Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby, #3), Motion (Laws of Physics, #1; Hypothesis, #2.1), Space (Laws of Physics, #2; Hypothesis, #2.2)
Series: Dear Professor #2
Source: Libby (My Library app)
Her professor just saw her mostly naked. Awkwardness is guaranteed to ensue.
Proceeds for the month of release go to College Track (501c3), providing college scholarships and resources for vulnerable/limited resource populations. At collegetrack.org
What do you do when your freakishly smart and wickedly sarcastic Research Methods professor sees you mostly naked? You befriend him, of course.
‘Kissing Galileo’ is the second book in the Dear Professor series, is 60k words, and can be read as a standalone. A shorter version of this story (40k words) was entitled ‘Nobody Looks Good Naked’ and was available via Penny Reid’s newsletter for free over the course of 2018-19.
This is the second book in the Dear Professor series, and thank god I finally got my hands on it!! This book was teased in Penny’s newsletter for months and it was an agonizing wait! But finally, here we are. This one follows Emily Von… right after her professor sees her naked. Wait! Don’t leave yet!
See, Emily works as a lingerie model. Usually, a set is requested, and rich men come in with their mistresses or third wives to pick something out, and she’s asked to model the garments. It’s all above-board and it pays well, so it works for Emily. But one day, a client brings his son… her research methods professor. He doesn’t recognize her at first, but he definitely does their next class. And things snowball from there.
Emily is a serious student and clearly whit-smart-intelligent. This is why she’s one of Dr. Victor Hanover’s favorite students, although he doesn’t know her by face, just by her name on the roster and the assignments she turns in. But after their searingly memorable connection at the lingerie shop, he realizes that Emily is also the cute, kind brunette at the gym he definitely has a crush on… and that she’s his student. Eeek!
“I don’t want to stay.”
His eyebrows pulled together, now he seemed confused. “Because I don’t wish to pursue a romantic relationship with you?”
… “No, not exactly. It’s because talking to you is disorienting, and it seems like every time we talk, you hurt my feelings. My feelings are hurt, right now, and I’m not sure if that’s you, or if that’s me being overly sensitive or misreading something, or what. Instead of staying and allowing that to happen again, I’m just going to call it a night and avoid you from now on.”
Victor, of course, immediately appointed her an advocate in class to grade her exams and papers, so that she doesn’t feel uncomfortable. Victor is such an adorable guy. Such! an adorable guy. The previous year, he’d lost 150 pounds of body weight, and he’s used to being the invisible fat guy that makes people disgusted once he gains their attention. He has few close friends and doesn’t really look to go outside of that circle. But after losing all that weight, people look at him differently now. He’s not invisible, and women are attracted to him and it makes him very uncomfortable. He can’t imagine a scenario where Emily would like and want him in return, and immediately starts pushing her away, and saying things that, out of context, do not sound so nice.
Victor isn’t arrogant or cruel or an Alpha type at all. He worries about Emily’s safety, yes, but he’s just a very soft guy who has absolutely terrible self-esteem, and this is a battle that he fights for the whole book. But Emily and Victor become friends, with unrequited longing on both sides, and that’s one of my favorite tropes so I had a great time with that. But perhaps my favorite part was when Victor started to cut Emily out, and eventually confesses his feelings, Emily takes him to the task. She doesn’t melt and accept his love and ignore his emotional treatment of her. They actually have a really in-depth conversation about his outlook and how that’s impacting any possible relationship they have, which I thought was actually really awesome.
This is a fairly short, quick read, and I absolutely loved it. Victor obviously had some hang-ups when it came to himself and, mostly, other people who are stereotypically beautiful that kept him from enjoying life to the fullest. I loved his journey because it was so clear that he was struggling and I just wanted to reach out and give me a hug. He was a 30-year-old Virgin, and his friend was literally telling him the texting etiquette and rules, which was hilarious :) His friendship with Emily was the sweetest, and I’m so glad I finally got this one!! Penny Reid is seriously one of my favorite authors, I can’t recommend her enough. Her books always blow me away, and this was no exception.