Learning Curves by Ceillie SimkissLearning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss is a charming novella about finding that one special person you never realized you couldn’t live without.

Elena is a hardworking law student who aspires to work as a family lawyer to help kids who fall into the foster care system. She doesn’t have time for much else, especially a love life.

Cara is working on her MBA and finds herself in the same business law class as Elena. As soon as Cara asks Elena to borrow some lecture notes, they become fast friends.

As they spend more and more time together in the school library, they begin to share the truths that make them each very unique. Will these two young women discover that there is more to life than good grades and class standings?

The Characters

Elena and Cora were so fun to hang out with. They are both delightfully down to earth and they accept each other as is. They each have their own vulnerabilities and it’s lovely to see them support each other unconditionally. I loved Elena’s passion for cooking and I really identified with Cora’s love of libraries and books. For them, a fun Friday night is a few hours of studying in the library followed by a couple of authentic Puerto Rican cocktails. Hello? This summed up my four years of college.

The Writing Style

Simkiss lets this story unfold naturally and I never felt like the plot was missing something because it is a novella rather than a full-length novel. The dialogue is easy going and genuine. Simkiss did a great job making Elena and Cara sound very authentic. Their conversations flow from witty observations about campus life to personal secrets shared in their favorite spot in the library.

The Pros

Can we talk about representation? I love reading about women of color, women with full figures, differently abled women and women who identify outside of the routine LGBT umbrella. These women are the friends who populate my life and make it rich. I don’t look like the typical, gorgeous women who inhabit most romance novels, so it was refreshing to see two women who don’t either.

The Cons

The only con for me was that this was a novella rather than a full-length novel. I wanted more of these lovely ladies.

The Conclusion

I enjoyed this story and I thought it focused on several socially relevant topics without being preachy. It shows how love can blossom from friendship when it is nurtured and protected. It’s an uplifting story in a small package and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read it.

Excerpt from Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss

“Why do you always bring your own books with you?” Elena asked one day when they were working together in the library and Cora pulled a book out of her purse. “We’re literally in a place that has books. For free. Why do you need more?”

Cora’s eyebrows knit together, and she pulled the book closer to her chest protectively.

“The library doesn’t have the right books,” she said with a pout. “This library only has academic stuff. I want fun – magic, dragons, queer people. The works!”

“Okay that’s fair,” Elena admitted. “But why do you read them at the library?”

“I don’t really have anywhere else I need to be,” Cora said with a shrug. “Plus, I like hanging out with you, even if we are just doing classwork.”

Elena tilted her head curiously. Surely there was someone else Cora wanted to hang out with.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781717722342

Ceillie Simkiss Online

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The Rules of Love by Cara Malone







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About the author

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Victoria is a native of Southern California where she lives with her fantastic family. Victoria traded in a career in the television and film industry to become a speech therapist to work with special needs kiddos like her younger daughter. Her passions include film history, Cate Blanchett, neckties, dismantling the patriarchy, and Cate Blanchett. She doesn’t eat mushrooms because they are gross and She prefers dark over milk chocolate. Victoria never leaves the house without her Kindle and she will work for books.