Title: Broken Silence (Rock Bottom #1)
Author: Felice Stevens
Publisher: Self publishing
Release Date: May 13, 2019
Genre(s): Forbidden Romance, Teacher/Student
Page Count: 275 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Justin Molina has secrets. He’s served his time but remains a prisoner of his past, unable to forgive himself for failing his family when they needed him most. Justin’s grief is overwhelming, but he keeps silent and focuses on his goals. About to graduate college, he tries to keep his head above water—no matter how many times life keeps knocking him down. When he’s forced to register for a poetry-writing class, Justin discovers putting words to his feelings might be exactly what his fractured heart needs to heal. Or is it the older professor with the bow ties and gentle smile who gives him a chance when no one else will?
Professor Foster Faraday Harding is a broken man. His divorce is final, and he’s reverted back to the safety of his books. Even his poetry no longer brings him joy; he’s sleepwalking through life. The raw emotion of Justin’s poetry awakens Foster to desires he thought long buried in the ashes of his marriage. When he discovers Justin is struggling financially, Foster offers him a solution that benefits both of them. Soon it’s Foster who’s struggling with emotions he can’t understand: Justin is his student. And a man. One crazy night years earlier doesn’t mean anything. Foster is straight.
After months of denying the growing attraction between them, an unexpected kiss changes everything. Justin and Foster are no longer only professor and student—they’ve become lovers, but the strain of hiding their relationship increases with each passing day. Words have the power not only to hurt but to heal the greatest pain. If Foster and Justin listen to what their hearts are saying, they might break through their silence and live their own love poems—together.
This was a really good read. It is a book about two men from two different lifestyles and upbringings. Their relationship is forbidden because one man is a senior in college and the other man is his professor. But love is love no matter if forbidden or not. Though it will not be easy for these two men, both have personal issues to work through, but if they do they could have it all and so much more.
Justin is a senior in college. He is on the path to being the first one in his family to graduate college but this does not happen without a lot of hardship. He has not always been on the path he is on now. He did a year in jail for stealing in order to get the stuff his dad needed to ease his cancer treatments. When he was caught the courts were not forgiving and so he was sent to prison for it. While in prison his father passed away and his mom was in a accident that left her in a wheelchair. So life has not been kind to Justin. Even now in order to help his mom and to be able to survive himself while trying to finish school, Justin has to have three part time jobs to provide for his mom and himself.
On the first day of class, in a class Justin did not want to take, poetry, Justin sees the professor and thinks to himself how sexy the older man is. But Justin knows that would never happen but he could still look at the eye candy each day and make the class hopefully pass by quicker. The professor is Harding.
When Harding seen Justin in his class the first day, he knew there was something different about the tattooed sexy guy but he thought he was one of those privileged kids that tries to act as if he is not. But as time passes in class he realizes Justin has a true talent for writing poetry even if Justin does not appear to think so.
As the semester continues, Harding finds himself slowly getting to know Justin better after bumping into him several times outside of class. After once again seeing him at the restaurant Justin works at, Harding becomes concerned when he does not show up for class the next day. When Harding sees him next he finds out Justin was fired and is looking again for another job. Without much thought to it Harding offers Justin a job as his personal assistant. After consideration Justin accepts.
This is where things slowly begin to cross the line. Things are not easy because Harding is not gay. Justin has so many responsibilities. And there is a lot of internal wars going on with in both men. What is going to happen when the line becomes blurred between them and it becomes a point that they will not be able to turn back?
This was such a great read. I loved the love story between these two men and I was extremely happy to see this is the first book in a series. I hope two other characters in this book, Benny and Ross, will both get stories as well because from the appearances and what little was said about the two, I believe there is a story there for each of them. Felice Stevens did an incredible job on this book and I look forward to more books in the future.