But then she meets Jake, an eager student, young in years but old in soul, who challenges his favorite professor to open up her life, and her heart, to love. It doesn't work. In fact, his urging backfires. Ten years later, Ally's still single. Jake reappears and surprises her in a brand-new role: He's dating Ally's now-grown daughter. In this hilarious, heartrending tale, Ally is finally forced to concede (not only to herself) that an independent, "liberated" woman can still make room in her life for love."
I was intrigued to read this book, as I had spotted it on Netgalley, and was then asked to be part of the blog tour. I decided it would be fun to read something different and see what this was like and I'm pleased that I did. It's written by an American author who used to write for some very successful award winning TV shows, so I certainly had some high hopes for this.
The story is really one of two parts. It follows the one character, Ally Hughes, and takes place over two different periods of her life. The book is told in alternating chapters, one in the present day, and the other about 9 years before when she is a young single mother struggling in her job at university to juggle her work commitments as a professor. Either way, I really liked Ally and found her easy to warm to, and I enjoyed reading her story.
Although the book has a title that is going to grab your attention, the sex part of the book wasn't the main focus for me. Yes, the book does detail some of Ally's sexual encounters, but for me it was the story around her and her relationships that I found more intriguing! That said, the naughtier scenes were well written and portrayed the feeling and physicality very well, they certainly didn't seem out of place in the story, and did serve their purpose for the story well.
I enjoyed reading about Ally because I wanted her to come out of herself, see that she could succeed in her career but allow herself to have a love life and not feel guilty about it as well. This is where I liked reading about her dalliance with one of her former students Jake Bean. The pair really clicked, despite the age gap, and I Enjoyed reading Jake trying to encourage Ally to take a risk and have some fun! The book then cuts back to the present day, where Jake reappears in Ally's life, now called Noah, a famous film star who is still burning a candle for Ally. I was hoping that she would still have feelings for him too and they could have a happy ending, but that seemed a long way off with the appearance of his girlfriend - Ally's daughter Lizzie!
This was another part of the book that I enjoyed reading. The mother/daughter relationship in this book was different to many others I have read - the pair seemed to be very open with each other. Ally is devoted to her daughter, devastated when she wants to have surgery on her nose, and determined to make the best life she can for her clever daughter. It was very touching, especially when Ally showed the lengths she would go to to protect Lizzie, and I felt Moulin really captured the heart of these two women, and their relationship was beautifully written.
Overall this was an enjoyable read, albeit not perhaps the kind of story that I was expecting! It's really a story that encourages you to think that everyone deserves love - we should all make time in our lives for love, much like Jake was encouraging Ally to. Yes, there are a few naughty scenes in the book, but they made Ally and Jakes relationship more real, and certainly livened Ally up a lot! I enjoyed the way the story was split between Ally's past and present, and the parts where we followed Lizzie were certainly eye opening too. Jake was the perfect, strong male lead for the book and I loved reading about him! An enjoyable, thought-provoking read about second