The Lessons by Elizabeth Brown #Review

Posted March 5, 2016 by Shari in Reviews / 8 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Lessons by Elizabeth Brown #Review
The Lessons

One StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Off-Limits #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on July 20, 2015
Pages: 314
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
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What does a 30 year old virgin do to keep her “Plan” in progress? Move across the country and sign up for a sex surrogate of course *head bang*. And this is why I picked up the story. I really wanted to know how someone can be a sexual surrogate and not get emotionally involved even if this one does. It was touted as funny in several reviews and while I wanted that, I didn’t want it to be a comedy on something that is very serious for some people.

So the story starts off with a band and I love how Natalie’s mind works. She is witty and interesting, but admits right off she is lying to the doctor to get her virginity out of the way. See she had a plan that got messed up when she had to help her foster mom who was dying. Stuck in a bad rut, she decides to move from New York to San Fransisco, sign up to get rid of her virginity and get back on course with the “Plan.” Never mind that boyfriend #1 is her best friend and gay, she doesn’t tell any one what she is doing and lies to the doctor about her problem, saying she had abusive boyfriends.

So the doctor pairs her up with Ryan Andrews, a sex surrogate who will help her get rid of that pesky cherry. Ryan’s working on his thesis and sexual surrogacy is just a job to help pay for his house, his sister’s therapy and college. He doesn’t have emotions towards his clients nor does he see them afterwards. But Ryan met Natalie at the library and knows they can’t be paired together since he does have an interest in her. Unfortunately he can’t get out of it without revealing he is attracted to his client. (Which in retrospect, probably would have been the best course.)

This is where all my problems with the story arise. It’s all built on lies. They take serious matters and find ways to get what they want through lies. There are more lies, I just glossed over a few to give you an idea of what I meant. It’s not funny that Natalie lies her way into the program, that Ryan lies about knowing her and there is even more lies with the doctor overseeing it all.

The story would have been better if Natalie really had these problems and Ryan hadn’t met her before. Or even if the doctor in charge had some scruples and wasn’t a douchebag.

The story is told in first person from Natalie and Ryan’s point of view with a few jumps to the past for Ryan. I am not discounting Ryan has a messed up childhood and it is admirable he wants to help, but this personality traits were kind of off. Even Natalie who comes across shy at times, is a brazen lady at work. It was like they all had so many different personalities at times.

In the end, Natalie wants love, marriage and kids. Ryan wants his degree and to help his sister. Love wasn’t on his radar. There were just a few insensitive things that put me off on this story. Unfortunately the next one is about Ryan’s sister Ainsley who is dealing with abuse and depression. I can’t read the next one wondering if it will be insensitive as well.

While this story started off strong with a likable theme, it fell short of what I expected.

Challenge Info:

Literary Pickers: Hand/Purse Mirror
Pervy Girl: Self Loving (Masturbation)
New to Me: Author and Series

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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6 years ago

I am not a fan of lies, especially when there are a lot of them, like it sounds is the case here. The whole thing is based on lies and it’s hard for me to like the characters when they lie so much. That’s too bad that this one fell short, while it started out nice.

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
6 years ago
Reply to  Lola

The lies are what did me in. And the fact that they were attracted to each other when it was for medical help.

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

Whoa! Yeah, this would have to be handled by a veteran writer to make it work with such sensitive stuff. I don’t think I’d want the subject matter to be made into a comedy either.

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
6 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

The second book deals with the sister and she is dealing with depression and having been abused. I read some excerpts and realized it wasn’t going to be handled any better so I said no.

6 years ago

Sex surrogate…huh

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
6 years ago
Reply to  Blodeuedd

Second book I have read about a sex surrogate. The first was handled very delicately like the situation needed. This one just didn’t have that same sensitivity.

Carole's Random Life
6 years ago

This doesn’t sound like something that I would like at all. Sex surrogate? I guess I just don’t get it and then you add in a bunch of lies. No thank you. Great review!

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
6 years ago

I have read two books about sex surrogates and the first one dealt with it realistically and carefully. I loved it. This one just went for shock value.