Title: Last Will and Testament (Radleigh University #1
Author: Dahlia Adler
Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Genre: New Adult Romance (17+)
Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she’s acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she’ll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn’t exactly Lizzie’s biggest fan.
But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you’re ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks… and that she’d like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he’s not the kind of guy who’d ever reciprocate.
Until he does.
Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.
Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.
First off, I’ve got to say that Dahlia Adler is one of my new favorite authors. Her characters and story telling skills are amazing in every book, and she always includes diversity of some form-characters of color, lgbt characters, etc. In fact, our main character in LWAT is Filipina american. Now, on to the review:
College sophomore, Lizzie Brandt becomes guardian to her younger brothers when her parents die unexpectedly in a car crash, changing her life drastically as she’s forced to suddenly quit some of her reckless habits and behave as a responsible adult and role model for her siblings.
In desperate need of help in passing her classes, she turns to Connor, her hot/nerdy TA, for tutoring. Whilst adapting to the changes in her life, she finds herself falling for him, despite the 6 year age difference, and despite their relationship being forbidden. Although they were both consenting adults, his position as her TA technically made him her teacher, which made a relationship illegal, so they fought against whatever was brewing between them for as long as they could. But as he tutors her, and she gets to know him, she’s surprised to find he’s a good listener, a good babysitter, a good friend, someone she can count on after her life has fallen apart.
Their relationship was sexy, heartwarming and exciting, and it was realistically complicated. I thought their feelings towards each other felt real, their interactions believable for the circumstances. Connor dealt with feelings of self doubt, and couldn’t help questioning himself, and how easily he’d fallen for a student, despite the feelings between them being mutual and sincere. Lizzie battled against the guilt of putting Connor’s career at risk, and of being so caught up in her romantic life when her younger brothers so desperately needed her to take of them. They hit a lot of roadblocks along the way, and the romance between them never felt forced or built entirely upon lust. They fell for each other both emotionally and physically.
I loved Lizzie. She did some questionable things at first, and behaved selfishly, but I loved how snarky and upfront she was, unafraid to speak her mind and go after what she wanted. Her situation was heartbreaking, but in away, the change seemed to prompt her to get herself back on the right track. Some may say she didn’t appear torn up enough, but I disagree-everyone handles grief differently and she had a lot of distractions that didn’t allow her a lot of time to wallow in her misery. She also had her friends Cait and Frankie, she had Connor, and she had family friends, all offering their support and guidance.
The emphasis was on the romance, but Lizzie also changed a lot throughout the book-she matured gracefully, grew up. Overall, an impossible to put down love story about making the best out of a crappy situation, and not giving up on your life, or yourself, when tragedy strikes. I can’t wait to read Cait and Frankie’s stories in the next two books of the Radleigh University series!
Rating: 4.5 Stars