Third Degree by Julie Cross (Book Review)
I signed up to read/review Third Degree by Julie Cross not having an iota of expectation and it surprised me in the best possible way. Not only was I rewarded with an impromptu trip down memory lane, but I learned some pretty interesting tidbits regarding women’s health. One such tip was that women should always visit the restroom and relieve their bladder after having intimate relations to avoid getting a UTI (those hurt like a mofo). My only hope was that the plot wouldn’t turn out to be some recycled insta-lust/love romance to the add to the ever-growing pile. As much as I love my romance books, I expect a fresh experience every time I dive into a read. This book delivered that and then some, I highly recommend it! Check out the blurb and my review below.
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.
*ARC Provided by FLIRT Random House Publishing via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*
*4 Blast From the Past Delightful Stars!*
Brilliant. Gifted. Genius. All adjectives that adequately though partially describe 18 year old prodigy, Isabel Jenkins M.D. The highly driven teen entered medical school at the ripe age of 16, now nearly 19 she continues to trailblaze her path to become a successful surgeon. With her sights set on Johns Hopkins for her residency nothing can stand in her way except for herself. Having been immersed in all things academia for the better part of her years left little time for socializing and leading a so-called normal teen life. The end result being a socially inept, stone cold, diagnosing ace with little empathy when communicating with patients. Think Doogie Howser M.D. with the social finesse and bedside manner of House M.D. Life wasn’t always so straight and narrow for Isabel. Orphaned as a 3 month old, she bounced around foster homes until finally landing in the loving hands of her adoptive parents (a heart surgeon and a science teacher). Following in the footsteps of her father, she’s determined to make her dream a reality.
Failure is a notion Isabel is not accustomed to, especially when it comes to a not-so-trivial psychobabble emotional readiness evaluation. Shocking as it was, the failure threw a wrench in her seemingly solid future. Luckily, she was given the opportunity to be re-evaluated in 6 months. Not one to waste time, Isabel quickly enrolled in a college to improve her social skills and live a little. What better way to build bonds with your cohorts then by taking in the full college experience. Instead of figuring out what disease a patient had, her biggest worries now included navigating the choppy waters of befriending her roommate, maintaining a healthy diet (one that wouldn’t eventually clog her arteries), hot guys and an even hotter RA.
Enter Marshall Collins, resident assistant/advisor and the object of Isabel’s attraction. Rumored to be a great kisser and an all around great guy, he quickly gains her interest. Unfortunately she gains his attention for all the wrong reasons. It’s not advisable to take DNA samples from your roommate’s overnight hookup, as it certainly won’t place you on the path to becoming bffs. This is especially the case if you want to hide the fact that you’re a brainiac teen doctor. The only person privy to the secret is Marshall, thanks to his prior knowledge of who Izzy is. Having been her mother’s student, Marshall has a better understanding of Izzy’s personality and offers a helping hand in exploring and overcoming her social inadequacies. Little did he know that by helping her, they’d become close and he’d eventually need her medical expertise.
While begrudgingly acclimating to college life, Isabel discovers something that threatens the only stable thing in her life. Her parents are getting a divorce and so begins her downward spiral that leads to a painful revelation about her past, one connected to her birth mother. Not only is her current home falling apart, she also seems to be following the same path that led to her mother’s descent and death. Isabel’s intellect and drive are characteristics that link her to her birth mother and she fears she’ll end up similarly fated.
Can Isabel finally shed her social misfit identity with Marshall’s help? More importantly, can she allow herself to feel and walk away having gained the key to pass her test? Will Marshall finally trust someone enough to open up about his affliction?
Third Degree by Julie Cross was a welcomed throwback reading experience. It took me a hot second to get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t get enough. The story was quite unique with its medical aspect, altogether different and nicely written. I found Izzy to be endearingly awkward, while Marshall was a breath of fresh air as the love interest. I enjoy hot alpha males but Marshall had a vulnerability to him that made me fall in love and root for his and Izzy’s inevitable relationship to prevail. His family was awesome and I enjoyed reading their small part. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Third Degree and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a cute, fun read with a side of medical jargon porn. As random as this may sound, I have a newfound appreciation of my gastrointestinal tract.
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