The Dean's List

Kelly Collins
The Dean's List
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Release Date
September 2018
Book 1 of Making the Grade
Contemporary Romance

She's a high-class escort. He's a heartbroken client. Falling in love was never in the contract…

Grad student River Roberts is at the head of her class. But outside of the lecture hall, she's struggling to make ends meet. Refusing to let her diploma slip through her fingers, she joins a secret student society that caters to the wealthy alumni's deepest desires. But when she starts to fall for a handsome client, she realizes she never factored in the price her heart would pay.

After his wife's death, Jonathan Ferris fills his waking hours with high-powered acquisitions and commodity trading. But no amount of cold hard cash can keep him warm at night. Consumed by loneliness, he turns to his alma mater's escort service. But his passionate encounters with a co-ed who's as smart as she is sexy make him wonder if there's something more between them than money.

With graduation fast approaching, can River and Jonathan see past the price tag and open their hearts to true love?

The Dean's List is the first standalone novel in the steamy Making the Grade romance series. If you like secret societies, sizzling sex scenes, and forbidden love affairs, then you'll adore Kelly Collins' irresistible read.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Oct 22, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
46 people found the following review helpful
In The Dean's List, we are given a glimpse into the life of a high-class escort. The Dean's List is a program where the alumni of a certain university mentors the graduate students in exchange for um, favors. It could be conversation, companionship or whatever else the mentors want and the graduates are willing to give. And that is saying it euphemistically, because we know what most men want when in that situation.

I believe the author didn't write this to titillate readers, because there really is a romance story at heart with believable internal conflict. River struggled with her feelings, her moral compass and what in essence she's offering to the men, especially when she finds herself falling for one of the men. Initially, she went into the trade because she needed money to pay her debts and living expenses, but at the end, she had to decide whether what she's giving up in exchange for money is worth it or not. Throughout the story, River was adamant that the experience wouldn't change who she essentially is, yet how could she not be changed? How could one engage in the trade without coming out different at the end of it?

That this story is written in the first person point of view made it more immediate and impactful. What would you do if you were in River's shoes?

While River (and others like her) entered the trade due to desperation for funds and there seemed to be more than a fair exchange with the mentors who might give them something intangible like letters of recommendation in their chosen fields, connections, etc, there's still a seedy undertone to the whole exchange that I can't quite shake.

That said, I did feel a need to suspend some disbelief while reading this story. As River kept saying, this ain't Pretty Woman.

Overall, I found this story to be engrossing and thought-provoking. I'm interested to continue reading Luca's story (the guy escort) and maybe even Sandra's (the "Madame"), as I'm interested to know what reasons she could have to justify creating The Dean's List, other than that she found a niche.
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September 22, 2020 09:35 PM ( EST )