CH. 1 – GRADE A A$$HOLE

I’m so excited to share my new release with you guys! Grade A Asshole is releasing this month as a full-length novel with over 30 chapters. This story was so much fun to write! I really hope that you guys enjoy it as much as I do. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, make sure that you do. I will be sending readers an email as soon as the book goes live. It’s set to release this month (April!)

Scroll down for a sneak peek at chapter 1.

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Take a peek at chapter 1 of this highly anticipated, steamy professor/student romance.

I eat professors like him for breakfast.

My fingers pulse as I sit waiting with my English paper in hand, and an argument on the tip of my tongue. There’s no way I deserve this grade. My cheeks burn at the sight of the bright letter F on my most recent class essay. Poetry has never been my forte, but I signed up for English 401: Poetry and Prose because it’s the only elective I need before graduation. Was it stupid to assume we would be doing more reading than writing? Maybe. Sure I’m not a fan of fluffy imagery, or the complexity of Keats’ love for nature, but I’m a damn good writer.

Professor Dorian’s class was supposed to be an easy A. After four years of busywork, stuffy literary papers, and over the pretentious professors who act like they know everything, I’m over school. I’m ready to travel the world, get away from my dysfunctional family, and find my place in the world. Besides, if I have to read The Bell Jar one more time, I’m going to stick my head in an oven.

My forehead is in my hands when I hear footsteps echoing down the hallway. Relief washes over me as I silently recite my well-conceived argument for Professor Dorian. I’ll just make my case and he’ll have to let me rewrite my paper. Right? There’s a reason why everyone chooses to take his class during their final quarter. Professor Dorian uses a curved grading scale, and he’s well-known by students as a softie on all accounts.

I straighten at the sound of footsteps echoing just outside the door. The rush of relief that hits me as the office door opens immediately melts into confusion. A sharp-looking man dressed in a white dress shirt and slacks walks into the office without a word. Who the hell is this? The mysterious man is definitely not the portly Professor Dorian I was expecting. This man is gorgeous. He’s tall with silver highlighted brown hair, a 5 o’clock shadow, and piercing green eyes that sit framed by thick black glasses. His shoulders are wide, so wide they nearly brush the sides of the  door frame as he steps through. 

I swallow, suddenly all too aware of how small this office is. If he steps any closer, he might as well be on top of me. Not that that would be a bad thing. My hormones rage as a fleeting look of curiosity passes across his face. His shrewd gaze takes me in and lingers on my face. If he’s even one tenth as surprised to see me as I am to see him, he doesn’t show it. The silver-haired fox shows neither interest nor surprise. I’m so awe-struck by him that I barely register that he’s finally acknowledged my presence.

“Can I help you?”

The disinterest in his voice is clear – piercingly so. He sets down the leather briefcase in his hand and leans it against the tiny bookcase across from Professor Dorian’s messy desk. He does this without ever taking his eyes off me. The way he looks at me reminds me of the predators I see on the National Geographic Channel my roommate forces me to watch. It’s slow and purposeful as if I’m his prey waiting to be taken.

I clear my throat, feeling a dryness setting in. 

“I’m sorry, I’m here to see Professor Dorian. I must have the wrong room.”

I begin to stand but sit back down realizing that I’m definitely in the right office. Professor Dorian’s name was on the front of his office door. A silence falls between the two of us, leaving me to twiddle my thumbs as I wait for the green-eyed stranger’s response.

“Professor Dorian is my English professor.”

The handsome Adonis flicks his gaze down at me and smiles ever so slightly.

“I’m your professor.”

My jaw falls open in confusion as I attempt an argument. Have I been dreaming this entire semester? I’m fairly certain that my actual English professor is the embodiment of Santa Claus. This guy appears to be the embodiment of a GQ model that stepped off the runway. I’m willing to bet under that dress shirt and tie, there’s abs without an inch of fat.

“No – I mean… Professor Dorian is old and -“

“And dead,” he says, cutting me off. My eyes widen at his flat declaration. “Professor Dorian recently passed away, so I’m taking over a few of his classes,” he says. “You can call me Professor Grant.”

“Oh, shi-” I begin to say, trying to cover my surprise. “I mean great… Nice to meet you.”

Professor Dorian wasn’t my favorite professor, but he is – or rather was- one of the sweetest professors. If you could forgive the fact that he liked ogling tits and asses all day. Yeah, he was that kind of professor.

“Let me guess- you’re from English 115.”

Ouch. I’m not a freshman. 

“Do I look like an eighteen-year-old trying to figure out who she is?” The sarcastic comment escapes my mouth before I have a moment to rethink it. Shit, Josie. You’re not making a great impression. A smirk hits his lips, and my skin is immediately set on fire by the sight. Sweet baby Jesus. The more I try not to get flustered, the redder I turn. Professor Grant is hot, really hot, and probably twice as old as me.

“Actually, I’m in English 401,” I say, finally.

The silver-haired fox looks at me as if trying to decide whether I’m lying or not. His gaze is intense and unrelenting in his search for the truth. Damn, he would’ve made a badass detective in another life. He’s practically undressing me with his eyes. Is that such a bad thing? It has been a while since you’ve gotten laid.

He takes a moment as if measuring what he’s about to say. 

“You look -” he begins to say as his eyes rake over me. “I mean… how can I help you this morning, Ms.-“

“Wilde,” I offer.

