Professed: A New & Naughty Romance by Nicola Rendell – Book Review

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Book Cover, Professed, by Nicola RendellAt a secret masked ball at Yale, Naomi Costa is literally swept off her stiletto-blistered feet by a man with a killer jawline, a perfect body, and an even-better kiss. They bust out of an emergency exit and have axis-shaking sex. He pours whiskey in her belly button and after they run out of condoms, they have to get creative. That kind of sex.

The next day, she learns that he is none other than Dr. Benjamin Beck, a brand new member of the Yale faculty and the hottest thing to happen to academia since… well, ever. She has to take his damned junior seminar to graduate, but it gets worse. He’s also her College Master: her boss, her advisor, her everything. And he’s just moved in, right downstairs.

They can’t stay away from each other. They’re either fusion or fission or both. They’re making out in libraries, hiding notes between stones, and sneaking off to nautically themed AirBnbs. Hear that sound? It’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames.

If they’re found out, he’ll lose his job and his reputation. She’ll lose her scholarship and be forced to return to the life of lobster fishing that she thought she’d escaped.

And they will be found out, yes they will.

So what the hell are they going to do?

Before you read Professed…

To the reader: Things get damned dirty in this book. The characters curse, the sex gets explicit. It’s an erotic love story with fury. Be advised.

Other tasters’ notes: HEA. Sweet. Funny. Dirty. Muddy. Wet. Inspired by a real professor.

My Review…5 Sizzling Stars

Here are two of the hundred or so reasons I fell in love with Professed, especially its conflicted hero, Professor Benjamin Beck:

“… Now more than ever, reading her words, feeling that most intimate part of her here, I know one thing is true. I need to be with her. I have to get to her. I need to know her, really and truly know her. Love her, lust after her, understand her, embrace her … F*** the rules … Hear that sound? That’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames. She’s in my heart, and I’m withering away without her.”

“She’s let loose this great passion in me, this thing I never knew existed, this rolling angry volcano that wants to create and destroy, to take over and make new. To need and want and believe. She’s leveled me, and in this new wave of Ben Beck, he’s hanging on so tight it’s…f***ing terrifying. Fighting against the need to not be alone anymore.”

These passages blew me away, not simply because every woman would love to hear them, but because they perfectly illustrate the transformation of a man who didn’t know he needed anything beyond his nihilistic philosophy to keep him warm at night. For Benjamin Beck, believing in nothing is easy; it’s safe. It demands nothing. It insulates you from emotional pain and disappointment.

There’s a reason Ben embraced this theory of a meaningless existence. At an early age, poor and essentially alone, life handed him lemons, so he made the proverbial lemonade. Years later, he wrote a bestselling book that earned him a prestigious appointment to the Philosophy Department at an Ivy League University, recently rocked by a scandal. He’s there to get everything back on track. Nihilism is his ticket, his philosophy, his way of life, and it serves him well.

Until it doesn’t.

When this soon-to-be University Master receives a mysterious invitation to a hedonistic celebration on the eve of his new career, he’s too intrigued to refuse. He dons a mask, grabs a glass of Absinthe, and plans to enjoy his last night of freedom with uncharacteristically reckless abandon. Across the crowded crypt (yes, it’s a crypt), he discovers another masked stranger — a woman who stirs his darkest, most compelling fantasies. Their attraction is immediate, unstoppable, irresponsible – and best of all, anonymous. In the spirit of the occasion, they escape to fulfill those fantasies in a sexcapade that lasts from dusk til dawn. And he wants more. They both do.

It’s only later, at the worst possible moment, he discovers that his fantasy woman isn’t the law student she claimed to be. She’s a philosophy major, a junior, at his university. Forbidden fruit. Another scandal waiting to happen.

She’s mortified, he’s terrified. But once ignited, theirs is a passion that knows no rules. He can’t will himself to stay away, and she doesn’t want to give him up. So they find any and every way possible to keep their feelings contained…until they can’t. And when they give in – they take the reader to heaven, and hell, and back.

I could go on about how right it is, and how wrong it is, but you need to experience this story for yourself. The passion between them is truly a force of nature. Their clandestine encounters are so hot, you may need gloves to hold your copy of Professed. Their burning desire for each other is the stuff that fantasies are made of, and just may take your breath away. And then there’s the suspense. As a reader, you know it’s only a matter of time before their secret is out, and all hell breaks loose. As one who lives for a happy-ever-after, I could barely stand to turn the page as the pressure intensified to its breaking point. But I couldn’t put it down, so I grabbed the Kleenex and hung on for dear life.

