Lessons in Love series
Author: Clarissa Carlyle
Publication Date: Mar 19, 2014
Genre: New Adult / Coming of Age
Lessons in Love follows the story of high school cheerleader Alex Heron. She's pretty, blonde and popular.Alex seems to have it all, but she's hiding a dark secret from her past that threatens to destroy her future. Only the handsome new math teacher, Mark Simmons, can see past Alex's façade to the real girl hiding inside. He wants to help Alex overcome her past, but will their developing feelings for each other get in the way?
Almost a week had passed since Alex had gone from being the girl in Mark’s car to the invisible woman. She was tired of second-guessing his feelings about her and more tired of her own constant attraction towards him. She was obviously deluding herself to entertain any sort of fantasy involving him, yet she couldn’t help it. Each time she caught his scent or spotted him in the corridor, her heart raced in a way that no one else had ever been able to make it do.
The only way she could get through math class was to actually settle down and do some work, and as a result her grades began to improve.
“You got an A?” Claire gasped as they sat in their Friday morning class.
“Mmm.” Alex nodded sheepishly.
“How did you manage that?” Claire asked, clearly amazed by the achievement.
Alex wanted to answer that all she had done was pay attention and apply herself, but knew that wouldn’t be in keeping with her head cheerleader status. “I bought the answers off some guy yesterday,” Alex whispered conspiratorially.
“Ooh,” Claire exhaled, nodding in approval. “Why didn’t you share?” She sounded hurt as she asked.
“I didn’t want us both to get caught cheating.” Alex offered an impromptu explanation, which seemed to appease Claire.
“Hope you don’t get caught,” she whispered across to her friend.
“Me too.” Alex smiled at her.
Mark was winding down his class, having distributed test papers and solved all of the equations on the board. As usual his gaze had never once drifted to the back right of the classroom where Alex sat. Suddenly she felt his eyes upon her before she heard him speak, her breath catching in her throat as he did so.
“Miss Heron, can I see you after class?” His tone was abrupt. It was not a request but a command.
“Oh God, looks like he caught you cheating!” Claire sent Alex an apologetic glance before hurriedly packing away her stuff, not wanting to be tarred with the same cheating brush.
Alex watched Claire and the rest of her classmates scurry away, her heart already in overdrive, pounding within her chest, reverberating all the way to her eardrums, blocking out all external sound.
What did Mark want with her? He’d ignored her all week long; why speak to her now? Alex nervously approached his desk. Mark went to speak but then spotted the open door, beyond which were students milling around in the corridor, unenthusiastically meandering towards their next class.
He got up and walked purposefully to the door, swiftly closed it, and then headed back to his desk. He sat on top of it, close to Alex as she hovered nervously nearby. She could smell him, and it was intoxicating. She struggled to keep her focus.
“I owe you an apology,” Mark blurted out, his stern demeanor instantly gone and the kind, open man from the cinema standing in his place.
“Huh?” Alex was caught off guard.
“I’ve been ignoring you all week. But you know that, right?” Mark looked deep into her eyes, and embarrassed, Alex looked away.
“I thought you were just being a tool,” she told him flippantly, forcing herself to wear her arrogant cheerleader armor.
Mark merely smiled fondly at her insult. “You’ve every right to be mad. I just can’t be seen to be too familiar with you in school. People will talk.”
Alex was silent, staring intently at her battered Converse sneakers; thankfully the distressed look was currently in style.
“Alex, I’d risk losing my job if anyone knew we were…friends.” He struggled on the last word, and Alex wondered why.
“What’s wrong with being friends?” Alex challenged.
“You know what,” Mark told her earnestly, and she felt her heart skip a beat as she dared to believe that perhaps he did actually see her as something more than just a friend. But if that was the word they needed to use to toe the delicate teacher-student line, then she was more than happy to do so.
“Are we still friends?” she asked cautiously.
“She didn’t enjoy being the center of negative attention but knew she had to play her role.” -Clarissa Carlyle, Lessons in Love
Lessons in Love is about a teenager who is doing what she feels she needs to in order to be popular but not what she wants to do. But the new math teacher, Mark Simmons, sees someone different than the rest. Can he bring her out or will Alex find herself stuck in the same town forever? Find the official description on Goodreads.
Lessons in Love opens to a typical high school scene, one that isn’t hard to imagine. Throughout the book it seems to be the typical high school scene for the most part.
Throughout the book, Alex is feeling the pressure of being perfect in front of her peers. This is really a common theme in high school and I felt that Clarissa Carlyle portrays just the right amount of angst. Then there was the fact that we don’t learn Alex’s history right away. You find it out slowly throughout the book and it made things interesting. You never really knew that Alex wasn’t doing what she wanted except from her thoughts and you wondered why she was hiding where she lived as well.
Clarissa Carlyle shows that the emotional scars can be worse than the physical. Throughout the book, readers find out about Alex’s past and why she feels she needs to be popular. And it shows the pain she has to go through to get where she eventually ends up. Lessons in Love shows the difficulties that high school presents,and just how mean high school kids can be.
It was great to see that Clarissa Carlyle made Alex strike out on her own, and find her own person throughout the book. She slowly stops depending on others to tell her what she has to be or who she has to be and that growth was...marvellous.
Alex Heron has graduated high school and been accepted to Princeton! But will college be the fulfillment of a dream like she always hoped it would be?
Leaving her first love behind, Alex travels far away from her hometown with a heavy heart. Can love blossom as she makes new friends, joins a sorority and attends a wealth of college parties?
