Thou Shalt Not Tour Stop! 1


Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life – a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again
relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.
Thou Shalt Not was not what I expected.  I thought this would be a sexy romance from the cover, but was concerned when I found out this was written by a male.  So I went in thinking I was going to read a  love story from a male POV and didn’t quite know what I was getting into.  What I found is not only a well written book, but a story that gave me three characters who I fell in love with.
So here we go, you have Luke who I instantly found adorable.  He isn’t the sexy alpha male that we normally read about, he is a teacher for a Christian School, who, yes dare I say it, has a nerd quality about him that I found sweet.  He has a way of talking to himself that just feels real.  He isn’t your rich man, who can buy any woman he wants.  He deals with teenagers all day and somehow keeps his sanity through it.   He has a “friend” Holly who has filled the void a bit after his first marriage ended in such a tragic way.  Let’s say friends with benefits have taken a whole new meaning with those two.
Holly is a hardworking, kind woman.  She loves Luke, maybe in a friendship way, maybe the feelings are growing stronger and she wants more.  It doesn’t really matter because I think she knows that Luke isn’t interested in long term.
Holly’s life hasn’t been easy, she has had to face her own heart breaks and that just makes her a more compassionate woman.  I adore her, I want her to have a great life and I want her and Luke to be together, but wait, we now have April.
April is a substitute teacher; she is in the room next to Luke at school.  She is a beautiful woman, so kind, so intelligent, friendly and sexy as all sin.  She is also married.  Luke just falls all over himself when he meets her for the first time.  She starts going to his class during her breaks and watches him teach the kids.  It is hilarious to watch Luke try to stay focus on teaching when she is around.  So I am thinking no way do I want him to have an affair with her, but then we hear about April’s home life.  Her husband is a hot headed baseball player and he makes her life hell.  So now of course we want Luke to dash in and be her savior, but where does that leave Holly.
Now remember when I said he taught at a Christian school………yes this is where the plot thickens.  What would Luke lose besides his morals if he and April become involved?  How would he walk by the huge paining of the Ten
Commandments every day and see “thou shalt not commit adultery”?  Was he willing to risk his reputation and job
for a relationship with April?  What would he tell Holly?  She has been so supportive of him and he does have feelings for her.
For a debut novel, JJ did a great job with his characters, creating people that we love and want to see win in this battle, where we have three players and only two can be winners.  I will warn you this is a cliff hanger and not an easy cliff hanger to forget.  It will leave you on the edge of your seat screaming for more immediately.  What impressed me the most is even though I am 100% against having an affair, especially when there are children involved in one or both of the marriages, he was able to make me give Luke and April some serious consideration as to why it would be ok?  Yes I am not proud to admit that, but this is how great his writing style is.  I will say I have come up with who out of the two women I hope he ends up with, but I won’t say it here.  I will say if you want an emotional ride that will grab your heart, soul and brain and manipulate them till you don’t even know what you think; this is certainly the book for you.  JJ has proven just how powerful words can be in life.  They can hurt, they can heal and they can make you stop and think in a whole new way you didn’t even know was possible.
My eyes may or may not have closed for a moment or two when I heard the classroom door open. The sound seemed to come from a faraway land and jolted me upright.
  “April,” I said, hoping she hadn’t realized I was dozing.
  Who was I kidding? I was sure she had.
  “Luke,” she said, walking toward my desk.
  It was more of a saunter, and it was slightly sensual.
  Maybe it seemed that way in my head. But, April looked even sexier than she had earlier in the day when I
had entertained my teacher fantasy.
  Her lipstick was a fierce red, and it matched her fingernails. I hadn’t noticed them earlier, only her lips. But now, the red seemed more vibrant. It stood out against her pale skin.
  And I could have sworn she had undone one of the buttons of her white blouse.
  Damn, I think I might be waking up.
  “Did the putrid pupils run you from the lunchroom too?”
  “No,” she said, stopping at one of the student’s desks and placing her hand down on it. “I actually lost most of my sense of smell as a child.”
  My face surely registered shock.
  “Oh my god, seriously?” I asked, unable to hide my incredulity. “I’m so sorry.”
