Winter Jacket by Eliza LentzskiWinter Jacket by Eliza Lentzski is about Elle Graft, a woman prepared for just about anything in her first position as Associate Professor. Except for how to deal with a crush on a student.

The Characters

I love Elle Graft. She’s smart and professional, but she also has a wild streak that comes through at some of the most interesting times, especially if it pertains to Hunter. I love reading about Elle and knowing that as a professor, when everyone thinks you are perfect in your authority, she’s really not. She is perfectly flawed, and Lentzski does a great job of making the reader feel compassion for her at all the right moments.

Hunter is not the typical college student. In fact, I would say she is more of an old soul, and it’s because of that I’m not surprised Elle is attracted to her. Hunter is smart, funny, and brave in her pursuits. She knows exactly what, and who, she wants and she while she’s terrified to go after it, she takes the initiative and does what she needs to do to get it.

The supporting cast is there mostly in Elle’s friends, Troian and her wife, Nikole. They are great soundboards for both Hunter and Elle while they navigate their relationship. All people should have friends like this.

The Writing Style

The entire story is told from the first person perspective of Elle Graft. I usually shy away from first person writing, but Lentzski does it with a grace that has me feeling sympathy for the character by revealing so much of her inner feelings. She’s able to do this with a steady pace that never feels slow or idle, which is a strong and valuable aspect in her writing style that has me continuously reading until the wee hours of the morning because I don’t want to pause for a second to find out what happens to these beloved characters.

The Pros

What I really liked about this story was how Lentzski took what is normally considered a taboo subject and created a very dynamic, romantic, and erotic relationship. She doesn’t shy away from the possible negative ramifications that could arise when Elle and Hunter first start their relationship. But she does it in a way that allows the characters to stay true to themselves and their morals, and also be happy together. I also feel telling the story from Elle’s POV allows the reader to really see the inner struggle she wrestles with being Hunter’s former teacher and really get a sense of all she could lose if she pursues this the wrong way, along with trying to be a good girlfriend to Hunter. The chemistry never once feels forced between these two. And the sex is so real between them that I nearly forgot that I was reading a story and thought I was actually in the room.

The Cons

At the time when I first read this book, the only con I had was that I wanted more of these two characters. Luckily, Lentski listened to her fans because this is Book I in a four book series.

The Conclusion

This was the first book I ever read by Lentzski, and it made me a fan of hers for life. Her writing is very organic in the development of the characters personally, as well as their feelings for each other. She has a good grasp on the evolution of relationships and has great instinct on when the pacing should speed up or slow down. This book, to me, is the flagship of her novels and should be read first if you’re looking for a new favorite author to add to your collection.

Excerpt from Winter Jacket by Eliza Lentzski

[Hunter] turned to me and gave me a warm, brilliant smile. “Thanks for saving me tonight.”

“Anytime, Hunter.”

I felt confident about going in for a hug. We’d spent all night talking to each other after all, and I was naturally hug-y.

She must have misinterpreted my intentions, because as I leaned in for a hug, her arms weren’t the only things touching me. I realized her lips were pressed against mine. The kiss was short-lived, however, before she realized her mistake. When she pulled back, I’m sure the confusion was writ large on my face.

“Oh my god,” she hastily mumbled. “I’m so sorry.”

I was too startled to form complete sentences. “No. It’s. No, don’t worry about it.”

She grabbed her bag form the table. I noticed, how, for the first time since I’d met her, her eye contact faltered. She would lift her head to look at me. “Thank you for being so kind tonight.”

I cleared my throat, self-conscious and aware of just how bright the overhead lights were now that the last patrons were milling out the front entrance. “No problem at all.”

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781483908779

Eliza Lentzski Online