Princeton will test Alex in many ways. There will be hearts torn apart and flames burning anew, and always there will be the letters from home, the letters of love, to help guide her back from the brink.
“There was no more hiding from her past, no more denying who she was.” -Clarissa Carlyle, Letters of Love
Alex made it! She’s starting at Princeton. Unfortunately this means she has to leave Mark behind but it’s only four years, right? But in those four years a lot can happen. Alex finds Oscar, someone who knows the pain she has gone through and is dealing with it very differently. Then there’s the fact that Alex now has to decide who she is. Is she the dumb blonde cheerleader of Woodsdale or the studious Alex she used to be. She will be put to the test and the question is can she made it at Princeton? Find the official description on Goodreads.
I loved that Letters of Love pretty much picks up from where Lessons in Love ended. It made it feel continuous and more like it was one book than separate books. Not to mention Alex experiences University life for the first time and makes a new friend right away. Ashley’s energy was easily visible and kept the reader bouncing as well.
I was excited to start this book because I’ve had one college experience and I wanted to see what Alex’s experience would be like. I could really relate to Alex in the beginning of the book because of all the feelings she was experiencing and the things she was dealing with. I remember very clearly what my experience was like and my transition was made a little easier by having a friend from home as my roommate. But throughout the book I started to really dislike where Alex was going and how she was acting. I thought she was wasting her chance and as a person who has worked hard to get where I am, I wasn’t really happy with her. Then there was the fact that she got so tied up with a boy that she was allowing it to affect her studies negatively and she wasn’t taking the chances offered her. I found that just slightly annoying. But towards the end I started to cheer more for Alex as she makes changes in order to better herself.
Then there was the fact that Alex deals with many common fears and difficulties of college students. I know that I’ve experienced many of them and I’m only finishing my second year. So it was easy to read Letters of Love and put myself in Alex’s place. Not to mention it reassured me a little as well.
The only thing I didn’t really like about Letters of Love was the time jumps that it experienced. I know it’s necessary but at the same time it was slightly annoying. I would have liked to have a little bit more to each year.
But other than that, I really enjoyed Letters of Love, and think it was a good addition to the Lessons of Love Series.
Alex Heron has graduated from Princeton, and now it’s time for her to make her mark in the big wide world. With an exciting job opportunity in New York City, everything seems to be going well, but with the two great loves of her life, Oscar and Mark, still looming in the background it’s going to be far from smooth sailing.
Will Alex finally get the happy ending she so desperately deserves? Only time will tell as she navigates both the city and life back in Woodsdale in her ongoing search for her true self and true happiness.
“The girls hugged one another crying over their time together drawing to a close as life inevitably pulled them forward and apart.” -Clarissa Carlyle, Living With Love
Alex is following her dreams by going to New York and working at an insurance firm. But she can’t forget the two men who have influenced her life so much. And now she’s wondering if she can’t give love a shot. Find the official description on Goodreads.
This book was a fitting conclusion to the Lessons of Love series. It brought everything to a conclusion that will make you sigh.
Throughout the first part of the book there’s some travelling. What I enjoyed was that instead of describing solely the physical aspects of the places that Alex and Ashley travelled, Clarissa Carlyle also described the qualities of the city. It really brought the locations to life and added a unique flare to Living With Love.
It was also great to see Ashley and Alex so close. The sisterhood feeling made me feel warm and fuzzy. That was another thing about Living With Love. It drew the reader in, making them feel the emotions that Alex was experiencing without much difficulty.
I also enjoyed seeing Clarissa portray two characters of the opposite gender who have previously dated be friends at least for a little while. It’s usually much more dramatic and it was nice to get away from that for a bit.
There was also a bit of a surprise in the book, one that I honestly didn’t see coming. It shocked me and I suddenly had doubts about assumptions I had made. This shock made me keep reading and more avidly as well.
Living With Love is a marvellous addition and fitting conclusion to the Lessons of Love series. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who loves romance. What did you think of these three books? Did you enjoy the series?
Lessons in Love Boxed Set
(Includes all 3 books in the Lessons in Love series, specially priced!)
(Includes all 3 books in the Lessons in Love series, specially priced!)
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I have been an avid reader and writer since my earliest school days. Reading was my first and earliest passion that I can remember, often seeking the safe sanctuary of my room or the library to read everything I could. My favorite has always been romance. I penned some romantic poetry in high school and was winning school awards for my short stories at 16. In college I would hibernate in the library for days at a time, consuming every short story and novel I could find. My diploma says Bachelors in English Lit., which I'm very proud of.
I probably drink too much coffee and eat too much junk food, but to compensate do like running outdoors when the weather is nice. I love shopping in the mall even if I never find what I'm looking for. I'm a hopeful romantic who prefers stories with a happy ending. You can often find me in a coffee shop either working on my next story, or with my nose in a book.
Go here http://clarissacarlyle.blogspot.com/ to find out more, or just stop by and say hi.
Lessons in Love http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IMU3CX2
Letters of Love http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IMU3LWO
Living with Love http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IMUAI3E
Lessons in Love Boxed Set (Includes all 3 books in the Lessons in Love series, specially priced!)
Clarissa Carlyle’s blog http://clarissacarlyle.blogspot.com/
Amazon author page http://amazon.com/author/clarissacarlyle
Clarissa on Twitter http://twitter.com/ClarissaCarlyle
Clarissa Carlyle’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClarissaCarlyle
Clarissa on Goodreads https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClarissaCarlyle
YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCObOQ6z30JlM0zCDCK7p-sw?feature=mhee
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