Review: By the Book by Maria Vickers

Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Hot Tree Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

By the Book is a standalone M/M romance novel written by Maria Vickers and is the story of a former student who finds himself still hopelessly in love with his high school science teacher fourteen years his senior. Joshua Dayton was a sophomore in high school when he first spied the new science teacher and immediately crushed on the tattooed and bearded Samuel Cayden. The man was his mentor and Josh's saving grace after after the sudden death of his beloved father. After shoving a letter confessing his feelings and then leaving for college, Josh knows there's nothing for him to come back to in Imperial, Missouri and spends the next three years living his life in Tallahassee, Florida. All it takes is one phone call about his mother that has him hurrying back. Sam is still there and so are the feelings Josh has never fully gotten rid of. Now though, it seems that Sam has his own feelings that he's trying to keep in check when it comes to his former student--the same one that captured and still holds his attention today. With their families opposing and their living in different states, can Sam and Josh have a future?

For the record, the main characters in the story were not romantically involved with one another while Josh was still a student in the high school Sam still teaches at. Also, when they engage in a sexual relationship, Josh is already twenty-one--an adult--and the fourteen-year age difference wasn't as big of a complication as I initially thought it would be. What was the biggest complication? They're families, and you would think that would be an interesting angle in the story, but there were times that it simply felt so melodramatic. Heck, Josh's mother's feelings regarding her son's sexuality and his sudden relationship with his former teacher gave me whiplash. She seemed okay then she wasn't then she was accepting. Then there was all the drama coming from Sam's father and brother and even though the father never makes an actual appearance, this duo came off as an evil villain and his cowardly sidekick as they tried to get Sam to do what they wanted. The romance was okay but the family-centered soap opera overshadowed it, which is sad because I felt the book had some potential. Three stars for By the Book. ♥

Date Read: 24 June 2017

Learn more about Maria Vickers.

Purchase By the Book on Amazon.


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