Learning Curves

Elyse Mady
Learning Curves
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Carina Press
Release Date
June 2011
Contemporary Romance

Leanne Galloway has no time for dating; her focus is on launching her academic career. Dragged along to her childhood frenemy Gillian's bachelorette party at a male strip club, she just wants to get through the evening—but she can't help interfering when Gillian sends a note to a sexy dancer proposing a hot hookup.

Brandon Myles is working backstage at the Foxe's Den to fund his post-graduate studies in dance, but he's forced onstage when the headliner fails to show up. He feels a surprisingly strong connection with a quiet woman watching from a table full of tipsy bridesmaids, and he's delighted when she appears backstage after his set.

After a scorching spontaneous encounter, Leanne and Brandon agree to go their separate ways. But they're both grad students on a small campus, and avoiding each other and denying their attraction won't work for long, especially when a jealous rival appears, determined to ruin both their academic careers.

Book Review by Tiffy (reviewer)
Aug 15, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
232 people found the following review helpful
LEARNING CURVES is a delightful, romantic story with a cast of characters that mirrors real life.

The two main characters, Leanne and Brandon, are attaining their career goals in spite of interference by their family and friends. Brandon's self-absorbed parents abandoned him at an early age to the care of his grandmother. His grandmother was never able to shower Brandon with the loving gestures that every child craves. Then, there is Leanne's mother who is always comparing her to her best friend's daughter, Gillian, and never in a favorable light. She's always carping at Leanne that she needs to wear more makeup, style her hair differently, jazz up her wardrobe and find that rich eligible bachelor.

Leanne has been guilted into attending Gillian's bachelorette party, which is being held at a local strip club. I laughed when the author compared Leanne's evening spent with her frenemy, Gillian, as one of the levels of hell in Dante's Inferno. Haven't we all had that happen too often? Leanne has had enough of being bullied by the drunk bride-to-be and her gaggle of giggling bridesmaids, when sexy Brandon hits the runway and starts to dance. As Leanne's and Brandon's gazes lock, the fire between them begins to burn intensely. But it's Gillian who douses the flames when she demands that a passing waiter deliver her business card to Brandon asking for a "private party". Leanne, who feels sorry for Gillian's fiancé, manages to retrieve the card. Brandon catches her, but Leanne convinces him that she's there to see if the flames can be rekindled and a wildfire ensues. It's a one-night stand or so Leanne thinks…

Imagine Leanne's surprise when at the monthly faculty social, the Dean introduces her to a new PhD candidate whose concentration is in twentieth century choreography. Guess who? Again, I laughed as Brandon describes their earlier meeting as "a very brief encounter". In an effort to provide some sparks, Brandon offers Leanne two tickets to the upcoming end of term show that he is choreographing. In an effort to avoid going to a party with her mother, Leanne and her father attend the performance. Leanne's father is the bright shining star in this novel. He never belittles Leanne's achievements and is her greatest cheerleader.

The flickering romance is helped along when Leanne invites Brandon to attend a potluck dinner hosted by her best friend as payment for the tickets. Brandon receives a chilly introduction from Leanne's friends at the beginning of the evening, but by the end has won over just about everyone attending.

Fast forward to the end of term show where Brandon meets Leanne's father and they all go out to dinner. Dad can tell that Brandon is the one for Leanne, but will she realize it before it's too late? Will Leanne's mother pull her head out of the sand and realize that she's wasted valuable time trying to craft her daughter into someone she isn't? Will Gillian recant her decision not to have Leanne in her wedding?

I really enjoyed Elyse Mady's writing style. It was crisp and clean, and she fleshes out her characters well. I laughed in spots, sighed at other times and occasionally wiped a tear away. You can't help but enjoy LEARNING CURVES!
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