Release Blitz: Rough Around the Soul by Maria Monroe

April 18, 2017


Rough Around the Soul by Maria Monroe is NOW LIVE for only 99c!

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Gritty. Sexy. Taboo. Melanie Cannon is troubled, desperate, and only eighteen. Taking the fall for a friend, she’s forced into a drug education class, which she expects to be boring as hell. Until Detective Jake Beck walks in as her instructor. Jake knows it’s a mistake to get involved with a high school senior. But their passion is undeniable. Their bond is the kind that lasts forever. Their connection is more than just lust. Jake's willing to risk it all—even when harsh betrayal and ugly secrets threaten everything.

Rough Around the Soul by Maria Monroe is a standalone romance between an 18 year old high school student and a 25 year old cop. I decided to read it for a few reasons. First, the title grabbed my attention. I love it, and it’s what intrigued me to read the blurb. Second, it sounded like a student/teacher romance which I usually enjoy. Third, it’s advertised as gritty, sexy, and taboo, and I love those kind of books. What I got was something totally different than I expected, but I still enjoyed it none the less.

Jake is out at a club when a beautiful woman catches his eye. He follows her outside, and she winds up going home with him where they proceed to have the best sex of their lives. The woman slips out of his apartment the next morning while he is in the bathroom. She told him she wanted no strings attached, so he doesn’t even know her real name. It disappointed him to think that after the amazing night they had, he would never see her again. He shouldn’t have worried.

Jake came to the small town of Bells Park, Illinois from Chicago to help out his uncle at the local precinct and to get away from some of his own problems. One of his duties is to fill in for the instructor of a drug education class. Melanie Cannon got into trouble with the law when her best friend decided to store marijuana in Melanie’s locker on a locker search day. Melanie is an amazing student that wasn’t dealt the best hand when it comes to her home life. She is a good kid and a great student, so she is allowed to attend a drug education class once a week for a short time in exchange for keeping the offense off her record.  When she walks into class on the first day, the last person she expects to see is the one night stand that blew her mind. She certainly doesn’t expect to see him teaching the class. 

Jake is horrified and turned on when he sees Melanie sitting in his class. He is praying to God she isn’t a minor, but can’t help imagining her naked in his arms. Once Jake learns that Melanie has an absentee convict of a father and an alcoholic mother, he begins to feel guilty. The girl obviously needs responsible adults in her life to help her, but Melanie makes it perfectly clear that she doesn’t want his help. She isn’t a little girl and it pains her that he might think of her that way. 

Jake and Melanie have an undeniable attraction to one another, and they aren’t able to resist each other for long. What will Jake’s boss say if he finds out he is sleeping with a high school student from the class he is teaching? What will Melanie’s principal think if she finds out that the man she looked to for help with an underprivileged young girl is having an intimate relationship with her? Their relationship could be received very badly by the outside world, but we can’t help who we fall in love with….can we?

Rough Around the Soul is a quick, sexy read with very little angst that I flew through in one sitting. I likeed the story, the romance, and the author’s writing style. However, I need to be very clear about something. When I signed up to review this book, my blog sisters did as well. We are all taboo/forbidden romance lovers, and we were all really looking forward to reading this book. Life has been kicking my ass lately, so I wound up reading it at the last minute. By that time, they had already read it and neither was impressed. The main reason seemed to be that it wasn’t really what the blurb implied it would be. Though I read and enjoyed this book, I would never describe it as gritty. It doesn’t even really feel taboo. They are both technically adults, and their age difference isn’t that big of a deal. Not only that, but Melanie has been an adult for years since she has had to basically take care of herself her whole life, and they see each other in a classroom setting for only a few short times in the entire book. If I would have went into this without knowing what I should expect, I would have probably been disappointed. That being said, I enjoyed reading the book, and I will read more of the author's work in the future. I recommend this to contemporary romance fans, but not anyone looking for anything particularly taboo.



About the Author: 
Maria Monroe writes sexy and smart romance, often focusing on new adult characters. Bad boys, especially gruff and sexy ones, are her favorite alpha males to read (and write) about.
Her contemporary romance novels include The Rescue, Julian & Lia, Love (Literally), and Afterglow, an apocalyptic love story. Maria has also published two BDSM books, Her Millionaire Master and Kept by the Commanders, through Stormy Night Publications. She enjoys reading, playing Pokemon, building bonfires, drinking wine, sarcasm, hiking, and laughing about inappropriate things. She’s from Chicago and currently lives just outside the city with her three awesome kids, two rescue dogs, two rescue cats, and the most supportive husband in the world.

 You can learn more about her (and her two sisters, who are also romance authors!) at

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