Indulge in the temptation in the breakout series The Hunted by Ivy Smoak.
When Penny Taylor runs into a handsome stranger in a coffee shop, she believes her luck has finally changed. After having her confidence unwound by her ex, she falls hard for a true gentleman. But once she realizes that her crush is her communications professor, her world is turned upside down.
Haunted by dreams of the alluring Professor Hunter, Penny can’t seem to dismiss her fantasies and the temptation to have him grows deeper. Will the excitement, danger, and mystery surrounding Professor Hunter bring her to her knees?
I admit that when I started this book I thought there was a paranormal element to the world and there was not. I have no idea where that came from because it’s not eluded to in the blurb. That perceived paranormal element is what persuaded me to read this, otherwise I’d have passed. I don’t care of immature characters of new adult books and I find anything to do with professors boring. In this case, the professor wasn’t boring. He was written in a way that kept him mysterious even when you thought you knew everything about him. There is a darker element hinted about him and I think it’s tied in with his quick fiery temper, but since this isn’t a complete story I don’t know if my assessment is true.
This story is told solely from Penny’s POV and it works well. Her emotional level is on par with a nineteen year old. But there comes a point that I had to separate her experience from being bad actions that she knew was wrong but did it anyway. She’s a sophomore in college who becomes obsessed with Professor Hunter. This is also a love triangle. Tyler is a senior and crushing on Penny, doing everything in his power to win her heart. It’s obvious that Penny likes Tyler but is infatuated with Hunter so she keeps putting him off, claiming only to want him as friend. The lies and secrets multiply and you know at some time the situation will implode. And it does in the last 15% of the book.
A couple of things to take into consideration is that this ends on a cliffhanger without a happy-for-now conclusion. I don’t mind cliffhangers myself. Does appear as if all the books in this series are out so you don’t have to wait to jump into the next one.
Penny’s best friend and roommate made a comment that Penny’s day could’ve been a part of a romantic comedy. The thing about romantic comedies, the main characters are horrible people who do terrible things to others for selfish reasons, and that is reflected here. In an underhanded way, Penny isn’t good or very nice—and she doesn’t even realize it. Other than the lies, when she was angry with Hunter, I hated how she treated Tyler. When Tyler finally found out what was going on and said his peace, I applauded. He’s the only one I felt any compassion for at all. Hunter isn’t any better than she is, and towards the end with the sudden barrage of gifts, I got a creepy vibe I wanted her to run for the hills—which if she was willing to accept some of his lies then you knew she wasn’t going anywhere. But even he had an immature fit, which I should have seen coming. I mean he’s eight years older than she is. He is the experienced adult in the relationship.
Even with all of this, I had a hard time putting the book down during the last half. The build up to their obsession with each other was well done. I say obsession because they had a lot of sex and sneaked around to have sex but they didn’t do anything to get to know each other. Admittedly, he was closed lipped, lying by omission, but even Penny when she was pressed couldn’t see past how sexy he was. The sex was off the charts even though she had a hard time calling Hunter by his first name, James. She was always screaming Professor Hunter which just spoke of her maturity level.
When I finished this, staring at the cliffhanger ending, I contemplated reading book two of the train wreck. Even though the characters weren’t nice people, I still continued with the story to the very end. I discussed the book with my husband and thought a lot about it before writing the review, and there were certain things (how the Comm class wasn’t glossed over) that I liked beyond Tyler’s character. But after I searched for the series and found that this back and forth angsty unhappiness seemed a theme to the series, I decided to give it a pass, especially since it looks like Penny will be involved with Tyler in some way. Nope. I like him too much to make myself watch her stomp all over him.