Thursday, April 16, 2015

REVIEW: Fall Semester (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Fall Semester 
Author: Stephanie Fournet
Series: N/A
Pages: 368
Date Published: August 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Kindle
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Despite his stunning good looks, Dr. Malcolm Vashal is perhaps the most detested professor on campus. A floundering career and the aftershocks of a painful divorce have left the 34-year-old with more than a little self-loathing, which only grows when he meets Maren Gardner. The graduate student with the loyal heart and searching eyes is much too good for him. She is off-limits for more reasons than one, but Malcolm can’t seem to resist her. 

Maren is facing the greatest loss of her life, and her family needs her more than ever. Between caring for them and building her future, Maren doesn’t have time for a social life, much less a relationship, but she can’t push a certain green-eyed professor from her mind. She sees in him what others don’t, but that might not be enough.
~My Thoughts~
Ahhh...the old teacher and student love fiasco! A tried and true, classic trope of the romance genre. What is it about sexy schoolgirls that older men find so alluring? And just what is it about the learned, handsome and powerful professor that gives college co-eds the butterflies? 

While this book was a romance, there were a lot of darker and more somber themes at play during the course of the novel that rather deepened the experience. Malcolm was deeply unhappy with his life and the way that he was living. He contemplated suicide and was desperate to find a new way to be happy. Maren was dealing with her father's impending death and all the grief, guilt, pressure, etc. that comes with such a tragic life event. Both of them were desperate to escape in their own ways, and it seemed easy to escape into each other. 

Malcolm was very hard to understand and analyze. He was sort of bipolar, in the mercurial way that English professors sometimes are. He would be, on one occasion, warm and inviting and seemingly happy. Then, mere moments later, he would be in a blackened pit of despair. I get that he's unhappy with how his life has ended up, but I got the feeling that he could have done well with a strong dose or prozac or xanax or something... 

While there was a degree of "insta-love" that I don't like, at least in these two character's experiences it could be understandable. The story really got rolling after the first half and I found myself really enjoying it. 
~Try an Excerpt!~
I don’t need this.

But he made no move to go, to even stand. He looked at the girl in the bed, and the thought of returning to his car and driving home seemed airless, crushing.

You can’t possibly think…

But some part of him told that voice to clam up. As though he were leafing through a reference book, Malcolm consciously tried to draw to mind every encounter he’d had with Maren Gardner and explore it carefully. He remembered their first meeting, her abrupt introduction at the beginning-of-term mixer. Had it been abrupt? Or had she just been exceedingly warm to talk to a joyless prick like himself? He remembered her telling him about her father and, what was it? Pancreatic cancer? Malcolm felt heat rise to his face. Had he said even one civil word? One word of comfort?

He remembered that she had included him at Bisbano’s, surely despite the general mood of her peers. She had poured him a glass of beer before filling her own. She had asked him if he was happy.

He recalled passing her on the stairs with Helene Coulter and the altercation later with Jess Dalton at the bookstore. She had been protecting her friend from him.

And I’d wondered if she was a lesbian. Malcolm knew that even his ungenerous thoughts at the time had been something else. He had been curious about her, ever-aware of her, noticing her nervousness before the reading she’d given.

Then the conference had been upon them. His urge to attack Dalton had been more than chivalrous. It had been primal. It had been territorial. Something inside of him had already claimed her. There had been no choice, no deliberation. The thing was done. He had to admit that it had been that way for weeks.  
~Meet Stephanie!~
Stephanie Fournet lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college, teaching AP English, or running. She loves hearing from fans, so you can follow her on Facebook, message her on Goodreads, or email her at
Stephanie Fournet will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.


  1. Very interesting excerpt. The review was honest and good.

    1. Thanks, MomJane. If memory serves, you posted a review of LEGACY, right?

  2. I found your thoughts helpful thank you.

  3. I liked Andra's review. I tend to like dark romance. I enjoyed the excerpt. It's on my TBR list. Blessings and Thanks to all.

  4. Thanks Mary. Lawri, I hope you enjoy it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  5. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

  6. I think it does matter. I first released FALL SEMESTER as an ebook with a different cover--which you can find on Goodreads--and when I ran a Kickstarter campaign to publish in print, I had a design team help with this one, and my sales went up significantly. I really love this cover.

  7. thank you for the chance to win :)

  8. Not sure what happened to my first comment, but thanks for hosting. I'll check comments and answer questions throughout the day.

  9. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  10. Thanks, Rita. In this scene, Malcolm has just driven Maren home from campus after she falls ill with the flu. He realizes that he has feelings for her, and he's conflicted--to say the least!

  11. "... Between caring for them and building her future, Maren doesn’t have time for a social life, much less a relationship...." Can definitely relate....

    1. Can't we all, Laney4? And yet, Malcolm is still pretty irresistible.

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks,Glenda! You can find a free sample here:

  13. I love that the authors books are written in an area not far where she is in fact living in LA

  14. I enjoyed the excerpt and love the mini bio it really is a liitle look into the author and I love that fact that Stephanie is helping kids in college - very caring and worthwhile :)

  15. Question for the author: Do your students ever read your books?

  16. Enjoyed reading the review and excerpt