Call Me by Gillian Jones
Holy crap. No one could prepare me for the delicious slow burn that is Call Me. This book was the perfect break from the super dark, serious and borderline frightening books I've been reading lately. Of course, I was a bit skeptical to pick up a Gillian Jones book since she always tackles a serious subject too. I was pleasantly surprised that I did not cry once duding this book. Go me. ;)
Story Line: Ellie is a college athlete. When she learns she will be losing her scholarship her senior year due to a sports injury, she has to find a way to make ends meet. She has a choice to make - bare minimum wage jobs or step out of her comfort zone and become a phone "call girl". For anyone who is already trying to write this book off because of Ellie's job as "Chanel69", let me ask you this. Have you ever struggled with money? Have you ever been in a position where you cannot get your degree because you don't have the money to finish school? Because that's exactly where Ellie is. She's so dang close to graduating, she can taste it. So she does whatever necessary to make sure she is successful. Hello, girl power!
Ellie meets Ace is her film studies class. He's super charming, they have a lot in common and he's hella hot. Oh yeah, and he's her professor. There's a connection. Like the entire room can feel their electric pull to one another - that strong. But neither acts on it because of the taboo association of teacher/student relationships. I loved that this topic was part of Call Me. I have read books with this trope before and all of them end with the professor losing his job or moving away or some sort of catastrophic falling out before the HEA. Thank the Lord, my heart was not ripped from my chest and my forehead does not hurt from excessive face palming. We get our HEA, however, we don't have to lose our mind getting there. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
Interaction: Ellie and Ace have so much in common. More than they even realize. Ellie also has a lot in common with one of her regular callers - Jake (from State Farm). She forms a friendship with him (dead serious). At first, I was like noooooo, you can't cheat on Ace with this Jake character (he sounds hideous ;)) but then I realized that what Jake and Chanel69 have over the phone, is on a different level than what Ellie and Ace have in person. It's sort of the best of both worlds. She has sexual chemistry with both, but she also has a deep sense of honesty with Jake. And that can't be taken away from them or made lesser just because of the nature of the call.
Laundry: I've determined "Angst" is a horrible word and I refuse to use it to describe the lead up to laundry for these two. Angst (in my head) is associated with high school kids who don't know how to make the first move, so they just rub shoulders and accidentally touch hands. What Ace and Ellie have is lightyears beyond that. But they wait. And wait. AND WAIT. But when they have a certain gym scene - all bets are off and let me tell you. I have NEVER been turned on by working out. Because - cake. But after reading what I did, I cannot wait to go work out with my hubby to go fulfill a fantasy. DELISH.
Depth: Ellie losing her scholarship due to a sports injury lays a pretty solid foundation for this story. It's heartbreaking for anyone to learn they cannot do what they love anymore. But then for her to have to find a way to pay for school on her own? My heart went out to her. I know first hand how freaking hard it is to support yourself in school. My senior year of college I worked 3 jobs just to pay the rent on my apartment. Difficult doesn't even begin to describe the situation. So instead of judging this character for her decision, I applaud her. Good for Ellie for stepping out of her comfort zone, doing something legal (lol) and making it work so she could graduate and go on to kick some major booty in the film world.
This book was unlike anything I've read before. It made me realize that there is always hope. Hope for love. Hope for our careers. And hope that everything happens for a reason.
Go pick up Call Me TODAY!