It’s been a while since I read a book so bad, I was compelled to keep reading it. I had to find out just what nonsense was going to happen next. While I’m not fully throwing shade at the author of For The Love Of English (there was one excellent thing about it – read on to find out what!), this book did not meet my expectations, and the only reason I couldn’t put it down was because I was purely hate-reading it. However, this book has a great rating on Goodreads, so it clearly does work for a lot of readers!
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The summary, from Amazon:
From USA Today Bestselling Author, A.M. Hargrove, comes a New Adult, Single Dad,, Stand Alone Romance
Single Dad, Beckley Bridges, is gorgeous.
No, really, he’s the hottest thing since the sun was created.
Honest to God, crack an egg on him and the thing will sizzle.
So what’s the problem?
He’s also a gigantic jerk.
I hate the bastard.
I try to avoid him at all costs.
But for some reason, everywhere I go he seems to show up.
Only the real issue is his daughter, English.
She’s an adorable quirky first-grader who’s the sweetest thing since iced tea.
And she’s one of my students but also the love of his life.
So I have to deal with him on a professional level.
It’s not easy.
On a scale of easy to hard, dealing with Beckley Bridges is like nails screeching across a blackboard.
But when English’s mother tries to gain custody after abandoning her on Beckley’s doorstep as an infant, he’ll do anything possible to keep her under his roof.
That’s how he ends up propositioning me.
And crazy as it sounds?
I find myself considering it.
*This is a full-length, stand-alone, novel, with no cliffhangers, and an HEA.
50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge
I chose this book for my 50 Romance Novel Reading Challenge, created by Love, Sawyer. The prompt was Week 7: Single Father. Beck is a single father to English in the beginning of this novel.
A to Z Reading Challenge
I chose this book for my 2021 AtoZ Challenge, created by Bookstacks n Golden Moms. This qualified for “F”.
Buy For The Love Of English here.
Let’s start off with our main characters. Most of the novel is narrated by Sheridan, though we do get chapters from Beck’s POV, including the entirety of the final act (which is brief). Sheridan is a recent college graduate in her first year of teaching. She lives in the Atlanta area with her best friend Michelle.
First off, Sheridan and Michelle are pretty shitty friends to one another for a portion of the book. At one point, Sheridan injures her foot and has to wear a boot. Michelle is too busy with her new boyfriend to help her roommate which is pretty crappy, but I also think it’s crappy that Sheridan expects that of her (though she doesn’t communicate it). My former roommate and I are friends and she was in a boot for a few months once. I offered to pick things up for her from the store but I wasn’t carting her ass around or anything. She was my roommate, not my wife. Grow up, girls. Regardless of whether or not they were good friends to one another in the end, I had no interest in reading Michelle’s book after this one.
Next we have Beck, who starts off as a complete asshole to Sheridan. Then suddenly once they fall in love his assholery is gone, except for one argument that just left me scratching my head. It was related to the plot which made no sense in the real world. I’m okay with romance novels being a little fantastical but this one was just so far-fetched.
So onto the twisted, unrealistic plot. Beck had a one-night-stand in college that resulted in a pregnancy, unbeknownst to him. The mother eventually revealed the child (English) by dropping her off on Beck’s parent’s doorstep one day with paperwork handing over her custody. Now she wants visitation rights for English, but Beck and his lawyer think she is pursuing her rights for money because of a drug addiction. Spoiler alert – this ends up being true, but the suspicion Beck has (and his family, and then Sheridan) seems so unfounded to me. Yes, the bio-mother does get a little stalkery, but even before that Beck & co. are concerned, despite the fact that hired PIs can’t find any dirt on this woman, all because she was into drugs in college. 🤷 I felt like this book demonized addicts and made it seem like someone who was once an addict couldn’t be a good parent one day.
Beck’s original lawyer thinks he should marry because the courts often give custody to the mother and it will look better if he’s married. But then another lawyer enters the picture and says the marriage was a bad idea and the judge will think Sheridan just married Beck for his money and Beck paid her off to do it. Whatever the case, their entire courtship and Sheridan’s eventual motherhood of English as her teacher feels weird. It’s not common to have a teacher over for dinner, and as a professional I feel like Sheridan would have turned that initial offer down. And though I don’t think the schoolboard would frown on her dating or marrying a student’s parent (though they do for a hot second??), there’s no way she would still be allowed to teach the student. I could see if this was a small town romance and English couldn’t be moved to another class or Sheridan couldn’t be moved to another school, but this wasn’t the case. I grew up in the suburbs of a major city, and such a school district wouldn’t allow that sort of thing.
Also, as a former teacher myself, I felt like Sheridan just wasn’t a good teacher. But that’s a rant no one but me wants to read.
English, despite having a unique name, the funkiness of which was never acknowledged, was the only redeemable part of this book. She was spunky, smart, and cute to boot.
I only kept reading this book because I wanted to see how kooky the plot got. It does get 2 stars because the sex scenes were pretty solid. While my lack of connection to the characters distanced me from the hotness of said scenes, I liked the discussions surrounding condoms and STIs, as well as a healthy, realistic portrayal of anal sex with lots of conversation leading up to it and lube. (Though Beck insisting all men like anal was a little toxic, IMO, and inaccurate from my experience.) With all the drama, I know this book will have some fans, but I just found the entire thing to be unrealistic and laughable.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
While I loved the healthy portrayals of sex in this book, the plot was just a wreck and I did not care for any of the characters except for the kid. Beck is a jerk until he suddenly isn’t, Sheridan’s job is portrayed so unrealistically, and the family court plot is just an insulting mess. I couldn’t put this book down because I had to see just how outlandish it got.
Book Club Questions
- Did this book change your view of custody battles and family court? How so?
- Do you think Sheridan’s situation as English’s teacher made sense after the marriage? What would you expect to see in any school district you’re familiar with?
- This book involves a lot of discussion surrounding sex, both before and during. Why is communication so key for Sheridan and Beck, as well as other couples? Are some of their conversations just dirty talk, or are they good examples of consent and communication?
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