Book Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

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Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
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5 STARS

When I decided to start a book blog, I knew immediately that Losing It would be my first review. It just had to be. Popping my review-cherry with a book about a girl who's trying to lose her virginity? Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. And this isn't just about a college girl's desperate mission for sex. This is also about how said mission actually leads her to a hot guy, and how hot guy turns out to be hot teacher. Based on the blurb alone, do you see how much FUN this is going to be?!

Author Cora Carmack drops us into the life of Bliss Edwards. Bliss is a theatre major, but she's also a control freak and an over-thinker. It's her last semester of college, and Typical Mom is always hounding her about finding Future Husband already. Enter best friend Kelsey. She's the much more brazen counterpart to insecure Bliss, and the swift kick in the butt that puts Operation: Find Sexual Sword into motion.
"If you're not gay and it's not about Jesus, then it's just a matter of finding the right guy, or should I say...the right sexual sword."
I adored Kelsey immediately. Her sass hooks you in and sets the tone for all the entertaining back-and-forth amongst friends throughout the book.

Quite the tenacious wing-woman, Kelsey starts the BFFs' night out at Stumble Inn bar and with four shots of tequila...then it doesn't take long for Bliss to be the right combination of tipsy and nervous wreck. This is where I gave the book its first shiny golden star, for the awkward turmoil brewing away in Bliss's mind. Oh, the things she says to herself!
That was when I noticed him.
Well, technically, I noticed the book first.
And I just couldn't keep my mouth closed.
And what a first meeting. He's sitting all alone...beautiful, blue-eyed, and British (!!!). She starts a conversation innocently enough, but then his curiosity and interest become pretty obvious. The initial banter is candid, witty, and loaded with chemistry. (Three words: Shakespeare. Reason. Passion.)
"I don't care what we do, as long as you stay."
His name is Garrick. And yes, you will want to stay. Garrick is a refreshing breath of charming and irresistible. He's confident, knows exactly what to say, and is incredibly smooth. So smooth. But then they leave the bar together...then...that's when things make a sharp turn at Oh Sh-- & Say What Now. The night unravels into a steamy, sexy, sweet...crazy, and ridiculous mess.
This was God telling me that I was meant to be a nun. Get thee to a nunnery, and all that crap.
Only about 25 pages in, folks, and I've laughed, swooned, and face-palmed. I went from feeling butterflies to having my face locked in a horrified expression mere seconds later. It was. Fantastically. Ridiculous. As you read this book, you learn that it's a routine repeated often and what makes this story so damn fun.
I finished with a smile that I hoped said, This is no big deal. I'm sure it actually looked like I'm a crazy person, run now while you can!
Alas, their evening is cut short. And those scenes are a disaster best experienced by reading them yourself. ;) ...Okay, okay, one hint: motorcycle burn. (Okay, okay, okay, two hints: CATS?!?) 

Well. At least she'll never see him again. Right? Oooh-ho-ho-oh, no. This is not that kind of shindig. The next morning, hungover and still feeling the effects of shame's cruel sting, Bliss heads to her first class with Kelsey. There, the girls recognize a very familiar face at the front of the room.
The new professor was staring at me, even though everyone was clapping and he probably should have been waving or at the very least smiling. Our eyes met, and suddenly I was very glad I'd already set down my coffee.
*Cue all high-pitch squeeeeeeeee-ing!* Oh, but we KNEW this moment was coming! We were expecting this ever since we finished reading the description on the back of the book, right?! Her hot guy is actually her hot new theatre professor!!! Well...the build up is THAT GOOD that the reveal still hits you. You still feel the rush of panic and mortification right along with Bliss. Where do they go from here?? What should happen next?

We get a chance to see Garrick as "Mr. Taylor." Including a scene with a particularly angry Mr. Taylor...;) He may be young, but inside their classroom, he's certainly believable as a teacher. It's just enough "taboo" to make your heart flutter, but not so much that it distracts.

As production on the end-of-the-year play begins, Bliss's spirit and passion for theatre steadily reveals itself. I loved seeing her actress side, the part of her that's actually pretty strong and not a fumbling mess. It's definitely one of the keys to believing the "stud falls for awkward girl" tale and the attraction that draws Garrick and Bliss together. And, while the instinct to stay away from each other kicks in at first, their chemistry just can't stay buried for long.
A whispered "Bliss..." was all the warning I had before his lips were on mine.
He didn't look sorry. He looked like he wanted to do it again.
This. This is it. What keeps you on your toes and from ever wanting to put the book down. Secret meetings and hurried encounters that make you weak in the knees and sweep you off your feet. You can't help but hold your breath whenever they give in, even if it's just for a fleeting second.
He smiled, "Nothing."
Then he pressed me into the computer table behind me and kissed me...and then he had me lifted up onto the table, his hips fitted between my open thighs, his mouth burning against my own.
There are sweet, genuine moments. (If a guy ever brought me a burger/salad/pizza dinner to cheer me up, I'd fall pretty hard too.) Then, there are the I-just-flapped-the-book-in-the-air-and-made-a-weird-squeal-giggle-noise moments. (Like the dancing. Ooh the dancing. And the "going slow." Yes.)