This is not merely a story of compelling sexual attraction; it’s a profound love story — a revelation for both characters that leaves them reeling – and takes the reader on the ultimate romantic thrill-ride. It’s emotional. It’s funny, sassy, smart, dirty, muddy, and everything in between. I can’t wait to see what Nicola brings us next when one of the best characters in Professed, Lucy, gets her own story.

Thank you, Nicola, for making my summer sizzle. Bring on Confessed!

A Teaser with a quote from Professed by Nicola Rendell

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Sexy B&W photo and quote from Professed, by Nicola Rendell


I need to drink whiskey from that belly button. Screw every other idea I’ve ever had. Jack Daniels. Belly button. Naomi. That’s the only fucking philosophical logic I will ever need.

She’s still on the heels of her orgasm, and I want to leave her there just like she is, but I have to take her with me. I have to keep her close. I hook my head under her bound wrists and take her off the bed to bring her with me as we kiss—because I cannot stop kissing her, will not stop kissing her. With my hand behind me, I fling open the minibar and fumble around blind. Chips, nuts, pretzels, what is that, a roll of Mentos?

Jack Daniels, where the hell are you?

Grabbing what feels like the right little bottle, I turn to look down. Gin. I toss it towards the desk. Second try, and bingo. I’ve got it.

But I’m going to have to let go of her to open this damned bottle. Proof that the world is an unfair and unkind place. It’ll have to be done. I let go of her face, and it makes her moan, but she doesn’t pull away. Instead, she grips onto the back of my neck with my tie and hangs on even tighter through the kiss.

As I crack the lid, her eyes widen, inches from mine. I feel her cheeks rise as she smiles. With one last dip into her mouth, I force myself to break the kiss, ducking down to get my head out from under her bound arms.

We stand there staring at one another for an instant. Her pupils dilate, and that’s when I press her to the bed. “Hope you’re not ticklish.”

Even as she lands with a cushy thunk on the mattress, she’s giving me that all-trouble smile. She scoots back towards the pillows, her long black hair a gorgeous tangle behind her, the same color as my tie. There’s a tan line at her stomach, and it’s killing me.

“So ticklish. But I can take it.”

 I lie down at a right angle to her body, with my cheek to her stomach. I can smell her wetness in the air and on my fingers.

“Ready?” I ask. I sink my cheek deeper into her skin. God, this skin. God damn, this superfine skin. I tip the bottle towards her stomach.

“Ready,” she says. I feel her whole body quiver. The ticklish before the tickle is the agony of agonies.

When the whiskey hits her, she grips my hair tight. For one second, I resist all temptation: I watch it all unfold. The whiskey shivers, her body shivers, and then the shivers come out as a jagged gasp.

I lick it off, and she squirms and sucks air through her teeth. I suck it from her and growl into her body. Her feet hook around my calves. I move to her nipples, dribble on a few drops and smear them around with my tongue. I move to that perfect little depression at the base of her neck. Straight-up Naomi. Fucking heaven. Her skin, that hair, her sounds, the way her body moves under my mouth? Lemonade, when it’s too hot for anything else? I can still feel my first orgasm deep in my cock, but I’m hard again. She’s not only wrecked all my philosophies. She’s turned me into a goddamned teenager.

I grab a condom, from my wallet this time, and tear it open. “We’re going to need more of these.”

But she shakes her head into the pillows. She holds my stare as she slides her hands all over her body, red polish on porcelain. “Put it here. Put it everywhere.”

Christ. It’s official. I’ve been pussywhipped in record time.

And I don’t even know her last name.

A Graphic from Professed, by Nicola Rendell

Professed-Quote and Photo Teaser


13697174_228837484181436_2824156869479076811_n (1)Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.

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Erotic photo and quote from Professed, by Nicola Rendell

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Professed, a sexy quote and photo teaser

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Paula Radell

Always a passionate reader and a somewhat more casual writer, Paula Radell started her first book review and promotions blog, Curl Up and Read, in September of 2013. In early 2014, she left a career in nursing to become a freelance project management consultant. She also turned her part-time hobby into a full-time passion by becoming a freelance editor, publicist, and a hopeful author. She is a Goodreads Librarian, Group Moderator, and a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has also taken advanced internet and social media marketing certificate courses at the University of San Francisco. Born and raised near the beaches of southeastern Virginia, Paula now lives in Mendocino County, California with her husband Ray, a couple of stray tabby cats, Matthew & Diana, and a 2-year old rescue Greyhound, Willow. When she is not catering to the dog’s every whim, touring and tasting the latest California sparkling wine vintages with Ray, or sitting in Starbucks reading a great book, you can find Paula at her laptop – writing, editing, reviewing or avidly promoting the books and authors she loves. Two releases are planned in the coming year: Where Angels Lie, a dark romance; and an inspirational novella (name still under debate).

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