Review: Defy by L.J. Shen (Sinners of Saint #0.5)

Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

“Tell me what you feel.” His tone changed to cushion-soft.
“Why?” I whispered, resisting the urge to close my eyes. If I did, a tear would escape. I never cried. Not since the accident in NY. I dealt. Damn you, Jaime Followhill. I dealt.
Jaime thumbed my chin, tilting my face to meet his gaze. Slowly, he brought his forehead to mine and closed his eyes, releasing a defeated breath. “Because I feel it, too.”

Oh my. I do believe I’ve found myself my all-time favorite teacher-student romance in the Sinners of Saint prequel novella, Defy. Originally released as part of the multi-authored Hot for Teacher anthology, this story has been re-released on its own and my only regret is that I didn’t read it when it first came out, especially since I seriously wondered about the main characters while reading the first full-length release in the series, Vicious. But better a few months late than never, and this novella surpassed whatever hopes I had for it in particular and for the trope as a whole.

Twenty-six-year-old Melody Greene never dreamed of becoming a teacher, especially not to overly privileged high school students in Todos Santos, California. She’s received reprimands and warnings about her less than stellar teaching performance, and her students are certainly not making things easier. But when she bumps her aging car into the Range Rover of eighteen-year-old football player, high school senior, and son to the school principal James Followhill, he makes her an offer she’d be a fool to accept…and most probably an even bigger one if she were to refuse. 

I’m difficult to please when it comes to teacher-student romances. I demand a lot from it and I’ve read my fair share, but it’s rare for me to find one that ticks everything off my checklist and surprising me with even more. This was nothing like Vicious but damn, was it just as intoxicatingly good. Mel and Jaime enter into their agreement slash affair knowing full well what it’s about—sex, plain and simple. It’s lust that drives them but as their story progresses, their relationship evolves and expectantly becomes far more than either one of them may have actually anticipated.

You know those teacher-student romances that involve the two people in question falling in love outside of school premises only to discover later on that they actually belong to the same class, only one’s the teacher and the other’s the student? Yeah, those are in the same category as stepbrother romances—they’re done. L.J. Shen has taken the trope and put her novella in a completely different stratosphere than those that came before it. Defy was frickin’ sexy and sweet it would so defy logic and good taste if you don’t fall in love with Jaime and Mel. Five-plus stars. ♥


Read my reviews for the Sinners of Saint series:

Defy (prequel novella) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)

Vicious (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review


Date Read: 09 February 2017

Learn more about L.J. Shen.

Purchase Defy on Amazon.