them finally getting together. There was no rushing into anything, no matter how much they both wanted more. So when it finally did happen, it was a much more intimate and emotional experience for them. And as a reader, this was a nice change from characters jumping into bed together just days/hours after meeting. It felt like I was right there with them on their journey, experiencing their feelings and desires. And also to have a romance with a HEA that had basically no drama or angst, was like a breath of fresh air.

The story is written in the third person, from both Ben and David’s POV, so you get a real feel for what each character is thinking and going through as everything progresses. I’m a big fan of dual POV, and think that seeing things from both sides adds a lot to a book. In this case, it was again true, because it worked so perfectly for how the plot/story developed and flowed.
I genuinely don’t have anything negative to say about this book or how it’s written. All I know is that I smiled a lot while reading. And at the end, I felt happy…real, tangible, glowing happiness. I wish it was a feeling I could take away from every book I read.

Do I recommend this book? Of course, without a doubt, I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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