He makes it a point to step around me before taking a seat at Professor Dorian’s desk – well his desk now. The faint scent of hazelnut and citrus hits me as he passes, slightly brushing against my leg. The smell of him is so intoxicating that I can’t help but lean in. 

“Ms. Wilde?” he says, with a look of confusion.

Shit. Was I just sniffing him like a dog? 

“How can I assist you?” he adds.

I straighten my body and lean further back into my chair, creating as much distance between the two of us as possible. Josie, you’re acting like you haven’t seen a man this drop dead fine in your entire life. You should be used to gorgeous men. You’re the daughter of a Hollywood director. You grew up fawning over even better looking men than him. Get it together.

“Is there something you need?” he presses on, taking his glasses off and setting them on the birch desk.

Yes, I need your clothes off, and you fucking me over this desk. Josie, get a grip on your libido. 

“Um, well, um, yes. I came to speak to Professor Dorian regarding the grade on our last essay assignment.” 

My fingers grasp the paper wedged between my textbook’s pages. I almost feel ashamed to show Professor Grant my grade and I don’t know why. I don’t even know him, and yet suddenly his approval means everything to me. Professor Grant barely acknowledges me before firing off another question. My skin heats as my nerves begin to set in. He ignores my gaze and begins to scribble on a notepad, as if my presence no longer bears any importance to him.

“The paper on your analysis of Robert Frost?” he asks, still staring at his notepad.

“Yes, that’s correct.”

His lips slightly curve into a smirk and despite the movement, the rest of his face remains completely unmoved. 

“What’s wrong with the grade you received?” he asks, practically sighing with boredom.

“It’s… just wrong,” I bite back.

My tone stills him, and I can physically see him mulling over my words. His jaw tightens with the slightest movement. Anxiety crashes through me as he drops his pen and turns his full attention toward me. His gaze penetrates me with an overwhelming dose of irritation.

“I’m quite sure it’s not wrong. In fact, I’m certain. I’m certain the grade you received is the grade you deserve.” 

It takes me a moment to realize that maybe, just maybe, Professor Grant was the one to grade my paper, not Professor Dorian. In fact, I’m willing to bet my life on it. This man is ready to wage a war over one paper like he’s the one being offended. I stand to leave hating to admit defeat. 

“I’ve never received an F on an English paper,” I admit.

And I’ve certainly never deserved one. Not even now. The essay prompt was ridiculous and pretentious. Another busywork assignment that a 12th grader could do with their eyes closed. I grab my textbook and paper, all too ready to leave.

“There’s a first time for everything, Ms. Wilde.” 

I stop in my tracks letting his words roll over me. Irritation seeps through my veins. Is he serious? The room is dead silent, but I can practically hear him laughing at me. I turn to face him and find him looking at me with a stone-cold expression. You’re not winning today, asshole.

“I would like to contest my grade and ask for a rewrite,” I say, refusing to back down.

“Contest all you want, Ms. Wilde. The grade isn’t changing.”

He’s not willing to budge an inch.

“So, you’re not going to let me rewrite the paper?” I ask.

“No, but I’ll tell you what I will do,” he says, with a good measure of arrogance. “If you show up to class and work hard, I’ll let you remain in my class.”

My cheeks burn as his lips emphasize the word my. He turns back to his desk and begins scribbling away on his notepad again.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to do.”

He dismisses me like you would a child. I stare at his profile and curse him silently praying that tomorrow he’ll wake up as ugly as his attitude. Who does he think he is? My eyes trace him from his broad shoulders to his sharp jaw. My annoyance grows as I take in his all too appealing face. I’ve never wanted to throat punch someone as much as I do now. Stupid beautiful man.

I try one last attempt at knocking down his walls.

“I would like an exception to withdrawal from your class.”

Professor Grant shakes his head at me without ever looking up.

“Denied.”

I don’t have to look him in the eye to know he’s enjoying this. He wants me to beg for it, and even then he won’t give in to me.

“I didn’t sign up for your class. I signed up for Professor Dorian’s class.”

My words still him as he drops his pen and turns in my direction. He stands stepping into my personal bubble. He’s so close I can smell the dark, sweet scent of his cologne again.

“Ms. Wilde, let me make this clear. You can choose to stop attending my class. It makes no difference to me, but if you do, I will fail you. Your only choice is to continue my class and work hard, or fail and accept the blemish on your record.”

“Blemish? This isn’t The Scarlet Letter,” I retort.

“So you do know some literature,” he says smirking. “Do yourself a favor. Take the easy way and fail my class.”

Oh God, either I delay graduating or I’m stuck with him for the rest of spring? There has to be another way out of this. Why is this man so hateful? Professor Grant picks up my paper from the floor, which I somehow didn’t notice had left my hands. In my fit of fury, I dropped it.

“I expect the best, Ms. Wilde. I don’t deal with students who want to float through their last year of college.”

He thinks he’s so much better than his students.

“You’re an asshole!” I bite back.

The words escape my lips before I have the opportunity to think them through. He looks at me with impatience as if him allowing me to still be here is a gift from God.

“And you, Ms. Wilde, are nothing but a petulant child.”

My cheeks heat at his brash words, and tears prick my eyes. Why is he affecting me this much? Why do I care? I stand taking my paper with the large letter F from his hand, turn, and bolt from his office. There’s no way in hell this is over. Fuck him. My chest is on fire as I practically flee down the hallway. 

Don’t cry, Josie. Don’t cry.

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