His Son's Teacher – Kay Stockham (Harlequin Super Romance)

All the talk about categories made me impulsively buy this one. I’d never heard of this author but I’m told she’s a popular author for this line. His Son’s Teacher by Kay Stockham (July 2008) has a rather interesting dedication that reads [to] “all the people out there who’ve struggled with their weight. Some of us have won the battle, some of us have lost it and some us are still fighting. It’s never too late to be healthy – and learn to be happy with ourselves. Good luck!”

I missed reading the dedication page (who reads it?) but it explains a lot. I didn’t know this book would include someone who would be fixated with their weight and constantly put themselves down. The story started off so promising so it is with regret that I didn’t get to finish this book because the heroine in here is a deal breaker. Here’s the back blurb:

Nick Tulane ordinarily won’t admit weakness in himself or in those he loves. But when he learns his son is about to fail in school, the single father is desperate to find a tutor. And Jennifer Rose is perfect. In fact, Jen might be too perfect. Nick’s starting to fall for the attractive teacher, and he can’t let that happen. Because opening up to Jen means sharing the secret that has always made him feel like an outsider in his own family. Still, with his son showing signs of following in his footsteps, Nick can’t keep the truth hidden. But once she knows, will Jen accept him…weakness and all? –

If you notice, the blurb describes more of the hero’s conflict, problems and not the heroine and I wonder why. Purposeful omission? If the blurb said anything about Jenn’s low self-esteem or her fixation on her losing weight, I wouldn’t have bought it. Simple as that but anyway, Jennifer Rose is a teacher at Beauty Elementary that’s located in the small, fictional town of Tennessee. She’s recently divorced after 5 years of marriage to a man she helped put through med-school. He eventually left her for his receptionist.

When Jennifer aka Jenn is first introduced in the story, she’s mustering up the courage to attend Declaration Day or D-Day. It’s just a social gathering for friends and teachers, a kind of last day of school type of celebreation. Now that Jenn’s divorced, she’s debating with herself on whether or not she should go on ahead with her planned vacation since the divorce ruined her summer plans but she doesn’t want to go alone. She also doesn’t want to face her colleagues and friends because she doesn’t want to have to tell them that she hasn’t made any plans for the summer yet. What a major dilemma for her.

I got worried and started to frown when I read this on page 24 on my digital reader:

Always a chubby kid, she’d long ago learned not to draw attention to herself. Since discovering her ex’s infidelity, all she had done was eat her disgust with herself, to the tune of a whopping twenty- oh, who was she kidding? thirty-pounds. In eighteen months. On a body that was already short and already soft, thirty pounds was a lot. One wiggle and everything on her jiggled. Who wanted to look like Jell-O? His Son’s Teacher

Jenn see’s Nick (he’s a bartender) at the bar and think he’s gorgeous and but she’s not the right size type of girl for him:

On a scale from one to ten, she was a five at best. Maybe a six on a good day and that was being way generous. He was a fifteen. And fifteens didn’t look at sixes. Unless they were a size six. His Son’s Teacher

OKAY and this one:

She hadn’t impressed her ex-husband and she didn’t imagine short, pudgy and studious would appeal to a man whose biceps couldn’t be contained by the sleeves of his black T-shirt. If Todd had thought her boring, she’d be nothing short of coma-inducing to a man like this. His Son’s Teacher

I was annoyed at stuff like this too:

His slow Tennessee drawl sounded, oh, so sexy. Was there anything wrong with this guy? Where was the fairness in life – why couldn’t people be equally attractive? It was a question she’d like the answer to one day. His Son’s Teacher

What made me put the book down for good was when Jenn’s best friend, Suzanne, suggests to her that she should tutor Nick’s kid in exchange for working out in his gym over the summer vacation and she agrees.

Inside these 199 pages is a good story but it’s riddled with problems for me. First of all, Jenn’s low self-esteem was hard to take because you kept being bombarded with it. She’s at rock bottom when the story starts. Sure, some readers may like that or identify with her. I didn’t. So, my thing is that I don’t need to read the rest to know that her self-esteem will be greatly improved when the hero takes notice of her and falls in love with her. She may also lose the extra weight as well. My thing is why does she need a man to make her see herself as the beautiful woman that she is? I am really not the audience for this book and I wish the blurb had hinted that the heroine in here would have these types of issues because I wouldn’t have wasted my time.

Enough with the negatives, I thought the story’s premise (as I understood it to be) held promise & it started off great. Nick is apart of the Tulane family. They’re considered one of the founding families of the town. The novel begins with Nick finding out his eight year old son forged his signature on all his homework papers and school notices while at the parent/teacher conference. He realizes that he hasn’t been paying attention to his son’s progress at school and is hurt to learn that his son failed the standardized exams. The teacher and principle apologize to him for not informing him sooner but they recommend that his son, Matt, take summer school to catch up. Talk about a kick to the gut. I can relate to this as my sister has went through something similar.

The story had great potential but the heroine was a deal breaker. I didn’t want to continue to read any further whenever Jenn was in the picture. I found her a complete downer and completely boring. Now why would I want to continue to read about a heroine who mumbles, has low self-esteem, low self-confidence, puts herself down constantly and obsesses over her weight? I don’t! DNF.


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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6 Responses to His Son's Teacher – Kay Stockham (Harlequin Super Romance)

  1. SarahT says:

    I’m not a fan of makeover books as they invariably involve a heroine who loses weight and glams up in order to attract the attention of a handsome man.

  2. Keishon says:

    Yes. Not a favorite of mine either. Guess I’m not a fan of characters with low self-esteem that they keep hitting you over the head with it.

  3. Wendy says:

    I’m not kidding – I almost picked this one up to read for the TBR Challenge this month. Instead I went with an older Janice Kay Johnson Super that’s been languishing in the mountain range for longer.

    I can roll with these types of stories….so long as the heroine’s low self-esteem isn’t the sole conflict in the book. The hero has to have his “issues” as well – or else I get annoyed with the heroine and want her to “man up” already. Another TBR theme this year is “ugly duckling” or “not so perfect” characters. Maybe I’ll save this one for then? Hmmmmmm.

  4. deputman says:

    I read this one at some point and while it worked better for me than for you, it was far from a favorite. I read the next book first and so I was disinclined to like Jenn anyway because she’s such a b**** to her sister in the next book. Having said all of that, I can tell you that Jenn discovers the hero is illiterate which I guess levels the playing field in some weird, messed up sort of way.

  5. Keishon says:

    @deputman: Ah, thanks. I guessed as much.

  6. Janet W says:

    One of the hundreds of reasons I so like An Unwilling Bride by Jo Beverley is that the husband is a stunner and Lucien never stops being the most gorgeous thing around. A dazzling blond marquess. It’s not that Beth is anything but normal and just fine, it’s the contrast between them. But Jo Bev is not about to write tripe about self esteem and woe is me … when they fall for each other it’s as much about their mutually gorgeous brain cells and then just sheer chemistry takes over. It’s fun to see Lucien being just a bit jealous of Beth in A Christmas Angel.

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