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Kissing Tolstoy: A Student Teacher New Adult Romance (Dear Professor Book 1) Kindle Edition
Over $30,000 raised for charity since November 2017! What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor? You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!
‘Kissing Tolstoy’ is the first book in the Dear Professor series, is 46k words, and can be read as a standalone. A shorter version of this story (28k words) was entitled ‘Nobody Looks Good in Leather Pants’ and was available via Penny Reid’s newsletter for free over the course of 2017.
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- ASIN : B0778GNRP6
- Publisher : Cipher-Naught (7 November 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 2672 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 222 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 63,857 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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As always with Penny’s books, the story sucks you in and the emotions, the characters and the chemistry all work together to make it not just a story but a work of art. I love how real everything is, the characters aren’t perfect, they’re flawed and they make mistakes and it is so very believable.
I chose not to read this story in instalments through Penny’s emails and whilst it was tough waiting, it was so worth it to be able to read this wonderful story in one go. 5 stars just is not enough. Loved it.
I've come to realise, Penny's an exceptional writer and a natural story-teller. This new publication was a great example of Penny's funny, clever and romantic writing. It was a short book; more like a novella and provided POVs from both MCs.
What I love about Penny? Her 'Reidisms' (authentic, witty remarks 😂) and her use of contemporary language. In addition, both her quality writing and characterisation help me to connect with, and thoroughly enjoy her books. (In this one, the leather pants thing was a hoot!)
'Kissing Tolstoy' was delightfully scholarly and like Russion literature, it explored the complexities and depth of the human soul, but in a contemporary and humourous way.
Sometimes professor/teacher/student romances are not appealing to me because of 'the creep factor', but K T is more about two people who belong together without age or other factors being an influence.
The two MCs were unique, complicated and fallible, but gorgeous and relatable. Luca was sexy, intelligent and articulate. Anna believed herself to be nerdy and boring, but she's actually very smart, cute, observant and strong. Their connection? Russian literature. Yikes! Their dialogue (discussions, debates and intimate views) provides the build-up to their growing passion, deep regard and love. The secondary characters added to the storyline and Emily, Anna's friend, handed out some sensible advice.
Strong plot, great characters, intelligent writing, laughs and a little drama - K T has everything!
***thank goodness we didn't have to engage too much with Russian Literature - my last experience was a year 12 English Lit. requirement, lol***
On the book itself- I loved it! The characters had such great chemistry, and kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. If you enjoy reading cute, witty, fun books, then I highly recommend it!
This had the ingredients that normally entice me: Tolstoy, a professor of Russian literature, who happens to be looking like a supermodel (just like in real life ;-)), rides motorcycles, ok, I can try to go with it... He's also the poor rich boy, his daddy bought his tenured position, sort of, etc ...
This novella was too contrived and it had too much explaining of feelings and it didn't do anything for me, despite some nice exchanges over Tolstoy's masterpieces.
Top reviews from other countries
I love the respect Penny has for characters , Anna was intelligent and strong and Lucca was deep and meaningful. I just felt it was information overload (similarities with how I felt about her previous book Datingish), it was like a switch in me was flipped and I didn't care for the long references to Tolstoy and the other Russian literature. Now I appreciate with the books title this makes me look foolish but for me it was just too heavy on the high brow I found it a little pretentious. It sucked the fun out of the relationship, but again this must say a lot about me, it was all too serious.
I found quite a few things were left hanging, maybe it could have been longer, more aspects of his family explained and looked into more. The holding out on having sex I found a little unnecessary and a bit bizarre considering he had already been "down town" , if I were Anna I would consider it Lucca was being cold and withholding (something he had been made aware of by Anna she didn't appreciate ).
I also thought some of Anna's traits were a little like Janie's (a character from one of Penny's previous books).
I'm guessing a lot of the loose ends will be crossed in books yet to come, but for me this series just didn't have the bang of the other series Penny has written ( her Winston Brothers series is outstanding ), I guess I just want to relax and enjoy the book and not feel like it was actually me taking the literature class.
I think I've been a little harsh, I do have very high standards where Penny is concerned because her books re special
"Leather pants. Bowties. Stern expressions. All things that shouldn't be attractive, but were damn sexy on Luca Kroft."
When Anna Harris first meets Luca Kroft, it's weird, funny and electrifying! It was also a case of the mistaken identity and she ends up running out on him. Imagine her mortification when he turns out to be her brilliant, new professor.
"She smells like wildflowers and quiet libraries, redolent of peace and exuberance."
This story gave me butterflies all the way through. It was a delicious, intellectual and amusing read that was full of sexiness and suppressed desire. Anna is super smart, quirky and direct. I loved her spark and awkwardness. I adored Luca! I loved the two sides of him - the biker guy and the erudit Russian Lit professor. Together they were dynamic and fit each other perfectly. Totally recommend!
The plot line in one line:
Embarrassed Anna dashes off from a blind date with exceedingly hot Luca, only to discover, weeks later, that he is her new Russian literature professor – and he’s not done getting to know her!
The good and the bad:
As a big fan of Penny Reid’s writing, it’s with reluctance that I award her anything less than four stars but though this book was enjoyable, it didn’t affect me quite as much as others of hers that I have read. I feel this was primarily because “Kissing Tolstoy” is a novella, and Reid is someone who ordinarily spends time drilling down into the detail of her heroes and heroines, to create characters and plot line you feel emotionally invested in.
I found that very occasionally, care was not taken to ensure realism. It was just small stuff – like when Luca turns up on the blind date, he sits straight down at the table and doesn’t take off his motorcycle jacket and gloves, or order a drink, before ploughing straight into asking Anna questions about herself and her family, like it’s an interview!
Had this been a full-length novel, Reid could have spent a bit more time looking at the issues Lucas had with his family, and exploring Anna’s geeky side (like her cosplay hobby).
Unlike the second book in the series (“Kissing Galileo”) the intellectual references - in this case, to Russian literature - sometimes left me feeling like I was missing something, because I hadn’t read the books in question.
All that said, the book is written in Reid’s usual addictively readable style and her hero was hot as sin: Luca’s passionate, handsome and rides a motorcycle! Anna is smart and adorable. She and Luca are superbly intellectually matched and I enjoyed how heated their debates got, with Luca evidently becoming more and more enamoured of her.
This book is a lovely, quick read.
I’m sure the references to Anna Karenina and other Russian works are really clever and apt but, for me, it felt like a book modelled on another book and being a poor imitation of the original. But this is very much just my take on it. I’m sure if sweeping declarations and impassioned speeches are your thing then you’d like it
Of course there are long words and yes I did have to look some of them up, but that's not unusual for me. We're reading about a Russian Lit student and professor so it can't be written like a nursery rhyme.
I quite literally couldn't put this one down. It was in turns funny and hot. Just as I have come to expect from Penny Reid.
Added benefit is that the proceeds all go to hurricane relief so you can feel like you're doing a good thing while lazing in bed at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.