Of course, though, curve balls are thrown and this secret couple finds themselves in some truly crap situations.  Those were the parts when I straight up looked like Grumpy Cat. Groaning no no no nooo, and pointing my finger See! See what you did! Tempers flare, guts are thoroughly punched, and a best friend gets hurt in the worst way. But one of the many "rules" of book-love? Endure the angsty roller coaster because the reunion makes it worth it! There are unfortunate misunderstandings and bad breakups. (Yup. Plural.) Luckily, an outbreak of mono comes to save the day. (Yup. Mono.) The most romantic bout with mono. Ever.
"I couldn't just leave you...I stayed with you."
"But why?"
"Do you really have to ask?"

Okay. Now I have to stop. I have to. So you can go buy this book, read it, and see why I'm so obsessed with it!

There's a bittersweet feeling as the story winds down, but it all wraps up nicely. College is over! (I melted during the Last Opening Night scene with Bliss and her friends.) But for Garrick and Bliss? All the stolen moments, the angst, the reveals...it all leads to an amazing payoff absolutely worth the wait!

Garrick and Bliss are a 5 star book-love! She's awkward, he's anything but, and you will love every squirm-and-squeal-inducing moment they have together. The dialogue made this book for me. The language and delivery really made every scene. This is college after all! Sometimes funny, sometimes sexy, and sometimes a bit over-the-top messy!

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SERIES ORDER - BUY ON AMAZON

Keeping Her (Losing It novella)
Seeking Her (Finding It novella)

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FAVORITE LINES & QUOTES

Sex rolled off the man in waves, and I was surprised to find how interested I was in learning how to swim.
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"So...you're in college."
"So...you're not."
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"You cannot call me Mr. Taylor."
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"We want what we can't have. It's human nature."
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The kiss was just like any other kiss at first...and then suddenly it wasn't...His lips moved against mine feverishly, desperately, like the world was about to end and this was his last chance at happiness. 
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I loved that moment before. It was the height of anticipation and hope. It was like diving off a cliff, knowing that what would come after was terrifying and beautiful and the point of living. 
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He smiled, and I knew...I was in trouble. 
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Hope...it was such a motherfucker.
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At least my education was getting put to some use, even if I never managed to do anything else with it. It had taught me how to lie.
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Sometimes saying the first thing that came to mind went well. Sometimes simple and honest worked the best.

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MORE GARRICK MOMENTS

His hand once again settled in the small of my back, and he whispered in the dark, "Lead the way, love."
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"That's why you kissed me, isn't it? All you American girls seem to love accents."
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"Tell me I'm not crazy," he said. "Tell me I can kiss you."  
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His lips were right by my ear when he answered, "I don't mind the dark."
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"Because I hate to break it to you guys, but the hardest part about this business isn't landing roles or making ends meet, though that is difficult. The hardest thing is keeping up your spirits and remembering why you chose this in the first place."
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He smiled cheekily. "What? Just because I can't have you right now, doesn't mean I'm okay with him having you."
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"I keep telling myself to leave you alone, but the truth is...I'm not sure I can."
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"I'm saying I like you. I'm saying I don't give a damn that I'm your teacher."
Then he kissed me.
"Garrick, this is crazy."
"I like crazy."
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"Are you going to put me in your phone under some secret code name so that no one knows who I am when I text you dirty things?"
My eyes widened. "Are you planning to text me dirty things?"
His eyes danced with amusement, and that blinding grin was back on his face. "I'm not ruling it out."
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I turned, and his other hand touched my thigh. "Wait."
"You. Are. Unbelievably. Sexy." His voice was so low it rumbled...He leaned down and punctuated each word with a chaste kiss up the side of my thigh.
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Between laughs, Garrick pressed a sweet kiss to my forehead.
Maybe ridiculous wasn't so bad.
"We're kind of a mess."
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"Thank you," he mumbled.
"You're welcome. But to be fair, you did take care of me first."
His eyes were closed, but he smiled. "You're better at it."
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He said, "I'm sorry."
"For what?
"For leaving you alone at all...For being too stubborn to tell you I missed you. I'm sorry."
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"I like your crazy talk. Better yet, I love your crazy talk. It's settled. I'm no longer falling. I am definitely in love with you. That's not too much, is it?" His grin was blinding and so mocking...and it was the best kind of "too much."