Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Title: Third Degree
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Flirt
Expected Release Date: March 25, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
eBook, 240 pages

ARC provided by NetGalley

Book Blurb

Fans of Monica Murphy and Tammara Webber will savor this New Adult novel—a story about coming of age in the heat of the moment—from Julie Cross, the internationally bestselling author of the Tempest trilogy.

I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.

But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.

Book Review

This is my first Julie Cross book. And it will not be my last.

Isabel Jenkins is a character that is hard to warm up to at first. She is an intern with a brilliant mind. One that recall minute details the rest of us "normal" people cannot. She is a gifted diagnostician, able to put the medical pieces of a puzzle together and diagnose a person's medical condition. She is confident she will get into her hospital of choice, John Hopkins, for her residency.

But after Isabel fails the psych evaluation portion of her internship, she finds out that no hospital wants her.

Shuffled from foster home to foster home shortly after her birth, Isabel is adopted at age five by loving parents. Her father is a skilled cardiothoracic surgeon, her mother a biology teacher. All her life, Isabel has never formed any personal attachments or experienced the normal milestones that a typical teen faces. So her recent denial into any residency program has left her afloat for the next six months before she can re-take her psych evaluation.

Isabel decides to re-enroll in college to experience all the milestones she missed out on. But the adjustment is hard--disconcerting-as she tries to "loosen up" and act like an eighteen year old. She doesn't know how to act around her peers and she flounders as a freshmen. But the RA at her dorm, Marshall Collins, doesn't seem to mind her brainy banter or her awkwardness.

Marshall is determined for Isabel to experience all college life has to offer: creating a fake ID, cheating on a test, drinking alcohol, etc. He creates a curriculum filled with lessons to help Isabel develop an understanding of what it means to be young. And along the way, the two friends become more intimate--something Isabel has never been with anyone.

More importantly, Marshall teaches her the meaning of love.

Third Degree does throw out a lot of medical jargon, but coming from a nursing background, I felt right at home. I loved reading about Isabel as she struggled with her pent-up emotions, recognized that medicine is more than just scientific data, and realized that emotions are permitted--all of it kept me glued to the page.

And Marshall, who was dealing with his own secret, was a character you could laugh with, cry with, and fight with. He made my heart hurt. His courage and strength was amazing, his vulnerability tear-jerking. Third Degree is sexy, poignant, humorous, and real.

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