  Stupid, insensitive me.  Always chewing on my feet.
  April just stood there for a moment, looking a little sad and contemplative.
  Then she started laughing.
  “Of course I’m not serious,” she said. “Those kids smelled like rotting fish.”
  I just shook my head and ignored the fact that she made me feel guilty about her little ruse.
  “We have tried to start to a petition to keep the kids from having to run miles before defiling the lunchroom. No such luck yet.”
  “Well, you will absolutely have my signature on that petition,” she said. “But, I will need a pen to sign it. Which brings me to the reason I’m here. I need to borrow a pen.”
  Nice segue.
  “First you try to mock my sense of compassion, and now you want to borrow my stuff??”
  More head shaking.
  I scoured my desk for an acceptable pen. I had a habit of chewing pens and pen caps, when I  didn’t have toothpicks available.
  I couldn’t see a single good pen on my desk.
  I opened up the drawer and searched. Nothing.
  There was a table behind my desk, mostly covered in papers. I turned around in my chair to look there.
  Finally, I found a Bic that appeared to be untouched by my teeth. It actually looked new.
  But what a boring fucking pen. I was mildly embarrassed. As a teacher, I took a little pride in the supplies I had in my room. I always seemed to find cool versions of everyday classroom items. My stapler looked like the skull of a T-Rex, mostly because I was obsessed with Jurassic Park.
  And, now, the prettiest woman in the building was asking me for a pen, and the best I was going to be able to
give her was a boring-ass Bic.
  “This is all I’ve got,” I said, turning back toward her. “It’s just this stupid…”
  April hands were resting on the front of my desk, and she was leaning over it toward me. She had absolutely
unbuttoned one of her top buttons, and her shirt hung open slightly. I could see down her blouse, the tops of her breasts visible. I couldn’t have resisted staring even if there had been a gun to my head. I’m sure my eyes got big. And
I was sure she noticed.
  “A stupid what?” she said, lowering herself onto her arms, giving me an even better look had I been looking.
  Which I obviously was.
  “Uh, just this plain Jane Bic,” I said, forcing myself to look at her face.
  God, her lips were amazing. I wanted her red lips on every part of my body.
  Fuck, I was getting hard.
  “What was wrong with these?” she asked, gesturing toward the few mangled pens on my desk.
  She hadn’t moved from her position. If someone had walked into the classroom, they would have seen her bent over my desk.
  The view might almost be as good as this one.
  Think unsexy thoughts, think unsexy thoughts.
  “I have a bad habit of chewing my pens,” I admitted. “It’s not something I’m proud of.”
  She feigned horror.
  “Bad Luke,” she said. “Certain things belong in your mouth, but I’m pretty sure pens don’t.”
  “Well, this one hasn’t seen my mouth, so you’re in luck,” I said, handing the pen over.
  She stuck her tongue out at me as she took the pen, her hand seeming to linger on mine ever so slightly.
  God, her hand was soft.
  God, her tongue was long.
  “I didn’t know people over the age of six still stuck their tongues out,” I said.
  “I have two small children,” she reminded me. “I stick my tongue out all I want.”
  She did it again. But this time she took my pen and laid it across the tip of her tongue.
  She smiled, and I swear she curled her tongue in, pulling the pen toward her lips.
  I never imagined this in any teacher fantasy of mine. But, holy fuck.
  I could see lipstick on the pen.
  Luckiest Bic ever.
  Then, she took the pen and slid it into the side of her mouth, long ways, like the world’s luckiest toothpick. Or dick.
  Yeah, my mind definitely wasn’t thinking toothpick.
  “Thank you Luke,” she said, pen still in her mouth. “I’ll bring it back to you when I’m done with it.”
  I just nodded. Words weren’t going to come out coherently.
  She stood up straight, stretching her arms back and pointing her chest in my direction.
  If I were a teenager, I would have already masturbated ten times to this fantasy. I will later masturbate ten
times to this fantasy.
  “God, I’m tired,” she said. “Maybe I’ll come visit your couch after school.”
  She smiled again, her eyes dancing. Then she turned and walked out of the classroom.
  The bell rang. And I was rock hard.
JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places “home”. Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.

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