Rameau’s review archive: Losing It (Losing It 01) by Cora Carmack

Synopsis:

Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible – a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

Losing It (Losing It, #1)Losing It by Cora Carmack

This review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.

The premise of this novel is really promising: A chance encounter that leads to a taboo relationship between a theatre student and her professor. It’s a shame that it was wasted on such a poor story about a naive little girl and a man whose only charm was his British accent.

As the title says Losing It is about Bliss Edward’s quest to lose her virginity at twenty two and before she graduates from college. She’s supposedly held on to it this far because she’s a control freak and not at all attracted to all the wannabe actors in her theatre school. The control makes her a good stage manager but it doesn’t exactly hinder her acting either, which is just a blatant contradiction. The head of the department points this out to Bliss:

”You’ve always been a bit too in your head, I suppose. Controlled. Careful. Mechanical, might be the best word for it. But in those auditions—you were living in the moment. You were feeling instead of thinking. I saw shades of emotion in you—strength and vulnerability, desire and disgust, hope and shame—that were quite simply captivating. I don’t know what you’re doing or what you’ve done, but please continue. You’re much better when you make bold choices.”

So, we’re told in Bliss’ narration and with the voice of an authority that she was controlled and careful, but we’re never actually shown it. Bliss is way too comfortable in her small group of friends to classify as socially awkward. She is at best a naive little girl who hasn’t fully embraced the risks and rewards of being an adult. She’s afraid and that fear is what spurs her into drinking herself silly, ignoring a lovely boy flirting with her at the bar, and falling all over a stranger with A BRITISH ACCENT. (I’m just typing as it was in the book.)

Maybe I’m being a little cruel, but from the start Garrick Taylor’s defining characteristic is his British accent, and that’s really not enough for me. I have this vague impression that Garrick had his sweet moments and that he was patient with Bliss when she was freaking out over nothing, but those possible good guy moments were overshadowed by the lack of chemistry between the couple and the sexist red flags that would have had me and any other woman with a speck common sense run away from him.

Let’s not forget the most important part, the great illicit love affair that never was. Garrick is in the know from the start. He knows he’s a teacher and he knows he lives in an area close to the school where college students might live. And yet when Bliss confesses living practically next door, he follows her and would have sex with her, if she didn’t grab the nearest flimsy excuse and run away from her apartment and the naked boy in her bed.

That’s another thing, Kelsey, a supposed friend of Bliss’—what ever happened to her?—repeatedly calls Garrick a boy before they learn that he’s their new professor. The cover shows a boy, and I’m supposed to believe Garrick is an adult, a man? Umm, okay?

When the truth about their power dynamics comes out in chapter seven, it’s only a momentary disruption. Garrick soon decides it’s not enough to keep him away from Bliss. Neither of them really acts like they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be doing, although Bliss occasionally thinks she shouldn’t. There isn’t any of that delicious angst of a forbidden love and sexual tension building up between the main couple the blurb promises, and all the emotional stress is reserved for Bliss’ relationship with her friend Cade, who is quite unnecessarily in love with her.

It says a lot about the romance when I’m ready to cheer for two other minor characters to win the wishy-washy girl rather than the apparent love interest. In two words: It sucks. This book’s only saving grace is that it’s not romanticising an abusive psychopath—that’s because it hardly romanticises anything—but unfortunately for Carmack that’s no longer enough to inflate the rating.

P.S. I really didn’t like how the gay character was portrayed.

Rating icon. A stack of books and the words a total failure and an outline of a skull and bones drawn over them.

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11 Responses to Rameau’s review archive: Losing It (Losing It 01) by Cora Carmack

  1. While reading your review I started to wonder whether it is still true that college professors cannot have an open relationship with their students (for obvious reasons like allegation of grade tampering and such). Anybody knows the answer? Is it tolerated? Last time I checked it was at least frowned upon if not completely banned by the bylaws of different schools but I might be wrong.

    BTW I found such answers online: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090420161414AApCyR0
    http://www.psmag.com/education/the-end-of-hot-for-teacher-professor-student-relationships-64412/

    From that second source: “The first no sex policy came in 1984, when Harvard banned relationships between faculty members and students they taught. The University of Iowa followed. In 1986 it adopted a very specific policy barring romantic or sexual relationships between faculty and their own students, but allowing relationships with students professors don’t specifically “teach or supervise.”

    • rameau says:

      That’d been my guess. That relationships are allowed as long as there’s no direct academic connection in progress. Then again, I never had to find out first hand 😛

      • Pity Ms Carmac didn’t explore that particular issue then.

        Then again, I never had to find out first hand 😛

        If a prof or an intern approached me while I was studying at uni I would freak out completely. I was very shy. Fortunately I was also pretty ugly and rather poorly dressed so peace and quiet it was all the way ;p

    • heidenkind says:

      I think it depends on the school. I know at both my undergrad uni and the uni where I got my master’s, social fraternization between professors and students was discouraged. I vaguely remember a prof (untenured, of course) being sacked for sleeping with his students. At my PhD uni, though, one of the professors treated the female student body like his personal harem. That department was a MESS.

      • At my PhD uni, though, one of the professors treated the female student body like his personal harem. That department was a MESS.

        It was tolerated? Nobody reacted? He wasn’t even a bit afraid? He deserves a nice, juicy rape accusation,I suppose, and a trial. In one of schools I personally taught male profs were even afraid to go to the ‘ladies’ bathroom to fill the kettle (which happened to be the closest to the staff room, the bathroom not the kettle of course ;p ) because somebody might think of accusing them of a sexual misconduct with a student.

      • heidenkind says:

        No, he was never reprimanded. Like I said, that department was like a headless horse, just galloping around blindly and running into things. The same prof was also known to ask undergrads if they had any weed on them he could borrow. SMH

      • Where are those DEA agents when you need them so badly? SMH as well

  2. blodeuedd says:

    Gods, no thank you

  3. heidenkind says:

    Maybe it’s because I used to teach, but romantic relationships between professors and students in books tend to ick me out. But then again, you can never underestimate the power of A BRITISH ACCENT.

    • Maybe it’s because I used to teach, but romantic relationships between professors and students in books tend to ick me out.

      Seconded. Normal people simply avoid such relationships instinctively. Not normal people should read Lolita and learn their lesson. ;p.

      you can never underestimate the power of A BRITISH ACCENT.

      Yeah and many tv series like ‘You Rang M’Lord?’ are the proof. ;p

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